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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Want a Colonoscopy?

Disclaimer!!! This blog post was approved by my husband before it was posted...I do not want you to think I'd post this without his approval.

And now...   Want a Colonoscopy?

I mean, I'm sure you have heard of them.  Know what they are.  Plan to avoid them at all costs.

Well, my husband couldn't.

He'd been feeling a bit ill and found blood in the toilet - okay, a lot ill because he went to the doctor's and he never does that - and they sent him to see the specialist who said, "Well, young man, I think you should go for a colonoscopy.  And an endoscopy."

He nearly skipped out of the doctor's office he was so excited.

Obviously, I am being sarcastic.

I have to admit, as I snuggled next to my husband that night I felt like we were old for the first time.  I was suddenly worried about his health and these procedures just made me feel like we were suddenly old.  Like, skipped way past middle age old.  Our grandparents did things like this, not us, right?

He's only 38.

The day before the procedure my nervous hubby went to work.  There was no way he was going to stick around the house and dread the time of the night he would have to drink the nasty awful drink.

The pharmacist had told me that my husband, the big 6 foot 3 inch guy that he is, was going to fall hard taking this stuff.  To say I was a nervous girl would be an understatement...but I was being all cheerful and happy to be as supportive as possible.

I did supportive things like make tuna noodle casserole for the boys and I.  Jake despises tuna noodle casserole, that's the most loving thing I could have done for him.  Had I made t-bone steaks, he would have strangled me.

He couldn't eat a thing all day but jello.  Jake's not a big fan of jello.  And when he began to drink the nasty awful stuff, he gagged like it was the nasty awful stuff he feared it would be.

This was the part of the procedure he was dreading the most, he knew he'd be knocked out and not remember what happened to him the next day.

When he began to drink the awful nasty drink, it was like watching someone and waiting for them to just morph into the sick person you knew they would become.  I had flashbacks to being pregnant and people watching me just assuming that baby was gonna drop out of me at any moment.

He drank one glass.  Ten minutes later (after he added the lemon lime flavor) he drank another glass.  He was pouring the third glass when he ran for the bathroom.

Our only bathroom.

This is when I sent the boys to bed.

And he didn't leave the bathroom for a good long time.

This is what he had been dreading...the cleaning you completely out part...but it surprisingly went better than he thought it would.

The next morning I was armed with books and a lunch for a four hour wait as my husband drove to the appointment.  He was as nervous as could be...even if he said he wasn't.

The nurse we had first was friendly and chatty and discussed what would happen and so on and so forth.  She handed him a gown and asked him to change.  He went into the bathroom and came out looking unlike anything I have seen him look.  He needed me to tie up the back and I may have teased him a bit about this, keeping things light and all.

Then they gave him an iv.

My husband cannot even stand to watch tv when they show needles and iv's.  His big strong legs came right up in the chair, a fetal position he was attempting to take, as they stuck that needle in his vein.  But she got it in right away and all was well.  I'm pretty sure the front desk got a view of the family jewels.

It was then they walked my husband back toward the surgery room.

And there he went, my big strapping husband, the one whom I depend upon. The protector of myself and the boys, walking away in a hospital gown.

I went back to the waiting room and downed a cup of the nasty office coffee, a whole water bottle and a no bake cookie.  I'd been afraid to eat or drink in front of Jake and was famished and parched.

After sending out some texts, I settled in to read one of the three books I had grabbed, not minding at all that I had some quiet time alone. Before I could even finish one chapter, they were calling me back to tell me he was done.

They looked at me a little odd with my bag full of lunch and books but I had thought I was there alone for four hours.  Not that I minded.

My husband was asleep, but when I sat down he turned and winked at me.  The doctor came up and to talk to us.  They had found a polyp - which was very surprising to him - and removed it.  But it was Jake's esophagus they were concerned about, it was torn up badly from his constant heartburn he has been struggling with.  

Jake was looking at the doctor but it was obvious he had no idea what he was saying.  He kept asking him if he could drink gallons of coffee.  Then he'd ask if he did a good job with the cleaning out.  Then he'd ask if he could have gallons of coffee again.  Then he'd ask if they took all the cancer out (obviously, he was more worried then he had let on).  Then he'd ask again if he could have gallons of coffee.

No gallons of coffee for him. Not for a very long time, if ever.

The idea is so preposterous to him that apparently he could not grasp the idea.

Him with no coffee?

Even I cannot grasp the image.

The doctor smiled sympathetically and told me I was in for a long day.

My husband laid back in the bed, arched his back, and let out the loudest fart I had heard him let out.  As he farted, he groaned a groan no grown man should moan in public.  "Oh, that's good.  That's really good," he moaned.

And then he winked at me.

With that, he fell asleep - sorta - until he farted and the moaning and groaning began again.

The older man across from me who was sitting with his wife began to chuckle.

A nurse came in to give him some food.  He chose a turkey sandwich and the nurse carefully squeezed out some mayonnaise for him.  Just a few thin slices of turkey on wheat bread (which he hates) and a bit of mayo.  The man thought he was eating food from heaven.  "This is the best turkey sandwich I have ever eaten," he said between rolled back eye moments of delight.  He sucked the orange juice they gave him dry with the straw, making loud sucking noises.

And then he farted some more.

A new nurse came in and looked over his chart again.  "We can go home now, right?" Jake asked.

"Well, how are you feeling?"

"Great!" He declared.

So she told him he could leave.  He immediately stood up and whipped the hospital gown right off of him.

And there stood my husband, naked as could be, in the middle of the six bed recovery room.  The nurse whipped that curtain shut so fast it about made my head spin. I pulled out Jake's clothes and handed him his underwear (grundies, as he calls them) and he stared a good long time at them.

It was apparent that I was going to have the dress him.

"I'm feeling great!" he told me as I tapped the leg he needed to lift.  "Really great."

I pulled his shirts over his head.  He couldn't find the arm holes.

"Did the doctor come in here?"

"Yup",  I answered as I pulled up his jeans.

"He said I could drink gallons of coffee now, right?"

"Um, not really...."

He began to weave a bit.  He sat down on the bed and was back asleep faster than I could imagine a person could fall asleep.

He even snored.

The nurse peeked in the curtain a few minutes later, avoiding a glance in my husband's direction.  "How are we doing in here?" she asked cheerily.

"He's dressed," I said simply.

"Oh good!" she blushed.  She then asked him if he felt well enough to leave and he was up and ready to go.  He stood up fast, wobbled a bit, took my arm and waved farewell.

He was still in his socks.  The nurse asked how he was going to walk to the vehicle in his socks and I could tell, the thought had not occurred to him.  The man wanted out of there!

We walked into the waiting room, where our coats and his boots were.  My six foot three husband said in his booming voice to the two men sitting there drinking the bad coffee and watching worse t.v., "You do NOT want to go in there!"

Seeing they had a good one to tease, the men chucked and mentioned they'd been eyeing his blingy black cowboy boots, they wanted to know if he was going to go eat a good meal now and they wished him well on his way out the door.

The men and I had a good chuckle.

As we walked out the door, Jake began to pat his butt until he pulled out his wallet.  He opened it, looked inside at the money and then put it in another pocket.  Then he began to check his back pocket for his wallet and panickingly pat his body to feel his wallet.  "Did you take my wallet?" he asked.

He found it, checked the money, put it in another pocket and then he started all over again, searching, asking me for it, finding it, looking at the money and moving it to another pocket.

By the time we got to Wendy's - his choice for a first meal - I picked his wallet out of his hand and said, "See your wallet, honey?  See me putting it in my purse?  See how it's safe? Okay?"

He nodded.

Then he asked me if I was going to take all his money.

As I helped him across the parking lot, I had an image of us growing old together.

It'd be a new blog.

We went in to get the meal where he waved to an elderly couple we know from church.  He then began to sway in line and repeat himself over and over and I am quite certain that the people in line thought he was drunk.  He chowed his food down, declaring it to be the best meal he's ever eaten, and we headed home.

When I stopped for gas, I took the keys out.  I was afraid he'd forget where we were and leave me.

We arrived home nearly three hours after leaving, and I tucked him into bed where he slept for just over six hours.  When he woke up, he didn't recall anything but the turkey sandwich and the dinner at Wendy's.

To celebrate his survival of his first colonoscopy the next day, he grilled t-bone steaks.

All in all, he is glad he had the colonoscopy and endoscopy.  The blood turned out to be hemorrhoids, and just so you know, we all have them (the doctor told us so).  Sometimes they just flare up and are bad,  as they were with Jake that week.  With proper medication the doctor feels the badly damaged esophagus will heal...as long as he stays away from triggers that cause him heartburn.  As for the polyp, it was nothing...but he will have to go back in five years to just make sure all is still well.  And then we'll go through this all over again.

Because he's the love of my life.

He has a lot to live for - and we want him healthy for the adventure our life is.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Snowed In

We aren't.
Snowed in.
Yet.

My husband would want you all to know that technically, I am NEVER snowed in without supplies  because a fully stocked store is just down the road.  But let me tell you...if the weather man says it's bad out and don't go on the roads...I am snowed in.  I can go days without leaving the driveway.  My husband, who is hardly ever home for a full day, shakes his head in wonder at me.  I know how to be snowed in.

But we are getting our first snow scare right now.  We've had a bit of snow so far this season but there is some weird storm going through where my sister may end up with 6 inches of wet sloppy snow and I may get a dusting of wet sloppy snow.

By Wednesday afternoon it should be all melted and the sun shining again.

That's weather in the Mitten, folks.

I worked today (at my job at the library that I LOVE) and everyone was talking about the weather and snow days off of school and so forth.

It got me thinking....

What is your "supply list" look for when you know a storm is blowing in that keeps you in your house?

I always have to have pancake mix (Krusteaz, it's the best) and syrup.  One can live a good long time on pancakes.  And there are no limits to how many ways you can make them.

Milk, bread, eggs.

And coffee, of course.  I have been known to misjudge how much milk we may need but not the amount of creamer for my coffee.  Yes, my boys have eaten cereal with half and half before - they need their Moma sane with coffee.

And, hidden in the dark recesses of the deep freezer where only I know, wrapped in a bag so it looks like nothing at all but a discounted meat I found, is a big bag of peanut butter m&m's.  One can survive much with m&m's.

How about you all?  What do you always try to make sure it is in the house when a storm is headed to your spot in our world?

I may need some new stocking up foods.

Looking forward to what you have to say...but right now I have to run.  The boys are supposed to be taking care of laundry.  All I know is that I hear loud thumps and our dining room light is swaying now....good indication they are NOT taking care of laundry upstairs.

Stay warm, my friends (and my friends in Arizona and Australia...I do not need to hear the temp.  I know it is warm.  Please don't remind me right now as I wear wool socks, two sweaters and am still cold.) !

Sunday, November 20, 2011

He Wants A Sister

We are in Big Trouble
S4 is feeling a bit better...enough to get back to his normal funny self...just a little bit.

Since he woke up at three this afternoon, he has been calling me for toast or to let me know he could read a word from his favorite movie Cars.  At one point I poured him some medicine and as soon as he drank it down he said "Could I have some more, please?"

"No...that's all you get for now."

"But, Moma," he said, "I still feel sick."

Sheesh, how do explain the medicine will eventually make him feel better?

Anyhow, he just came to hunt me down.

"Moma," he says, "I've been thinking.  I've been thinking I would really like a sister."

I nearly choked.  Currently, they have a "No girlz alowd" signs all over their room and stairway.  To further prove the point, they have named the only two girls they know, Lauren and Elle. (Although, if said girls showed up, they would quickly tear those signs down to play with them, I'm sure.  It just seems funny when no one else can see it.  And, they assured me that I can still come into their room.  Phew, what a relief.)

Anyway, he just asked for a sister.

"Why would you want a sister?" I asked.

"Well, I like to play house and you can only really play house with a sister so could you get me one, please?"

Oh, wait till his Daddy hears THIS one.

Leaf Jumping and Growing Up

It's Sunday morning here and we are not at church.


I have to admit, I'm thankful for the quiet day.

But the reason we are home is not a fun one.  S4 woke up with the flu.  He had tons of fun a friends house yesterday, he played hard all day and fell asleep exhausted in the middle of the living room last night.  This morning he woke up and said his tummy hurt.  

Since then he has gotten sick four times.

He is the most pitifully sweet sick kid.  He apologizes for throwing up, he smiles sadly at my worried gaze, he says please and thank you like he is some sort of inconvenience.  

As if.

I was laying all curled up in the chair watching over him as he dozed back off to sleep for a bit on the floor and happened to look out the window.

Outside S1 and S2 had gotten the pickup untarped from the leaf job Jake and did yesterday.  While the boys were gone we went and cleaned the leaves out of a sweet old lady's yard.  She believes only my husband can do the job right and just has the biggest crush on him.  When she met me for the first time yesterday she said surprised, "Oh, I know you! I've seen you on tv!"  

That was a first.

Anyway, it was dark and spitting rain when we got home.  We had pizza to bake and were starving hungry so we had just left the leaves for today.

S1 and S2 untarped them and then wandered off.  S3 took one look at that huge pile of leaves and knew just what to do.


 I watched him as he scaled the side of the big dodge and poised himself just right to dive into the leaves.

Over and over again he climbed the truck to jump in the leaves.  He would scale different sides of the truck to get an all over leaf experience.
 It was the funniest thing to watch as I lay curled in a chair waiting to see if my youngest was about to be sick again or just going to sleep.

And then I wondered, at what point did my two oldest get so old that they would not see a truck bed full of leaves for the fun it is?

I watched S3 throwing leaves up in the air and letting them fall down on him, not caring who seen him or if he was the only one in the bed of the truck, he was just taking the fun moment for what it was.
And my two oldest were "too old" to have this fun.

When did we all get too old to have this simple fun?

How did this happen?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Excuses to Be Late to School

I haven't had an installment of Excuses to Be Late to school in quite some time...because we have actually been on time.

I will let you take in that shocking bit of news for a moment.

Over the shock now?

One or two of those days....we were EARLY.

I know, it is difficult to believe.

But that went amazingly the other way today.

I had to debate long and hard to tell you this story though.  It tells some pretty awful stuff about this family.  But, to understand this story fully, you must hear it all in it's embarrassing horrific details.

My boys rooms are a disaster area.

There, I said it.

I scrubbed their rooms clean in September.  I sorted every single article of clothing.  I dusted every surface.  It was spic and span.

And since then they have gotten it messy and it's been easy for them to clean up.

But of late, it's just awful.  And I haven't had the heart to go back and clean it again.

To clear S1's name, I must say his side of the room is always totally spotless and it drives him batty to live with his brother's sloppiness.

This morning, early early early (so early I didn't even look at the clock), S4 crawled in bed with me.  I awoke with my alarm to a pillow pet, a stuffed dog and an elk in my face...and in the middle of all that was S4.  It was so sweet.

Because at five in the morning - yes, five - I heard S1 roaring down the steps...he is usually my latest sleeper...and S2 squeal with giggles of uncontrollable laughter.

"YOU!" my oldest, neatest, most responsible son roared, "You KNEW it was there!  That's why you shut off all the lights and ran!"

S2 could only laugh hysterically.

I heard some more commotion from the boys and could tell they had moved to the bathroom.  I could not muster the awake-ness to check on them to see what was going on.

Soon I heard the story...our dog who has recently began having issues (as in the dog that would not poop or pee all day if left alone (as rare as that would be) now sometimes cannot make it through the night.  And instead of waking me, she just goes on up to the boys room and leaves it there in hopes no one will notice.  I'm pulling my hair out over this new development.) left a pile of poop in the middle of the room.  S2 seen it on his way down the steps and quickly formulated what he was sure would be the best of plans.

S2 went upstairs - leaving the poop - and jumped on his oldest brother hollering he was late for school and he had better get up and Moma was storming mad he wasn't up.  When S1 began to waken - slowly - S2 ran for the door, shutting out the light and stumbled down the steps giggling.

S1 mutteringly got out of bed, made his way through his spotless side of the room, side stepped the pile of toys and papers S2 has on his side of the room and began the careful cross through S3 and S4's side of the room to reach the door - in the dark - and turn on the light switch, located at the door.

He then stepped in something wet and cold.

And realized immediately by the smell he had been dooped by his brother.

He managed to pummel his brother, clean up his foot, pummel his brother again and then he went back to bed - because he realized it was just after five and even his moma wasn't stirring yet.  He did holler at his brother to clean the nasty mess up.  S2 seen the pile of poop on the clothes and realized his good luck of not having to clean the carpet this time - he just threw all the clothes away that the dog had pooped on.

See, I'm telling you, utter humiliation here.

All the ruckus woke S3, who really did think it was time for school and got himself all good and ready for the day.  He then spent his time drawing pictures.  He then taped the said pictures all over the window next to my computer desk.

S1 ended up unable to sleep anymore and laying in bed thinking what S2 did to him just disgusted him so he decided he might as well get up and start the day.

S2, of course, also got already for school and settled in to read.

But about 6:30 this all was getting boring and they began to wrestle. play football, chase each other through the house.....

I just stumbled for the shower and mumbled something about making sure S4 was out of bed on time.

I should have thought that through a bit more because all three boys took great delight in waking S4 up.

S4 did not find it humorous at all.  He had to recuperate from their rudeness, so he went back to sleep.

And then the brothers did it all over again.

We then had 15 minutes before we had to leave for school.  The three brothers who had been up for forever at this point, went outside to play and wait while this moma was frantically trying to get S4 ready for school.

Outside, S3 decided to chase his brothers with sticks. S4 went out to put his packed back pack in the suburban and ended up diving into the back of the suburban to get away from his brother.  He was so sure he would get caught by his brother he just ducked down and hid in the suburban.

Which did wonders for the moma who was trying to get him ready for school.

We finally got everyone in the suburban, buckled, and took off down the road....

Only to have the back doors of the suburban fly open.

I had to brake fast and pull into the neighbors to shut the doors.

Apparently, when diving into the back of the suburban to hide from your brother you do not think to pull shut the doors behind you.

And then there we were, one of the last families to arrive to school.

Even though they had gotten up at five in the morning.

I am thinking of issuing a new rule - no one gets out of bed before six thirty in the morning.

And that is our newest excuse to be late to school as well as our awfully embarrassing family story.

I'm now off to clean my boys room.  Again.


(In whole other news...Fox 17 will be airing our digital detox story again on Saturday at 10 pm because they liked it so much. Woohoo, how cool is that?!?!?!
I told you Sarah did a great job with it :) )

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fame on the Day After Our TV Special

I am writing a blog to you all and I want you to know just what a sacrifice that is.

Because if I wasn't doing this I would be folding clothes and cleaning.

And the folding clothes is really an issue because no one even is looking in their dresser anymore.  And the cleaning is important because it is scary to see what might fall on you as you open our fridge.

But my loving dear husband has only said, "You've done a really good job making good meals this week," so I know he is willing to overlook the mess - a little - as long as I keep everyone well fed.

But the mess is making me crazy so as soon as I finish this post, it's off to work I go.

Making a good dinner.   THIS, in fact. It's my family's favorite and on this blustery cold sorta snowy day it should fill their tummy's with warmth and let them know I love them all. Because I do. And because the way to show love with them is good food. It just is.

Yesterday the boys went to school after their big tv special.  I told you how S4 had to change his pants SIX times before we left for school, and the pair he wore were literally his play ripped up no knees pull on camo pants.  You just have to go with it sometimes.

I was all excited to see how their day had gone.  Here are the reports....

S1 was asked for his autograph.  All. Day. Long.  He was totally mortified and also thought it was totally cool and extremely silly at the same time.  They watched the news special in his class and the were impressed I have a mac book pro - well, that was thanks to Fox 17 giving me one and the only way I could have ever gotten one.  Truly.  And further evidence why I love Fox 17 so.  When he got home from school, S1 went to do his homework, giving the deer hunting a break for the evening.

S2 was a star all day and beamed with pride from it.  At the end of the school day we had to turn in his football gear and he got his football trophy and football pictures.  He was told not to smile for the picture and so it is the ultimate in seriousness.
 Once he got his trophy he beamed, and for the rest of the day light he played football or was begging his homework laden brother to play football with him.
All night he looked at his picture and his trophy.  Happy or proud is still not a good enough description of him.

S3 said people told him all day that they had seen him on tv.  He just grinned.  At home he just wanted to bug his brothers.

S4 came home and was shortly thereafter sent to bed because he couldn't stop crying.  He slept for nearly three hours.

Then we all ate meatballs and mashed potatoes and the boys all went to bed at seven thirty because they were all that tired and Daddy and Moma snuggled on the couch with a movie.

I spent the day with Sue talking about and laying out ideas for our Winter edition of Praise and Coffee the Magazine.  We drank our fair share of coffee and hardly stopped talking all day.  It was a great day.

People often ask us - with Morning Mom and with this too - what we "get" out of the deal.  They think we must be famous.

We get great friends.  The boys get to think they are the amazingly special boys they are even if they were never on tv.  We get people we run into every single day telling us the special was cool. 


We do it because we are happy to do this. It's a lot of fun, I'm not gonna lie.  We have so much fun with Fox 17 and we have so much fun as a family.  It was a great weekend for us - THAT was what we got out of it - cuddles in the morning, silly moments we are still giggling about, a pile of wood next to the outdoor wood stove and a pantry with a ton of canned pears from that weekend.  I have more people saying they are thinking of taking the digital detox challenge, and that is a win for everyone.

I am sooooooo very thankful that Sarah asked us to take the challenge on. I'm thankful we had enough adventures in a weekend for her to put a story together.  I'm thankful for a news station that is willing to take an entire month to focus just on relationships.

And with that I will end.  Because I have a house to clean - as I said before - and cookies to make for an afternoon snack for the boys.  Speaking of cookies, I made these last week.  They were huge. I had to HIDE them to make them last TWO days.  These boys, they can EAT.

Also, it's National Home Made Bread day. And I have to celebrate that.

That's a good thing though.
If you would like to see our digital detox story
click HERE. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Did You See Us on Fox 17?

We were on Fox 17!

If you would like to see the video (who am I kidding, I'm sure you are all so wanting to see this! ;) ) you can click HERE and it will take you to the link.

Getting a lot of feed back of people wanting to do a digital detox day or weekend after the special.  I think that is sooooooooo cool.

In other news....we attempted to have the three younger boys take a nap so they could stay up and see themselves on the ten o clock news....it did not work.  When we went to wake them up, they couldn't wake up.  When they woke up this morning, they were devastated, which is why I am so thankful that they had the story on this morning...and because they had the link so they could see themselves before school started.

But the excitement caused some over tired boys...S4 changed his pants SIX times today (mother's of girls, how do you do it?) and is now, at this moment, at school wearing pants with big holes in the knees because at least then he is dressed.

Ug.

So excited about the story, so happy the way it turned out and now you all know how handsome my hubby is. ;)  Hubs wants you to know he cut wood...but you all know that already because if you read the blog, you seen it.

Thank you so much for sharing our Digital Detox weekend with us!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fox 17 Digital Detox Monday

I realized I never told you about Monday.

And since our story airs TODAY at 10 pm on Fox 17
I thought I'd give you a glimpse behind the scenes.

Here is my desk.
See the blue notebook?
ELEVEN pages of notes from the weekend.
I like to write.
A lot.

 I don't, however, know how to unclutter my desk.  So anyone who wants to send me tips, I'd appreciate it. I need to frame the pictures, I suppose.

It was soooooooo odd to not have the news on Monday morning.  Sorta like knowing you will have a test and not knowing what it will be on.  Sarah was headed to our house, and I had no idea what had happened on her four hour morning news show, no idea what the weekend news stories were.  Jake and I had both agreed that going a weekend with Digital Detox would be WAY easier than any week day.

Just before Sarah was to arrive, S3 and S4 got into a nice big argument.  I'm not sure what about.  I just know the house was full of lots of nervousness and they took it too far so they had to sit on the couch, hold hands, and think of five things they liked about each other.
 They were not happy with this arrangement but it totally worked.

And then Jason the camera man (who was WAY nice and I so wish I had gotten a picture of him with all of us because, really, he was just the nicest....) and Sarah were here and we interviewed again. (I hid the unfolded clothes in the laundry room).  S2 nearly bombarded Jason asking him all sorts of questions about the Lions game he had missed the night before.
 Sarah took a minute to take a few pictures with us.  Other than the fact that Andrew closed his eyes, I really like this picture.
 And here is Sarah and me and the scarf I should have worn the whole interview.
 Jake wanted a picture of the Fox 17 vehicle IN OUR DRIVEWAY.  He was totally bummed he missed all this and for some reason he wanted this picture and Sarah was sweet enough to take it for us.
It's been a few weeks since we did our Digital Detox and when I look back over it I was wondering if we had changed anything since then.  I do keep my cell phone on ring only at night so the texts/fb/twitter dings don't pull me away.  I do, however, still check it during the evening.

The boys made a fort with an old bench swing that has a canopy over the top of it during the weekend of our digital detox and they still will play with that fort until it's so dark I wonder how they can see out there.  They pretend they are surviving in the wilderness and that's all the shelter they have.

On Sunday mornings, we haven't watched tv.  This has also gotten us to church on time...and that is really kind of unheard of for us.

But movie night with my hubby when we are curled up on the couch together and the boys are upstairs watching an old VHS tape....still the best.  And this weekend all six of us crammed on the couch and watched Tangled (that is love because they know it's Moma's favorite movie).

The thing I MISS about the detox...the morning all the boys cuddled in bed with us.  Crazy, huh?  I guess because I know that this brief moment in our lives when they want to cuddle up with us is fleeting at best.  And I want to treasure that.


Our Story Airs TONIGHT, NOVEMBER 15th AT TEN PM on FOX 17.
You can see it HERE.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fox 17 Digital Detox

TOMORROW our special airs.

I am totally a wee bit nervous.

I mean, even if it weren't bad enough you will all SEE what a Redneck Girl I am (which is bad enough in humiliation aspect...but this is my life too so if you know me, you know this already....).....

But we don't know what the special will show.

The commercials are airing and saying "Will they become closer or fight?"  S2 looks at me and says "What did they say about us?" and I shrug and say "I don't know."

Because I don't know.
Because we did both.

But you all know how we love Fox 17, you all know what great friends I consider them to be, so I am quite certain they will make us look good.  Sarah will take great care of us, I am certain, and she told me that she is happy with how the four minute segment turned out.

This morning on the biggest country station on this side of the state, they mentioned our story on air.  Then I am hearing throughout the day of more stations mentioning it.

The boys think they are soooooooo super cool.

And that, I must admit, is fun to watch.  I hope they think they are amazing cool when they see themselves on tv.

But I hope they mostly know that they are amazing cool EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

They just get to show off some coolness for tv.

But I must admit I am thinking....I never did take care of all that laundry, the boys did act a little crazy when the camera was on, I did get ticked at Jake that he thought four bushel of pears would be a cinch for me to get done, we were exhausted after hauling seven loads of wood, the cider was good but can they see the dark circles under our eyes?....

Stuff YOU all know about us, but lots of other people don't.  Hopefully they'll love us as much as you all do. 

If you would like to see the special, you can click on --> FOX 17 <-- here and it will take you to the home page, where you can watch it LIVE on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15th at 10pm.

(November 15th is also opening day of gun season...but you all should be inside by then drinking coffee and telling your hunting glory stories.  So there really is no excuse to miss it. :) )

If you would like to read up on how the weekend went...you can catch up on the posts I wrote AFTER the digital detox was over.







Thursday, November 10, 2011

Date Weekend

Last weekend, when the sun was shining brightly and fall seemed like the most wonderful season that it is, my husband and I went on a date.

He had driven past a place he wanted to take me and since I am always up for a long drive with my hubby, I was more than willing to tag along.

He took me here....

He has been driving past this place in his big truck and keeps thinking he wishes he could stop.
And being all farm market minded like we are, we like to see lots of markets.

We dream about farm markets, I'm not even kidding.

But this one has to be one of the best family run farm destinations.
 First they have amazing donuts and such.

We had driven all this way for donuts.  Seriously.

We are serious about donuts. Everyone should be.

And these smelled heavenly as we pulled in.  Jake got some cinnamon sugar coated one and half of my flakey apple turnover sort of thing that was scrumptious.

Since I don't do corn mazes...at all...we wandered around to see what there was to see.

And we ended up wandering over to this barn.
 I'm still kicking myself for not getting pictures of the inside...or of us and Audrey.

Who is Audrey, you ask?

Just the most cheerful, cutest, adorable girl.

She works in the wine tasting section of the barn.  The part of the barn that housed horses.  
Seriously.
My husband was instantly checking out all the beams and all that barn stuff.
It was rather obvious we had never been there before.

Audrey sarcastically asked us what took us so long to get there, and then followed that with a sweet "Hello, and welcome to Robinette's."

She had us pegged for fun, I think.

And we spent the next half hour, I'd guess, chatting and hearing her gush about the wonderfulness of her job, of the family, of the farm, of the history, of the people who visit....

We left feeling like we left a friend.

We then became the biggest fan of Robinette's ever.
 Seriously.
I mean, why else would we pose in front of the sign a million times for a picture?
 I may have had so much fun that I literally skipped with Jake to the suburban.

I may have kissed him right there and said "Thank you for the funnest day!"

I may have literally squealed with joy.

And I owe that to my hubby who stopped here, and to Audrey who had us laughing.
And to the amazing Robinette's who brought us all together.

But the day wasn't over.

We headed up to Rockford to the Corner Bar.

For YEARS and YEARS Jake has told me about their amazing hot dogs and since I am one of those people who really find hotdogs super tasty, I've been asking for forever to go.

The place was so busy when we got there that there was a long line out the door.

But that didn't stop my husband.  Oh, no.  He was starving and wasn't going to wait in line.
He walked right up to the empty bar and asked if we could sit there and order hotdogs.
The bar tender agreed.
And my husband was happy.
If you eat 12 hotdogs you get your name on the board.  I don't know why he hasn't done this.
I ordered the famous Rockford Corner Dog dog and it was good.
Jake ordered two corner dogs and two sauerkraut dogs.
And he ate one of my hot dogs too.
See, he could be on the board.
And I'd have a famous hubby.
With a shirt to prove it.

Afterward we wandered around, looking at the famous Rockford Dam.

 It was so pretty and we had to snap a few pictures of us grinning ear to ear on our fun day out.
 I noticed the pretty planters they had around, and my husband knew you could eat the kale.
Is it kale?
I don't know...but he picked it and...
Ate it.
 Apparently the hot dogs didn't fill him up.

We took so more pictures, really, it was so pretty out.
 In this photo he says at least I have a great picture of him.
 We had a super great time.
I really wanted to find the store Herman's Boy, but we couldn't find it.

We could have asked but we had reached the time to head for home.
I guess that means we will have to back again.
I'm sure you know I'm dreading that trip. 
haha

I did find the store Jade.
I have wanted to go there for forever.
So hubby came in with me.
Where he was the best looking guy in the whole store.
Cuz he was the ONLY guy in the whole store.
It is a great store.
Like, super great I wish it were all in my closet great.
It was truly the best day in forever.

We ended it by buying groceries, because we knew we were going home to four boys who would need food - and a lot of it - this week.  But after too much time not spending time together,
it was so great to just hang out together.
All day long.

And I think my brother and sister in law are going to have us watch their boys now that they watched - and fed - all four of ours.

I'll be happy to.

Thanks for the great weekend, Hubs, I love you!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Icky Day Sunshine

Today is an icky cold dreary rainy gray dark blustery day.

It ain't pretty.

The boys woke up at five.  I know this may sound odd to the lot of you, but I ENJOY sleeping in until my alarm goes off.

And it doesn't go off at five.

I gave up and just began the day.  It's pretty much impossible to go back to sleep with two extra boys in your bed.

My boys wake up like they have had a pot of coffee by iv before their eyes fluttered open.  It's hard to handle the extremeness of them...they are running and squealing and playing and climbing up Daddy to get his phone to play Angry Birds and eating cereal and fighting over their favorite bowls and chasing the dog with a nerf bow and it's insane.

I haven't even had a cup of strong coffee yet.  Heck, it isn't even brewed yet.

But as I watch the boys get those extra minutes with Daddy before he leaves for work, as I watch them tease and giggle, my heart can't help but melt.

I stand in the kitchen inhaling my french press coffee and think about what a dreary long day this is going to be.

And catch my boys attempting to escape outside.

Here I am all sad about the mud and the cold and the darkness and the thought of winter too quickly approaching....

...and my boys are trying to get outside to run and play in the puddles and attempt to slide all over our slippery slimy wet deck.

Perspective.

It changes an icky day to a bright one - even if the sunshine doesn't shine.

Yup, we've got Icky Day Sunshine here today.

And I need another strong cup of coffee.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Surviving Sunday Night of Digital Detox

Sunday night Hubs and I went back to canning pears.

And had a heart to heart.

I was amazed how differently we viewed the weekend.

Where I found the weekend relaxing, he found it stressful.  The keeping the boys busy all the time wore him out.  I found the no tv, no stress of answering messages was surprisingly stressless.  However, had I not had a notebook for therapy I would have gone a bit crazy I think.

Jake thought I was crazy for carrying around a notebook.

Which I literally did.

I think a person can not fully function in this society now without being digitally connected.  Whether you like it or not, facebook and texting is what people use to pass on a message.  Cell phone numbers are stored in cell phones...not home numbers.  My address book hasn't been updated in ten years.

My husband disagrees.  He thinks a person could be business savvy to survive just fine without technology.  I do not see this...he fully does.

I am all for doing this again - for a night.  I think it would be good for our family.  He disagreed...and  he is totally against doing another weekend like this.  He agreed maybe a night...if we could have a radio.

We had a long talk about technology and relationships....

I had recently read a link Diaper Diaries had posted about marriage...a post she had stumbled upon but found convicting...from Jon Acuff.  It's called How To Improve Your Marriage Instantly.  I had worked on taking it to heart, keeping my phone plugged in at night when Jake was home from work.  I could tell he was irritated when it went off.

And that said, I didn't harp on him if he was on his phone playing Angry Birds or checking some new app.

We use our smart phones and computer for totally different things...mine to connect with the blog and so forth, him for the techie stuff.  But both things pull us apart.

He sincerely believed this weekend he would prove a point.  He would hold over my head that I can get so much more done if I am not on the computer.  Shockingly, I got less done then either of us supposed I would.  

The book I am reading?  I only finished TWO chapters...how sad is that?

The thing that shocked us both the most in the same way, however, is that as much as we love the boys, as much as we wish we could keep them home with us all the time, as much as I hate to have them gone at school days on end, as much as we love them.....we liked the break we got from them.

We used the tv to babysit them.

This came as a surprise to us both.

Even today, I am writing this blog post on my first day off of the detox while it is all fresh in my head.  And the boys are watching tv.

But tonight?  Tonight I'm shutting it down and spending the night with them.

I was surprised how smoothly it went with them in some aspects.  I didn't forget to get them a drink, distracted by something else.  I could hear the argument they were having before the tattling began.  It was a good time to "just be" with our boys.  It was funny the stories they brought up to remind us of, the songs they sang - and most the 'songs' they sang were tv jingles.

This from boys who get to watch tv on the weekend only.  And live to play outside.

That said, next weekend they are going to my brother and sister in laws for the weekend and I am ECSTATIC to get my hubby allllllll to myself.  

Today, while blogging and reconnecting, the boys settled in to catch up on some tv.  And soon after they were bored of it and went out to play.  It wasn't as grand as they thought it would be.

I was overwhelmed when I opened up my computer and found all sorts of messages from friends letting me know how much I meant to them, how much they missed me.  I can thank Sue Cramer for getting that great gift of words.

It is hard to put into words how disconnected I felt from my friends.  How much tweeting and blogging and facebooking helps me share the time I am blessed to spend with my boys....and how much I need that girl connection when I feel like I am drowning in boyness.

I think, in the end, the digital detox is going to have a lasting impression on us.  I am curious what we will think of it in a week or two or three from now.

I wouldn't be surprised if we did it again....for a day. Only a day.

We're too connected to do it much more than that.

Our Story Airs on Fox 17's 10pm News on Tuesday, November 15th.


You can view the story HERE.

Sunday, the Last Full Day of Digital Detox

I woke up to my phone's alarm Sunday.

I had every day of the weekend.  I had forgotten to unset it.

As soon as it went off I quickly shut it off, shut the phone off...

And before it went totally off I heard the chirps and dings of unanswered messages.

Sigh.

I miss my friends.

Usually when I wake up in the morning I lay in bed for the first couple minutes waking up and checking updated statuses, what new messages I have and so forth.  The not knowing what is going on in my friends lives bothers me.  Not because I am nosy, because I honestly care.

Again, no cuddle time.  Boys are already filling up our bed.

And S1 was headed out to hunt before church.

 I started the coffee and tea and cocoa I make in the morning, I started the oatmeal and the normal getting around stuff while Hubby sent S2 out for the paper.

We needed our news fix.

As we started dissecting the paper, S4 caught sight of the toy catalog from Toy R Us.
 He was quickly surrounded by brothers.  A morning that we would normally never run on down to grab the Grand Rapids Press cuz we were too busy watching tv made for one of my most favorite pictures of the weekend.
 We hurried around to get ready for church....and here is one of the things that rather surprised me...we still had a hard time making it out of the house on time for Sunday school.

Even though....brace yourself....Jake MADE DINNER.

He did!  I had the roast all ready for the crock pot but he added it, he added the potatoes he peeled, he put the squash in the oven.

He was amazing....

And he let me know it.  When he was at church I was bragging on him, he followed it with "It was a piece of cake, I don't know why all these women complain about how hard it is to cook."

And yet I love him....

Being in church was odd.  We were hearing snippets of stories (snow? war? fire?) and didn't know any of it.  For someone who follows the news so much, it was odd to be on the outside of it all.

I felt like our family was living in it's own little bubble.

I also missed my friends in a bad way.  When S3 couldn't figure out my black nylons - whispering to me if they were socks - I thought it would be a great tweet.  My girls would appreciate this moment.

Boys don't get girls.  At all.

But boys get boys, no matter the age.  One of my friends dad's took pity on sports crazed S2 and offered to tape the Lions game for him.  It made S2's day, who had been totally devastated over missing it.

When we got home, Jake had S1 take a picture of us.

 I guess I forgave him for the mean "women complain about cooking" comment.

As we were getting the table ready for dinner, Morg stopped in.  I hugged her in complete joy.  A girl! My friend!  I had to find out if she was an aunt yet? How was her weekend?  What was she up to?

I missed being connected to her life.

After dinner we all took a nap.  Hello? Still exhausted from the wood and pears and all that.

Here are some of the notes I wrote from Sunday....

"Our phone hasn't rang since my mom called Friday." (Think about it, who has your home number anymore, it's all cell phone connecting now....)

"Without the computer on my desk, my desk is really cluttered looking.  Like, super bad.  I need a decorate-ista to come help me."

"Had to use a phone book.  ALL my contacts are on my phone or computer."

S4 said "There is pretty much nothing to do if you don't watch tv. But if you play there is really all sots of things to do."

"S4 has itsy bitsy spider stuck in his head. No one can think past it to give him another song. Argh!"

"The boys have found Jake and my secret stash of peanut butter cup pumpkins.  This won't end well."

"I like life to have a soundtrack."

"Tried nutella.  The boys and I were surprised we liked it.  Jake shudders and wouldn't even think of trying it."

"S4 just said to me from the toile he's perched upon. "I'm not blowing out poop, Moma, I'm blowing out little color things and you should probably come see this." Then, a little while later, "Is #3 diarrhea?"  That then led to the discussion that even if he didn't know he was going to be sick, God did so that's okay."

"Just had to yell "Hey, you are NOT kick-boxers!"  The boys find this hilarious. I am serious."

"Our house is suffering - it came unhinged.  Literally.  The cupboard door literally just fell off the cupboard.  Greeeeaaaaaaat."

My friend Korene called to see if we were still alive....and then I just gave up and called my mom.

I had to get a news fix.  "Just tell me the most important news...."

I'd missed word of a huge snowstorm.  What??? Yes. It had hit my friend, Karen, I'd find out later.

There had been a fire where my Dad works and they lost three barns.  I think I should have been called immediately with that news story.

A friend had had her baby girl and she was beautiful.

I felt so disconnected.


Our Story Airs on Fox 17's 10 pm News on Tuesday November 15th.


You can view the story linked HERE.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Saturday, the Second Half of Digital Detox

When we arrived home from cutting wood, Husband exhaustedly said "Let's just see what's on tv"...and then realized what he had just said as he went to turn the tv on.

While we waited for Jake to grill his famous cheeseburgers, S4 killed time for us doing animal charades.  He was absolutely hilarious.  Do you know how many different birds the boy knows?  Do you know how many guesses we had to come up with think of all the bird names?

And the best part was that S4 started the animal charades from telling us he loves pimple dogs.

Huh?

It took us awhile to figure out he meant PIT bulls.  

That would have been a great tweet/facebook post.

After a scrumptious dinner, we headed out to make cider.

The neighbors on the other side of us raise apples.  And if you come over and help them press cider, you get to bring some home.  This works great for us.

The boys immediately run for the hay bales, where they run and jump and have all sorts of fun.
Meanwhile, Husband gets to work making cider with the crew in the back of the tiny cider room.
The apples are dropped into a grinder and literally ground all up.  The apples are then dropped into the tin bucket.
Then it's sent into buckets....
Where it is dumped onto the press's heavy duty cheese cloth type material, where it pressed until it makes juice that we all love.
Here it is beginning to be pressed.
Jake told me to tell you it's like a snow plow motor, just keeps pushing up.  He figures the guys will understand this.  All I can tell you is it OUD and the shorter the tower becomes, the more juice you get until there is no more.
The room is so tight, it's hard to get any great pictures of anything that is going on.  The guy in the yellow rain pants heads up the operation.  It was his brother in law who started this tradition....it was his brother in law who died suddenly this year.
So this year with all the kids around making cider with neighbors was bittersweet.
The old man in the John Deere hat...I have no idea who he is but he is ALWAYS there.  And he has the strongest accent (Dutch maybe) and we just love to hear him talk.  I have never seen him not smile.
Here is the beautiful wonderful cider coming out of the press!
It's then run through something or another to this barrel, where only the man in the yellow pants is allowed to touch the cider or pour the cider.  Everyone brings their own jugs to get filled up.
Everyone loves cider time in our little farming neighborhood.

But you recall all we did earlier today, correct?  The seven loads of wood?
Yah, all that work and the cider had caught up with us.  It was all we could do to stay awake for showers and baths so we could get to our beds and pass out from exhaustion.
It was only 9:30 at night when we were all tucked into bed.

And that cuddle time hubs had promised me the day before?

Never happened.

There's always tomorrow.....

Our Story Airs on Fox 17's 10 pm News on Tuesday, November 15th.