Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

From our family to yours.....

Happy New Year!

Thank you for blessing us with your friendship in 2012.

We look forward to entertaining you all more in 2013.

(Let's hope it doesn't involve loose snakes in the house or wild boar heads to be transported or other such boyish icky things and more things like...wait, that is my life.  Okay, stay tuned in 2013 for more of THOSE stories.  Pass the coffee....)

Friday, December 28, 2012

LEGOs in the Oven

Over here we are on Christmas break.  This means that I stay awake until one in the morning finishing the latest book I have been reading and then waking up to boys staring at me saying something like, "Can you make us waffles again this morning?" at a time in the morning that I wished they would be awake at for a school week but never are.

I am a wee bit tired this week.

But the waffles I have been making? Awesome!  Except that they call for egg whites and I don't have  hand mixer and have you ever tried to get stiff egg whites without a beater?

Don't try.

Mine are sloppy at best.

Which begs to awesome would those waffles be if I made them with a hand mixer?

Pretty amazingly awesome, I think.

Because I am determined to tell you about the lego in the oven and did not look on amazon for a hand mixer.  That is dedication to a post, let me tell you.

S3 really wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas.  They only make them in pink and while I had lots of suggestions of getting one and letting him decorate it with duct tape I just could see the duct tape melting and the smell and the mess and yuck.  So for Christmas I got him some baking mixes, measuring cups I am even jealous of, measuring spoons, spatula, spoon and an apron.

Then I promptly forgot to get a photo.

Further evidence I am sleepy.

Today he made up some sugar cookies from a box mix.  Because sugar cookies are a fine breakfast food on Christmas break when Mama won't make waffles.  In his joy at baking he dropped some legos he had been working on onto the table in the kitchen that we use as an island.  When he pulled the hot cookie sheet out of the oven and set it on the table, it landed right on the lego.

If a hot pan is put upon a lego, said lego will stick to it.

I do not recall seeing any WARNING ad on the Lego box about this so I thought I would inform you all of this danger.  I am just trying my best to keep you safe.

S3 slid the cookie sheet back into the oven with the still suck lego on it and as he went to shut the oven he said, "Um, Mama, there's a lego in the oven."

That has never happened before but now that I think back on it all, I wonder how it never has.

I immediately shut the oven off and stood there for a moment wondering what to do next.  Keep in mind I only had a half of cup of coffee in me...which makes me wonder how I ever ended up agreeing to baking cookies with him in the morning if all I had had to drink was half a cup of coffee.

I could see my near future ahead...all the baking and fixing of food I have yet to do for even more Christmas parties we have to attend and all of the food smelling of burnt plastic.  It wasn't a pretty picture.  Or a good smell.

And then I thought (and I know this will shock you all at my brilliance) "I know! Take it out of the oven!"

So I grabbed a pair of tongs (which the boys call thongs and one day that will not be funny but right now it still is) and pulled the still solid but very mushy blue lego out of the oven.

It slid from the tongs/thongs and fell to the kitchen floor in a melted mess.

But then it was quickly solid enough to just toss in the garbage.

There could have been lots of way to tell you this story.  I could have told you the garbage started on fire from the smoldering lego.  The lego burst into flames when I pulled it out of the oven.  Lots of drama.

But none of that happened.  S3 just put the cookies back in the oven, turned it on and we waited for the smell too good to just be box mix sugar cookies to finish baking.

Then all the boys went outside to snow board down our itty bitty hill on our light covering of snow so I blogged you this story.  With only one cup of coffee in my system.

Welcome to our Christmas break.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Puking and Finding Joy

The date has been changed a few times but it was finally TODAY.

I had it written on the calendar, complete with lots of circles to make it stand out more.

Because S1 is home-schooled now, I had a family happily agree to have him hang out with him all day.

The weather looked to be great.

Our dinner was completely made and ready for when I returned home later that day.

I woke with my very first alarm today and nearly skipped to the shower.

Girl Day

Oh, how I have missed these ladies I meet with!  How I have been longing to do something "normal" for me since pulling S1 out of school.  With the hustle and bustle of things I don't really want to do I was so excited to curl up in the oversized leather chair, coffee in hand, crackling fire in front of me and soak up the time with my friends.  I thrilled over the conversations we would share and had a notebook and my favorite pen ready to take notes.

S4 had to be called three times before he struggled to make it down the steps.  He wailed through the morning that his legs hurt and he couldn't walk.

I thought he was faking for a home day but he looked sick and that bothered me.

I fired off numerous texts back and forth with Sue trying to figure out what to do.

Then S4 sat in front of the toilet sure he would puke.

I continued to get ready to go.  Why, why, why today?  Today of all days?

But it didn't take too much longer for me to call it, we had to stay home.

S1 was crushed.  I think he was as ready for a break from me as I was of him.  And we have been doing well together — we just needed to be separated for a while.

I dropped the other two off at school.  S4's teacher assured me that the flu was going around and seven kids were missing from her class the day before.  We couldn't reach the family S1 was going to stay with for the day on the phone so we stopped by.  And, bless their hearts, they told us that since his visit was written in ink they weren't going to change it and S1 all but ran to get his school books and couldn't stop grinning - this family has 16 kids (yes, 16, all theirs together) and most are boys.  I have no doubt he won't miss me a bit.

S4 and I arrived home and he immediately headed to the bathroom where he puked and puked and puked some more.

It was a good thing we cancelled our plans.

S4 told me I could go.  He'd just stay home.  My little six year old just broke my heart with that.

But how is that in doing what is right that I am still sad?  I sort of just want to stomp my feet and cry and be all ugly about missing out on what I had planned.

It's hard to choose joy.  To say, "Okay, why was it so important for me to stay home today?" and look for the JOY in that.


I need to choose it.

But right now all I am thinking is that it's a good thing that I have peanut butter balls hidden in the fridge and a large supply of good coffee and creamer.  I've never looked this nice to take care of a sick kiddo and clean house.

Thanks for listening to me whine.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A First Grader Was Here

I found it odd that S4 was quizzing me on when I made my bed - which I am going to be honest and say it's usually when I am going to bed.  I mean, I might make it in the morning by just pulling the blankets up but not actually tucking it in and fluffing pillows.

But S4 wanted to know and he was quite adamant about it so this morning I pulled the blankets up but sorta left them messy so he could make my bed without much effort.

Considering he doesn't make his own bed this sort of had me puzzled.

Later today S4 came hollering for me through the house.  When he found me in the laundry room he just said, "Oh" and ran off.

I found it odd he didn't actually need to tattle on his brothers or need something so I tracked him down and found him singing happily in our bedroom, pulling all our blankets off the bed.

I smiled and left him to it.

He made our bed all right.  He pulled all our blankets off and made special care to put them all back on.  Since for some reason the blankets seemed to hang off the sides a lot when he was done, he did a dramatic folding on the sides so it looked super pretty.

He then left his "calling card" on the book I am reading.

I don't care how messy that bed looks, we are sleeping in it.  I don't think anyone other than my mom - or the rare hotel we stay in - has ever made our bed for me.

Besides, who could be cuter than this first grader????

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sock Drama

Disclaimer: Even if you all hate this post I am going to love it always.

I think we have established that I don't like to fold socks.

At all.

But this whole sock thing is sort of taking on a life of its own so I decided, it's time.

We must fold the socks.

I decided this because my husband has been making rude comments about finding his own socks and S4 broke down wailing about never having socks and S3 has just given up and wears shoes with no socks - resulting in the stinkiest shoes that I bleach clean and yet they still stink (he also wears sweatpants, a Red Wings shirt and a camouflage belt around said Red Wings shirt - he has his own style).  And the socks are next to my glass Christmas village and it would be good to try to protect it from boys searching the basket for socks.

S2 had called home from school an hour before it was done too sick to carry on his school day (we are battling strep — again) so I had taken S3 and S4 home with me too.  They were glad I did because I had been making cookies and they arrived home to eat four a piece. They were glad I saved them from certain starvation.

After a Monopoly game gone bad (in S3 an S4's rules you can ROB THE BANK - who ARE these children??? I blame their father.) I went and got the big basket of socks and brought it into the living room.  I plopped it with a thud to the floor.

Their eyes were huge.

"We have to fold socks?"

I nodded.

"How many?' they whimpered.

"All of them," I answered brightly.

This was their reaction.

Being the wonderful caring mother I am, I took a photo.

I wanted to get another one to show you just how much they were in disbelief of my cruelty but they would have none of that.  But this photo really shows what they thought of folding socks.

I put in Despicable Me, which we had just received from Netflix (because if we had minions we wouldn't need to fold socks) and then I sat on the floor next to them and the three of us folded socks.

We laughed and giggled through the whole movie.

When we done, every sock was folded, every unmatched sock or sock with a hole was thrown away, and life just seemed brighter and happier.

So much so that the boys decided to take retribution on their brothers (who wash and fold their own socks now) who did not help them (S2's sickness is no excuse).  They made scopes for their Nerf Guns and they had no mercy.

It was actually a super fun afternoon.

And now my husband can hopefully quit his belly achin'. :)

How to REALLY Decorate a Christmas Tree

I rarely get on Pinterest because, as I have told you lots of times, crafts escape me.

And I want all the clothes.

But I would never fit in them because I would eat all the food pinned.


I was looking at all the beautiful Christmas decorations they have.  All the mantels done up bright.  All the trees that look too beautiful to be real.

How do they do that?

Because this is how it is at our house....

We got our tree the day after Thanksgiving.

S2 said "Look happy" so S4 closed his eyes. Go figure.

We just decorated it last night - December 4th.  Never mind how long it took us.  Jake was out of town for work and I figured that was definitely the best night to tear the house apart looking for Christmas decorations. It also happened to be the day that S2 was home from school with strep - again - and since I didn't know if I would have to run him in to the doctor's I kept S3 and S4 home too.

First we had to enter our spare bedroom to get our Christmas stuff out.  We have this old room that is beyond bad repair so we use it for storage.  With no enclosed out buildings (other than the chicken coop) and no basement to speak of, this room is our catch all.  To enter it you must shove aside a million things that should be gotten rid of but you just haven't.  Earlier in the year I had this room cleaned, but the bags of clothes headed to Goodwill got split open and spread all over.  Then a bed fell to pieces and all those pieces are still in the room - along with the mattress.  All the furniture that is too large for our small rooms now that there are six of's all in this room.

We got out the tree lights - brand new ones so no worries about them not working - and managed to get them tangled in a knot every two times around the tree.

The ornaments were taken of by the boys two years ago and to say they were in a scary state would be an understatement.  Last year we got a white pine tree and it looked like a friendly furry monster but it couldn't hold a single ornament.  The ornaments were a huge deal as we pulled them out and tried finding them all.

S2 thought he found the mother load of ornaments.  He found my wedding dress instead.  See, it's a spare room that holds all.

It didn't take long before S4 realized EVERYONE had more ornaments than he did and he began to cry.

At this point, S1 had all the drama he could take and he got up from his spot on the couch where he was putting wire on all the ornaments so we could hang them and he wandered out to his shop for awhile.

S4 went up to the spare room to find, he was certain, a box of ornaments that were JUST his ornaments and instead found a bag full of stuffed animals I had taken from him a year or so ago and had hidden but not gotten rid of in case the trauma of missing stuffed animals was too much for him.  When he only mildly missed them I promptly forgot about them.  S4 forgot about ornaments as he had a happy stuffed animal reunion and had to reintroduce all 15 animals to the family.

So now I have spilled boxes of empty ornament boxes, stuffed animals abounding, half my fall stuff in a pile because I haven't lugged that up to the spare room yet and the boys decided I need to have the village out too.  Up the stairs they ran, and then they promptly dropped the boxes on the ground.

I have no idea how the village gate has broken.

I was continuing to try to be cheery and keep the Christmas music going but I could feel my patience loosing grip.

We left the mess where it was and every one of us was in bed by eight that night.  In the morning, I awoke to a mess wherever I looked.  But at least the tree was decorated.

I paused to admire it and then tilted my head one way.

Tilted my head the other way.

Stood in a different section of the living room.

Nope.  That tree is definitely crooked.

Sorry for the weird look to the photo, the light was too bright and I had to over compensate for that.

I worked all day today to put the final touches on everything.  I must have done a pretty good job because S1 kept wandering into the kitchen to grab more pistachios and would say, "Wow, you really have been busy today!"  My wedding ring was stuck to my ring finger in pine sap but the chandelier in the dining room loaded with tiny pine branches sure looked pretty.

I'll spare you the amount of pine needles I vacuumed.  I think that due to the drought this year the tree is brittle and too dry.  Let's just say "shedding" is a nice word for my poor tree that is crooked but the fullest and biggest we have ever purchased.

It is in this context that I looked on Pinterest.  Really?  Really FAMILIES have beautiful picture worthy Christmas decorated homes like that?

Cuz I have a crooked tree with not enough of S4's ornaments in a not too clean house.  But this is Christmas to us.  And I guess I'll take it.  Because I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mama Just Didn't Know Any Better

S4 stumbled into the house, wailing.  The bus had just dropped him off and his arrival home would easily be labeled as dramatic.

"What's wrong?" I asked him, fully concerned something horrific had happened to him.

"He just fooled you and he's not really sick and you just didn't know that and if he gets to stay home I want to stay home from school too!" he wailed.

"He" is S2.

Today, after I had dropped the boys off at school, picked S1 up from an overnight, ran a few errands, got an extra shot in my coffee at Biggby and arrived home exhausted, the phone rang.

Can you tell who is excited for coffee and who isn't awake yet?

"Denise?  It's the school.  We've got a sick one up here."

And off I was again.  All this before eleven today.

But S4 took a different take on all this.  He was convinced that his brother was faking.  When he found out that S2 was laying on the couch watching Ted Nugent videos, he gave me a look like, "You have got to be kidding me.  You thought he was sick enough to come home?"

When I picked up S2 from school, I was one parent of seven there to pick up sick kiddos.  But apparently I should have checked with S4 first.

S4 is currently outside doing chores.  He is spraying the house window with the hose so that his brother will be distracted from watching hunting videos while he has to do his chores.

And such is the state of our home this evening.

S4 just can not believe his Mama didn't know any better.  I sure hope he forgives me soon.  I don't think he is going to forget this any time soon.