Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thank You for Christmas?

I would have to assume that the “normal” number of Christmas celebrations to go to is 3. One with the immediate family, one with the father’s side, and one with the mother’s side. Right? We grew up having one or two because we lived so far from Mom and Dad’s family. Anyone want to guess how many my step-children went to? Drum roll please……… Count ‘em, 7. Seven, 7, siete (spell check please). Here we go.

1. Mom’s house with step-father, Matt.
2. Matt’s parents’s side
3. Matt’s grandma’s
4. Mom’s side
5. Harry’s side
6. My side
7. Our house

Now, our family did garage sale Christmas gifts, so there is a ton of stuff in these boxes. Our little Darin is going to be 5 this week, and was very concerned with when we were opening presents at all 3 places we brought him. This got tiring. He even had the nerve to say “Elmo’s stupid” after opening one of his presents with Elmo on the front. I would have NEVER had the nerve to say that! How do you help children realize they need to be thankful, or just leave it at “thank you” if you don’t like something?

Today we wrote out thank you notes to all the people we know that got them presents for Christmas, including Santa. This didn’t go so well – I guess they’ve never written a thank you note before??? So I tell Darin that he can keep anything that he remembers to thank someone for. Which means, if he doesn’t remember that Santa brought Play-Doh, he might not be able to keep it. Get the picture? I know – 7 places to get gifts – there’s no way he’d remember all that. But it was more of a “suggestion” or “make a point” thing. His went something like this. “Dear Wendy, thank you for the racecar helmet. That’s all I remember.” That box was filled with stuff! And “Thank you for all the stuff I got. I’m trying to remember……” Then he says “Is it my birthday yet?” because that means he gets to open the other two. But he doesn’t even remember what’s in them after they’re opened! So we talked about what Christmas is really about last night. And do you know the first couple of answers he gave me? "Umm, opening presents? Santa?" Then Olivia piped in and told him, which I was very grateful for. We tried to explain to him the real reason for Christmas, and why haven't we given more gifts than we've received? And that some kids don't have anything. No parents, no toys, no hugs and kisses. Then he comes back with, "So, I still don't have enough toys." I could have SCREAMED! They have a whole downstairs full of toys they haven't played with in months! I held it in very well, though. Harry and I looked at each other, like, "ahh, what do you say to that???"

Blogging friends, we are a little torn at what to do. We know their primary place to live is a very matierialistic (is that a word?) environment, so how could we have more of an influence on them? We talked about boxing up every single toy that they own and putting them in the garage – but then what? How does he earn them back? And Olivia is good about being thankful, so we don’t want to make her be inconvenienced by her brother. I think I’ll even bring back what I bought for his birthday this week and buy diapers for Tiffany, ‘cause that’s what we need. He can just get a big ol’ birthday cake. How’s that?

Tell me someone else has run into this!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005


My step-daughter got glasses today. She is officially farsighted. Ahh, those were the days….the huge frames that touched your cheeks when you smiled…..4 eyes. I’m sure the people without glasses will not quite understand this blog, but maybe it will give you an appreciation for good eyes. So here it is – all about glasses. Contacts are another blog.

The big frames I had when I was little made me slightly resemble a grasshopper. If I didn’t completely feel like wearing them, I wouldn’t. And I still would be able to read large print and make out shapes of things. After a while, I would wake up in the morning and not be able to see the clock in my room. And I’m all about sleeping in, so this was a major setback for me. I would have to do more than just a mere glance at the clock now. Now I would either have to get out of bed and look at the clock, then get tucked back in thinking “ahh, just another 7 minutes to lay here”, which didn’t really appeal to me. Or I could keep my glasses next to my bed, and put them on right when I started to wake up and fall asleep with them on my face. So that’s what I did. Actually, I still do that.

Then came the day I could get contacts (after years of asking for them), must have been the product of a tax refund? I loved my contacts. I was immediately hooked. Then people thought I got them colored, because one of my eyes was green, and one was brown. Well, then I had to slide them off of my eyes and show them that I’m naturally a freak…or a cat, it’s not something I chose to do. It is so funny to watch people in the midst of realizing this! There was still a problem with that “waking up” ordeal. So I decided I would just accidentally fall asleep with them in my eyes, and wake up and BE ABLE TO SEE! It was great! Then a few years later, my eye doctor said that I had significant eye damage because I had slept with them in on numerous (um, actually every night) occasions. So back to glasses we were. By this time, my eyes are pretty bad. I can’t make out facial expressions on people or read a letter unless it was 5 inches from my face. Stuck with glasses. Bye, my beautiful contacts. Hello, …..ahh, let me make a list of this instead of a paragraph. (Just talked to my dad, and he gave me some of these. Funny man, he is! As a side note, I’m trying to convince him to blog.)

*Winter time. It’s a trap with “glasses” people. Every time you walk indoors from being outside, you suddenly feel like you’re in the middle of a big thick cloud. Fog.
*Baking. Open the oven to take the food out – more fog.
*Waking up, like I said…this is still a problem for me!! I even have an oversized number alarm!
*Okay, my big one is – the shower! Now, no contacts. Glasses. You can’t wear glasses in the shower (although I have a few times)! How do you expect me to shave in the shower when I can hardly make out the shape of my legs?! And hot baths just aren’t relaxing if you still feel like you’re somewhat “dressed”. That’s the point of a hot bath, isn’t it? I’m not a huge fan of clothes, though.
*Sunglasses. Now, these would have been the coolest things ever, had I been able to wear them! When I first got contacts, I bought 2 pair of sunglasses right along with ‘em – I was SO excited. But you can’t put sunglasses over glasses. They’re just not cool. Tinted glasses take forever to go back to normal, and the clip on sunglasses get lost every hour!
*The goofy things are always sliding down your nose, especially when it’s hot out. And here you are, pushing them up 5 times every minute.
*You can’t wear a mask on Halloween. No masks fit over glasses. And winter masks won’t work with glasses either.
*You get a glare on glasses in the summer time, and that’s just irritating.
*Depth perception gets off – and you can’t hit a golf ball right.
*They always break on vacation and you don’t have the screwdriver to fix it, and here your lense has popped out, and you can’t fix the things.
*You can’t go waterskiing or do any water sport, for that matter. (I remember diving into the pool one time and forgot I had them on, and had to swim to the drain at the bottom to retrieve them) Swimming is a no-can-do.
*When you can’t find your glasses, and start to look for them…..see where I’m going with this? If you can’t see without them, how will you find them? My mom has been guilty of looking for her glasses only to find them on her head a couple of times.
*Now let’s say you sit on them, or bend them somehow. Your eyebrows look lopsided for the next 4 days, until you get them back to normal. You never get them bent back to the perfect shape they were to fit YOUR head specifically.
*When you pick up little kids, the first thing they do is grab them off your head. Then you have little fingerprints all over them, and it’s time for a cleaning……
*Only when you grab a Kleenex at most houses, they won’t come clean with the Kleenex that has lotion, and the scented ones don’t work either. Then you end up with a bigger mess than what you started with!
*You can’t put a sweatshirt (or most shirts, for that matter) on with glasses. If you leave them on, they end up on your belly and you have to go fishing for them and re-straighten your shirt then when you’re done.
*You can’t be too close to another human head, cause that natural body oil is about impossible to get off your lenses. So wear protective gear for kissing……
*So here we are at safety glasses. They don’t fit over your regular glasses, so you have to get the oversized ones, which ……well, you just need to try it.
*That glasses case takes up room in your purse, and most of us have limited room as it sits already!

But hey, you can see better with them!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Can't Think of a Title.

Well, I’ve tried about everything. My sweet baby just doesn’t want to stop crying. We’ve both been in bed most of the day feeling under the weather. So I’m sitting here listening to her cry and watching her flail about ‘cause I’ve done about all I could do. Gave her a bath….. and a full belly….and a clean diaper….switched the positions she’s in….tried rocking….tried her swing. I’m thinking ALL the way back to yesterday, wondering if I ate something that didn’t agree with her today? And you know how bad my memory is! I found out tonight that I take her good nights for granted WAY too much! Many times, I don’t notice when everything’s going great. There seem to be lots that I take for granted. Such as:

1) Her good nights
2) Harry’s motivation to mow the lawn and snow blow/shovel the driveway (I hope it doesn’t snow this week while he’s gone!)
3) The health of my family
4) Not to have to be alone
5) Good days in general
6) Wal-Mart. Yes, as many odes to Wal-Mart that I could do, I really don’t think I could ever appreciate my superstore one-stop shop enough!
7) Oh, oh, oh, AUTOMATIC START in the winter time!
8) Music
9) Time with friends and family
10) Hairspray

Maybe this is turning into a “things I love” list instead. Too bad – you have to read it anyway! You can’t help yourself, can you! Go ahead and stop reading, I dare you. Now. Okay……… Told ya’. Oh, T – I LOVE the website you gave me with ALL the recipes! It’s my newest “Favorites” addition. You can’t keep secrets like that….it should be illegal not to let people in on the “good stuff”. Anyway, thanks for sharing! I found some great soups to try out!

She’s trying to fall asleep now, so I’m going to do the same, so I’m ready for the next dose when she wakes up! :) It’s SO worth it, though!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Okay, folks. Here's the deal. I have surgery on my esophagus on January 10. I will have to be on a soft, mushy diet for quite a while. So I need some Souper Soup Recipes! I can't really have chunks of anything for a while (unless it's soft chunks), so any cream soup, or brothy soup....I don't know. I just know I'm on the prowl! I would also take any non-soup recipes, as long as it's way yummy and mushy, too! :) Send 'em my way if you have 'em! Thanks, gang!

To Do:

I was just on the phone to Harry and told him I didn’t know what I was going to tackle today, and he said I should write a list. GREAT idea! I told him I was going to blog a list instead, though. J To Do:

1) Organize and clean out junk drawer
2) Clean my bedroom
3) Clean Tiffany’s room
4) Practice some piano J This isn’t something I have to get done, but I know I’ll end up doing today.
5) Get Harry packed. He’s going to Kansas for a week for work.
6) Wash all the cookie cutters
7) Give Tiffany a bath
8) Finish painting the kitchen (I missed a couple spots)
9) Pick out paint and go at the bathroom (while Harry’s gone J) …. Maybe.
10) Go through toys and movies for Trinkets and Togs
11) Make some coffee! I enjoy my coffee.
12) Get some more baby wipes
13) Make cookies for Harry’s trip
14) Make an appetizer for Mom2Mom tomorrow and Print out recipe card
15) Call about Christmas schedule for the kids
16) Wrap a couple presents
17) Find out WHERE they have a drive-through Christmas lights display!
18) Talk Harry out of snow blowing tonight.

That’s all I’ll even type for now. Think I can do that in one day? Make that two days. Check back with me….we’ll see how I do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just Call Me Smelly

All day yesterday. Laundry - it was great! I accomplished something, and when it was time to start-a-snoozin', I tucked in under the drier sheet scent and all the purple. I don't actually know if the color has anything to do with how it smells, but it sure seems to. Anyway, I love laying my head on a pillow that has a fresh scent of clean laundry just out of the drier. It's just the best. Can't beat that. I've always loved to smell, though. What a weird word - smell. Dig that one apart, t!

I love the smell of:
1) Clean Laundry
2) Rain
3) Babies
4) Lilacs!
5) Sharpened Pencils
6) Harry's Aftershave
7) Bread Baking
8) ANYTHING Baking
9) My Nestle Plant just a few blocks away....sweet chocolate
10) Scotch Tape
11) Subway! Eat Fresh.
12) Candles....oh, boy oh, boy I Love Candles!!!

Let's talk a little about candles, shall we? First of all, they rock. Now, I have plenty of candles (votives, that is) that drip and run all over when you burn them. Not today! I've been in love with the Better Homes and Garden Party candles. Apple assortments of all kinds...mmmm. They burn down like a dream - hours of great smellings! And they come in their own jar for $5.50. Now come on - I don't think you know what I mean when I say "hours". They burn forever! And the scent doesn't disappear after that little wick no longer burns with the passion that only a Better Homes and Garden Party candle understands - oh, no. That sweet aroma fills the room and sits like two old friends in a coffee shop. Forever! Mua hahahaha :) My point is, they're really good! I must be going now. I'll finish that list sometime soon! I love to smell!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

His will....or mine?

I typed an entire blog a couple of days ago. A LONG blog. And as I was reviewing it to post, my computer shut down on me because it got too hot. All of it was lost. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be posted. I’ll give you the run down, though.

Harry and I heard back from the judge about the placement hearing. It went in her favor. For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been working on this for well over a year. We’ve been trying to get Harry’s kids half of the time, which is called shared physical placement. They have joint custody, but that means about diddly squat. Then, we finally got our court date on September 9th. Waited and waited, and finally heard a couple days ago that we lost. Nothing is changing. After hours of preparation, strain on our marriage, thousands of dollars, and emotional pooey…..nothing is changing.

Now, what was all this for? It taught Harry and I to work together better, and years down the road when the kids ask, we can say we tried. Was that worth it? My main point of my deleted blog was……why is it so easy to give God the glory when things turn out just the way you wanted them to, and are left in a state of … I don’t even know what….. when it’s exactly opposite of what you were praying for. Maybe the “let Your will be done” gets confused sometimes. We should pray “let Your will be done, if it’s in line with what I want” because isn’t that the way we think at times? Especially if it’s something you’re praying for in your own life. When you have an outcome of a situation that only affects someone else, it’s much easier to say “That’s the way God wanted it”. I know God’s way is not meant to be understood sometimes. Surrendering and submitting is a million times easier when you think you understand why. Does anyone else think that?

Anyway, this is where we sit. My husband cramming fatherhood to these two children into 5 days a month, paying mondo child support, and knowing the kids are in an environment that is not glorifying to God. My question to you today is, how do you know what God’s will is? Is the decision we got where the Lord wants to leave it? If we appeal this whole thing, how do we know we’re not trying to overrule God's decision? We could use the advice, I’m sure. We’re hanging in there, though! We’ll keep praying for clarity in the mean time, cause I know this is a tall order!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Plain Jane Day

This is for my Angela. Thanks for the motivation. :)

Know what I did today? Nada-whole-darn-lot. Got up, fed Tiffany. Went to her doctor's appointment. She got her first shots! :( I didn't cry, though. I was tough! She let out about 4 good yells, and then she was done. I felt really bad for her, though. Then we went to Wal-Mart and returned some baby wipes because she had diaper rash because of them.....I find out NOW...after switching to a bunch of different diapers. I'm back to my beautiful Target diapers. Ask if they found my wallet. I lost it somewhere between my Wal-Mart trip last night to my house. Didn't find it. Got the new Triple Whopper from BK for Harry, and went home to look for my wallet .... again ..... found it under my bed of all places! Okay then.

Drive out to Harry's work and have lunch with him. Get this. I start eating my sandwich before he gets out to the van because he always eats 3 times faster than me (that was funny... I typed fatter instead of faster). So almost half of my sandwich (chicken) is gone by the time he starts eating. And he STILL finishes his TRIPLE burger faster than me. I don't know if I'm that slow, or he's that fast. Whichever the case, it's a good thing I don't eat as much as him.

Pick up my x-ray films from the hospital for my barium swallow to bring with me to my appointment in Iowa City tomorrow. Then stop by Oasis Tanning to talk to my step-children's mother (is that how I'm supposed to say that?). Ended up staying for a really long time. And now I'm home. Fed Tiffany. Sweep and spot clean the floor, clean up clutter, clean up the bedroom for cryin' out loud....literally. Cooking supper as I'm doing all of this, and then clean up and go to church. Ohh, no. I need to load up the tables and chairs from ThAnKsGiViNg to bring back. I don't have them back yet because my sweet husband can't find the key. Amusing, because hey, I just work here.

Is that the most boring blog you've ever read, or what?! Let me add this. A quote from Bill Clinton on the 1995 balanced budget amendment. "Obviously, I don't support it, but I support the impulses that are giving rise to it."

Was the old one better than a new, boring blog? lol I have to go clean now. Hope you enjoyed being part of my plain day. :)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ham or Turkey?

Okay, real quick. Last night Harry made himself two sandwiches with the lunchmeat that was in the fridge (part of the many leftovers in there). After they were gone, I asked how his turkey sandwiches were. It went something like this.
He replies, "Ahh, they were ham."
HERE WE GO! I LOVE IT WHEN I KNOW I'M RIGHT! I know the last thing I bought was turkey, not ham.
"No, Honey. They were turkey." with a little grin
"No they weren't. I'm the one that ate them."
"Yes, and your brain and taste buds aren't working together. It was turkey."
He smiles. "No, it wasn't turkey."
I have to smile big at this point. "Wanna bet?"
A little frown, and a tip of the head. "What's the bet?"
"Well, if it was turkey, you do the dishes for one whole week. 7 days. Dishes for you."
"Well, what if it was ham?"
"Then I'll do the dishes for a week."
"You do them anyway." Laugh. "Okay, I want two batches of fresh chocolate chip cookies this week. Not the kind you buy in the bucket (fund raiser stuff I'm using up), but your cookies."
I'll give you two guesses who was right. ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! Oh, I did my happiest dance that I have!
"You're a sore winner."
"Oh, I'm sorry.....(sit on his lap) can I make you feel better about ..... LOSING!!!!!?" More dancing as he laughs at me. Love it.

Did I tell you how much I don't like dishes? They're never done. And now HE has to do the never-ending dishes. FOR 7 DAYS! Hehehe hehehehe. It'll be a great week!