Monday, February 28, 2011

Make Your Own Easy Theme Cakes

Trust me this is easy.

You can make a theme cake for pretty much any occasion.

The hardest part is finding the right template, but just search the internet for pictures then print it (I had to resize mine a few times to get it right) and cut it out.

Once you bake your cake (I even used box cake mix, then iced with homemade icing) and it cools, dump the cake onto a cutting board, set the paper template right on top of the cake and cut around it with a large knife.

And you have a super easy fun shaped cake to ice!

Here are the cakes I did this past weekend for my oldest son's bowling birthday party. And the bowling ball cake I didn't have to cut at all; it was just a regular round cake! But the bowling pin was a 13 x 9 in cake that I cut out to the shape of a bowling pin. Both cakes were 2 layers.

Here's a link to other shaped cakes I've done:

Cowboy boot cakes

Lightsaber cake

I'm grateful to be able to save money without having to buy the expensive bakery cakes but still have cute, fun cakes to celebrate my kids' special days!

Find more Tackle It Tuesday, Gratituesday, and Works for Me Wednesday here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

There are mini-blinds in my bathtub!

Right now there are mini-blinds soaking in my bathtub.

That can only mean a couple things:

The stomach bug that plagued my oldest child last Thursday wasn't passed on to the rest of us (praise God)!


The spring cleaning is ON like Donkey Kong!

(And yes, I did learn that line at children's church!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not the abundance I had in mind!

So, apparently God wanted to me to write last night's post, in preparation for the day I'd have today.


Abundance of bodily fluids.

The day began with my 3 year old taking off his nighttime diaper which was not seemingly a problem, I saw him doing it and continued packing lunches for my older two kids. The 3 year old only wears a diaper at night, and has not gone #2 in it in months. Only last night he did. And then proceeded to make a bigger mess taking off his own diaper before he or I realized it was a dirty diaper. Mess cleaned up (while fending off the dog who really wanted to help clean up the mess -- gross, gross!) and the little guy got an impromptu morning bath, which he loved, swam around in my jacuzzi tub while I got ready for the day.

Shortly after lunch I got a call from the elementary school, my 8 year old son was in the nurse's office, he'd thrown up at school. I woke the 3 year old up from his nap, raced to pick up the sick child, got him home, settled him in a bed with a trash can nearby, scrubbed my hands about 5 times, put the 3 year old back down for his nap, dug out the Lysol and latex gloves, cleaned up a few rounds of throw-up.

Since the 3 year old's nap was interrupted, he took forever to go back to sleep and once he did he really fell into a deep sleep and I hadn't taken him to the potty since the beginning of his original nap, pre-unanticipated school run for sick child. So, you guessed it, he woke up from his nap completely soaked in urine. All his bedding, all his clothes, and his large stuffed bulldog security object Big Duke had to go in the washer and the 3 year old got his 2nd bath of the day!

While bathing the 3 year old and hollering at the 5 year old to please not go in the room with the sick 8 year old, the puppy wrapped the bathroom in toilet paper!

Dressed 3 year old, cleaned up t.p. mess in bathroom and then sick 8 year old was bored, wanted to come out of bed. I really wanted to keep him quarantined from the other two well children, but we don't watch much TV and when we do it's always in our family room, we only have one other really old TV upstairs in the playroom where the kids play video games. So, I hooked up the playroom TV to the DVD player after much trouble I got it to play a movie for the sick child and moved the couch over, covered it in a sheet and put trashcan next to it, so he could be entertained and kept away from the rest of us as much as possible.

While setting up the sick bay in the playroom, puppy goes pee on the playroom carpet -- awesome!

Shoo well children away from sick child again, get Petzyme to clean up doggie urine, and deem it the day of abundant bodily fluids!

Thankfully the vomiting was short-lived, praying nobody else gets it and for tomorrow's abundance to be more pleasant!

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reigning in the abundance!

I was at my Bible study last night and the worship leader praised God at one point in between songs, for the fact that we would be with Him in heaven some day.

And I was right with her thinking, "Yes, God, that will be so amazing!"

Then she continued on with, "The Bible says, we will reign with you!"

And although I knew the Bible said that, I immediately thought, "The reigning part sounds like too much work right now. I'd so love to be with you God but I really don't need to reign with you!"

If that doesn't illustrate how tired I am then I don't know what does.

Recently a friend who also has three young kids saw me at elementary school pick-up with our new puppy and shook her head smiling, like, "You are so crazy, I can't believe you got a new puppy!" This friend also lost a beloved elderly dog last summer, one she'd had since way before having kids, but they sanely decided not to get another dog.

I thought her reaction was funny, but I started thinking, "Why do we always seem to have crazy things going on? Why do my husband and I make decisions that add work and the potential for chaos to our lives over and over again?"

And then I remembered the verse John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly."

Because along with the work, the added crazy, is life! A whole bunch of it! Abundant life!

And the blessings make all the hard so worth it!

Would our lives be easier if we hadn't had a 3rd child? decided to adopt a 4th child? started an adoption ministry at our church? volunteered to help children in CPS custody? gotten a new puppy?

Yes!!! Without a doubt! But would our lives be better? No! In fact, life would be so far from better that it's depressing to think about!

Am I saying that any of those things make us better Christians than anyone else? No way! But, for us this is it. Life abundantly!

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Uping the Chaos

As if things were not chaotic enough around here with 3 kids, a new puppy, and an international adoption in the works, my husband went out to the Home Depot this past Monday when he was off work for President's Day and bought. . .

wait for it. . .

a chain saw on a stick!

A device that has the ability to cut off limbs (both tree and human I'm guessing) that he holds precariously way above his head!

And this picture does not even capture the half of it, because I couldn't bear to watch the part when he was on the top rung of a 6 ft. ladder using the chain saw on a stick!

I figure our odds of going to the ER on any given day were already pretty high (and yes there are doggie emergency rooms and yes, we already debated taking the puppy to one when she ate a seashell -- chomped it into sharp edged pieces and managed to swallow a few before we noticed and stopped her) and now they have increased by about 50%!

P.S. We have lost nearly all our good sense, but we do have a few shreds left, those power lines are not nearly as close as they appear in the picture!

Find more Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, & Not So Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Eight Year Old Boy!

Today my oldest child turned eight.


I can just hardly believe it.

And, I have to admit that at one time I had no idea how it would be having an 8 year old boy.

I kind of feared these mid-elementary boy ages.

Worried they be all potty humor, arm farts, and enjoyment of games and activities I could not relate to.

But, boy was I wrong!

Sure we have our periods of difficult, he is still our most stong-willed child.

But, oh the joy and fun!

He's interested in so many subjects from the Bible to weather to chemistry to history to art and music. It is really entertaining to discover alongside him, taking in the periodic table with fresh, eager-to-learn eyes rather than the drudgery of my high school and college days! It is so cool to watch him see prints of the Mona Lisa, listen to Michael Jackson's "Beat It" (and perfect his own "robot" dance), to study American Presidents, try new foods, and read great books. We recently read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Essential Modern Classics) and then watched the
Narnia movie together and it was a delightful experience -- opened up so many great discussions!

I had no idea how much I'd enjoy legos, 'course it helps that those mini-figures are so cute! Just something about a 1 inch tall person that is so fun (and dollhouse-like, but shhh, don't tell my boys that)!

One of my biggest praises about my oldest son is his attitude. I've been around other boys his age and know what it could be like with the bad attitudes. And I'm so grateful his attitude is mostly sweet, I pray God continues to guard his heart!

Here's the new 8 year old studying one of his presents -- his biggest lego set so far!

While I do miss the days when I used to carry him on my hip, these big boy days are pretty great, too!

Thank you, sweet firstborn son, for the joy, the wonder, the new you bring to my every day! We are so proud of you and very certain God has great things planned for your life!

Find more Gratituesday here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If my 5 year old daughter were president . . .

My 5 year old daughter recently had the writing prompt at school: "If I were president, I would . . ."

She wrote:

"I wlod tell the peple to not juje peple just by ther skin colr."

Translation from kindergarten phonetic language to standard English:

"I would tell the people to not judge people just by their skin color."

And she drew a little sad-looking (perhaps unfairly judged) blue person on the back.

She's got my vote! Anyone on board? Election year 2040?

Happy President's Day!

Smiling Sally

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random Pieces of a Week

Today was hard, as I expected, and long. I've been doing this volunteer work for 9 years now and I've never before had it end like this, the kids have always gone home to reformed parents or to relatives who would still maintain contact with the parents. But, now, the children on my case have no legal parents other than the state.

However, the case worker and I did discuss the search for adoptive parents and there is great hope for many candidates. Her last sibling group to come available was a bit older than the two on my case and with greater special needs and CPS had many, many people interested in adopting them!

I have no doubt God will use this experience to give me more empathy for the daughter I will adopt, more understanding of the great loss she will carry as she grows up separated from her biological parents.

On to lighter subjects because I'm too tired for any more heavy. . .


Monday we had a Valentine's dinner at home with our 3 children. Because that's how we roll and because we had a babysitter last year on Valentine's and I think that will happen about once a decade. My husband picked up take-out from an Italian restaurant and I set the table nicely, complete with wine glasses of Sprite for the kids and candlelight. My 5 year old asked why I was doing it and I told her, "Because we are having a nice dinner to celebrate Valentine's Day."

She immediately asked, "Are we having hot dogs?" Because apparently although she gets home-cooked meals complete with made from scratch items most nights, hot dogs are her idea of a "nice meal"!

And as if that wasn't bad enough, when I answered, "No, we are not having hot dogs." She asked, "McDonalds?" No! Good grief, my kids get McDonalds like 3 times a year when we are on a road trip. But wait, that's probably exactly why she considers it a special meal!

All I have to say is she will make some boy an incredibly inexpensive date, you know when she's 24 and we finally allow her to date!


I made red velvet cake balls as a Valentine dessert and also gave them as gifts to my kids' teachers, wrapped up in little boxes with a red bow. Have you heard of the cake ball? It seems they've been quite the internet sensation for the past year or more. You make a regular box cake, let it cool, mix it with a can of store-bought icing, roll many little balls, chill them, and then dip the balls in melted chocolate. I did red velvet cake mix, cream cheese icing, and white chocolate for the coating. They were super yummy, but I couldn't get them to look as pretty as the pictures I'd seen everyone post. Even though I put them in the freezer for part of the hardening phase, when I rolled them in the melted chocolate, little crumbs of cake still came off and mixed in to make the coating not very smooth. Oh well, taste trumps presentation any day! But, I would like to make them again so if anyone has cake ball tips, lay them on me!


The week has been so busy, I'm behind on the wash, so much so that my 3 year old went to bed in athletic shorts and a t-shirt instead of jammies and my 5 year old daughter suggested I do the wash when she dug through her drawer and couldn't find any of the panties she likes. Basically, she's had to resort to the B team panties. And we all know how undesirable that can be!

And my in-box? Looks like this:

Okay, back to the heavy, go and read this post of Katie Davis, you will see Jesus in her.


I'm off to rest. The wash and the inbox? Can wait until tomorrow! Really hoping there are not any bills buried in that stack!

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wishing They Weren't Orphans

Tomorrow I will put on a suit and stand in a courtroom as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for two very young children and recommend to a judge that the parental rights be terminated.

It's eating me up.

Two more orphans to add to the sea of 147 million.

I hate it.

I held the children in my arms at their foster home yesterday.

They smiled, played adorably and wanted to be held over and over.

I'm thankful that for now they have no idea what is about to happen.

But, the loss of their mother will be something they carry with them the rest of their lives.

I grieve for them.

I wanted so much for their mom to make different choices.

But she didn't.

And they deserve better.

If all goes as expected tomorrow, I'll begin the search for their new mother.

So thankful that there are good, loving people willing to adopt children.

Praying for families for these precious two I've grown to love over the past year and the 147 million others.

"...orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes." Radical, by David Platt

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Idiot-proof Your Life

I have started doing something that I think of as "idiot-proofing" my life, meaning I anticipate my idiot moments in advance and prepare accordingly.

For example, this year at the preschool there is a new policy where each child brings their own snack each class day instead of it being provided by the school because there were too
many allergy issues.

My 3 year old goes to school 2 mornings per week to the same class my other 2 kids went to as 3 year olds, only I didn't have to pack a snack and make sure it got into school with th
em. I knew as soon as I heard about the change that there would be a day I'd forget the snack. I'd be faced with the unhappy consequences of my preschooler freaking out that he didn't have a snack, and then have to either go back home and make him very late or confess to the teacher my forgetfulness.

So, as a preemptive strike, I bagged up some pretzels and stuck them in a bag in the way back of my vehicle (not in the armrest because then they'd be discovered and eaten by someo
ne eventually). It took no time at all.

But, one day a few weeks ago, it totally saved me!

We got nearly to his classroom door when I realized we didn't have a snack, but no worries, we just calmly walked back to the car, retrieved the little baggie of pretzels and everyone went on to have a great drama-free morning!

I have to say, I'm really surprised and patting myself on the back that we made it until January before needing the pretzels and that the same day I used the secret snack stash, I replenished it so it would be there to bless me another day!

That is key, if you use your emergency supply, you must then replace it as soon as possible because you know you'll need it again!!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

You may have a puppy in your house if . . .

Anyone else ever had their house wrapped by their puppy?

Multiple times a day?

The bathroom doors are closed at all times now.

I'm just grateful toilet paper is um, disposable, unlike my husband's iPad cord!

And she does wash and dishes, so at least she's pulling her weight around the house!

Find more Gratituesday here

Find more Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, & Not So Wordless Wednesday.

What Love Really Is: Lessons from a Target Store

I rallied with the Valentine's Day preparations late Friday afternoon and headed to Target with all 3 of my kids so they could pick out Valentines for their classmates.

Imagine my delight to discover brand new carts at the Target! Oh, they were amazing in all their pristine plasticness, a new design without any metal at all!

My older 2 kids were grubby from all day at school plus an hour of playing in the backyard, the youngest still with the chlorine in his hair from swim lessons and the snotty nose he's been sporting every day for what feels like eternity but in reality is about 5 days! My 5 year old daughter is sitting in the baby seat of the cart. She's too big, but somehow fits her long legs in there. And me? I don't argue because the days of pushing my baby girl around in the cart really are numbered (assuming she won't squeeze her 13 year old self in there someday!)!

To add to the spectacleness of the kindergartner in the baby seat of the cart, she insists on taking off her slip-on shoes, so her bare feet are there dangling nearly to the ground, her 3 year old brother (the one who just wiped his nose on his shirt) is sitting behind her in the back part of the cart.

The 7 year old is looking at cards with me, grabbing them off the shelf faster than I can. "Here, this says 'For my husband,' on it; how about this one for Daddy?"

There are several other shoppers at the Valentine card display along with us, only they are more serious in their card selecting. They are determined to find the perfect card for their special someone and seemingly frustrated as each card fails to adequately capture how they feel.

I stoop down to peruse some cards at the bottom of the display

The 7 year old opens one and the song "Wild Thing" starts playing.

I cannot squelch my laughter.

And, there, crouching on the floor in the Target, I glance up at my motley crew of kids and think, "This is it. The life I never would have guessed I'd love! And it really doesn't matter which card I choose for my husband, because our love that has been through some real, messy, joyful, chaotic, blessed life and still says, 'I'm not going anywhere; we're in this together' is better than anything a card could say!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Too Tired To Title

Is it just me or is anyone else just not feeling the love for Valentine's Day this year? I'm blaming the cold weather, but I have done zero preparations for the holiday so far. In years past we've done homemade Valentines for my kids' schoolmates, but this year I'm going to be doing good to even get all three kids to their classes with the right number of store-bought Valentines! And last year I got a new mold and made my kids homemade chocolate heart lollipops. Not sure I'm going to get around to that this year. Sigh, why did I set such a high standard last year?!! But, on the positive side, my next year's self is going to have no trouble topping this year's Valentines festivities!


We should have just put off getting the new puppy until this weekend, then it could have been like, "We got you a puppy. Happy Valentine's!" Actually, even though we got her a week ago, I think I just may do that. Because seriously that puppy has been a huge time sucker for me this week! She's totally worth it and very fun and cuddly but pretty much requires the parenting effort of a newborn who wakes up in the night, combined with a 1 year old toddler who gets into everything, combined with a potty-training 2 year old!


At one point this week the puppy kept chewing on a bag I'd set on the floor next to our shoe shelf, and we couldn't get her to leave it alone, so I said to the kids, "Let's just remove the temptation." And I picked up the bag and put it in my closet. Then the next day she kept trying to get one of the couch pillows and my 3 year old suggested, "Let's move the sensation!" It took me a minute but I realized he meant "temptation" and was remembering my method the day before!


But really, if my kids can learn the "remove the temptation" tactic it will serve them well in life, for making it through the myriad of bad choice possibilities of the teenage years right through to when they start parenting their own children! Remove the temptation!


Speaking of teaching my kids something useful for life, I was helping my 7 year old with his spelling words and told him about the "I before E except after C" rule. I asked him if his teacher had taught them that rule and when he said "no" I was surprised because it totally applied to several of his words. Then I started thinking I remembered there were a few exceptions to that rule, so I Googled it to be able to tell my 2nd grader what the exceptions were to the new rule I'd taught him, expecting there to be like 3 words. Well, I learned that there are so many exceptions to the rule, more exceptions than words that actually follow the rule, that teachers have been advised to stop teaching the rule! And that just might explain why I'm such a terrible speller because I use that rule often even now in my every day adult life!

Happy Friday!

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nearly 10 Months Waiting

The email today was not what I'd hoped when I saw the subject line. The "update" was not an announcement that the roadblock holding back our adoption and many others was cleared, but rather an update that there was no new news.

This weekend will mark 10 months waiting for her. That number is about double what we were expecting going into the adoption wait, since we were willing to adopt a child a bit older than an infant.

It's basketball season for my oldest and I remember back to this season last year and thinking that the next year I'd be entertaining three younger siblings on the sidelines, imagining she'd be home by now. The missing someone who's never been here is so hard to describe.

My children make a worm family out of this playdough molding type stuff we have. "It is our family", they tell me, "here's the biggest one, he's the daddy, and this is you, the mommy." As, they point out their 3 worm-selves, I'm counting in my head. One, two, three, four, five, six worms? Before I can say anything they point to one of the small worms and deem it the, "Baby Sister".

Their faith amazes me! We've talked about the "Baby Sister" for so long, but she has not come. We don't even have a picture of her to cling to. I can't believe they still see our family as a family of six, that "Baby Sister" worm just as tangibly there as the other five worms.

And I must admit that their faith is bigger than mine.

Because some days, especially lately, I find myself wondering if it will ever even happen at all.

But isn't that what faith is?

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Heb. 11:1

This much I'm sure of, without a doubt:

God is good.

He is in control.

He has a plan.

His plans are always better than ours.

And for our family, and so many others waiting, I really do believe God gave us a heart for adoption, led us to this very path for a reason and He is going to use it to bring Him glory.

I don't know how this is all going to play out for any of us, but I'm believing God that His glory will be the end result.

And, I would even be willing to bet that God is going to use this season of waiting, the raw anguish of it, to lead to unimaginable joy.

Because that's what He does. He's all about amazing transformations. Beauty from ashes, Paul from Saul, wine from water, resurrected Lord from a body sealed in a tomb, beloved child of God from undeserving sinner.

Lord, I have no idea what our family will look like 10 more months from now, and can't even begin to fathom 10 years out, but that's okay because I don't need to know. I know that we are Yours and that is enough.

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No, no Madeline!

Wanna know what happens when you have a puppy and a mail slot?

It's a race to see who gets to the mail first when it's delivered! It's me versus the puppy dog.

Today, Madeline won.

Thankfully it was only an advertisement she was shredding up!

Next up, Madeline versus Big Duke (the 3 year old's security object, a stuffed bulldog). Thankfully Big Duke was quickly rescued!
Madeline versus the big box her new bed came in (no idea why the box was so big the bed only took up half of it)!

And, Madeline versus my husband's slipper:

"No! No, Madeline!" has become an often heard phrase around our house!

Find more Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, & Not So Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Starting an Adoption & Orphan Care Ministry at your Church

James 1:27 says, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." NLT

It has been awesome to witness the reawakening in some churches as they've embraced their role in the solution to the great orphan crisis! Many have stepped up to the plate in a huge way, raising up and supporting families from among their own congregations to foster and adopt children!

There are powerful examples, like the church in Possum Trot, Texas with only 200 members, yet they have adopted 72 children and counting out of the foster care system! If you'd like to read the book on that amazing true story, it is Small Town, Big Miracle: How Love Came to the Least of These (Focus on the Family Books).

But then there are churches, big, vibrant, Jesus-loving churches who haven't yet caught fire for adoption and orphan care. If, as an individual, you become passionate that God's heart desires for Christians to help orphans, but you go to a church that doesn't scream that from the pulpit or even have a small type line in the bulletin about a support group for adoptive families, well, it can be tough! I know my husband and I went through a long season of trying to start a ministry at our church and there were times it was very frustrating. "How could our church be against something so good?" we wondered over and over! We attended adoption groups at another local church where we were supported, loved on, and educated about many aspects of adoption. We met other couples doing the same thing we were, and I cannot imagine if we didn't have that support!

We were tempted to leave our church and go to the one more supportive of adoption, but the more we prayed about that, the less peace we had about it. And the verse from Esther about, "such a time as this. . ." kept replaying in my head. What if God had us in our particular church and led us to adoption just so we'd fight to get a group started where there wasn't one?

So, we kept on. Literally my husband had to meet with multiple church leaders over the course of more than a year before we began to get buy-in and support and finally recognized as an official ministry of our very big church.

Instead of joining the other church, we adopted the couple who ran the adoption group at that other church as our mentors, you know, "You did it at your church, now show us how to do it at ours!" And they were so gracious to come over to our house at 8:15 pm one night for dessert so we could talk after our kids had already gone to bed, and they did share so much of what they've learned and they continue to be an on-going source of help and support for us!

I've heard several others within various adoption communities, sad that their church does not have any type of adoption ministry and my biggest piece of advice would be, keep asking! Persistence and prayer can pay off!

Links to help you start an adoption and orphan care ministry at your church:

Tapestry Adoption and Foster Care Ministry out of Irving Bible Church is a phenomenal ministry and they so graciously share many of their materials so that other churches don't have to reinvent the wheel!

Also, Hope for Orphans has some super resources and publications for launching a church orphans ministry.

And to continue the resource sharing, before our last meeting I was trying to find a good document that highlighted the main steps of adoption. I know for people just beginning to think of adopting, the process can be so overwhelming! I couldn't find a document that included just the steps I wanted, so I made my own. In case anyone can use this, I put my document out on Scirbd, here is the link: Steps of Adoption. Feel free to print it out and copy it however will best help your group!

Find more Gratituesday here and Tackle it Tuesday here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meet Madeline

She's here! Our new puppy!

Madeline at our house!

We're having tons and tons of fun with her, but so far not much sleep -- hoping for a quieter night tonight.

Yes, she's already been up to some puppy mischief! Here she's exploring the cabinet where the dog treats are kept!

She's not been the least bit spoiled!

The kids insist on covering her up
while she sleeps and I've found she eats best when I sit on the floor next to her while she eats -- 15 minutes 3 times a day! I don't have time for that! What kind of crazy habit am I starting?!!! And she may or may not have spent a little time this morning in bed with my husband and I, stretching her 8 lbs self out to take up more space than a full grown human! We just squeezed over and let her!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flurry Furry Frenzy

Between the snow predicted for tomorrow and picking up our new puppy over the weekend (when, thankfully, the temperatures are supposed to be back up into the 50s), it is quite the flurry furry frenzy of excitement around here! And I'm not sure who's more excited about it all, the kids or me!

When I got the call about school being canceled for tomorrow, I was thrilled! Because ice or no ice, when it's twenty-something degrees outside it is really, truthfully just too cold for me to venture out, and doing it the last few days I've had enough, I'm calling "Uncle" to our 4 day winter and ready for the return of 60 or 70 degree days!

After I heard about the snow day, I immediately began the list in my head -- we'd sleep in, play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, play games like Hungry, Hungry Hippo over and over again, build stuff with Legos, lay around and read books under fleece blankets, bake the soft pretzels I've been wanting to try, maybe make a Valentine-themed dessert, watch a movie, I'd work on a sewing project, maybe sand and paint the bathroom cabinets. . . The list? Only took me about 45 seconds to come up with but to actually do all those things would take several days worth of snow days!

But still, I'm excited to have an unexpected day off from usual life and to have the kids all to myself!

There's even a special snow-day breakfast planned!!

I have no idea what it was about the possibility of a snow day that inspired me to buy some pre-packaged powdered sugar donuts. In my adult life I have never before purchased them, my kids have never had them, but the party's on tomorrow at breakfast!


As for the furry frenzy, come this time next week when Madeline has had many accidents in my house, chewed up all the kids favorite toys, and woken me up at night, somebody remind me of the excitement I have right now about getting a new puppy! I really cannot believe we are about to unleash the crazy of a puppy on the It Already Felt Like Chaos Household!


I am very happy to report that our electricity has been constantly on since Wednesday morning. Our 12 hours of intermittent power gave me a new appreciation for heat, lights, and the ability to open the refrigerator without my husband making me feel like I was contributing to everything in there spoiling! And, I didn't enjoy making myself feel like an idiot every time I walked into my closet and reached up and flipped the light switch -- duh, the electricity is out!


I know I have mentioned before the amount of paper that floods into this house with having 3 kids, but here's a visual, this is the paper pile of worksheets, school notices, and crafts I gathered that came home just this week -- and it was only a 4 day week!! I counted 35 items and there are likely still a few around I missed!

There is a landfill somewhere groaning.


A month or two ago, my 3 year old outgrew his 3T jeans and as I dug out the hand-me-down 4T jeans from my older son, I realized they were rather worn. I think four was the age my 1st son really began wearing his jeans out at the knee. And, sure enough, after just a month or so of my 2nd son wearing them, there were holes in the knees. I couldn't believe I was going to have to buy new jeans, especially since we really only need them for another two months or so before it will be shorts weather every day here. So, I decided if I was going to have to buy him new jeans, I was going to get them big enough that there was at least hope he could wear them some of next fall/winter. With the jeans having the adjustable waistbands these days, I knew I could buy a 5T and make them small enough to stay up on his waist, then I'd just roll up the bottom. So I bought two pairs of the 5T size.

And now my 3 year old is sporting this look:
Poor 3rd child! I'd never have done this with my 1st two children!

May you all enjoy a fun, flurry, furry filled weekend with just a bit of football thrown in since it happens to follow the "f" theme!

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's How Texans Deal With All the Freezing!

The temperature dropped below freezing here yesterday and I tell you we Texans just are not prepared to deal with it! We had rolling power outages starting yesterday evening and lasting through the night, it would be out for about 45 minutes then come back for an hour to go back out again. And yes, I woke up each time there was a transition, sometimes to comfort a child crying out that their night-light or closet light was out!

At least so far it has not been out long enough to make the house too cold or ruin the food in the fridge!

Speaking of lack of ability to handle freezing weather, anyone remember last year when we had some unusually cold weather in our area and we were not prepared with the proper materials to wrap our outside pipes and we resorted to insulating the pipes with diapers?

Well, it's been over 12 months since then, you'd think we'd have learned our lesson and stocked up on some foam covers at some point, I don't know maybe in July? But, no, not us!

It is with great joy that I present to you a picture of our pipes, once again covered in Elmo themed diapers!

The really sad thing is, this year I'm not even embarrassed about it. I feel like, yeah, that's just how we roll around here. Plan-aheaders? No! Last minute people armed with a plethora of diapers, lacking any shame? Yes!!

Praying you all are staying warm and safe and that the Groundhog is right and an early spring is on its way!

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