Friday, December 31, 2010


That's the only word I can use to describe driving yesterday. We had a storm system roll through and drop about 4 or 5 inches of snow on southern Springs. Many, many people think that Colorado is always snowy in the winter with one to two feet a common occurrence. This is true if you live in the mountains - especially those well known areas like Vail, Breckenridge, Mammoth, and Keystone. But if you live on the eastern face of the mountains, like in the Springs, the farther south you go, the warmer the temperatures and the less snow you get. In the winter, we generally sit around 40 - 45 degrees every single day. And if we do get snow, it's usually gone in a day or so. Completely gone. Like, you would never know it had snowed. Yesterday, however, is a completely different story.

We started out the morning knowing we would get snow sometime early evening. The temperatures were in the mid 30s - not too bad. The kids and I went to run some errands, then took JAD to his orthodontist appointment. It was starting to flurry when we left the orthodontist, but nothing was really sticking at that point, so I decided to continue on with my original plan of going to the mall (Bath and Body Works sale! Can't pass that up!). As we walked out 40 minutes later, the temperatures had dropped to well below freezing (in the teens), the snow was coming down hard and steady, and the streets - every single one of them - had turned into a sheet of ice. Now, if we lived in a nice Midwestern town that's perfectly flat, this wouldn't be too much of a problem. There, slow and steady wins the race. Here, at the base of the Rocky Mountains, there is not a flat road anywhere. If you could have been in my brain as I was driving, sometimes sideways down the road, you would have been amazed at the way I was analyzing every possible way home. On a normal day (which is something like 363 days per year here, roughly speaking), it would take me about 15 minutes to drive home from the mall. Yesterday, it took an agonizing one hour forty minutes to get home. MAD took a nap. JAD was leaning out the window when I was sure we were safely stopped (and those behind us were) to chop the accumulating snow and ice from my windshield wipers.

I learned so many things on that drive yesterday:
1. My large, 6-cylinder, rear-wheel only drive van does not do well at all on icy hills. Going up hills is nearly impossible. It took me over 3 minutes to climb a hill that was maybe 100 feet in length. Normal time? 10 seconds.
2. I now know how to turn my steering wheel as my vehicle begins to spin out of control. Good skills to have, not that I ever want to use them again.
3. Driving 5 miles an hour really isn't such a bad thing.
4. My Garmin can't always get me home when I'm looking for an alternate route, but my dumb luck will.
5. I am very grateful that K had my front brakes fixed Monday night, because the kids and I surely would have slammed into something far from home.
6. Always go to the bathroom before leaving the mall.

Here's a video that gives you a little glimpse of what it was like here yesterday. You may say 'extreme,' but this is what it was like all over town yesterday. Many, many major intersections were closed by 5 pm last night, including an intersection I 'cruised' through at about 3:20 in the afternoon. It really was treacherous.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh Look at Me!

This little face just screams 'I am absolutely adorable... and a holy terror!'

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One Ends and the Next Begins

Session one of indoor soccer is officially over. That just means that it's time for session two! While my children are MORE than thrilled to play more soccer, this means that I have to drive back and forth, once again, to more games... and practices... and games... I love soccer - I really do. And I love my children (though there are days where I question my LIKE of them)... so I'm trying to convince myself that all this time driving is worth MY sanity.

Here is JED's indoor team. At this age, they still get little trophies at the end of the season. JED will be sorely disappointed if he goes on to play competitive soccer like JAD and CED. There are no trophies unless you are the winner. JED has never played with these boys before, yet he knows some of them because their older brothers play with JAD. We are just one, big, happy soccer family. And, oddly enough, that is a pretty true statement - at least with JADs team. We have laughed together, celebrated together, cheered together, cried together, and mourned together. We really have grown to become a family. I guess soccer can be a good thing for kids and parents alike!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Ar-teest

CED loves to do art. Coloring, painting, sculpting with play-doh... you name it, she'll create something with it. Today we went to Target (oh, hail to the bullseye) and she spent a few dollars from her birthday/Christmas on art supplies. Here is one thing that she created:

For those who don't like to interpret art, or those who plain don't get art, this is a pipecleaner guy sitting on a couch watching TV. He has an end table next to his couch to hold all sorts of things and a stylish area rug to dig his toes into. All of this made from sparkly pipecleaners. I wish I could be as half as creative as my daughter is.


Today is one of those days that I don't like my children very much. Yes, I said it. I don't like them very much right now. That doesn't mean that I don't love them. I love them very much, but they are driving me crazy - particularly the older three. It has become a boys vs. girls throwdown here. It's equally physical as well as verbal - CED is throwing punches, kicking, and choking as much as, or more than at times, than the boys. Then there's the verbal punches - the name calling is off the wall here! And, once again, it's going both ways. JAD is VERY good at instigating fights and CED takes the bait every. single. time. The thought of going back to school makes me want to cry - literally break down and cry. But my children need to go to school now! Here's hoping that tomorrow is a better day. Hoping.... hoping... hoping...

Friday, December 24, 2010

He Still Believes

JED reminded me that we had to put out cookies and milk for Santa tonight. At eight, he still fully believes...

Range of Emotions

I saw this video about a boy opening his Christmas gift on another blog (Today's Letters) that I love to read. Talk about a range of emotions! Pretty funny... but poor kid!

A Rundown

It's 11 am Christmas Eve morning and I've already been running crazy. Here's why:

1. At 7 am, K informed me AS HE WAS LEAVING FOR WORK (yes! on Christmas Eve!) that he needed money to finish shopping for me and I needed to get it to him before noon. Ugh.

2. Got up at 8 (lacking a bit of motivation, aren't I?) and I colored my hair (yay!) which is now a lovely shade of dark brown. I always thought that I'd be happier with a lighter hair color, but I am truly enjoying having darker hair. But I digress...

3. Showered, dressed, and instructed children to clean house or Santa wouldn't come and then left at 10 to run errands.

4. Went to bank, couldn't get PIN to work (did yesterday at Sam's Club!), went IN to bank, withdrew money, got to talk to my favorite teller :)

5. Drove to dealership, gave K money, left

6. Went to post office to pick up gift from Sister (thanks L!) - thankfully no long lines

7. Drove to Albertsons to buy cleaning solution for carpet cleaner because my stupid dog thinks that peeing IN the house in the rec room is much better than outside WHERE SHE IS ALL DAY LONG. On a side note, Albertsons (parent company for Jewel for my midwestern family) is open until 9 PM TODAY. It's Christmas Eve! I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Who in their right mind would be shopping at that time of night on a holiday? And, yes, I know that some people don't celebrate Christmas, but if you know that the stores are going to be closed, wouldn't you do your shopping at an earlier time? Are these people really going to be inconvenienced because the store closes at 5? Seriously. That's just irritating.

8. Got home, children NOT cleaning up instead watching TV. Santa ain't coming, ya'll. That's a fact.

9. Finally sat down to eat a piece of toast only to have 13 year old yell up that his BRAND NEW LIGHT BULB for the gecko has burned out. It's been two days, folks. Guess what I get to do? That's right! Head back out and go to the pet store, because the gecko can't live without it's warming lamp for too long. Between the dog that pees, the fish that kept dying (yes, I now have an empty tank), and a gecko that needs a heat lamp, I'm thinking a pet rock sounds pretty darn good right now.

Hope everyone has a very merry Christmas! Apparently I'll be cleaning and running errands...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh the Torture!

I have been wrapping gifts (again!) for well over an hour. Why do I spend so much time doing this when the kids will tear through them in less than ten minutes? It really seems like an exercise in futility. But as my friend J would say - 'shiny!!!' and that's what my kids see. CED asked me tonight why people wrap gifts. I thought it was a very good question myself. So I turned it back on her and asked, 'Would you rather have a bunch of stuff just thrown under the tree and know what you're getting weeks ahead of time?' Her answer was a resounding 'NO'.

If you do a quick Google search about the history of wrapping, you will find that people in the Victorian era frequently wrapped gifts for others in tissue paper (colored once available) or a sturdy brown paper. At the beginning of last century, as printing presses became more adept at putting colored pictures and patterns on paper, people began to wrap gifts in brightly colored paper. So, although Christmas wrapping paper is a fairly new invention, wrapping gifts for others has been around for quite a long time. I bet this is more than you actually wanted to know, isn't it?

So, off I am to wrap more gifts. Actually, stocking stuffers. Because I'm tired of wrapping things Christmas Eve when all I want to do is crawl into bed. Hope ya'll have a great night's sleep. I'll be buried under red and green wrapping paper. Wrapping. Wrapping. Wrapping.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Complete and Utter Randomness

Here are my rambling thoughts for the day:

1. This is my second attempt at posting this. I had almost the whole post typed then hit who-knows-what on the keyboard and my whole post disappeared. Crap.

2. I finally bought a new round brush to use when drying my hair. I've had the old one for fifteen years and the knobby things on the ends of the bristles (yes, that is the technical term - knobby things) have completely worn off. The problem is that I can't seem to throw away the old brush. I don't know why. If my mom were here, she would throw it in the bathroom garbage then take that garbage to the big cans outside. I just can't do it. Maybe I'm a brush hoarder.

3. I'm trying a new mascara. Yes, I'm totally buying into the commercials that are all over TV. I bought Maybelline's Falsies Mascara. The jury is still out on whether it will do what they promise it will do, but I already like it better than Maybelline's Colossal Mascara. The sad thing is, I'm too cheap to buy the mascara I really like - Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara. How sad is it that I'm too cheap to spend the $15 it would cost.

4. I love, love, love my Lee Comfort Waistband jeans. It lets fat girls like me wear normal jeans and still feel like you can breathe.

5. I really had a hard time in seeing the point of getting dressed today. I was perfectly content to stay in my pajamas and robe all day long. This doesn't mean that I did nothing. I still vacuumed, dusted, did laundry, and spot shampooed my carpet today. I just did it all in my pjs. I couldn't find the energy to get dressed, however. Why this was so hard, I don't know. I finally dragged myself into the shower because I didn't think my son or his friends would appreciate me picking them up in my pajamas, slippers, and robe, sans makeup. They can all thank me.

6. Don't ever take three teenage boys to the pet store, even briefly. They will want to eat the dog treats and chew on dog bones. Just sayin'.

7. Don't call your daughter and ask her to order pizza online for you. It will take ten times longer than it really should. Agony. But thank you, CED, for doing it. You're a doll!

8. I desperately need to color my hair. The grays that are showing up daily are really starting to annoy me and are making me look much older than I really am. Though that could be the wrinkles. Or both. Jeesh. I'm just old. I'm contemplating doing it tonight and then scaring the boys. But then again, JAD might never have friends over again if I do that. Wait, he might never have friends over again... nah. That would be just mean.

9. I have to wrap more gifts. I don't want to. All the gifts are from Grandma and Grandpa. Think they would mind if I just threw everything into garbage bags and said 'Merry Christmas' as I threw 'em to the kids. Probably? Darn. I guess I have to wrap.

10. I've baked an enormous amount of Christmas cookies. I'm going to bake more tonight. Hopefully K's employees are hungry tomorrow...

11. I never did get ornaments on my tree this year. At this point, I'm just going to enjoy the tree with the lights on it. I did do that. CED wants to put the ornaments on the tree Christmas Eve. I vetoed that idea. Apparently I'm a Scrooge AND cheap. This post has been more revealing than I thought it would be.

12. My friend, J, just gave my kids a whole box of DVDs she was getting rid of. Thank you, dear friend. Now I know what my kids can do for the rest of Christmas break. Love, love, love to you.

That's all I got for you. But who knows what I'll have for you tomorrow. Hopefully I'll actually feel like getting dressed before 3:30 in the afternoon. Maybe not. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Game time with Papa. What started out as a friendly game of Star Wars Monopoly is quickly disintegrating into a name calling, argumentative, tension-filled game of Monopoly. Thank goodness I'm not playing. Absolute torture. No. Thank. You.

Lunar Eclipse

Last night K and I stayed up to watch the lunar eclipse - definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Starting about 10:30, we started walking in and out our front door to check on the progress of the eclipse. To see the moon more clearly, K took the scope off his Ruger long gun. Yes, that is classy. Yes, we are closet rednecks. But at least we weren't standing in our front yard with the scope still ON the gun. That would be full out redneck. But I digress. Watching the eclipse. It was fascinating to watch the eclipse take place and then see the moon turn a dark shade of brownish-red. The sky was perfectly cloudless and the constellations were incredibly bright and clear. It was a wonderful night for a lunar eclipse. We woke up CED and she came out to look at the full eclipse at about 1:20. We attempted to wake up JAD, but he only mumbled something incomprehensible then rolled over and went back to sleep. Apparently, K was able to get him awake about 45 minutes later, but I was already in bed and asleep by then. Definitely an experience I was glad I stayed awake for.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Poor D

Today K had to work, so his dad, D, spent the day with just the kids and me. He got to live out a day in our lives beginning with a soccer game at 10:40 this morning. We then proceeded to go to Sports Authority, lunch at Subway, back to soccer for game number 2, to the mall (Justice, specifically), to Target (where D and the boys ditched the girls and me to go to Petco), then to the grocery store. Now doesn't THAT sound like an absolutely entertaining day? Ya. That's what I was thinking. His own personal glimpse into hell - shopping with five kids. I'm exhausted and they are my own kids. I can't imagine how tired D is. But I guess that's the beauty of being grandparents. You spend a few tiring days with your grandchildren and then you can go to your QUIET home and sigh a sigh of relief. Lucky!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells...

And I don't have a darn thing wrapped. And I really have no desire to wrap gifts. Scrooge? No. I actually have purchased all the gifts for everyone in my family, which I think is a recent record. The last two years I have been shopping up until the 23rd - and even was shopping for stocking stuffers on Christmas Eve two years ago. Ugh! The thought of wrapping a bunch of gifts right now just doesn't sound entertaining. But, I think I'm off to torture myself for a half hour or so and wrap some gifts... yay.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why I Love Colorado

We had a cold spell the last couple of days. It's been in the mid-20s. My dad would argue that this isn't cold, maybe because the high in Wisconsin isn't going to be above freezing anytime in the near future. Boohoo. I've become spoiled since moving out here and I. Like. It. Tomorrow we bounce back to the low to mid 50s. My kids will be playing outside in sweatshirts or light jackets - if I can convince them that even that is needed. This is wonderful to me! Any time of the year, for the most part, my kids can be outside running off their energy. Even when it snows, the snow (all 1 - 2 inches of it) lasts about a day and then is gone. So many people think of Colorado and think 'SNOW' and 'COLD'. They are so very, very wrong. Yes, it is cold and snowy if you drive up into the mountains. But here on the front range we have very pleasant weather. Except for the wind. I hate the wind. But I love the temperate climate! Sorry, Mom and Dad. I don't plan on moving back to the frigid tundra anytime soon. But you can come out here! You don't have to bundle up for months at a time. Here, it's just days at a time. I don't even wear a winter coat anymore. A jacket is all I need. Aaaahhhhhh....


We have a special visitor for the next few days - K's dad. He will have the distinct pleasure of living life with us - one pageant and five indoor soccer games over the course of four days. Isn't he just LUCKY? We are very happy to have family visiting us yet again - hopefully our crazy schedule doesn't tire him out too much! Only time will tell...

Friday, December 17, 2010


CED turned eleven today. Eleven. That's hard to fathom. She has been counting down to this day with joy and excitement. Her only request for gifts? Clothes. From Justice. Expensive clothes from Justice. What did she get? Clothes. From Justice. And not a lot of them. But she is happy. Very, very happy.

Reflecting on eleven years ago... I remember going into labor with her. My OB was, unfortunately, on vacation for three weeks and I went into labor with her 2 weeks early. Of course. The 'substitute' doctor was not overly helpful when I called to ask a couple of questions the night before I had her. K kept giving me a hard time, saying that we should head to the hospital. Me, in all my young mother wisdom, kept putting him off. That is, until the contractions began. We lived 45 minutes from the hospital - oops! I did make it there in time and CED did not arrive until the next morning. A beautiful blond baby girl. That eventually had colic. Oh, the holy hell of colic. I now understand Shaken Baby Syndrome and so does K. We would trade her off every 10 - 15 minutes or so as she screamed her head off for hours every night. We would bounce her in her bouncy seat - on top of the dining room table - as we ate our dinner. Fortunately she outgrew it, because we didn't know how much longer we could take it. So if you ever tell me that you don't know if you'll make it through colic, you will. I promise, you will. It will be hell, but you will make it through. Today we have a beautiful, healthy, self confident eleven year old that brings joy, silliness, and her own personality to the mix we call our family.

Happy Birthday, CED. You are so very, very loved.

The t-shirt says 'You Wish You Could Kick Like A Girl' - love it! I'm telling you - watch out for girl soccer players. They are a-gres-sive!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season Part Two

Tonight, MAD had a musical program at her daycare. It was absolutely adorable to see all the little people up on stage in the sanctuary (her daycare is at a church) singing their little hearts out. After the program, a special guest arrived - Santa! MAD was able to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what she wants (candy and a TOY - no specific toy, just a toy). At first she adamantly refused to sit on his lap, but when she saw a fellow classmate sitting with Santa, she suddenly became game for the opportunity. JED, my date, also sat with Santa and asked for a Nintendo DSi. Santa, being the smart man he is, asked 'What else would you want besides that?' Thank you, Santa, for helping to set up my son for reality - he will NOT be getting a Nintendo DSi for Christmas this year. I love it when adults see reality in the face of pure hope.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Tis the Season

On Tuesday, CED and her fifth grade counterparts put on a musical performance in the evening. They sang six songs - representing all of the various holidays that are taking place during this time of year; Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa. They did a really nice job and it was a pleasant half hour program.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pageant Queen

Not the beauty pageant - Christmas pageant. MED attends the Colorado Springs Music Conservatory every Wednesday after school for a couple of hours. Part of their outreach to the community is to put on a Christmas pageant - this year titled 'The Gift'. MED's group only spends about five minutes on stage, but they all do an outstanding job of saying their line (one per child) clearly to convey the message that we all should give to others especially at this time of year. All of the students at the conservatory did a fantastic job putting on this presentation; it was a lot of fun to see what their hard work and dedication was able to produce.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Good Soccer Weekend

We ended this weekend 3-0 for our various soccer games. It was very exciting! JADs team is playing up a year (during the outdoor season they are a U13 team, but for indoor we are playing U14) and they played an excellent game last night. With the opposing teams being usually a year older than the majority of our boys, they are usually taller and bigger than most of our team. JADs team, however, has some real talent on it and they have jelled together very well over the last 5 months. They played against a rival club team and beat them 3-2 (yes!) with JAD scoring the winning goal.
JED had an early game this morning and his team, made up of mostly young 8 year olds, beat the opposing team 3-2 as well. JEDs team plays in the U10 league, so teams can be made up of anyone from 7 - 10 years of age; that's a huge gap considering development at this time!
CEDs game rounded out the weekend with a cool 13-2 win. Every girl on the team, with the exception of our well-played goalkeeper, scored a goal. It was very exciting to see these girls start to play the way the parents know they can play and this win will hopefully really boost their self-confidence as soccer players. I'm proud of all my kids - they played excellent games this weekend!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Not Much to Say

There's not much new going on in my life other than my crazy schedule - you've all seen it. I go to work, come home, shlep my children to their various places, come home, do laundry, work, and go to bed, then start all over again the next day. I don't particularly care for my job (at all), so that can make life a little less 'sparkly' for me. I've been sitting and looking at my blog over the last couple of days thinking 'what should I write about?' The answer? I got nothin'. We go to soccer games and soccer practice. I take MED to and from the conservatory. This week we start the crazy schedule with four pageant performances. It all just seems so routine - almost humdrum.

My life was put into perspective tonight, however. A friend, who's son plays soccer with JAD and JAD is pretty close to, told me tonight that her husband has colon cancer. And not just colon cancer. Stage 4 colon cancer. I really didn't know what to say to her. I love her and her family dearly. These are some of the absolute nicest people you will ever meet. They will bend over backwards and then some to help you out. To hear that they were hit with this just makes you say 'why?' All I can do is pray for them, offer support I know they won't necessarily take, offer a shoulder to cry on and I just don't feel like it's enough. I'm just speechless. This week is their 19th wedding anniversary and her husband's birthday, which is now going to be clouded with this news. I wish I could understand why this happens to people - especially good ones!

Preceding all this was news that my neighbor, only in her early 50s and mom to a 10 year old - a good friend of CED, had a stroke about a week ago. She's grateful, oh-so-very-grateful, that she's alive and has full use of her left side. However, she will never regain feeling on the left side of her body. She has to learn to live with the pins and needles numbness that annoys us all when our foot falls asleep for the rest of her life. Again, another good person who goes out of her way to help others stricken by something serious. Again, speechless.

So, my schedule, as hectic as it may seem, doesn't seem so bad now. I'm healthy. K is healthy. We can get our kids where they need to be without issue. Perspective is all it took.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Upcoming Schedule

I started thinking today of the next week and a half - mainly because that means that I have two GLORIOUS weeks off school. And then I remembered all that I have coming up between now and then. Here's a synopsis:

Wednesday, December 8:
MED to Conservatory from 4:15 to 6:00 (with a 20 minute commute time either way)

Thursday, December 9:
indoor soccer practice from 5:15 - 8:30 (fortunately at my school so I can feel like I'm accomplishing something, sort of)

Friday, December 10:
Possible sleepover for CED's birthday
*Updated to add: Actual sleepover begins at 6

Saturday, December 11:
MED Christmas pageant practice at Conservatory from 4:00 - 5:00
JAD soccer game at 6:10 pm

Sunday, December 12:
JED soccer game at 6:55 am
CED soccer game at 12:55 pm
MED Christmas pageant from 2:00 - 4:30

Tuesday, December 14:
MED pageant practice at Conservatory from 4:30 - 6:00
CED music program at school from 6:00 - 6:30

Wednesday, December 15:
MED pageant practice at Conservatory from 4:30 - 6:00

Thursday, December 16:
MED Christmas pageant performance from 6:00 - 8:30
indoor soccer practice from 5:15 - 8:30

Friday, December 17:
CED's birthday
MED Christmas pageant performance from 6:00 - 8:30 in Woodland Park (about a 35 - 40 minute drive into the mountains)
8:00ish - K's dad arrives

Saturday, December 18
MED Christmas pageant performance from 2:00 - 4:30

Sunday, December 19
CED soccer game at 11:25
JAD soccer game at 1:40

Monday, December 20
CED soccer game at 10:40
JAD soccer game at 1:40

Tuesday, December 21
CED soccer game at 9:10

And then Christmas... Don't be a hater of my fanTABulous schedule! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas is Coming

I've finally started pulling out the boxes of Christmas decorations. Yes, I know that it's already December 6. I've just been so busy, and sick, and overwhelmed with other goings-on that I just haven't gotten around to it yet. However, yesterday I began dragging out the boxes and strategically placing Christmas decor around the house. In my opinion, the more lights, the prettier, and for some reason I really LOVE white lights. This year, though, I put green lights on the mantel and I'm LOVING them. I also set up my Christmas village (Department 56 North Pole set). I haven't put it out in so long, it was like discovering something completely new all over again. CED helped me put it up and she seems to really like all the houses and the scene that they put together. It's easily been 5 Christmases since this village has been up; our house in Wisconsin just didn't have the space for it and I've just made excuses for why I can't/shouldn't put it up here. I'm still terrified that one of the little ones will end up pulling it off the table, but I guess that's a gamble I'll have to take. Hopefully we'll get the tree up tomorrow night. We'll see.... we'll see.

She's an Individual, Alright

This is MAD. Yes, she dresses herself when she can. She went to soccer in this outfit this weekend, sans wig, but instead with movie star sunglasses and a pink sequined diva hat. She wore the sunglasses the entire game. Which is inside. She has absolutely no inhibitions. I'm jealous of her freedom. Usually. But I certainly applaud her individuality!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


First fire of the season. What's better than sitting around a warm, crackling fire with your family?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Braces, Part Deux

Today JAD had his expander removed and lower braces put on. He has been looking forward to this day for a while. Not to get his braces on, but to have the expander removed. He says that he feels like there's a lot more space in his mouth. Even more creepy, he wanted to KEEP the expander. Why? Because he can. And who wants to keep it? MED. Double ew! But, JAD is back at the beginning with the pain in his mouth. I'm sure it will subside in a day or so, but until then my food bill stays lower!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nature Hike

Saturday, we were able to take my mom and dad to one of our favorite close places to hike - Cheyenne Canon Park. From this particular hiking trail, you get a bird's eye view of Colorado Springs and 20 steps later a breathtaking sight of the mountains going on forever with a sprinkling of waterfalls and rivers. Both Mom and Dad were amazed at the views that we get of the mountains just minutes from our house. The hike goes up about 600 feet in elevation over one mile - not easy to do when you're not used to the thin air! We had a really great time and can't wait to show them more hiking trails if they come out in the summer (as promised - hint, hint!). But how great is it that two days after Thanksgiving we can be in the mountains hiking? Aaaahhhhh... bliss!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we are staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday. We are very lucky to have my parents here visiting from Wisconsin. The kids were counting the days until their grandma and grandpa arrived. I'm very thankful that they were able to come out here. I am also thankful for:
My husband, who has been a very supportive, loving, caring man and incredible father
My children, I am so blessed to have all five of them, each with their own personalities and abilities
My parents and sister for always loving me for me - which is not always easy
My in-laws, who always have a kind word to say and have always accepted me and made me feel like an integral part of their family
My soccer mom friends who bring me sanity and laughter on a weekly basis
My job, in a day and time when so many are without jobs
My freedom, paid for by soldiers past, present, and future who put their lives on the line without even a second thought
My country, where we are able to freely do so many things that other countries can only dream about
What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Indoor Soccer

I've had many people ask me if I'm relieved that soccer has ended. Soccer? Ended? Not in my house. The outdoor season has simply segued itself into indoor season. Is it less hectic? Yes. No more practices two nights a week. No more separating the family to attend games in Denver and Colorado Springs. Now all games are played at the same facility. But I still have 3 children playing soccer. That part hasn't changed. I look forward to indoor season - the indoor soccer game is so different from outdoor soccer. The game is fast paced - there are no times when players are waiting for throw ins or penalty kicks. There is no waiting for a stop of game to sub players. There are no out of bounds. The indoor game is fast. Subs are made on the fly. Balls are legally kicked against and played off the wall. There is constant action on a smaller field. Excitement abounds! If you have never had the opportunity to see an indoor soccer game, I highly recommend that you do. I'm pretty sure you will be pleasantly surprised with the excitement of it!

Monday, November 15, 2010


MAD turned four today. Four. She's not a baby anymore and she reminds me of that on a daily basis. What she fails to realize is that she will always be my baby. Always and forever, my little peanut. Finding out that I was pregnant with her hit me like a ton of bricks coming out of thin air. Her sister, MED, was all of five months old when I discovered that I was pregnant yet again. That was, honestly, a very rough time. Really? Pregnant again? Yes, I know how that happens. Yes, my television was functioning just fine. But pregnant? I was still nursing! Oh, goodness, here we go again. Six months later, I was told that I had placenta previa and would have to take it easy or else I would be hospitalized. Seriously, doc? Do you KNOW how many kids I have at home? Fortunately, that very concerning situation righted itself by the time I had my little peanut. However, my little peanut was NOT such a little peanut. She weighed a whopping 10 pounds 4 ounces. You wouldn't know it now, looking at her. She talks our ear off - I think she wakes up talking and goes to sleep talking. She loves baby dolls, dressing up, and being outside. She adores her oldest big brother, can spell her name, and follows me like my shadow. She cuddles with anyone and refuses to sleep alone (her current bedmate of choice is MED - thank goodness it's not me anymore! Sleep is a beautiful thing...). She is sassy and self confident and knows what she wants. MED is my baby, forever and always. Happy 4.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


JED is eight. Some days I wonder how he has lived this long, because he is the child that tests our patience on a daily level and sometimes even on an hourly level. This is a child who is ALL boy. He climbs trees, plays in the dirt, and runs around with endless energy. He is my red-headed wonder. I will never forget the reaction of the nurses as he was born. The first thing I heard was 'He has red hair!' soon to be followed by 'The baby weighs ten pounds!' JED has always brought that special spark to our life. And wonderment that boys could be as crazy as this little boy is. Before he was one, he was climbing on top of the dining room table and his look was just daring me to come and get him. He is always toeing the line and giggling the whole way through. He brings us great joy and great frustration. I love my little red-headed spitfire. Happy birthday, little man. You bring us smiles everyday with your mischievousness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Musical Dancing Diva

MED had her first music program at the conservatory tonight. To begin, she and her classmates had to introduce themselves, then play a short song on the piano. I was amazed at how loudly (and proudly) MED introduced herself. Many kids had to be asked twice to introduce themselves loudly enough so that all could her, but not my M. She then hopped right on to that piano bench and confidently played her song. After the piano part of the recital (part one), the newer students sang a couple of songs with their teacher while playing instruments and doing a little dance. MED never missed a beat playing her triangle or singing her song. The grand finale was all of the novice conservatory students doing a modern dance. There was hip shaking, finger wiggling, break dancing, jumping fun. The kids (and watching families) liked the dance so much, they did an encore for us. It was a really enjoyable hour of watching kids who like what they get to do for 2 hours every Wednesday after school. I was so proud of my M. She has become an assertive, confident little person whose smile just lights up the room.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Here, Fishy Fishy

Yes, we have lost our minds. Yes, we now have fish. And two dogs. And a cat. And a gecko. That eats crickets. We are just adding to the zoo.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

And We Have A Winner

Outdoor soccer is officially over. JAD played his last game today and it was FULL of excitement. The boys went into this game knowing that they had to win or, at the very least, tie this team to maintain their second place standing (they played the third place team today). They were pumped up to begin with and JAD did his best to get them pumped up and stay that way throughout the game. The boys played hard and put their hearts (and some blood) into this game. One boy on the team was actually red carded and kicked out of the game. He came to 'sit' with the parents, but we had a very hard time keeping him off the field and from yelling at the refs. Everything went downhill from there. Two boys on our team went down at the same time in the last five minutes of the game - one took an elbow to the face (instant bloody nose) and the other was tripped and banged up his foot pretty well. NOT A SINGLE REF MADE A CALL OR STOPPED THE GAME. Talk about bad calls. Two players laying on the field with one holding his head and the refs - all THREE - let play continue. We finally had parents running onto the field to come to the aid of the boy and there were many mad parents (and players) talking calmly to the ref. Okay. Not calmly. Would screaming sound more appropriate? Because that's what was happening - and not with the best language, either. We did win the game - but there were a lot of hot parents and coaches and players. Our 'assistant' coach (father of the red-carded player) was almost tossed and our coach was being warned as well. At the end of the game, we had parents from the other team calling our parents and PLAYERS poor sports. Because that's good sportsmanship? These were the same parents who cheered and applauded when our player was red-carded. Because that's good sportsmanship, too. Uh huh. So, we ended the fall season with a very 'spirited' game and a record of 7-2-1. Now we move on to indoor soccer.

Just look at this backdrop. I still can't believe I get to see the mountains every time I look up.

Here, JADs arms are thrown up in protest - his teammate is getting red-carded and tossed from the game.

Coach promised the boys if they won the game today, they could paint his hair red. He's a man of his word!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shining Star

JEDs music program at school was tonight. He laughed, sang, and giggled his way through the program. The big thing was that he really enjoyed being up on the risers with his fellow 2nd grade peers. They did a great job and the 1/2 hour program of 2nd and 4th grade singers was actually quite pleasant. I bet if you ask him nicely he'll sing for you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


There has been much cheering going on at my house this evening as the control in the House has changed hands. Many, many upheavals have taken place this evening - including our former resident state of (liberal) Wisconsin. It's amazing to see how the American people have stepped up and voiced their opinions to say that enough is enough and they want their voices to be heard and, most importantly, LISTENED TO. It will be interesting to watch what happens as all these new political figures take their posts in the coming months. I really hope that this will be enough to make some POSITIVE changes that will actually benefit the American people. Regardless, America has spoken and is demanding real change for real people. Bravo, America. Bravo.

Beauties and the Beasts

Halloween was a big success at our house this year. My mom worked her fingers to the bone through sweat and blood and probably tears and words unmentionable to make my three girls' absolutely beautiful costumes this year. There were many oohs and aahs as we went around trick or treating this past Sunday. K and I decided to take our kids to the local mall to trick or treat before the city trick or treat time. Talk about insanity! There was one huge line that wrapped all the way around the indoor of the mall. Most stores had an employee standing outside the store handing out candy. We saw every type of costume on every type of person imaginable. The important thing was that the kids had a good time. We then went home and I took CED, JED, MED, and MAD trick or treating while JAD stayed home with two friends and K to scare little kids and pass out candy. Many people were impressed with our 'spooky' decor outside and apparently several little kids refused to even walk up our driveway. The weather was perfect (I went out in a light jacket and flip-flops - never could do that in WI and IL!) and we spent the entire time from 6 - 8 outside. All in all, a very good Halloween.

MED, the mermaid

MAD, the pumpkin

JED, the Skeleton Reaper with CED, the inmate escapee and MED, the mermaid

The whole ghastly crew - pumpkin, emperor of evil, mermaid, inmate escapee, skeleton reaper

Creepy Joker - the man I married

P.S. Thanks, mom. The costumes were a great hit! We're already planning next year. We're going with a 'theme' :)