They pressed on…

The kids pressed on tonight, through the drizzle and through the rain – and might I add that it really should NOT be allowed to rain on Halloween – and had a great time seeing their friends and collecting candy in spite of it all.   When the rain came at 6:00 pm ( just when the kids were starting their trick-or-treating) Erik was pretty sure that Halloween was  ruined, and looking at what they brought back I kinda wish it had been.

Here they all are raring to go…

We are such a close-knit friendly community here that I always look forward to seeing all of the neighborhood kid’s dressed up, and they didn’t disappoint this year.   I think the bride and her kitty cat deserves special mention….

As well as these little sweeties (doesn’t hurt that they are related!)

And we can’t forget to mention anything StarWars, it seems our friends are on the same wave-length and I love the cute little alien thrown in!

And we can’t forgot the scary pirate –  William’s friend who is 6 years old like him had the face right down pat…

And here’s our little friend who is the same age as Sophia and lives right around the corner… she looked very delicious…

She actually made my night because I had dressed up as Little Bo Peep for fun and she at just 2 1/2 told me that I looked like Princess Peach!  Smart little girly!

So the kids were pretty pumped when they got back and dumped their candy before you could say “Angry bird’s jack-o-   lantern”…

Sophia was happy to sit and munch…

Erik with his loot…

With all that candy – Jason and I felt compelled to help them eat some of it (mostly the chocolate) as we only had the kid’s health in mind, they couldn’t possibly be asked to eat all that junk.   Actually it’s just the right amount of candy (well honestly any candy is too much candy, but this is once a year my friends) which is the benefit of living on a dead-end street with a cul-de-sac attached, it  doesn’t take too long and the kids don’t end up with too much.    Just enough to keep our sugar levels high and constant for about a week until it’s all gone and the whole experience will just be a another happy memory in spite of the rain!

A sneak peek…

The kids are pretty excited about tomorrow – and today Jason carved our pumpkins for the big event!  (Pumpkins that we had saved from our garden!)

Sarah picked a puppy for the girl’s pumpkin and the boys didn’t know what they wanted until we found some inspiration online and this is the result…

Doesn’t it rock?  We found a template here and Jason did an amazing job carving it.   Here it is again with the girl’s pumpkin, again from a template found here

We are definitely going to enjoy showing these guys off tomorrow!

What I learned this week…

I would like to think that I learn a little something every week – so maybe this post will be a recurring theme – but I definitely learned something this past week!   And it’s this… that even though the kids were sure that not playing computer this week would kill them, they survived – in fact I think they thrived!

See Erik and Will were goofing off last Saturday whenever they were supposed to be doing something (shocking I know) and so I took away their computer privileges from Monday morning to Friday after school.    There was some whining, and they occasionally complained they were bored after school when they realized I wasn’t joking, but then they would start to play lego or make up a game to play with each other and then they wouldn’t stop.  They used their imaginations, they created elaborate games, read more for fun, and they made some messes, like when they all played play-dough for an hour or so along with our neighbour…

But the mess was so worth it.  And Jason and I liked the computer-gaming-free week so much that we’ve decided that this is going to be the norm here, which won’t delight the kids, but now I know it won’t really be that big of deal for them.   And William is still allowed to go on his Raz Kids reading program for school and Sarah can do alphabet reading games and Erik can do his school projects on the computer, but I’m so glad to find that they do just fine without the computer to entertain them or to keep them out of my hair.   And it’s great to get the kid’s daily screen time on the week down to less than an hour each day – they still watch a bit of TV, mostly while I’m making supper.

It’s so cool that the kids haven’t lost the ability to just play and entertain them without a screen in front of them, now if I could only learn to do without so much computer time myself!

Don’t be surprised…

I’m very happy to announce that Sophia is over her bout with croup.    Croup is NOT fun… the complete opposite of fun.  If fun were being at the beach on a hot summer day than croup would be like being at the beach on a snowy winter day…. in your bathing suit, holding your pail and shovel.    Yes, that bad.    Now  I wonder why Soph gets croup when my other kids never did?   Whatever the reason,  if you have a kid with croup and you spend every night steaming her in the bathroom, don’t be surprised if your bathroom paint starts to peel from all the humidity.   And that’s even if you wiped down every square inch of your bathroom with a towel for 5 consecutive days straight, in the middle of the night to boot.    I think the silver lining here would be that I can look at it and enjoy the fact that my bathroom has never been so clean.

So my sleep was disturbed for numerous nights and then I seem to be getting a cold, so I was pretty tired last night at 10:00 pm when I sent Jason to the grocery store with broad instructions to get some things for the kids lunches because the cupboards were bare.    Now, if you send Jason to the grocery store for granola bars and cookies, don’t be surprised when he comes home with a smore’s version of a granola bar,  Fudgeo’s for the cookie and Reece Puff’s breakfast cereal to boot.     All healthy good stuff that I was happy to feed my kids today.  I feel weird admitting here to the world that I fed my kid’s the equivilant of chocolate frosted sugar-bombs for breakfast this morning, but don’t worry they ate a banana with it so I think according to the box that was a complete breakfast.   Jason has a heart of gold and is a wonderful father and husband, but when it comes to making healthy choices at the grocery store, well, I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.

Now, if you decide to put your husband’s grocery shopping escapade in your blog and then decide that you probably should tell him that you did so, don’t be surprised if he tells you that he’s never going to go grocery shopping for you again. 🙂

How do I?

So how do I move past the things that I have to do, to get to the things that I want to do?   Seriously, it’s a huge struggle for me!   From the Flylady I have learned to keep the house fairly tidy and organized… routines and my timer have helped immensely in me  keeping up on the boring everyday work that goes with keeping house.   And now with 3 kids in school things are looking up and I seem to have more good days than bad days… good days in that if you dropped by the house it wouldn’t look like a tornado hit it, maybe just a small wind storm.    But even on those days when the house is tidy and laundry not too far behind, I never seem to have the time to hang the pictures back up on the walls that have been off since we painted in August or spend time making cards like I want too!!

See by the time I get the kids up and dressed and fed and out the door for school,  laundry done, house tidied, food cooked, snacks prepared, house cleaned, bills paid and shopping done, there just doesn’t seem to be too much time for anything else.      And then too, I know that if I start into a big project that everything will just go to pot and I’ll be really behind, so maybe part of me is just scared to start.     Evenings aren’t much better – by the time we get the kids all to bed there doesn’t seem much time left in the night to do any worthwhile… even when William does help out by reading a bedtime story to Sophy.   It’s kinda funny that she picked the potty book that night…

Now maybe if I did limit my computer time,  put some priorities on paper and planned better I would get to painting the shelf I want to paint,  find material to make curtains for the living room,  clean out my crawl space and hang those pictures!!!  But like I said, the day-to-day things I have to do just seem to take up all my time, and I don’t even go to work everyday  or home-school my kids like alot of people I know!

So I’m asking you dear reader for advice.  How do you find time to do those extra things that you want to do?   How do you balance keeping the house and redecorating or organizing your house or even doing crafts?  I would love to hear from you… see there are some things that desperately need to get done here and I need all the help I can get!

Let’s back the truck up….

This morning I was going through my old Word documents and I found this.   It’s over two years old, but reading it brought back so many memories that I thought I would share it.   I just copied it and plunked it in here word for word…  so here goes…

What I’ll miss about being pregnant:  by me – 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant!

The attention!

Back rubs from Jason every night

Feeling the baby kick

Knowing a new life is growing inside me

Watching my body change to accommodate a growing baby

Sharing the experience with the kids

Having the older kids feel the baby move

Hearing the kids ideas for names for the new baby

Anticipating meeting the new baby

Getting to see the midwives – they are like old friends!

Getting excited about nursing a newborn

Getting excited about holding a newborn

Getting excited about the cute clothes the baby will wear

Being able to sit and put my feet up without feeling guilty

Eating whatever I want, when I want

Having a good reason to be ‘hormonal’ and crying lots

What I won’t miss about being pregnant

Having to wake up every 2-3 hours to go pee

Not being able to bend over

Being grumpy with the kids when I’m tired

Going over-due when I just want to meet this baby!

Going over-due when I’m soooo uncomfortable

Just wanting life to get ‘back to normal’

Wanting to move on to the next phase of life

Being able to cuddle without my tummy being in the way

Being able to hold and carry the kids without my tummy being in the way

Looking at things that need to get done, and knowing I can’t (like weeding my flowers)

Being awake from 4:00 to 5:30 am writing this list because I can’t sleep

Having no control over my own body

___________________________________________________

Well there you have it.     When I first opened it and read it today I got a little teary remembering what I felt like back then waiting for Sophia to arrive.    There is something so incredible about bringing a new life into the world, even though it’s obviously not the most comfortable experience in the world.

But here she is today almost 2 1/2, and I have moved on to the next phase of life and it’s wonderful too.  It’s just nice taking a peek back once in a while.

So yesterday….

Yesterday was kind of a cold and windy day with rain.    Felt like November really.   But after supper I had a DVD that needed to be returned to the library or else I would get fined, so the kids came too.    We actually like to go every week,  the kids get a ton of books and a DVD each and I get books too – gardening, sewing, organizing, decorating…. I get them all.  I don’t always read them, but I have the best intentions when I check them out and I like looking at the covers and then imagining myself doing all these things.

So after supper the kids and I dressed for rain and headed out.   And as the city in all it’s wisdom closed our friendly little neighbourhood library branch a few years ago and opened up a slightly bigger one in a building shared with a YMCA going there can be pretty hectic.  The parking lot is always crowded and you can never get a spot close and people are always in a hurry for some reason.    A hurry to go run on the treadmill?  I don’t get it.

But as we were leaving the library it seemed colder and darker and the rain picked up again I picked Sophia up and hoped that the kids would stay close, but was a little concerned because it was dark and the parking lot was busy.  But as it would happen a woman was putting her coat on just as we were walking out the door and she was commenting on how cute Sophia was.   She was smart, she had borrowed her husband’s bright orange safety coat and you know what… she caught on right away that I had all these kids to herd and she started walking with us and kept the kids together!    I led the way and she appointed herself our guardian through the busy parking lot – good heavens it seemed that all the cars were trying to get out at once and didn’t even want to wait for us –  but she with her bright orange coat helped me get the kids safely to the truck.   I was so grateful and thanked her profusely.  Wasn’t that kind of her?   It’s always nice to be reminded that there are people out there who are willing to help out and lend a hand, but I also see it as God’s provision, that even in the little things like walking through a dark and busy parking lot that He cares us and sent her to keep us safe!  So I was very thankful.

But the evening got less exciting after that because after the kids were in bed and Jason and I were hanging out, the lights went out – because of the wind.  It felt like we were in a December blizzard, or a November gale…  something like that.  But no lights so we were forced to go to bed at a decent time.  Isn’t that just crazy?   So since we were in bed I realized just how tired I was I promptly fell asleep –  much earlier than I normally would.  And and you know what?   I felt rested this morning when the alarm went off at 6:30 – and that almost never happens.    I’m now going to try to contact the power company and ask if they can turn our lights off every night at 10:00 because I apparently need someone else to decide when it’s a good time for me to go to bed.

So not a very exciting night, but maybe it just goes with getting older. I wanted to include a Calvin and Hobbes comic that I found that cracked me up, but since I would have to pay $100 to buy it I thought better of it.  But basically Calvin is bemoaning the fact that it’s 8:00 p.m. and he has to go to bed.   So when Hobbes asks him what he would do if he could stay up, Calvin says he’s not sure but something fun, like whatever his mom and dad get to do… and then it shows his parents sleeping on the couch.

And that my friends  pretty much sums it all up.    (P.S.   You can click here to check it out….)

This little one…

never ceases to amaze me.  Take for instance this morning;  I came into the bedroom with Sophia as we were getting ready for church and sat down on the bed and looked over and saw  Sarah was arranging the pillows.  Then it dawned on me that the bed was made!    I knew that I didn’t do it and I think Jason has made the bed maybe a dozen times since we’ve been married, so I asked Sarah if she did it.   And you betcha,  she was the one!    Just look at this face…

She’s a worker that one!    In the past couple of weeks she has helped me make pie crusts from start to finish.  She helped me clean out the suburban, vacuuming and scrubbing like a trooper and she is forever asking if she can help me in whatever job I’m doing.

Now that doesn’t mean she will always tidy up when I want her too, but when she’s in the mood, watch out!   But the fact is she likes to keep busy and that was why I knew that she would do great at school this year.    Last year was getting a little tough trying to keep her occupied all day because she is not one to sit down and just play.  At home to keep busy she likes to play board games, play play-dough, play with Sophia and Will, help me bake, fold laundry and paint.  She is a prolific painter.    At school I think she likes everything, but her favorite is painting there too so when their little painting station is open, watch out!  She tends to come home with at least 4 large paintings.  One day I was talking to her about her day at school and she told me that the painting station had been closed that day and she said, “Mommy, do you think that it was closed because I paint so much?”  My sweetie-pie.

And I would like to say that she’s just like me, but although I do enjoy cleaning for seeing the difference between dirty and clean, she’s different, she is a worker like her grandma.   In fact I see so many similarities between her and Jason’s mom that it makes me smile and I know that good things are coming my way!   Just think, she’s this helpful when she’s 4, I bet she’ll be even better at 10 and when she’s a teenager she’ll probably make me retire and take over managing the house altogether.

But one thing is clear, I’ve got a good thing going here.  She’s an amazing kid and I’m glad she’s mine!

Belated Thanksgiving Post

I’ve been blogging now for over a year… am still not as faithful as I would like and I still can’t get the hang of posting on special days… like Thanksgiving for instance.  I forget that it would be a nice touch to  a Thanksgiving post, or a Father’s Day post and such.  Maybe in a few more years I’ll have that resolved.

So we had two wonderful Thanksgiving dinners this year.  One with Jason’s family and the other with mine.   They both were wonderful, the turkey’s were delicious  (thanks moms!) the time spent was fun and we couldn’t have mail-ordered better weather for it – it was perfect.    Which makes me think again that I’m so thankful that our Canadian thanksgiving is in October when the fall leaves are turning and the weather is still nice… can you imagine if our Thanksgiving was in November?  We’d be shopping too.

And I can honestly say that I’m thankful for family – our own family and extended.  Jason and I are both blessed to belong to families that are intact,  we can be in the same room as our siblings and enjoy it –  and it’s wonderful that we all live close enough to be able to get together regularly.     And this year I’m especially thankful for a wonderful husband and these little turkey’s…

Maybe it’s because I don’t have a baby anymore that I have more time for them all as individuals and I’m loving being able to take the time to listen to them and hear their hearts.   I read tonight that these are the years to cherish your children – because if you do, later on in life when you want them to cherish you, they will.  I liked that.    They are gifts in my life, they bring me joy and I want to cherish every moment I have with them.    They do drive me crazy at time, but for the most part they pleasant little people to be around and I don’t think that I could be any more thankful that God gave me them – their 4 amazing sweet little selves.

So that’s my late Thanksgiving Post – hopefully next year I’ll get it a little closer to Thanksgiving!

Love the label…

A friend just sent me this link for Love the Label – definitive check it out.    It’s a website devoted to getting you, the consumer to read the label on your cosmetics and shampoos to see what nasty chemicals the cosmetic companies are hiding in your products.     It’s a fact that ingredients like parabens and phthalates are horrible for you, but it doesn’t seem to phase the cosmetic companies who still use them and others in so many products.  So it’s  time we took a stand, started reading labels and switching to more body-friendly products.

Have fun reading those labels!