Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Words to live by...

There's a small church just down the road from me that displays a different inspirational quote every week. I've been driving by this church since I was in high school. Over the years, I've really come to appreciate its concise, yet profound counsel. I don't know who comes up with each saying, but this one has been permanently etched in my mind since seeing it several weeks ago...

"The smallest good deed is GREATER than the grandest intention."

I feel like lately I haven't been able to give as much as I'd like to. I've always strived to be a "giver" rather than a "taker". It's hard for me to ask for help, even when people are offering. Maybe it's because I'm the oldest child, the "responsible one", the caregiver. But lately, I feel like I am the one being taken care of. I'm grateful for the good deeds, large and small, that others have graciously done for us without even being asked. It really means so much to me. It's my hope that someday I will be able to "pay it forward" on some scale, but until then, I hope that small acts of kindness on my part will help to show my gratitude and love for those around me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I tell ya, my little girl sure loves her daddy.

He'd been out of town for almost two weeks when he decided to surprise us by driving home on Thursday night. You can imagine my surprise when I returned his 5 MISSED CALLS I saw on my cell phone after getting the kids in bed, finally! (Bedtime had been a little rough.)

I call him back to hear him say, "Can you come and let me in the back door?"


Not only that, he came bearing gifts - a Snickers bar, a frozen chocolate cream pie, and a Cherry Coke from the fountain. oh yeah!
(And no, I did not indulge in them all at one sitting.)

More exciting than that, I just couldn't wait for the kids to see him when they woke up in the morning. Abby's been missing her daddy and asking pretty much every day when he'll be coming home...(and when he'll bring her the surprise he promised.)

So sure enough, when the kiddos woke up on Friday morning, they did a bit of a double take when they saw a big lump under the covers on Pat's side of the bed.

"Daddy, is that really you?" Abby asked with a shy little grin on her face.

"It's me, Doodle! I came home to surprise you!"

"You did?" Abby says as she pounces on top of him. "I thought I was dreaming!"

How cute is that? Of course, five seconds later she was asking about the surprise he brought her. (A ballerina Barbie for Abby and a little tool set for Noah...in case you were wondering.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A day to remember...

My computer has been on the fritz, hence I haven't posted anything in two weeks! Honestly, the past few weeks have been a bit of a blur as we've been trying to get things in order for our BIG MOVE...but that's a story for another day.

Today, I had the TV on pretty much all day long, catching bits and pieces of the inauguration coverage. I really wanted to watch President Obama's first address with the kids. Even at their young ages, I felt like it was important for us to witness this significant moment in history together. And surprisingly enough, they sat in the family room with me and let me me watch the new president's inspiring speech, almost uninterrupted. (Gotta love coloring books and crayons.) Probably one of my most favorite moments was when Aretha Franklin sang America The Beautiful. Abby sat snuggled up to me and watched. Feelings of gratitude overcame me as I held her close and thought about how grateful I am to live in this country and for all the opportunities it has to offer, not only for me, but for my children.

Sure, times are tough right now, but I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off, and
focusing on the positive. Things are going to get better, but I know I have to do my part to be a little better, reach a little higher, and remember that we are all in this together.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Look What We Made!

I saw this idea on Family Fun and thought that it would be fun to try with the kids, especially since these may be the only snowmen we get to make this year. (We haven't had a decent amount of snow around here in a long time.)
Our last BIG snow - April 07

It was really pretty easy...a little messy, but pretty easy. I opted out on the hats to save a little time and money on extra ingredients. And we used rainbow fruit roll-ups for the scarves, which were probably the kids favorite part, besides the "carrot nose" that I cut out of orange Dots. We had a lot of nose-less snowmen around here. :)

Here's the original recipe from Family Fun in case you feel like tackling these with your kiddos!

bag of 8-inch pretzel rods
1 cup white chocolate chips
mini chocolate chips
orange decorators' gel
fruit leather (various colors)
gummy rings
1. To make a batch, melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. I melted the chocolate in the microwave. I don't even know what a double boiler is...

2. One at a time, dip one end of an 8-inch pretzel rod in the melted chocolate and use a plastic spoon or knife to spread the chocolate two thirds of the way down the rod.

3. Set the pretzels on a sheet of waxed paper (or a nonstick cookie sheet) and press on mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons. Use orange decorators' gel to add a carrot nose.

4. When the chocolate has hardened, stand the pretzels in a mug or glass and tie on strips of fruit leather for scarves. For each hat, stretch a gummy ring over the narrow end of a gumdrop and secure it on the pretzel rod with a dab of melted chocolate.

See what other moms are tackling right here!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bringin' in the New Year...with a little writer's block

I've probably pulled up this blog fifteen times in the past week. What should I post?

I could definitely parade pictures of my cute kiddos in their new pjs on Christmas morning, beaming smiles on their faces, and clutching their much anticipated toys from Santa. There's really nothing like Christmas morning...

Or I could post about the fact that my kids and my husband have been sick since the day after Christmas, and I haven't had a full night's sleep since....

Or I could write about good ol' New Year's resolutions, but the way this past week has been, I think I've probably broken them all already.

I do have some hopes for this year though. 2009 has definitely started off with a BANG! Sick kids, hubby's spur-of-the-moment 3 day trip to undergo MORE job interviews, figuring out how I'm going to have this whole house packed up in less than a month, and just an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty...but I am hopeful.

Hopeful that this will be the week/month that he lands a good job.

Hopeful that it may be in a place with a warmer climate. (How I love palm trees!)

Hopeful that we will find good tenants to rent our house.

Hopeful that we'll get into a consistent routine again.

Hopeful that I'll be able to carve out some "me time" to WRITE!

Hopeful that the economy will get better.

Hopeful that the experiences and lessons learned over the past year (or two) will strengthen our family and make us better for it.

And hopeful that I won't regret posting this...but just in case, I'm blaming it fully on the writer's block.