Thursday, July 31, 2008

Arte Y Pico Award

Thank you Tricia over there at Shout for this award, I have appreciated all your support from the beginning of my blogging adventures (a few months ago)! Sorry it has taken me so long to pass this along, I'm a slacker! Actually I have been stressing about what I should do with it ... I keep using the "I am new at this" line and because I am new and really this is just a fun little hobby that I do not have time for, I only visit a couple of blogs regularly, but here goes!

Arte Y Pico Award

Arte Y Pico Award


1) You must choose 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community, regardless of language.

2) You must publish the name of each award-winning author as well as a link to his or her blog.

3) Each award-winner must post a picture of the award and link back to the blog that has given the award.

4) Both the giver and the recipient of the award must link to the “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) You must post these rules.

I hereby award this stunning virtual trophy to:

Jen at The Story of Us.

Jane at Kidzarama.

Angie at SevEn cLoWn CirCus.

Anji at I Wasn't Born a Soccer Mom.

Tricia at Adventures of Baby Making.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Random Cuteness

Sam's Kazoo debut:

Rick's favorite snack: "Peanut butter and Sandwich with Jelly"

Ally's grand idea: "Mom, I think we should have an annual cookie dough dinner night,maybe once a month."

Friday, July 25, 2008

16th Wedding Anniversary

Today is Dan and I's 16th Wedding Anniversary, I know to some this may not seem like a big deal but to us it means something. Many years ago when Dan and I started dating (I was 15 and he was 19) I do not think that anyone thought that we would make it this far! But here we are, twenty-one years later ...

To my wonderful husband, I have heard it said before, I love you more than the day we were married ... I honestly do. Although I think about the first time I met you, I was ten years old and you were the cool new fourteen year old neighbor, I think I lost my heart that day!

Today there is a new love, a love that is peaceful and easy. Something that takes years to achieve. The feeling that it is okay to ride around in the car and talk about everything under the sun OR to just ride and be silent. There was a time when that silence was uncomfortable and almost scary but now I know you are there and it is just safe.

I know that I do not tell you enough just how I love you, how much you mean to me and what a wonderful person I think you are! Complaining about taking the garbage out seems easier (hhhmm, I wonder why this is) BUT I do I love you ... every little bit of you, who you are and who you help me to be.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fertile Mertle and Infertility

I will admit that I am new to the whole blogging sphere and sometimes I find myself lost as to where to look and where to go ... I have found several blogs that I really enjoy and visit regularly. I have also found several blogs that I do not enjoy and wonder why the heck they are so popular. I will be the first to admit that I do not know all the proper blog etiquette. I have tried to start leaving more comments because indeed is that not what people want, are comments! But recently I have found myself following a few blogs of women who are battling and/or finding peace with infertility ...

My heart goes out to these women, couples, and families who are trying to balance their lives around infertility. As I read these blogs I feel such compassion for these people but I always freeze when it comes time to comment ... infertility is not something that I have ever dealt with, matter-a-fact one of my very dearest friends, who has faced this battle refers to me as Fertile Mertle. It is true, I have five children and pregnant for number six.

I will never claim to know how infertility feels but I know that I have seen infertility take over someones life and despite a great battle, really consume every part of her being! I have also seen her survive and although I know there are still tough times she is a strong and wonderful person! I also know how important is was for me to have children . In high school while all my peers were planning college and careers, I was dreaming of marriage and children.

I would like to use this post to honor all the women, couples, and families who are battling infertility, my heart goes out to you and I send strength your way. I found this song very powerful, it makes me cry every time I listen to it.

I borrowed this song from Adventures of Baby Making, one of the blogs I have been lurking at but have not yet commented on because I just am not sure what to say. A few other blogs that I have been visiting are: Maybe If You Just Relax, Coming2Terms, and No Regrets. I am sure there are many other blogs, stories and just people who are battling infertility, this is for you too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Precious and DemandingTwo Year Old


Rick - my perfect, precious two year old.
Mom - not even close to perfect but trying to keep her head above water.

A typical conversation that makes me smile!

Rick (in a very demanding, frantic voice): "WHERE IS MY EXCAVATOR?"
Mom (not really paying attention): "I do not know"
Rick (becoming more frantic): "WHERE DID MY EXCAVATOR GO?"
Mom (in the middle of doing something): "I do not know, where did you put it?"
Rick (teetering on the edge of loosing it): "WHERE IS MY EXCAVATOR?"
Mom (realizing she needed to stop, look and listen or this would be a full melt down): "Did you look in the classroom?"
Rick (very happy from the classroom): "It is in the classroom!"
Mom (with a sigh of relief): "See, you did not need to get upset, you just need to look around."
Rick (after a moment pause to think): "Do I need to not get upset?"
Mom (thinking maybe this scene will not happen again, yeah right!):"Yeah, just look around next time"
Rick (as if full understanding of the whole scene just hit him): "OK"

And off he rides on his excavator! About five minutes later ...

Rick (In a very demanding, frantic voice): "WHERE IS MY T-BALL?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hair Cut

So after over a year of growing his hair out, my dearest husband decided to buzz it again! I personally like it both ways so whatever he decides is great with me. Although I think the buzz makes his 'primp' time much less!

My biggest issue: whenever daddy buzzes his head, the little boys all want to buzz theirs. I have always told the children that it is only hair and that they could do whatever they wanted as long as they did NOT do it themselves! So what can I say and indeed they are very cute with their buzz cuts but I do miss their wispy little out of control hair!

So thanks for post dating I wrote this a couple days ago and had to update ... Dan decided to shave ... head and face ... a whole new look for him! I was having a hard time getting a good picture with such a glare! He is so cute!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rick and His Hats

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Children's Technological Speech

I have been listening to my children and have to laugh at how technology has become a part of their speech. Frequently I hear them playing and one will yell "PAUSE" ... this means they need to take a bathroom break or get a drink of water! Then this morning Caitlyn and Allyson were at the table working on a poster for a school project and I heard Caitlyn say, "Allyson, you will need to spell check that." I just had to laugh ... it is amazing how things have changed!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Built in Babysitter

There is a lot of buzz these days about using electronic (tv's, video games, computers) as built in babysitters. I do have to agree this is not a good idea, for so many reasons, but I will be honest there has been the occasional rainy day with five 'bored' children and I suggested they watch a movie! My question is does using the construction on the road count as 'bad parenting'!

For the past week our town has been replacing the water pipes along our road. From 7am until 4pm the road is strewn with excavators, bucket loaders, dump trucks, bobcats, earth compactors and men and women with hardhats, shovels and blueprints! During this time my boys, Jacob (age 7) and Rick (age 2) have not left the front porch. They have a pile of cars, some chairs and have been there playing and watching all week. They even have eaten lunch out there. Even little Sam (10 months) spends quite a bit of time at the window watching the construction.

Today I noticed that all the holes have been filled in and they are repaving the road, I have a tad bit of sadness ... for the past week I have had a built in babysitter, at least for the boys! They have not followed me around saying they were bored, I did not have to worry about where they were, I have just been using all this heavy equipment for my own personal babysitter! Does this make me a bad parent?

PS. The list of heavy equipment above "excavators, bucket loaders, dump trucks, bobcats, earth compactors" is what I have learned this week ... I call them all tractors BUT have been informed by my boys, numerous times throughout the week, that these are the proper names!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Five Flower Mom's Recipes

I have been sharing a few recipes and have been struggling with how I can archive these, just in case one of my three or four readers may want them in the future. As I am no longer computer literate (I use to be when it was DOS, anyone remember that?) I have started a new blogger spot and will post recipes there! Hope everyone enjoys and feel free to add comments and share recipes ... I love trying new recipes!

Here is the link to Five Flower Mom's Recipes! Maybe someday I will have a fancy button but that may take weeks,months or years for me to figure out so for now, this works!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Arugula Pesto

I have added a recipe for Arugula Pesto! We really like pesto and it is very easy to make and freezes very well! The funny story that goes with this recipe is as follows:

We participate in a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) and we had got a lot of this green leafy stuff that I was not sure what it was. Although I love to cook, I have never claimed to be an expert on food. I do love the internet because I can look up pictures and usually figure out what it is that we are going to eat. I also can find recipes and the best way to preserve these yummy foods.

So, I had several bunches of this green leafy stuff ... I did a little research and decided that I thought it might be arugula, so I found a recipe for pesto and made it! It came out great, the kids and I ate some and then froze the additional three pints.

Now here is the funny part ... the next day I went to the co-op and there was a big display of arugula, which looked nothing like the green leafy stuff that I had just used as arugula. HHHMM! So the next CSA day there was a newsletter that told what was in this weeks share and we determined that the mystery green leafy was called: Mizuna! Who knew!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Allyson

This past weekend Aunt Sheila and Uncle Michael hosted a big birthday bash for Allyson. Funny thing is, Ally's birthday is in November!

This is the deal ... Allyson has wanted a birthday pool party for years and it seems that whenever we plan it something comes up. The first year (when she was turning five, maybe) we planned a pool party at a local indoor swimming park and the day before Ally became so sick with a high fever and strep throat, we tried to reschedule several times that year but the weather would not cooperate and so we just said forget it. Each year since there has been so much happening, the pool was closed for repairs, moving, weather, her friends were away, etc... etc... there just always seems to be something.

So Aunt Sheila and Uncle Michael so graciously decided that they would host a summer birthday party for Allyson at their house! This was the party to make up for all the years that we have 'tried'. Aunt Sheila and Allyson placed orders for supplies, put together an itinerary, and made all the plans. Meanwhile Uncle Michael came up with a BIG birthday surprise for Allyson, one that will make her remember this day for the rest of her life!

So the day came and everything was in order, Allyson had been waiting for weeks and I was so thankful that the weather had decided to be more beautiful than we could have ever planned for! I think the day went just as Allyson had hoped ... we arrived early to help set up, blow up balloons, and get ready. Her guests arrived and they spent the next six hours swimming, splashing, blowing bubbles, opening presents and eating lots of yummy food! Part two of party day, going out to dinner ... all of the friends loaded up to go eat dinner, then back to the house for the final BIG surprise!

Allyson had one last box to open, inside was a t-shirt from Phantom Fireworks ... Ally was not sure what it meant ... so Uncle Michael handed out a program for The Celebration of Allyson's Birthday, Firework Display and Aunt Sheila handed out blankets and we headed outside! It was a gorgeous night and Uncle Micheal had started a fire outside and had seating for everyone. As Uncle Michael cued the music and lit the first firework ... I looked over to see seven little faces staring in amazement. As the show went on there was lots of cheering, clapping, oohhs and aahhs, several times I heard one of Ally's friends say, "this is so cool!"

At the end of the show the kids were mingling closer to the fire and chatting about which ones they liked best, the 'loud bangers' or the 'ones that shower down like a weeping willow tree'. I had not seen Ally, so I scooted over to her blanket and found her sitting there kind of quiet, sensing something I asked her what was wrong and with a deep sob and the flow of tears she said "this is the best day of my life!"

Now, I know that she was exhausted after many hours of swimming but I think she also was just in a state of shock, she went on to say something about "this was all for me" and I assured her that she deserved every moment of it!

Thank you so much to Uncle Michael and Aunt Sheila for this wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blogging - who has time?

Almost every night as I am falling asleep I think of all the things I want to write about ... but what I have realized is that I just do not have the time to write! I have been trying to figure out why it is seeming so complicated, I have really enjoyed writing and really the three or four readers that I have probably are not looking for real quality work (considering writing is NOT my specialty). So why the heck am I doing this?

I would like to say that it is because if I had enough people reading then I could have advertisements and have some extra money ... but I would first need to figure out all the ad thingys (technical term) and WOW that just seems like more time, which I do not have. Then I would have to be more consistent about writing and actually write something that is interesting enough that someone wants to read it! So this is NOT the reason I keep attempting to blog!

Then the big question, how do you get people to read your blog? I would think that the biggest draw would be really interesting stories, although I have been amazed at some of the blogs that I have visited that are NOT very interesting and have lots of comments! I guess everyone has a different opinion about what is interesting!

I also think that it is a large social network, you visit other blogs and comment and then they visit you and comment ... then maybe you are added to a favorites list somewhere out there ... then maybe mentioned in someone else's story ... I would have to say that this defies almost all the reasons that I love my computer so much, I have to be social!

Friendships or any relationship is a lot of work. Whether it is be a relationship with your spouse, children, neighbor or a group of strangers that you are sharing with ... there is a social aspect that I am not good at! And this is what I believe is stopping me from writing because it has become more about a social interaction then just jotting down a story that I think is fun, informative, etc... I made this realization right now as I was writing this! My solution: I am going to try to forget about the social 'stuff' and just write a little more! So be prepared for some entries that may seem random, and just not very exciting but right now this has to be about me and not any social group! Time is still an issue, with five children sometimes there just is not enough time in a day! So thanks for taking a little time from your day to visit my blog!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

More Pictures by Caitlyn

Here are some more pictures Caitlyn took! She has been very proud of her pictures, as she should be! As I love flowers and also want to encourage her as much as possible ... I am sharing!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Strawberry Picking!

The other day we went strawberry picking. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had lots of fun! The kids ate many bright red strawberries, picked a few to bring home and just had lots of fun!

At home we spent the afternoon cleaning, cutting and munching on strawberries! We made a yummy Strawberry Pie, 12 pints of Strawberry Jam and had fresh strawberries and cream for dessert!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sometimes Parenting is GREAT!

Conversation with my ten year old:

Ally: "Mom, I think I really like the new rules for the Wii"
Mom (in her very surprised voice) "You do, really? Why?"
Ally: "Because now that we are not playing it as much, I noticed we were playing it a LOT!"
Mom: (trying to be cool but inside jumping around for joy)"I am very glad you realized that."

So let me rewind a little ... yes my children have a Wii, not because I like it but because Santa has a mind of his own! In general we are flexible about their use, we home school and all of their work needed to be done and they HAD to have outside time but then if they wanted to play on the Wii than they could! Well, with three children wanting to play it was starting to get more and more Wii time and the bickering about fairness started to arise! I was tired of having to think every time someone asked me "can I play on the Wii?" ... who has had the most time, who played last, etc... I could also see that the kids were getting 'scared' to ask, they would change their tone of voice and get all sheepish! I knew something had to change!

So, a few weeks ago at dinner we had a planning time for the Wii. We decided that three days per week each child would get one hour of play time. Ally was quite concerned about this new plan and had lots of questions:

"What if she was at a friends house on Wii day, could she have it another day?"
"Does watching someone else play count as your time also?"
"What if I am in the middle of a mission when my time is up?"
"What if a friend is over and it is NOT a Wii day?"
"Do I still have to do my school work first?"

We were able to work out all the details and I am very glad to announce that our new plan is working wonderfully! The kids get their time and I am not stressed about how much time they are playing on the Wii, fairness and all that jazz! Matter-a-fact yesterday I had to remind them that it was a Wii day! I love it when things work out for everyone!