Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 - The Year That Was...well, boring...

New Year's Eve. A time to reflect on the past year and see where God has been at work, to see how I've grown. When I think of 2005, I think "status quo". I mean I live in the same house, with the same people. Rob is at the same job, I'm still a stay at home mom. The kids are still doing great in school and still hang out primarily with the same friends. We go to the same church, still serving in the same areas that we always do. I'm in the same PFO position as last year.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I've had my fair share of crazy years. Years where I've given birth to three babies at once, or given birth to my fourth baby and moved three weeks later. I've had years where I wasn't sure if Rob and I were going to make it to the end of the year married. Years where Jaden had many surgeries and other medical complications...not one single surgery this year. I'm happy with status quo.

One highlight this year was Ryan going to Kindergarten. A bittersweet moment to be sure. But, in reality, it was far less traumatic than I had pictured it being. I think for the five years Ryan had been alive prior to the Big K, I feared him going. I didn't want my preschool, baby years to be over. I wasn't sure I would have any identity or anything to do that would be worthwhile without a child by my side at all times. I can tell you that I passed through the stage with flying colors and it's actually pretty OK on the other side.

One other thing I noticed in 2005, at the stage of life I am in, friends are no longer getting married and having babies. Instead, friends are getting divorced and burying their parents...not so sure I like that trend.

Only the Lord knows what lies ahead for us in 2006. Perhaps, it will be another status quo year. Perhaps, it will be another year with the twists and turns of the unexpected. One thing is for sure: whatever happens, I know that God will never leave me or forsake me and that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to [continue to ] complete it.

Monday, December 26, 2005

One SWF and her sister...

Extrememly attractive WFs. (Obviously, just look at the photo) Very intelligent and witty. IQ scores of 133 and 146. (which is also equal to what we weigh) One is 10% higher than the other. Enjoys dancing to Booty Tunes (we're both very good dancers also!) and playing Fantasy Football. One of us is a little bit of a smart alex, but we won't say which one. We also like eating cake and cheesy broccoli. ISO of good friends and good times. PLease call 720-341-0000 and ask for Kristin. :-)

Christmas Pictures

We had a deightful Christmas! The children are patiently waiting to go downstairs to see their presents while Daddy gets the camera ready. Jonathan is modeling his much-maligned and controversial coat. Trisha got an American Girl doll...can you tell which one is Trisha and which one is Kit? Jaden is sporting his Human Torch mask and Ryan is playing with the 1 million little Pokemon toys he received.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

It's Christmas Eve!!

I love Christmas Eve!! It's the best day of the year :-)

Here is the Bible passage I always read on Christmas. It's not a typical one, but powerful!

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phillipians 2:5-11

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Compliments of Rob...

'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
not a creature was stirring
except for that ubiquitous mouse.

And mamma with her glue trap
and I with my bait
had just about sealed
that poor rodent's fate.

When suddenly a stirring
from under the bills
confirmed the mouse was eating
my wife's birth control pills."

Sadly, this is not fiction. But, I may have stumbled upon a way to get rid of mice, here afterall!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 more thing

One Month Until Disney!!!!

Oh Trisha...

Trisha, Trisha, Trisha. The girl is too smart! In a previous post, I mentioned that she had figured out "Santa Claus"...we had to come clean. I mean, I didn't want to continue to lie to her and I didn't want to say, "You don't believe, you don't receive", becasue I don't want her to lie to us. That was sad enough. But, NOW!! Oh, I can hardly even think it, much less have to talk about it. I have to come clean with her about S-E-X. I'm blushing right now writing this blog!! Her teacher this year is with child and that has caused her to ask some questions. Again, I could keep lying to her:

Trisha: "Mom, how do babies get in mommies tummies?"
Me: "Well, God somehow just puts it in there." (Of course, this then led her to ask why Jesus was so special then, since everyone was made that way.)

or evading the question:

Trisha: "How are babies made?"
Me: "Great question."
[ENd of discussion]

or feigning ignorance:

Trisha: "How are babies made?"
Me: "I have no idea. I still trying to figure out how I got four kids!!"

See, none of those work. I want to create an open, honest network of communication in our home. No wait, scratch that...I really never want to talk about anything difficult and yet still have my children turn out as perfectly healthy and whole individuals. Of course, that will never happen, so Trisha and I will have to have "the talk". God help me!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Open mouth, insert foot

OK, so how was I supposed to know? Just because I live like 10 minutes away from the girl, I hardly ever see her. I see her sister-in-law on a regular basis and NO ONE ever mentioned this to me. I was just innocently sending out my Christmas cards. To: Mr. & Mrs. John Smith and Family (names have been changed to protect the "innocence" of those involved) Sure, good, fine enough. I get a Christmas card from this person (she could not yet have gotten mine). It is signed, "Love, Bob, Jane and kids." Ummmm...Bob, is not John and there's a few more kids in the picture. Apparently, John and Jane got divorced LAST year (that's 2004). Jane now has a live-in lover and children. MAMALACHEECHA!

It's a very Pokemon Christmas...

Well, I can tell Christmas is getting close. We have just the right mixture of anticipation, sugar, and having to be indoors alot more often. It's not Christmas joy and laughter I've been hearing from my children, no...instead, the shrills of fighting fill the air, along with the screams and cries from having been hurt by trying something totally dangerous. That's how I know Christmas is drawing near...that, along with my total inability to have patience for such things.

On a positive note, I found a Pokemon Christmas Bash Cd...who knew such a thing could even exist. It includes such classics as: "I'm giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas", and "Nobody Don't Like Christmas".

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's what Jesus would freakin' do!

This was a line from one of my new favorite shows, Grey's Anatomy. It kind of struck me, this kind of deep truth coming from a TV show. I'm not asked to necessarily like being obedient to God, but I am asked to be obedient. Even Jesus didn't always like being obedient to the Father, (Garden of Gethsemane), but Jesus always was obedient. Perhaps, I should be more mature and jump for great joy and delight every time I get to be nice to someone I don't really care for, or give 10%+ of my money to the church, or be submissive to Rob or continue to give to my kids despite any sort of sense of gratitude, but most of the time I do it because it's what Jesus would freakin do!

Poor GWB..

I like Goerge Bush, I really do. WHen you get my Christmas card, you'll know I speak the truth. So, now in addition to getting heat because of torture issues, he is now accused of listening in on people's conversations. Listen! I think it's important to remember that the people he is accused of wanting to torture or listen to are suspected terrorists. People who spend millions, even billions of dollars per year devising schemes to destroy us. I find it ironic that the same people who decry President Bush think that I am a threat to the United States also. Me and my wanting to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. Me, wanting to keep marriage between a man and a woman, not because I hate gays, but because I think marriage should be between a man and a woman. Me, who wants my children to hear all the sides of evolution, not just the sides that conveniently leave all of the holes out. Me, part of the evangelical right...villan to US society as we know it. It seems a bit backward, doesn't it?? Make sure we keep Christ out of Christmas, make sure we are as lenient as possible to people who want to kill us. Hmmm....wonder why people are more afraid of Jesus than they are of terrorists???

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Weapons of mouse destruction...

It's time to come clean and admit it, we have a mouse problem. At first, I thought it wasn't such a bad thing. Afterall, we used to have a wasp problem. For some reason, when the mice came in the wasps stopped. However, I am now sick of the mice. We have tried everything to get rid of these little buggers. First, we've caulked, cemented and otherwise plugged every opening we could find that might be giving them entrance into the house. Then we tried the little snap traps. The mice just made a mockery of those. All the peanut butter was gone and not one single mouse to show for it. Then we tried the glue traps. We had some success, but one day when we came home from some place or another, there was a mouse in the middle of the kitchen, one half of him attached to the glue trap and one half trying to crawl around and escape. I'm not sure the image of that will ever be erased from my mind. And, so, here we are, being totally outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted by some stupid mice. And, we have two cats!! They are just excited to have a playmate. :-) So, it is here that I am announcing my search for THE weapon of Mouse Destruction. I'll let you know what I find out.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I am large...

I contain multitudes. This was a line from a poem, my college roommate, Amy had to read for one of her classes. Or was it me that had to read it??? I can't remember. At any rate, whenever we were feeling fat, we'd quote that line...guess I was just feeling fat. Oh well, there's always January!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

So, I'm a helicopter mom....

Ok, so the Today show this morning had a segment on moms who are too active in their children's schools, they "hover" thus the name helicopter mom. This particular news segment was highlighting a mother who had three children at the elementary school and was probably at the school 3 times per week. I thought that sounded like a normal, responsible parent...however, she was the example of the "weirdo" helicopter mom.

So, taking this week as an example, I was at school on Tuesday to work the Holiday Shop and to help Trisha, Jonathan and Jaden with their purchases. I was there Wed. morning to help Jaden put on his braces and Wed. afternoon to help Ryan with the Holiday shop. I was there Thurs. afternoon because that's the day I help in the lunchroom, and I am going up today to deliver a snack to the kids' classrooms (for no reason, other than that's what the fun moms do!) So, does that make me a hover-er? Probably so. But, my whole life is up at that school and you better believe that I am going to be there as often as possible to check things out and to do whatever I can to make sure my children are in a positive environment. If I see that they aren't I can try to make changes, but at least I will know that they need more positivity at home then.

One teacher interviewed on this segment said that she felt like she had to be more cautious about what she said in the classroom becasue of these helicopters. I say...GOOD!!! I don't care how much teaching experience a person has, people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing!! If my being around school makes you uncomfortable because now you have to watch what you say to my kid...GOOD! I've done my job.

Now, if I'm sneaking up to my kid's college dorm to make sure they are sleeping in their own room, or calling their boss to ask why they got a bad review,(as were some of the examples given) I've probably gone too far...but in elementary school, when kids are not going to feel comfortable standing up to an adult, I think it's my right AND my duty to be up there as much as I feel I need to.

The teacher also said when she sees a helicopter mom she'll tactfully say, "you seem to be up here alot." So, when and if, a teacher says that to me, I'll simply reply, "thank you." :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

O Christmas Tree...

I am pleased to report that for the first time since marrying Rob nearly 13 years ago, we have a real Christmas tree! Ohhhh, it smells so wonderful and pine-y in here!! I'm so excited.

On the down side, Trisha found one of her presents. I told her I was going to have to take it back and maybe Santa would give it to her. Well, she retorted, "Great! Just Great! Everyone knows Santa isn'[t real. I mean how could one guy deliver all the presents in the world in like 12 hours...that's just ridiculous. He's probably just (and she does use the finger quotes here) "parents" pretending to be "Santa", just like "parents" pretend to be the "tooth fairy"." We told her we'd talk about it later because Ryan was starting to get very upset. This girl isn't being tested for gifted education for nothing, I guess. But, it's still sad to think this phase of parenting may be ending. It's been really fun :-)

BTW, 46 days until DISNEY!!! AND, we are flying!! Yahoo....$49 each way on Southwest...can't beat it !~

Monday, December 05, 2005

Spina Bifida Clinic

Today I got to participate in my twice-yearly trek to Children's Hospital with Jaden to Spina Bifida Clinic. How can I possibly describe the ridiculosity of SB Clinic? It started off with a few tests, which weren't so bad, except for the new ultrasound tech who insisted on looking for Jaden's kidneys under his armpits. I know I am not a doctor or even an ultrasound tech, but I am pretty sure kidneys aren't under armpits. She kept saying, "your crazy kidneys are hiding from me!" Hmmm, why don't you try looking a little farther down!!

Then, we go adn sit in a room for several hours while we wait for all of the Drs. that need to see Jaden. They all seem to ask the exact same questions....even Jaden was rolling his eye this time. "How old are you?" "What grade are you in?" "Can you stand up?" "Can you kick your legs out?" "Can you feel when I touch your toes?" It seems like if they read his notes from last time, we could all save ourselves a lot of time.

Fortunately, Jaden looks like he is doing well...he may have some brewing Orthopaedic and Urologic issues that we'll follow up on in 6 months, but otherwise he's progressing well,,,which is good.

Oh, and the sad moment of the day happened when I was waiting to register. I was seated next to a woman with an 8 year old. He had had an MRI a few hours prior and was crabby coming off the sedation. She was waiting to see the Neurosurgeon and then would have to take him upstairs to get chemo after that. The kid was really out of sorts and she put him in her lap where he proceeded to give her a hug and say, "My mommy." And, she said back, "My baby." I just about cried...and then felt guilty for feeling sorry for myself. There are people worse off than me!

Monday, November 28, 2005

What a bummer!

Well, we had a great time with our family over the Thanksgiving holiday. For as much work as it is to get ready to go, it is always worth it. It was so fun to see everyone and we played *lots* of card games. It was good, also, to sort of "meet" my newest neice/ even waved goodbye to us :-)

The bummer is that I am busily preparing to fly to Iowa on Wednesday to attend my Aunt's funeral. I'm glad that I can go. SHe was just diagnosed with cancer about 3 weeks ago. SHe went fast.

At any rate, I am totally frustrated by the lack of service in the customer service field. I remember my brother saying once that he hated people. I thought that was a bit harsh, but after today and waiting on hold and talking to rude people and having to do a bunch of shaningans just to go on a trip, I think I have to agree!! I just took 800 mg of Motrin, I'll feel better soon...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Almost Thanksgiving

Well, I am busily getting ready for our annual Thanksgiving trek...doing the laundry, packing the bags, etc. I really wish that we did not have to travel, but that is one of the disadvantages of living far away from family. I'm trying not to be bitter that there were hardly any visits to our house this year, but that's another post! This post is for my thankful list.

I am thankful for a growing, dynamic relationship with Christ. He never ceases to amaze me with His love, mercy, and grace. The ride is never boring.

I am thankful for an awesome husband who works hard for our family and always tries to be a better husband and father. (as if that were even possible)

I am thankful for the four beautiful, amazing children that I have. I see the way they are growing into really neat kids and I blown away...I know I did not do that! I am thankful that Jaden has been very healthy and we are nearing two years without a surgery. I am thankful that they go to a great school and are getting a great education. I am thankful that they have friends and I am also thankful for the times that they struggle....wouldn't want them thinking life is just all fun and games.

I am thankful for my girlfriends. SA~for being an living example of Christian social justice ( I love that!), PW~who else could I both go to a toy party with and have in-depth talks about Jesus with, PF, AD, MP, CG, MW, my small group buddies, and ya all!

I am thankful for my family and the fun we have at fantasy football. Thankful for supportive parents and talking with my sister every week. I am thankful for a new brother-in-law and a new neice/nephew on the way.

There's lots to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Parent/Teacher Conferences

I don't really know why the thought of going to P/T conferences has me in such an uproar. It's probably because I got totally slammed/blind-sided last year. I mean, no matter what the teachers have to say, I know I have great kids. We are a different family. I'm sure the teachers don't run across too many families with four kids including a set of triplets and a boy in a wheelchair. I understand that sometimes judgements are made about the way that we do things, but these are generally made by people who haven't walked in my shoes. I also understand that we as a family value certain things that may seem foolish to others. FOr example, we value church and God and center our lives around Him. We value the needs of others and of recognizing that none of us is the center of the world. We value working together as a family team. Teachers don't always like that...they like indivuality above all else.

As it turns out, though, this year I had nothing to worry about. This year, their teachers see the same great things in my kids that I do. They see that Trisha is bright, compassionate and self-motivated. They see that Jonathan is a clever thinker and a funny kid. They see that Jaden is a hard worker and has a unique ability to bring a class together. And, they see that Ryan, although he started off slow, is creative, fun, and really, really bright. This is such a gift from the Lord. I am so thankful that each of my kids has a teacher "in their corner", they have a teacher that "gets them" and they have a teacher that really wants them to succeed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Just put the finishing touches on our Disney's official! I can hardly wait :-)

65 days until we leave!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

soccer pictures

I Love being a soocer mom

Our last soccer games of the fall season were this past Saturday. I just love soccer. I love watching the kids play and work together as a team. This past weekend Ryan scored a goal that would have made the ESPN highlights had they been taping it. That was very exciting, but what was more exciting was the look of pride and accomplishment on Ryan's face. Both boys played on (how shall I put this gently) not your best teams. We don't keep score in our league, but don't tell that to Jonathan. He knows the score of just about every game. This last game was close, but it started off with the other team scoring several goals right off the bat. The opposing coach thought it would be a good idea (apparently) to cheer on his team by saying, "Easy Game! Easy Team!" I wanted to punch him. However, the first thing Jonathan said after the game was, "that game made me smile in my heart!" Awww....he makes me smile in MY heart.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I hate my cats!

I just had to get that off my chest....I hate my cats. Were it not for my bleeding-heart, animal-loving daughter they would be sooooo gone!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Pet Monster Manual by Jaden

Five Favorite MOnster Foods are: Lava and cheese sandwich, dirty water, soda with worms, cheeseburger with mudpies, salad with garbage.

Monster like these foods becasue: its gross

A really fun trick you can teach your monster is: how to do jumping jacks

another really cool trick is: how to play basketball.

Just to be on the safe side, you should never let your monster: do backflips

You know a monster is sick when: it gets hyper

The best way to cure a sick monster is: let it take a rest

One thing you should never do a sick monster is: squeeze it's neck

The best way to exercise a monster is: let it lift weights and play basketball

One thing you never want to do is: let it get too strong

A monster needs to be exercised: 10 times a year.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Pet Monster Manual by Trisha

Five favorite monster foods are: pizza, syrup on spegeti, snow in the winter, flowers int he spring, mint choclate chip ice cream.

Monsters like these foods because: They said there absaloutly delicius.

A really fun trick you can teach your monster is: how to shrink

Another really cool trick is: he knows how to grant wishes

Just to be on the safe side, you should never let your monster: stay home alone

You know your monster is sick when: it sticks its tongue out and always wants to go outside

The best way to cure a sick monster is: to give it it's favorite ice cream an then leave it in its room for an hour.

ONe thing you should never do to a sick monster is: to give it everything it wants

The best way to exercise a monster is: to go on the swings with it.

One thing you never want to do is: let it jump off of the swings.

A monsters need to be exercised: because it needs energy to grant wishes.

Friday, November 04, 2005

More Halloween photos from school

This first picture is Jaden with
Mrs. Bucci, his parapro and
Mr. Conlon, the librarian!

This was fun to dress up with the other room moms from class. Although, I have to admit, I was a little taken aback when some people thought my costume was a stretch :-)

Here's Ryan in his Kindergarten class...such a cutie!

Jonathan looks very intimidating. Good thing Darth Vader returns to the good side before he dies!
Unfortunately, none of the ones of Trisha from school turned out well!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Here's the scamps in their costumes!! Jonathan is a little bored with my picture taing as you can see :-)