Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jalapeno Popper Spread

Among other things, I love me some cream cheese. And I usually feed my cream cheese habit in the form of dips and spreads, but lately, I've become tired of my old standbys .

Spinach and artichoke dip, pizza dip, buffalo chicken dip, Rotel sausage dip have just not been hitting the spot recently. So last week, I went to my favorite recipe source in search of a new one to try.

And let me just say - I've found a new favorite. So if you invite me to your next party and ask me to bring a dip, this is what you are getting.

It's called called Jalapeno Popper Spread. And the person that submitted the recipe says "it tastes just like the jalapeno poppers you wish you could make yourself." And I would say this is a pretty accurate statement. Because in addition to cream cheese, I love me some Jalapeno Poppers.

So let me just quit all this yakking about my love for cream cheese and jalapenos and get right to it.

Jalapeno Popper Spread

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise (please do not use Miracle Whip...use Mayo or you might be disappointed!)

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

4 ounces diced jalapeno peppers, drained (I used the kind in the jar and added them into the empty green chilies can until it was full, but you could use fresh or canned as well)

1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (don't use the grated powdery because it just doesn't melt the same.)

1/2 cup of Panko crumbs that have been tossed in a little olive oil

Baguettes, sliced and toasted

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chilies and jalapenos. Spread into dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and then bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Spread on toasted baguette slices and enjoy!

And please, do not make and consume TWO dishes of this in one weekend like I did. It will not be good for your diet but it will make you lick-your-lips happy!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Can we keep it?

"Can we keep it, Mommy?" my sweet little Sarah asked.

My kids have been asking me for a pet for ages. They have their hearts set on a dog.

But I don't want to clean up after one. I don't want to bathe one. I don't want to feed one. I just don't want to do it. And there are times when I feel guilty about it.

Times like this when my sweet little girl is holding up a caterpillar and asking, no make that begging, "Can we Mommy? Can we? Can we keep it?"

"Oh all right," I relent, knowing that no good will come of this.

Sarah had spent that afternoon at the neighbors house collecting caterpillars. They collected 11 in all. She was running around carrying them in her hands and squealing in delight with each one they found.

Her squeals of delight were even louder when we got home and she found one of her very own. So, of course I said that yes she could keep it. We put it in a jar and Daddy drilled holes in the lid.

I knew we were in trouble when Sarah took Cora Alora to bed with her. She placed the jar in the center of a pillow and lovingly told her good night. Cora went with us to our t-ball game the next morning. Sarah didn't want to part with her but she allowed Grandma to hold Cora while she played.

Cora went with us to lunch after the game. And it was after lunch that I realized at little too late that frozen bananas don't make good caterpillar food. Apparently, when they thaw out, the excess water they leave behind is just enough to drown a poor caterpillar that has been mercilessly trapped in a plastic jar.

"Do caterpillars sleep on their backs, Mommy?" asked my sweet son Peter on the drive home from lunch.

"Um, yes, honey. I think they do," was the only response I could muster. I was trying to put off the inevitable.

When we got home we had to tell Sarah the truth and we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a replacement through tears and moans of "I miss Cora." We eventually found four more caterpillars and she was content.

I wish I could say that I will get my kids a dog when they are older but I don't want to give them false hope. Right now, it's all I can do to help them take care of the caterpillar. I've already accidentally killed one and we all know that the other ones won't be far behind.

And look at the amount of poop they make! It's staggering! Can you see it in there? That's a lot of poop for four tiny caterpillars.

When I look at all that caterpillar poop I just keep thinking about how much dog poop there would be in my backyard and it just makes me feel even more strongly that a dog is not in our future.

But then I look at how happy this little girl is to be holding a caterpillar and I start to think that maybe a goldfish would be a good compromise. At least we could keep it alive longer than 36 hours. (Which is how long the 4 other caterpillars made it.)

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Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday once again.

I would like thank everyone who has posted a miracle and all those who have been stopping by to read them.

Please don't be shy about posting your own miracle. As it says in Daniel 4:2, "It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me." (NIV)

God performs these miracles so that we will see how wonderful and powerful he is. It would be a shame to witness a miracle and not spread the word!

If you are going to participate in Miracle Monday this week, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. It is important that you link to the Miracle Monday post so that when others are reading your miracle in the future, the link will take them directly to your miracle and not to the front of your blog.For an explanation on how to do this, please check here. Or, you can always email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday and thanks for participating!

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This weeks edition of Miracle Monday is now closed. Thanks to all who have posted miracles. Please come back next week for more!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Play more. Dust less.

I have never been a very carefree person. I have always been a very serious person with a daily to-do list and I can't relax or enjoy myself until certain things have been accomplished each day.

But every parenting magazine I pick up tells me not to worry about the laundry, or the dishes, or cleaning the toilets. These articles preach about enjoying my kids now because they won't be little forever. They grow up so fast.

Easier said than done.

These articles never tell me how to stop the voices in my head nagging me about the laundry or balancing the checkbook. They never tell me how I'm supposed to enjoy playing with the kids when I know I've got "work" to do.

Then I read this post from Why Mommy over at Toddler Planet and everything changed.

She has Inflammatory Breast Cancer and is currently undergoing radiation treatments. She is looking at this from a whole new perspective.

She isn't trying to do things with her kids because they are going to grow up so fast. She is trying to do things with her kids now because she is afraid she won't be around to watch them grow up so fast.

And she is worried that their memories of her will be of her telling them "Not now. We'll play later." And she is telling them this not because she has some cheesy little to-do list but because she is tired from radiation therapy or because she is in pain from her mastectomy.

That really struck a chord with me. I have Multiple Sclerosis. And having MS means not knowing when the next flare up is going to occur and what form it may take.

I started thinking about this last week and I decided that the laundry pile can wait. The bills will get paid eventually. The toilets can be dirty for another day.

I really need to go play with my kids.

So I've been pushing them on the swing till my arms are sore. We've been playing Freeze Tag till I'm out of breath. We've been making Flubber and Muck. We've been pouring vinegar and baking soda in their volcano and watching it erupt.

I've been trying to live in the moment more. I've been trying to play more and dust less.

I guess in order for me to start enjoying my kids now before they are all grown up, I have to think about it from a different perspective. I have to think about not what I am missing, but what they are missing.

When my kids are older, I don't want them to remember a grumpy old lady who was constantly putting them off to do chores.

I want them to remember a mommy who was willing to stop making dinner in order to chase them around the backyard.

I want them to remember a mommy who was willing to push them "sky high" on the swing until her arms were tired.

I want them to remember science experiments and homemade play dough.

I want them to remember laughter and ice cream.

I want them to remember a mom who loved them more than anything in the whole world.

And I guess in order to make sure I get this done, I need to put my kids where they belong.

At the top of my to-do list.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rubia tonta?

On Sunday evening, my husband and I took the kids to the local Mexican eatery for dinner. This is your usual Mexican restaurant. They serve chips and salsa until you are about to pop and there are 6 pages to the menu, yet each of the 103 items is made out of the exact same ingredients, just combined in a slightly different way.

This restaurant is great though, because they serve a free dessert at the end of the meal. So if you aren't already about to pop wide open at the seams, they bring out a plate containing one large sugary tortilla chip for each person at the table. And on top of the sugary tortilla is a big dollop of whipped cream and a cherry on top of that. I love free food so it keeps me going back.

Brilliant marketing ploy on the part of my friends at El Paisano.

While we were waiting on our food, Sarah was going through my purse. She was pulling out pens, paper, my make up case, my hair brush, my cell phone, etc. I stopped her before she could pull out any tampons and wave them around.

I separated her from my purse and got back to the business at hand - gorging myself on chips and salsa. Did I mention, I love free food?

Later that night after the kids were in bed, I decided I need to charge my cell phone. I went to retrieve it from it's normal spot in my purse, the little cell phone pocket all purses have now.

It wasn't there. I checked the other spot in my purse where it normally ends up... floating around at the bottom...and it wasn't there either. I opened the huge zippered pocket in the center of my purse and dumped out the contents of my entire bag and no phone.

Panic set in. Where is my phone?

Then I remembered Sarah was playing with it in the restaurant. Whew. It must be there. I slept easy Sunday night knowing that my cell phone was probably wedged in between the cushion and the booth at El Paisano.

I arrived at the restaurant on Monday morning and told the man at the front that I left my cell phone there last night. He checked behind the hostess stand and said, "No. No cell phone here."

So I asked if I could check our booth and hurried over. I starting to panic thinking that perhaps my free pinkish purplish cell phone was lost and gone forever. I looked behind the cushion.


My waiter from the previous night rushed over and started moving booths for me.


A man who I assume to be the owner scurried out and started moving tables around.


The the man at the hostess station asked for my cell phone number. He said he would call it and if it were in the restaurant it would start ringing and we could find it.

Good idea! all the other workers were saying, but as soon as I started reciting my cell phone number, I had a sinking feeling.

Don't dial my number. Don't do it, I was screaming in my head because right at that moment, I got a sinking feeling.

And then my cell phone started to ring.

In my purse.

Apparently there is another zippered compartment that I didn't bother to unzip and check when I was frantically going through my purse on Sunday night.

How do you say 'dumb blonde' in Spanish? Because I'm pretty sure that's what they were saying as I was walking out.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Miracle Monday

Happy Miracle Monday!

This Monday, I would like to spotlight Denise at Shortybear's Place. Denise is truly a woman of God. Just spend a little time at her blog and you will surely see that.

Denise has had a lot happen to her in her lifetime yet she always manages to find God and his mercy in every situation. She is a regular contributor to Miracle Monday. She has such a unique gift for being able to see God's hand in every situation that it makes me certain that if we could all look at our lives the way Denise does, our blogs would be full of miracles.

Last week, Denise posted a particularly chilling miracle. Please read it to see how God kept Denise and her niece from harm as they were walking around a track. God is indeed good!

Denise is also doing a special feature on her blog. It's called "The 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge." You can't say anything negative about your husband to him or to anyone else about your husband. Each day she has been highlighting something to focus on when trying to encourage your husband and say positive things to him. What a wonderful idea and so much harder than it sounds!

If you are going to participate in Miracle Monday this week, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. It is important that you link to the Miracle Monday post so that when others are reading your miracle in the future, the link will take them directly to your miracle and not to the front of your blog.

For an explanation on how to do this, please check here. Or, you can always email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday and thanks for participating!

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This edition of Miracle Monday is now closed. Thanks to all who posted miracles. If you have a miracle to share, please come back next Monday. In the meantime, I hope you can see the Lord's presence in these.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who wouldn't want to win this??

I just wanted to alert everyone that Elizabeth from Table 4 Five is having an awesome giveaway! Head to her blog right now for a chance to win a YEAR'S WORTH of Reddi-Whip and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.


Who wouldn't want that?

Get over there!

Right now!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Link Love - Get your book published!

I started this blog to capture the funny, sweet, gross, irritating things my kids were doing and saying.

I also started it because deep down, I think I have always wanted to be a writer. Just as I have always felt that one day I would be a famous actress (even though I only performed in one high school play), I have also always felt that one day I would write the great American novel (please see #48 for brief description of my one and only pathetic attempt.)

These dreams haven't come to fruition yet and most likely never will but, BUT, thanks to Blurb, I will have a chance to become a "published" author. The fine folks at Blurb will transform all of my blog posts into a book.

A book! Written by me! It looks so easy and so affordable that I will be able to print one for myself and one for each of my kids so that when they are older they can read all about the things they said to their poor Mommy when they were younger.

It may not be the great American novel but it will be my great American novel.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Butt,ya'll, I'm just keeping it real.

Sarah was sitting on the couch yesterday and I was in the kitchen when she said, "Mommy, I smell like butt!" And then she looked over at me and laughed a devilish laugh.

"Sarah, please don't say 'butt'. Say 'bottom', it sounds much nicer. And did you poot? Is that why you stink?" I asked, hoping that it really was something simple that didn't require any clean-up.

"No," she said. "I had my hand in my bottom and now it stinks!"

She began giggling uncontrollably and held up her hand as if she was holding a golden statue after her acceptance speech at the Oscars.

Just keeping it real here. Just keeping it real.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

They like me! The really like me!

After I had Peter and went back to work, I was extremely dissatisfied with my job. I had been moved to a different position after my maternity leave, had a different manager who I had never met before and was doing a job that I didn't like.

My new job involved a lot of numbers and formulas and conference calls and I hated it.

And I'll be honest, I wasn't very good at it.

I prayed and prayed for God to help me. I prayed many times a day that he would make it possible for me to stay home with my son.

Dan and I crunched the numbers and didn't think it would be possible for me to quit. We were scared that we couldn't make it on just his salary so I kept on working and kept on praying.

And then, 5 months after I returned from maternity leave, I got laid off. I was mad at the company I had spent 11 years working so hard for, but oh so very happy to finally be a stay-at-home mother.

God had indeed answered my prayers because I never would have had the nerve to leave on my own and even though being laid off hurt my pride, I got a very good severance package and now, 5 years later I am still working as a stay-at-home mother.

And we are doing just fine on one income. Granted, the kids and I aren't wearing designer clothes and I don't do a lot of cute shoe and purse shopping, but we are doing just fine.

But there are many days when I don't feel like I'm good at my job, many days where I feel like I am just squeaking by as a SAHM, many days where my job satisfaction level is low and many days where I just feel like a bad employee with a bad attitude.

I often think that if my kids evaluated my performance like real companies do, I would fall miserably short, even as an "average" employee. I know my kids love me and I know that I love them more than anything in the world but there are days when I just feel like a crappy employee that deserves to be fired.

There are many days when I question myself. Am I good enough? Am I doing the best job I can do? Are my kids glad they are stuck with me all day? Every day?

And then, I got my answer. Yesterday when I picked my kids up from preschool, they came running up from the playground to great me with big shouts of "Mommy! Mommy!" and big smiles on their faces as they usually do.

And one of the teachers said to me, "Your kids are some of the few kids that actually come running up to their mom and shouting for them. They always seem so happy to see you."

I guess that's as close to an employee evaluation as I'll ever get. My kids are happy to see me and they would rather go home with me than stay on the playground with their friends.

I feel like I just got a raise!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday. The Best Thing I Have Ever Made.

I have been "trying" unsuccessfully since January to drop a few pounds. And I am using the term "trying" very loosely because my attempts at dropping these few pounds has mostly consisted of me talking about losing them rather than actually doing anything about it.

But that's just me. I'm a talker and not a doer.

But not my husband.

He decided about a month ago that his little belly needed to go. So he announced that for lunch he wanted me to make him half a sandwich instead of the whole sandwich I normally make him.

And for dinner, he only wanted to eat salads.

And by "salad", he meant a little bit of lettuce, a little bit of shredded cheese, a few shredded carrots and one sprinkling of Salad Toppins. You know, McCormick's Salad Toppins - bacon bits, sesame seeds and spices - basically looks and tastes like bird food but it gives your salad an extra bit of something on the top. And he barely uses a tablespoon of dressing.

My original plan was to cook something for myself and the kids and give him his "salad". And I use the term "salad" loosely because, when I think of salad, I think of what I come back to the table with after a trip to the salad bar at Jason's Deli. Now that's a salad!

But then I saw that after three weeks, he had dropped lots of weight. And I was jealous. I don't know how much weight he has lost because he won't weigh.

So, let's recap. My husband has basically stopped eating and he is doing some light exercising and he is losing weight. And he won't weigh so he's not beating himself up every morning for any little ups he may have due to water retention. (Oh, wait. The water retention part is my problem, not his.)

Hmmm...why haven't I tried this? Why haven't I tried to lose weight by reducing my food intake and increasing my exercise? Because I am lazy and have no willpower, that's why.

So last night I decided to join him in by eating a salad too. So I set out to make a real salad. One that didn't need quotation marks. One that I could eat and enjoy. One that felt special so I wouldn't feel deprived.

I don't like to feel deprived.

So I followed Stephanie's recipe for candied walnuts. Ya'll these are good and easy and you make them in a crock. But be careful - you don't want to eat the whole batch before you put any on your salad because, really, that would defeat the whole purpose.

Then I chopped up some romaine. (Did you know that romaine is better for you than iceberg? I think I read somewhere that the darker green the leaf is, the healthier it is for you.)

Then I sprinkled a little blue cheese on top of the lettuce. Why waste your time with cheddar when there is blue cheese available? You can really taste this cheese and when you are only having a salad for dinner every bite should be yummy.

Then I chopped up an apple. I used Red Delicious because that's what we had. And they lived up to their name. They were red and they were delicious.

Then I sprinkled some of those delicious candied walnuts on top. Remember - don't eat all of them before you get to this step because, really, that would defeat the whole purpose! (I am repeating this point because these walnuts are so good, you might be tempted to eat them all but, please don't. At least save some for the salad!)

Then I dressed it with balsamic vinaigrette. And can I just say...

This was the best thing I have ever made.


This is the only thing I have ever made that tasted like something you would get at a restaurant. Sad, but true.

These pictures don't do this salad justice but please take my word for it, this was one yummy salad. I savored every bite and I am actually looking forward to eating this salad for dinner again tonight. And tomorrow night. And the next get my drift.

Sarah insisted that I take a picture of her carrot.
And here is her carrot with Ranch dressing. Because what's a carrot without Ranch dressing? Nothing. That's what.

If you are looking for a delicious salad, please try this one. (The candied walnuts make this salad so don't think it will taste the same without them.)

This salad works for me.

Please make sure to visit Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer for more wonderful tips, hints and ideas.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I think they call it Vegas.

My kids don't have preschool on Friday mornings so they get to sleep in. After Peter woke up, he looked around and asked where Daddy was. I reminded him that it was Friday and Daddy was at work. And then Peter had this brilliant idea:

"Mommy, I wish Daddy didn't have to go to work. I wish I could play games all day long on the computer and I wish that every time I won, money would fall out of the sides of the computer. We would have sooooooooooo much money that Daddy wouldn't have to go to work ever again and I could buy any Bionicle I wanted! Wouldn't that be a cool computer to have?"

Remind me to keep this boy away from Vegas!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Miracle Monday Mr. Linky is now up and running!

I didn't have Mr. Linky up in the previous post but he's there now. Sorry for the confusion!

If you have a Miracle Monday post you can now link to it.


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Miracle Monday

It's Monday again! Thanks for stopping by to share your miracle or to read those others have posted.

Today, I would like to highlight a miracle that Amy B. posted about last week. Amy found out she was pregnant right before her 18th birthday. She was unmarried and headed to college that fall. Her mother was pressuring her to get an abortion but Amy stood her ground.

This wasn't her miracle though. Her miracle is that she found her calling as a wife and a mother. 11 years later she is now has five children and credits her husband (her boyfriend at the time) to helping her find God and learning to trust in His plan and His love.

And there is no greater miracle than that.

Go here to read Amy's miracle in her own words.

If you are going to participate in Miracle Monday this week, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. It is important that you link to the Miracle Monday post so that when others are reading your miracle in the future, the link will take them directly to your miracle and not to the front of your blog.

For an explanation on how to do this, please check here. Or, you can always email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday and thanks for participating!

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Mr. Linky is now closed. If you have a miracle you would like to share, please come back next Monday. In the meantime, please enjoy reading these.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Link Love

I was laying in bed on Thursday night trying to drift off to sleep. Dan was still downstairs watching the end of the Red Sox game and I had the evening news on in the background. I was almost asleep when I heard the newscaster report some shocking statistics:

1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.

I practically bolted up out of my bed! That can't be right, I thought!

So, the next morning,I searched the Internet. Sure enough, I found those same statistics online at Darkness to Light. I read on to discover the following:

30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.

This website also lists seven steps to protect our children.

The newscast that I was listening to, also gave the web address to Family Watchdog. This is the National Sex Offender Registry. You can type in your zip code and it will bring up a map containing all of the sex offenders in your area. It will also give the offender's picture, their address, what they were convicted of, their description, their age, etc.

Of course, these are only the offenders that have been caught and prosecuted, but I guess at least knowing where these people are in relation to your house is a start in protecting your children.

These aren't "fun" links but they are necessary ones, because as mothers it's out job, no, it's our duty to protect our children.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Play Ball!

The rain stopped. The clouds cleared. The sun finally shone high up in the sky.

Que the Angels, please. Hallelujah Chorus rings out loudly through the blogosphere.

We finally got to play our first t-ball game last night after last weekend's game was cancelled due to rain that started on Friday night and stopped on Monday morning. (Isn't that always the way it is with rain?)

And let me just say, if you are having a bad day, just head to your local ball field. because watching a group of 3,4 and 5 year-olds playing t-ball will have you chuckling in no time. This is Sarah up to bat. She had no problems whacking the ball both times she got up to hit.

She did have problems knowing which way to run though. Both times, she took off towards third base instead of first.

Did I mention how much fun it is to watch a bunch of 3 and 4 year-olds play ball?
Peter had no problems hitting the ball either. Due to his late birthday, he is one of the oldest and tallest kids on the team. He was disappointed that he had to play t-ball again this year. He wants to hit balls thrown by the pitcher.
He is an old pro and knew exactly which way to run.

They don't keep score at this level which is a great thing. Because when Peter asked if they won, I could answer with a resounding, "Your team, honey. Your team!"

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Please pray for Gracie

I would like to ask everyone who is reading this to please take a moment to pray for baby Gracie. I first asked you to pray for her several weeks ago.

Since then she has had her ups and downs, but it seemed as if she was about to turn a corner. However, according to the latest update on her Caring Bridge page, it seems as if things have taken a turn for the worse. Following is the entry that her mom, Amanda, made this afternoon at 1:00pm.





Here is Gracie's Caring Bridge link if you would like to receive updates or if you would like to read more about the time she has spent in the hospital:

Thank you.

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I don't think we will be home schooling in this home.

I decided long ago that home schooling is probably not for me and my kids. I don't have anything against home schooling. In fact, I have a lot of admiration and respect for home schoolers.

Unfortunately, whenever I try to teach my kids anything, they resist. It's almost as if they will do anything in their power not to learn what I am trying to teach them.

So I have become a "stealth teacher". If there is something I want them to learn or to know, I casually mention it, tell them something about it and then leave it at that.

For instance, I am trying to teach Peter to count to 100. I have offered to give him $1 when he makes it all the way without any help from me. (I'm sure bribery is not a Charlotte Mason approved technique, but money always talks in our house.)

And he's doing pretty well, except that he wants to get to 100 and that 1 dollar bill so badly that he will count from 1-29 and then will scream out "Ninety?" and then I will help him to remember what comes after 29 and he will count from 29-39 and scream, "Ninety?".

You get the gist.

But he's getting there. He understands the concept and he is starting to remember the numbers so he will be there before too long. It would be so much easier though if I could just sit down with him at the table and teach him about the "tens". If I try to get him to sit at the table to learn anything, I am met with a lot of resistance.

The only time I can teach him anything is if we are in the car. If he is strapped into his car seat, he will listen to me briefly as I try to explain something to him. But I only have about 1 minute before he becomes completely bored with me and asks me to turn up the music. So whatever I am trying to explain has to be quick.

Sarah is much like her brother. She doesn't want to learn anything from her silly ole mother so I have to use my stealth teacher mode on her as well. For instance, I would like her to know how to write her name. But every time I try to sit down with her to go over the letters in her name she tells me to go away.

So after she began making scribblings that looked like her attempt at letters, I wrote her name down on a piece of paper and said, "This is your name. See if you can write it."

And then I walked away as instructed

We have done this a couple of times now and here is what she produced yesterday...

Sarah has never really liked her name (that's a whole post for a different day) and has decided to change it. She will know be known only by this tracing of her hand and these letters. So from now on please only refer to her as the symbol above.
And if you are speaking about her or to her, please refer to her as "The Preschooler Formerly Known As Sarah".

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Free Music!

I'm a huge fan of Big Mama ,so when she said to head over here to get a free CD, well, I went as fast as I could.

If you write a blog, enjoy Christian music and would like a free Matt Maher CD, then get over there while the getting is good.

And let me just say, Sarah is rolling on the floor "crying" because her shoes are too loose and there's a fly in the house. I wish the CD was already in my grubby little hands because it would be cranked up right this very minute.

Edited to add - well, it looks like they had an overwhelming response and have given away all the free CDs for now. Sorry!

And after a 20 minute whining session, the shoes have been tightened and the fly has been killed. And alll is right with the world - for now.

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Now she knows. Because I've told her like a million times already.

Last week, I was bemoaning the fact that Sarah felt like I didn't love her or at least didn't love her as much as everyone else.

So I spent the better part of last week telling her I loved her. At every turn, I was saying I love you. And if she asked me if I loved her more, my response was always Yes! I do!

On Saturday afternoon, I had just set her up at the computer to put crossword puzzles together on Jigzone and she curtly told me to leave the room while she played. As I was leaving the room, I said, "I love you Sarah."

And she replied with exasperation, "Mom, I know. You've told me like a million times already." (This quote is verbatim. I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget the exact words she used.)

If she sounds like this now at 3 and a half, how is she going to sound when she's 13?

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday again! Thanks for coming by to share a miracle or to read about the amazing things that God has done to show us that he loves us.

If you are going to participate in Miracle Monday this week it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention A Mom's Life in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. It is important that you link to the Miracle Monday post so that when others are reading your miracle in the future, the link will take them directly to your miracle and not to the front of your blog.

If you don't link to the miracle only, and someone browses through the miracles next month, they may get your meatloaf recipe if you link to the front/top of your blog, instead of your miracle. And while your meatloaf recipe my be delicious, I doubt it's miraculous!

For an explanation on how to do this, please check here. Or, you can always email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday everyone and thanks for participating!

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Edited: This edition of Miracle Monday is now closed! Thanks to all who participated. I love reading your miracles. I truly feel closer to God every Monday when I read them! Please come back next Monday to post more miracles and in the meantime, please enjoy reading these.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Saturday Link Love - Decorating, Stalking, and Puzzles

I wanted to share with everyone a couple of places that I have really been loving this week.

The first is The Nesting Place. I am not sure how I have missed The Nester before now because her blog and her house are like, totally cool. And best of all, she lives in North Carolina. I mean how totally awesome is that???!!!!!!

O.k. I apologize if I sound like an excited high school kid (or at least a high school kid in the 80's because I'm sure they don't say things like "cool" and "awesome" anymore, but I bet they still completely overuse exclamation points!!!!!!!) but if I wanted to, I could probably like totally find her house and drive by it like 1000 times until she noticed me. (Kind of like I used to do with boys I liked back in the 80's.)

And I mean that in an innocent bloggy kind of way. I would never really stalk her. I don't think...

But check out her blog. And if you have extra time check out Blissfully Domestic. She also posts over there. I love that site as well.

The Nester has an amazing way with junk(found objects), fabric scraps and paint. I wish I knew her in real life because if I could ever get over the embarrassment of my house full of 10 year old Rooms To Go furniture, I would invite her over for decorating suggestions and then I would take her shopping with me. And then my poor husband would be repainting everything in our house.


My other favorite website this week is Jigzone. Jennifer turned me on to this website about a year and a half ago and my son had a blast with it. But somewhere along the way, he became completely enamored with and and and and he completely forget about the thrill of online jigsaw puzzles.

But several days ago, Sarah was bugging me about computer games. She tries to play games at all of Peter's favorite sites but she either gets overwhelmed because they are too hard for her or she gets bored because they are "borin'".

She's going to make a great Southerner.

So a light bulb went off in my head and I remembered Jigzone and she has been happily putting puzzles together ever since. And the added beauty of this site? When she asks me to sit with her and watch her do a puzzle, I actually will. It's nice to watch a 3-year-old mind solve a puzzle and it's even nicer still that there is no mess for me to clean up when she's finished.

Have I mentioned before that I love the computer? If not, let me just mention it right here and right now - I like totally love my computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm Going to Pour Myself Another Cup of the Good Stuff.

It was big news yesterday.

Big. B.I.G. Big.

It had to be big if I heard it multiple times. Because I get to watch a total of 3 minutes of non cartoon TV per day, prior to the kid's bedtime of course. Because, after bedtime, I am all about the TV, but none of that includes actual news. Because who's got time for the news when there's Top Chef, American Idol, Survivor, Hell's Kitchen, The Office...

The Office? Did she say The Office?

Yes, she did! The fruits of the labor of the writers who finally ended their strike are beginning to be seen all across network TV. I was about to offer to pay them myself if I had to watch one more episode of Deal or No Deal.

But anyway, back to The Office. Let me take a moment to do a little happy dance. I am so excited that The Office is back on. I love me some Office. Woo Hoo! We have it recorded on the DVR to be savored tonight. Some people savor a good book, good conversation, good wine.

Not here. We savor The Office.

Please don't judge me.

O.k. Where was I?

Oh, I was telling you that I don't normally get to watch any TV during the day and even though that is the case, yesterday, I heard multiple times that you do not need to drink 8 glasses of water a day! I was overjoyed to hear this because I never drink 8 glasses a day. In fact, I drink maybe one glass a day. OK, who are we kidding? I probably drink one glass a week.

Unless you count the water in coffee, sweet tea and Diet Coke. Does that count?

Because if that counts, then I am well over the 8 glasses a day.

But I was always pretty sure that didn't count so I just walked around sipping my non water drinks feeling guilty with every sip I took. But now, I don't have to feel glum because according to this new study all the myths of the benefits of water have been debunked.

Water doesn't fill you up before meals (I never used this tactic anyway. I always used cookies and candy), it doesn't reduce headaches (sending the kids to Grandma's house works wonders for me) and it doesn't improve your skin (that's what Clearasil is for people).

So, I am going to head to the kitchen right with a big smile on my face and pour myself another cup of coffee. Coffee is good for you, right?

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You don't love me as much.

I am not sure what I've done to Sarah, but she thinks that I don't love her. For the past several weeks she has been saying things to me like, "You don't love me" or "You love Cheyanne and Caity more than me." (Cheyanne and Caity are my friend Jennifer's children.)

And, while it's true that I do love Cheyanne and Caity, I love them in a different way than I love Sarah. But how do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old the different types and levels of love and that the heart is big enough to love many, many different people, many, many different ways?

I don't think I've done a good job with my explanations, because she continues to say these same things over and over again. And she continues to ask if I love Daddy and Peter more than I love her. So I have to try to explain that I love Daddy, Peter and Sarah the same and that I love the three of them more than anyone in the whole world.

And then she gets me with, "What about Grandma and Grandpa? Don't you love them as much as me?"

I have tried to be equitable in my conversations with her, trying to be fair about explaining who I love and how much, and trying not to leave anyone out, but last night, I gave up. And while Peter wasn't listening, I told her what I think she wanted to hear.

I said, "Sarah, I love you more than anybody in the whole wide world."

And the questions finally stopped.

I'm sure there will be more questions today, but for just one brief moment, I wanted her to feel that all of my love was just for her.

I'm not sure what I've done to make her question my love for her, but I want to erase all doubts. I want her to know that I love her. I don't think I will ever be able to explain just how much I love her, but I don't want her to question or doubt.

I just want her to know.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm gonna miss this?

Yesterday morning started out as any other. Sarah and I had a heated discussion over her outfit. She didn't want to wear what I had chosen so she picked out another outfit. The plaid skirt and leopard print kitty cat shirt did not go together. Especially with the silver Birkenstock like sandals she had chosen to go with it. And the fact that it was 37 degrees outside made the choice in outfit even worse.

But I normally don't fight with her over clothing and since we were only headed to Wal-Mart, I let her wear the outfit. However, immediately after I said "fine, you can wear this" she decided she wanted to wear something else.

She and I finally made it to Wal-Mart and the real fun began. Lately, I have been letting her stay out of the cart as long as she stays with me. And she usually does a great job staying with me. In fact, she is usually "helping" me push the cart so what should be a 45 minute trip to Wal-Mart usually ends up taking an hour and a half.

As soon as we walked into the health and beauty section, she looked at me, tilted her head and smiled. This wasn't her sweet smile this was her devilish smile. I swear I saw an actual gleam in her eye.

And then she took off. She started running through the aisles of Wal-Mart. And as she was running I could hear her giggling in delight.

I decided not to start running after her because I knew that would only make her fun faster. And since I could hear her giggles, I could keep up with her even though I couldn't see her. But then, I couldn't hear her any more. And I couldn't see her. So I said a quick prayer and started running through the aisles of Wal-Mart calling out for her.

Luckily, our Wal-Mart is pretty empty at 9:00 on a Monday morning . Usually it's just a few elderly people and other stay-at-home moms. But you never know when the random creep or pervert is going to be out and about so I started to get nervous.

I ran through other aisles calling her name and finally I spotted her. She had one of her silver sandals in her hand and the devilish gleam was still in her eye.

This time I was able to chase her and grab her and as I put her in the cart, I started telling her that in addition to being stuck in the cart for the next 5 maybe 6 years, she wouldn't get any TV or computer time for the rest of the day.

And let me tell you folks, that punishment hurt Mommy just as much as it hurt her. No TV or computer meant that I had to come up with lots of extra activities to fill the time.

We planted flower seeds in the rain (it was only a light mist at the time but it was rain none the less), we made two crafts (pretty cheesy ones but still, they were crafts and one of them even required that I get out the glue gun), we baked banana bread (have I ever mentioned that I don't enjoy the mess of baking with kids) and we whined.

A lot.

All in all, I think her punishment was harder on me than it was on her but I hope she learned her lesson. And I'm sure she and I will be reminded of it every Monday for the next 5 years as I plop her in the cart and have to hear her whine and whimper for 45 minutes as we make our way through the aisles of Wal-Mart.

And I just keep telling myself that her defiance and disobedience is just a phase but I hope it is one that we pass through quickly because quite frankly, I've had enough of it!

And the funny thing is, that when we got into the car to head home, I turned on the radio and Trace Adkin's song, "You're Gonna Miss This" was playing.

And as I started singing along, I laughed and realized that yes, one of these days I am gonna miss this.

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