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Saturday, May 30, 2009

I survived and I think everyone had fun!

Sarah will be 5 in a few days and she wanted to celebrate by having a sleepover. So 4 little girls descended upon our house last night.

It wouldn’t be a sleepover without pizza…


And a Hannah Montana Birthday cake…


And a big smile from the birthday girl…


And candles being blown out…


And ice cream and balloons with the cake…


And presents…


And making Sun Catchers with glass beads…


Lots of glass beads…


And Sno-Cones right after breakfast…

(Because if you get a Sno-Cone maker for your birthday you have to have Sno-Cones right after breakfast!)


And a piñata filled with candy…

(Because if you eat Sno-Cones right after breakfast you have to eat sugary candy from the piñata. I think that’s a sleepover rule!)


And then after lots more giggling and squealing and playing, it was over. And the only thing that’s left to do is clean-up.

And convince Sarah that she doesn’t need to have another sleepover until next year, because I think that’s how long it’s going to take ME to recover!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We had fun even though my ears still hurt.

On Monday my husband wanted to do something special since it was Memorial Day. And I am always a fan of getting out of the house, so we decided on a quick trip to Pilot Mountain.

You might recognize Pilot Mountain as "Mt. Pilot" from the Andy Griffith show. It's only about a 30 minute drive from our house so we decided that would be our destination.

Before we left, we tried to convince Sarah to wear some sensible shoes. But the girl is all about fashion and decided that her pink faux-croc thong sandals that are embellished with crystals would be more appropriate than say her sneakers.

I was not surprised when after only two minutes on the trail up to the knob her right foot landed in a mud puddle and she began screaming and whining that the dirty sandal must be removed from her foot immediately. She wanted to walk barefooted.

We told her that she should have worn different shoes and that she has to keep the dirty shoes on until we get off the trail.

My husband is a man and he's half deaf so blocking out whining for an hour is no problem for him. However, when one of my kids is whining, I may as well be a dog and the whining may as well be a siren because it drives me mad.

So my husband and my son were totally oblivious and were traipsing happily along the trail while Sarah was whining and I was clawing at my ears as we lagged behind them.

We managed to get there between rain showers and were treated to gorgeous views.

And at one point Peter said, "This is better than buying a new toy!" (I'll have to remind him of this around Christmas.) And yes, Sarah is wearing a skirt because you don't wear pink sandals that are embellished with crystals with a pair of shorts.

And no, Sarah's not admiring the beauty of the overhanging rocks in the photo above, she has her back turned because she doesn't want to be in the picture.

But she did manage a few smiles. But mostly when it involved harassing her brother.

Over all, we enjoyed the hike up to the knob and the 0.8 mile walk around the knob. When it was over Sarah requested Dairy Queen.

Mmmmmmmmm....Dairy Queen!

Rats! If I hadn't been sick, skipped Shredding for 3 days and been eating like a pig and had Sarah not spent the last hour acting like a drama queen and whining like a 2 year-old, we totally would have totally gone to Dairy Queen.

Looks like another trip to Mt. Pilot may be in order!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ding dong, the strep is gone!

I survived the weekend.

After a three hour fever-induced nap on Saturday and a big dose of Amoxicillin, I felt well enough to prepare dinner on Saturday evening.

And well enough for church on Sunday morning. But since I technically had not been on the antibiotics for 24 hours yet, I did not shake hands during the Sign of Peace.

For those of you who aren't Catholic, the Sign of Peace is the point in the Mass after the priest wishes the people the peace of Christ. Then we are supposed to shake hands and say to those around us, "Peace be with you."

I knew going in to Mass that I wasn't going to shake hands but I'm not sure whether it was too much Tylenol or not enough Amoxicillin but when the lady in front of me turned and said, "Peace be with you," I smiled and said, "Hey!" and gave a little wave.

Perhaps I should have stayed home.

Later that afternoon, we took the kids to see A Night At The Museum. Dan, Peter and I enjoyed it but after the 15 minutes of previews were finally over, Sarah leaned over to me and said, "Is the movie almost over?"

She was out of popcorn and ready to go home and the movie hadn't even started. She was a trooper though. And for the next 108 minutes, she barely whined.


After the movie and the whining we headed to Jennifer's house for a cookout. Guess what? She had strep throat this weekend too.

People often confuse us. I'm not sure why...

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. Even with the strep throat and all the rain, we had a nice time.

And last night, between bites of steak, Pioneer Woman's crashed hot potatoes and my mom's awesome baked beans, I even remembered to thank my husband and my father for their time spent serving this great country. Thanks, guys!

More of our exciting Memorial Day weekend to come later. And no, it really isn't that exciting and no, this isn't a cliff hanger. I'm just running out of time before Sarah gets out of preschool.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday, it's a holiday, and I am recovering from strep throat so I won't be posting a miracle today.

But I will leave Mr. Linky open if anyone would like to post a miracle and I would encourage everyone to hop over to Victoria's blog Let The Son Shine In. She is starting a new feature today called Miracles of the Mundane.

Miracles of the Mundane is all about noticing the providence of God in the everyday. I hope you will head over there to see what Victoria has going on.

I hope you all have a great Monday.

And Happy Memorial Day!

Strep throat and breakfast in bed...

On Friday afternoon I realized I had a sore throat.

On Saturday morning I realized I had strep throat.

So we piled into the car and headed to the local Urgent Care. And after a rapid strep test, it was confirmed. I definitely had strep throat.

I also had a fever so I came home and took a 3 hour nap. I never take naps so I think it worried the kids because later that afternoon when I got up from my nap, the kids told me they were going to make me breakfast in bed the next morning.

I told them that would be great and chuckled to myself at the thought of them dragging their father out of bed to help make me breakfast. Because every other weekend morning the kids are dragging me out of bed.

So imagine my surprise at 6:30 this morning when Peter and Sarah came giggling into my room. They proudly presented me with a bowl full of Kashi cereal. In addition to pouring the cereal and the milk, they had tossed in a handful of blueberries and they even cut up strawberries.

Through blurry, sleep-filled eyes I surveyed my breakfast in bed and decided that it was the best breakfast I had ever had.

Apparently Peter woke up and remembered his promise of breakfast in bed and got Sarah up and they both went into the kitchen to prepare it together. I think the part that makes me the happiest is that they did this together.

My breakfast in bed.

The cutest chefs ever!

How lucky am I?

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Red, White and Blue Salad. And in plenty of time for the Fourth of July!

In addition to Shredding every day, I have been trying to eat healthier meals. Because who wants to sweat with Jillian Michaels for 20 minutes every afternoon only to eat like a pig in the evenings?

It just seems counterproductive.

Here is the recipe for salad that I am currently enjoying. I like to call it the Red, White and Blue salad for obvious reasons.

My husband told me there's too much green in it to call it a Red, White and Blue salad but I told him the word salad covers all the green.

And then I told him not to rain on my cute-salad-name parade.

The Red, White and Blue Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Salad Ingredients:
Baby spinach
Strawberries, sliced
Goat Cheese, sliced and crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Splenda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of poppy seeds
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine vinegar and Splenda. Whisk well.

Slowly add the oil while whisking and continue whisking until mixture is emulsified.

Cover and chill the dressing until ready to use.

Combine baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries and goat cheese.

Let dressing stand at room temperature for 5 minutes and whisk again before serving.

Dress salad and enjoy!

I don't mean to TOOT my own horn!

Yesterday was Day 22 of the 30 Day Shred.

And as of yesterday, I have done the Shred TWENTY ONE times. I admit that I skipped Mother's Day. But in my defense, I was at the beach and well, it was Mother's Day.

I have not lost any weight doing the Shred but at the same time, I haven't gained any either. And I have been doing A LOT of eating since starting the Shred.

For starters, I was at the beach and my mom cooked large breakfasts every morning, we ate dinner out every night and we went to Dairy Queen every afternoon.

But I am not disheartened by my lack of weight loss because I can actually see improvement in places other than on the scales.

The fat that hung over the top of the back of my jeans is practically gone. The fat that hung over the top of my bra is practically gone. My arms are becoming more defined and my stamina is increasing.

And best of all, I discovered that what I thought was old lady skin jiggling around on the top of my thighs was really just fat! Now when I do those plank jacks, there isn't as much movement going on down there!

I still have a lot to work on.

I would ultimately like to lose five pounds and I would like to see the fat that hangs over the front of the top of my jeans and the fat that hangs under the back of my bra strap to disappear.

And I would like to be able to eat a large bowl of Kashi cereal for breakfast and do the Shred in the afternoon without having what Sarah calls "exercise toots."

Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Birds do it. Bees do it. So what's my problem with flies doing it?

On Thursday afternoon I noticed quite a few flies buzzing around the cars in my garage. And by Friday they all made their way into my home.

I killed SIX of them in my house on Friday. SIX flies.

I thought I had things taken care of until I noticed several more on Saturday and then several more on Sunday. Luckily Sarah still likes to kill flies so she and Dan took care of those for me.

Peter forgot to bring his lunch box home from school on Friday. And he stayed home from school sick on Monday and Tuesday but yesterday afternoon his buddy Colton brought his lunch box home for him.

And when Colton and his brother came in yesterday I guess several more flies snuck in with them.

Do they still make fly paper? Because if they do I think I am going to see if I can somehow work large strips of it into my decor. Think greasy spoon circa 1974.

As I was removing the not-so-icy ice pack and the empty sandwich container from Peter's lunch box, I realized that part of his turkey and Swiss sandwich was hiding under a crumpled up napkin.

I quickly discarded the remnants of the sandwich and shook the crumbs from the lunch box. I placed the lunch box on the counter with the intention that I would scrub it in a few minutes.

When I glanced at the lunch box a couple of minutes later I noticed this:

(Image taken from

Two flies had landed in my son's lunch box and were mating!

Oh no! They are mating! In my son's lunch box! I am going to have flies everywhere if I can't nip this in the bud! These were the thoughts there were tumbling around in my head as I quickly closed the lid on the lunch box and ran to get the fly swatter.

When I opened the lid they flew out to seek shelter from the crazy lady with the orange fly swatter.

I grabbed the Lysol Food Surface Sanitizer and as I was pumping massive quantities into Peter's lunch box I heard him say, "Mommy look! These two flies are sitting on top of one another!"

I grabbed the fly swatter and in one swift motion those flies were laying dead on the floor.

But don't feel sorry for those flies. At least they died happy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday and I'm a little upset!

I had been working on a post for over two hours and was almost ready to hit publish when I realized that I screwed up some of the HTML code and now over half of my post is gone! That's what I get for even looking at the HTML code.

And my kids are up now (Peter is actually staying home from school today with a fever) and Monday is about to begin so I don't have time to recreate the post.

But I do welcome your miracles so please write your own Miracle Monday post and link to it below using Mr. Linky.

Have a great Monday every one and remember if you aren't a professional - stay away from HTML!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

So what do you think?

A little springier. A little less in your face.

Sometimes small changes make a big difference! Thanks, Jo-Lynne!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Don't you just hate it when you get into your car after volunteering for 4 hours at your son's school and you glance into the rear view mirror and notice something clinging to the tiny hairs in your right nostril?

And then upon further investigation realize that it's just a flake of dry skin but most likely looked like a giant booger to all the the other women you just spent 4 hours with?

I do.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yes, my kids have a drawl....

I live in the South so it should be no surprise when I tell you that my kids have a drawl.

Only it's not the kind you might typically think of.

They don't drag their words out by adding lots of extra vowels like many of us in the South do.

Nope. My kids are way more sophisticated than that. They like to add the letter "L" to words that end in "AW".

For example:

"Get the crayons so we can drawl a picture."

"I just sawl a big spider!"

"I need a strawl for my Coke."

And the odd thing is - they both do it! But I don't do it. My husband doesn't do it. Where does this drawl come from ?

I'm no Gil Grissom but I think I've figured it out.

My friend Christie and my friend Jennifer have never met but they both have a lot in common. They are both cute, petite and blond and they both add an "l" to the end of "aw" words!

And they are both from MARYLAND!

We drive through Maryland twice a year on our way to Massachusetts.

Is it possible my kids picked up their Southern drawl in Maryland?

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday and I'm at the beach where I've been for the last 4 days.

My laptop is with me but it has been sittin in a corner largely ignored while I have been playing in the waves, building sand castles and eating Blizzards from DQ.

I have not written a MM post, but I will leave Mr. Linky open in case anyone has a miracle they want to share. I sure hope so because Mr. Linky has been very lonely the past few months.

If you want to share a miracle or an answered prayer it's easy. Write a post on your blog and leave the link to the post (not the link to your main page) here with Mr. Linky. And be sure to mention my blog and URL in your post.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Wrinkle in Time

As of yesterday, I did the 30 Day Shred 7 days in a row! And by day 5 I was feeling pretty cocky about the ease with which I was completing Shred 1. (I even upgraded from Campbell's Soup to 3 pound hand weights!)

So on day 6 I decided to move up to Shred 2. Proverbs 11:2 that says "When pride comes,then comes disgrace..."

And let me tell you, there was a whole lot of disgrace going on in Shred 2.

I figured I could easily handle it. And boy was I wrong. I had trouble keeping up with half of the exercises. I was sweating like a pig. (Do pigs really sweat? I'm not sure but if they do, I was sweating like one.)

I was fumbling and bumbling and muttering unpleasantries under my breath through the whole workout. And thank goodness it's only 20 minutes because I don't think I could have taken any more.

But for me the worst part of the whole workout had nothing to do with actually doing it. It was what I saw while I was doing it that has plagued me ever since.

There is an exercise on Shred 2 called a plank jack. And the plank jack is evil.



A plank jack is completed by doing a jumping jack with your legs while your hands are stretched out in front of you on the ground. This exercise works out your whole body at once.

But the worst part of the plank jack wasn't the sweating and groaning and aching, it was what I saw during the plank jack.

The whole time I was doing (or trying to do) the plank jack, I was looking down at the floor and my legs because basically I was too weak to hold my head up.

And it's during this time that I saw it. Not my flabby thighs. They don't bother me so much because I see those on a regular basis.

It was the wrinkly skin covering my flabby thighs that shocked me. I have spent so much time analyzing the wrinkles on my face that I didn't even think that there might be wrinkly skin on the rest of my body!

Have you ever seen the occasional segments on the nightly news where they are heralding a man or woman in their 80's that just completed a marathon or a triathlon? And they show a picture of this person in their bathing suit or in their running shorts and you think to yourself, "Good for them! They are so healthy!" and then the very next thought running through your head is "Oh dear Lord! Look at all that wrinkly skin! It's everywhere!"

That's the way my thigh skin looked as I was heaving and hoeing during my plank jacks.

Old wrinkly leg skin.

And on Day 7 I went back to Shred 1. I tried to tell myself my muscles were too sore and they needed to rest. But I really just think it was so I wouldn't have to stare at that skin again.

The second part of Proverbs 11:2 says "...and with humility comes wisdom." I guess I've wised up a little because today is Day 8 and I'm going to give Shred 2 another chance. I'm just going to keep my eyes closed during the plank jacks!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I never claimed to know everything.

The name Peter is Greek in origin and means Rock. The name Sarah is Hebrew in origin and means Princess.

I only know this because these are the names of my children. And I have told them these meanings many times.

Today on our way home from the library Sarah asked me what Laurel meant. I told her it was the name of one of the bushes in front of our house.

In an exasperated tone she said, "No. The name. The girl's name. What does it mean?"

To which I replied, "I don't know honey. I don't know what all the names in the world mean."

Sarah let out a long low sigh and said, "You have a lot to learn Mommy."

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another use for all that conditioner you get free at CVS and Walgreens.

Today's Works For Me Wednesday is the Frugal Tip Edition.

About a month ago I was looking forlornly into my hall closet lamenting the fact that I have 5 bottles of conditioner and none of them was the type I prefer for my hair.

I had 5 bottles of conditioner because I got them all free using coupons and Extra Care Bucks from CVS. Seems like every time I went to CVS to get my free Sunsilk Conditioner, they had every other type of Sunsilk on the shelf except the volumizing kind that I love. So I ended up getting the kinds that I don't like figuring I could give them away or just use them and walk around with unvolumized hair.

Two weeks ago I was at my MOPS meeting when Heather (hi, Heather!) was giving a talk on Frugal Living. One of her tips was to use conditioner instead of shaving cream.

As soon as she mentioned conditioner I thought about all that free unused conditioner I had sitting in my hall closet.

So for the past two weeks I have been using conditioner instead of shaving cream and it works great! Just rub a small amount on your leg (or whatever body part you happen to be shaving) and shave as normal. There won't be any sudsy lather but that's not necessary. Just make sure there is a little bit of conditioner on the area you are shaving. I use about a dime size for each leg (from the knee to the ankle).

My legs are soft and smooth and I don't know if it's my imagination but the hair on my legs seems to be growing slower. Most likely it's that the conditioner is making the hair softer but it seems to me that my legs aren't as scratchy and stubbly at the end of the day as they are when I use shaving cream.

I finally found a use for all that free conditioner, I won't have to buy shaving cream for months AND my legs are softer and smoother than ever. Combine that with my previous tip on making your razors last longer and I feel like a shaving guru.

Visit Kristin at We are THAT Family for more Frugal Works For Me Wednesday tips.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Miracle Monday - Tammy

It's Miracle Monday again.

As each week progresses, I try to keep my eye out for different miracles that I can write about for Miracle Monday. I look at what other people are writing during the week. I look at what other people have written for past Miracle Mondays but usually I just pray that God will lead me to what he wants me to write about.

This week, I think God has lead me to an old friend.

Her name was Tammy. We met freshman year in college. And later she was one of 4 girls who lived with me in an off-campus condo.

It was during Sophomore year in college that Tammy discovered she had Lupus. She showed great strength during her many bouts of sickness and weakness but she never once thought of quitting school and she never wallowed in pity about her disease.

It was somewhere around my last year in college that Tammy's Lupus raged through her body and caused her to become so sick that whatever the doctors gave her to keep her alive caused them to also have to amputate her legs below the knees.

Tammy never gave up. She never stopped believing that she was going to continue school, continue living. Unfortunately she died later that year.

I have thought of Tammy often through the years. And usually it's when I'm fixing my hair. Tammy used to help us do our hair before we went out on the weekends. That girl had a way with hair spray, a hair dryer and big 80's bangs.

Last night, I discovered a posting on her cousin's Facebook page. Tammy's brother, Eddie, just died unexpectedly from cancer.

And according to an email I got from Tammy's cousin, Angel, the last thing Eddie said before he passed away was that he could see Tammy. And the family is taking great comfort in this.

They are taking comfort in the knowledge that after the troubles of this life are over, God is waiting for us in heaven.

We can all take comfort in that.

Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 5:8

If you have something you want to share, it's easy to participate in Miracle Monday. Just post a miracle or an answered prayer 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.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

So far, so good!

I have done the Shred now for 4 days (in a row, I might add!)

And 3 of those times have been with kids in the room. For an effective workout, I do not endorse Shredding with kids. Kids in the room mean too much talk and not enough action.

But my kids were excited to "take exercise" with me so I let them stay.

When Sarah saw I had soup cans, she ran to get some canned goods of her own. However, when she realized that I had the Campbell's Princess Chicken Noodle soup and she had a can of lima beans, she quickly begged for an exchange.

And after a few minutes of the Shred, Sarah declared, "I like my cousin Jillian, but I don't like this Jillian. This Jillian is mean!"

Mean? I don't think so Sarah. Anyone that can help me tighten my rear end in 4 days is not mean.

Peter was helping me this morning and was full of questions. "Why are those girls always in that same room wearing those same clothes?" "Why is that Jillian person the only one who ever talks?" "This isn't exercise Mom. Playing ball is exercise. This is easy!"

Easy? I don't think so Peter. Anything that can help me tighten my rear end in only 4 days is not easy.

After four days of The 30 Day Shred, I'm still excited. Level one is starting to get a little easier and I actually do look a little firmer in certain places.

But I do think I am going to upgrade from canned goods to actual hand weights. That way Sarah and I won't have to duke it out for the Disney Princesses. Because nobody should have to work out with lima beans!

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sorry Mom!

Yesterday as Sarah and I were driving down the road I started waving and said, "Oh! I think we just passed Grandma but I'm not sure if it was her or not!"

Sarah asked, "Did she have puffy hair?"

"Yes," I replied.

Sarah continued, "Did she have wrinkly skin?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Then it was Grandma," she bluntly concluded.

Sorry Mom!

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