About Me

My photo
Wife to the most amazing and loving husband, mother of four of the most beautiful children, child of a loving and gracious God.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Michael

The kids couldn't wait for him to get home to open his presents he didn't have time to even change.
It's tradition for the kids to take a picture with Michael and his cake, we have one from every year (one year I'll have to make a photo montage of it) so we had to keep with tradition. Can you see Jaden eying that cake.
Michael had some help blowing out the candles.
A red cake, Michael's favorite. Every year his mom makes him a red cake for his birthday, and this is no ordinary cake (the cake itself is from a box) but the frosting takes 2 days to make, you have to start it the day before and let it sit over night in the fridge. Now I'm just saying if his mom has been perfecting this cake for 30 years and his grandma made it for him as well, that's a lot of pressure to compete. To make sure the frosting comes out just right, you have to use the right type of butter and flour it's a little bit of work. Not that my sweetie isn't worth every moment but...seriously what if I messed it up......
I know he would never say anything, but let's be honest, kids can be brutal. So I had my mother in law on the phone for two days working to make sure I got it right. Well with much prayer and some luck it came out right. Apparently it was of great enjoyment....

as evident from the plate lickers. Whew made it good.Happy Birthday honey, you are the best husband ever.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A link someone sent me today

Someone sent me this link today about Garage Organization (kind of strange) but I could use it since my garage is a mess (LOL you think it was one of my neighbors who happen to walk by one day when my garage was open..yikes). Anyway they have some interesting pages on organization (something I clearly need to pay better attention to).

The name of the sight isn't what you think. http://www.changeofaddress.org/blog/2010/10-tips-to-finally-have-an-organized-garage/

Crazy Summer and Some Confessions

God is really working in my heart the last few days. You see it has been a crazy summer here in our household. I am excited to begin schooling (sounds funny since we home school we should have been doing something over the summer, alas he have done very little..lesson learn for next summer). I am excited we will be having a routine, places to go on a regular basis, not just the pool or errand (though the pool is fun). Not that I like the busyness of school time but I crave ROUTINE. This Summer has been anything but routine, its been lots of fun, but we have had no routine. We have traveled a lot (the beach in June, Atlanta/Chicago in the beginning of August and now New York). We love to visit, we love to be with people, my kids love to be social (although we are still working on their social skills).

However, with this very social calendar....Did I mention Michael has been traveling for business most of the summer....we all miss him tremendously when he is not around. This summer in particular has been very busy for work for him, and as you can imagine single parenting of young children is exhausting(not that I am not grateful he has a job, I am very grateful). We have had grandparents here to assist in some of the time as well, which we are grateful, but the disciplining and emotional well being is very draining. But I digress, so with this social calendar comes exhaustion from all ends and I know I mentioned at the beginning of the summer we were changing rooms around. We separated the older girls (they used to share a room) and now the little ones are sharing a room, because of this we have had some major sleep issues. The little kids play for a long time when they should be sleeping and Jordan really insists that she does not want to sleep in a room without her sister. She's lonely and misses her sister. Mind you when we first mentioned the idea of splitting them up this past winter they were all excited about the move, but thus far we have had little success in the sleep department so the jury is still out on whether or not we are going to keep it this way. So we are all exhausted and out of a routine makes for a rough household.

Proverbs 6:16 says some of the things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: Haughty eye (we have a lot of that) a lying tongue (yes unfortunately some of that too), hands that shed innocent blood (while no one is bleeding we have lots of bruises), a heart that devises wicked schemes (we don't have much of this one, but we do have a little sneakiness, my kids are pretty forthright with their sin), feet that rush into evil (all the time), a false witness who pours out lies (did I mention the "she did it" that constantly runs in our house) and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers (y'all this is rampant in my house). We've got that last verse pinned up to the wall in my house, it gets ignored all the time.

God has been clearly showing me where I have been letting too much go (because I am exhausted), not correcting enough and that I am one of the biggest perpetrators by losing my temper, frequently. So in my prayers I have been asking God to give me some wisdom as to what happened and he clearly told me, you are trying to do it all on your own, without me. You are not coming to me to rest, you seek to do it all on your own and are not showing your children my ways. I have given you grace and you must therefore give it to them, correct them in love, guide them in truth and do not give up heart.

While this is not eye opening by any means (we have this conversation frequently God and I) and I realize a lot of what I do I don't always do it in love. (Now hang with me here) I love my family, they are my reason for getting up in the morning (but my heart isn't always of a servants heart) it's one of obligation with a little bitterness (that's the exhaustion and a little resentment...I may be being a little too honest here)...the "what about me, when is it my time" pitiness is coming out in full force (did I mention we will begin schooling again in a week) and it's ugly. It's not pretty, mind you I rested when I went to Chicago, the older girls have been in camp this week so I have only had the little ones to deal with (2 is easier than 4), so this little pity party I'm having, God was not amused. I have been reading through Isaiah and Judges and have realized how wicked Israel was (not that I didn't already know) but some of the stories I have never fully read and I realized even though I may not be as vile as some...Sin is Sin no matter how you look at it, and I put I before God, therefore there is a problem.

So for the last few days I have been praying for mercy, for grace, for his love and my love for my family so that I may serve them with God's heart the way he wants me to, to bring him honor and glory. So like I said none of this is new to me....but every once in a while I need a swift hit with a 2"x4", some confession, some discipline and some grace. Thank You God.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some links for today

Love this link today....good stuff when you are feeling exhausted.

At the Well Titus 2 Woman

And one of my new favorite blogs, she has a great post today.


hope you get a chance to read through these today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


While Michael and I were in Chicago the kids got to visit with their grandparents and cousins, they loved it and they miss all their cousins when they are not around.

Jordan bought this dress with money from her birthday to Justice she has been dying to wear it knowing that her cousin Ally had the exact same dress.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I interup this Blog and Chicago Post - for this post I found

WARNING - This post is LONG

I found this link on Courtney's blog and this woman spoke to my heart. I usually use google reader to read through the blogs I follow, it is a lot faster than clicking through each blog, but some I actually go to from time to time. Usually they have links to other people's blogs and then I read through their blog (it's a vicious cycle...I could be reading blogs all day if I had the time). My friend Tracey had a link on her blog from a woman who's blog is called We Are That Family, she went to Africa with Compassion International I cried every time I read a new post, and Bakerella was sent to me by my friend Heather. So as you can imagine some days I don't even get to catch up on the blogs I follow. Needless to say here is a post from a new blog (I'm now a follower because it touched me in way, with the exceptions of different types of arguments you get the idea once you read it, it's all about the hard work and joy of being a mom. Hope you enjoy it.


Those who say children are innocent....

surely have not met many. Definitely, they have not met mine.
On (too) many a day our breakfast table is proof. Out of bed less than an hour on any given morning, my blessed darling syrupy sweet (innocent) little luvbug creatures have often already discovered some monumentally insignificant, yet somehow amazingly catastrophic for no valid reason whatsoever, subject matter to quarrel over. They scream at one another about the (unfathomably horrific) infractions of their siblings over this subject matter. They may slap or pinch or kick or punch or name call.

Maybe it was because someone sat in their seat. Or used the spoon they wanted. (They subconsciously had dibs on it, didn't everyone know?) Endless bickering could be over a (highly important!) small scrap of colored paper that was left on the floor because it was not so (highly important!) yesterday. It only became (highly important!) when {the enemy} laid hands on it. Today, the cause of grief leading to an emotional, crying outburst was a dollar store calculator fought over vehemently by 2 children far too young to have any clue how to properly use it. They don't care. It is something. And something is worth it. Until moments later....when it's completely forgotten.

All day long, the cycle continues. Different siblings, different (monumentally insignificant, yet somehow amazingly catastrophic for no valid reason whatsoever) subject matter. Same types of squabbles. Some days more than others.

I've tried it all. Intervening. Staying out of it and letting them hash it out amongst themselves. Allowing them to hit, punch, bite, kick, pinch, back. Sending them both away to their rooms (which they share : ) Sending them to different rooms.Taking the (offensive) item away from everyone. There is no fail proof solution for every scenario. Unfortunately. There just isn't.

And that's just the disagreements between the children. There are the myriad of other situations to be dealt with throughout the (long) days and nights which lead to (short) years. There are attitudes that need adjustments and continuous corrections for doing what should not be done and for not doing what should be done and thoughts of entitlement and manners to instill and character building and education and learning to contribute to the home and family through age appropriate responsibility and sportsmanship-like conduct and physical care and provision of food and guidance as they learn to make decisions for themselves. There is so much to do!

Childhood is a battlefield. Sometimes I wonder if the causality is Mom's sanity.

Truth be told, I find it refreshing to let go of idealism - to an extent. To be real. No one said this would be easy. There are no days off. No rest for the weary. No pause button for the short people while I regroup and gather up some much needed patience. Kids will be kids. They require a great deal of attention, repetition, consistency, plain hard work. Let's face it, this can be mentally and physically and emotionally exhausting. Most of the time what is happening in our lives is either a) routine and mundane or b) completely trying, testing my resolve, my ability to play this role with any measure of competence.

Then, there are the moments that are beautiful, sublime - exquisite times that take my breath away and bring at tear to my eye because I see good fruit in their lives and I am filled with such hope for their future and my heart is content and gratitude pours forth and I am bubbling over with joy at the sights and sounds of these young ones, my people whom I love, because they are really getting it! My labor has not been in vain! Glory hallelujah! Those moments are here too - absolutely. And I treasure them dearly. Hold onto them tightly. Pull them out in my memory when I need them most.

Because they are brief.

Interrupted by another fight breaking out.

And so we carry on. Trying to sort it out. Reminding myself that I didn't sign on for this because I wanted an easy life.
I parent because it is worthwhile.
No matter what kind of outbreak happens to be swirling around me, deep down, I know that to be true.

This is good work.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chicago Day 4 - Wednesday

Wednesday was our last day in Chicago, truthfully I could have used one more day but I missed my kids. Our last day we had to get deep dish pizza before we left, so we went to Gino's. We saw this place advertised on our hotel tv channel about Chicago, they are famous for their deep dish pizza as well as the graffiti on the wall. I didn't remember to bring a marker but we improvised with a pen. It takes 45 minutes to an hour for deep dish pizza, we waited and boy was it worth it. Not something we could do with kids but since it was just us and we had the time before we went to the airport we went for it. DELICIOUS. This picture obviously cannot do it justice, too bad we don't have smellivision..LOL..

This is a picture of the parking lot outside our window, to the naked eye it looks like a junk yard we found out later that it was where they stored the stuff they blew up from the Transformers 3 movie. They had just wrapped up filming the week before and were cleaning it up the week we were there. Kind of fun trivia.

Also our plane was an hour delayed because the president was coming to Chicago for his birthday, it made our trip home a little longer :(

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chicago Day 3... Tuesday

On Tuesday Michael had to work for a little while so I had some time to myself...a lost treasure in my book. I walked up Michigan Ave and did some shopping (nice to shop without having children to constantly discipline about not looking under the stalls or to stay out of racks..or you pick a problem I'm sure you can imagine). Then I went for a massage and facial at Elizabeth Arden (I had a gift certificate from 3 years ago for mothers day from my mother-in-law...finally had a chance to use it). After I went to lunch at the Water Tower Mall (pretty nice mall) and went back to the hotel to take a bath. I haven't had a bath since I was pregnant with Kaleigh, needless to say I wanted to soak all day (I text Michael to tell him to stay at work a little longer so I could soak a little longer...LOL.

We went to dinner when he got back and had a nice stroll along the river, it was a beautiful evening.

This is Trump Tower (he's pretty ostentatious and not to be out done, he had the building designed by the same man who designed the world's tallest building in Dubai) smack in the middle of downtown Chicago on the water.The Chicago Tribune building it's pretty with it's buttresses.
We went to the Lego store (I haven't been to the one in Tyson's yet) it's pretty cool what people can build with Lego's.

This has to be the coolest thing I have ever seen. (click on both pictures to enlarge it so you don't miss it). If you stand on the mat in front of the camera and hold the city box in front of it flat, the city comes to life on the screen in front of you.
It was awesome that someone came up with this idea.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicago Day 2 or Monday

Michael has been wanting to take me to Chicago for a while now, he really likes the city and thought it would be a great place to share with me. Since he has to go at least once a year sometimes two he took me with him this time. The kids stayed with their grandparents, aunts and cousins we got to go away just the two of us. I have to say I LOVED Chicago. I'm not sure if I liked it more than NY (it is my home town after all) but it was definitely a fun place.

I didn't take pictures the first day we got there because it was the evening and we were starving after getting off the airplane, got to our hotel and settled in. So food was a little more important, but I wish I would have taken pictures of the Navy Pier. It is a lot like Pier 17 in NY except a little more family friendly not so bar oriented (they have a small amusement park on the pier). We ate outside (I love eating outside...Michael not so much) it was a really nice night and the food was pretty good. We walked a lot and I forgot my sneakers, needless to say my feet, legs and whole body hurt by Wednesday. We arrived on Sunday evening.

These pictures are from Monday morning, we went to Millennium Park, we walked to Buckingham Fountain (absolutely amazing) and took an architectural boat ride on the river, before we came back to rest....we were meeting Michael's boss for dinner.

click on picture to enlarge it

Can you tell we liked the BEAN, it was pretty cool and the picture of the round building was so interesting because it has cars on the bottom of it before you get to the condo's (parking is an issue in Chicago, like any other city).