Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Runway

Here is a picture of the girls playing with one of their Christmas presents. It's from Jim's parents. I think it says it all.

The specs: The "dressing room" is approximately 4-5 ft cubed. The "runway" is 5 feet long and has sensor-activated LEDs as well as music. The girls LOVE it!








In other news, I'm typing at you from my very own NEW computer! Jim has been saying for months now that we needed a new one. Well, see, they're kind of expensive......Anyway, for Christmas, he got ME my very own NEW computer! You see, being the computer guru in the family, HE'S always gotten the new ones and I would get his last year's model. He told me that he wanted me to have a nice new one. So I've got it! It's a MacBook. Girly white. But it runs everything MUCH faster! It even has a camera built in. It's pretty cool.

Thank you, honey! I love it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A message for the Season....

I don't have time to post about Christmas right now, but I had to share this. The Knights of Columbus hall down the street from my mom's house had this message for the Christmas season:

Keep Christ in Christmas.
Happy Holidays

Okay....I guess they aren't up on current political debate.

More to come.......

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Answered prayer

This morning, while I was praying in the shower, (yes, I pray in the shower) I casually asked God to show me that some of our Christian teaching was getting through to the girls. I asked him to let me know that some of it was sinking in.

Fast forward to the children's sermon at church today. A dangerous time.....Alpha is sitting NEXT to the preacher and, hence, the microphone. First, the preacher says there are 2 more days until Christmas and she blurts out, "No there's not! There's only ONE more day!"

Ahem.
Anyway, the point of his Children's sermon was that Jesus is the greatest gift God has ever given us. He asked the kids if they could remember that on Tuesday. They said yes. Then Alpha says, "You can remember that EVERY day!"

Wow.
Wow.
Wow!

Praise God for his wonderful sign! Praise the Sunday school teachers and family members that have taken the time and effort to explain God to kids. They ARE getting it and they DO get it. Sunday school works! Religious education works! Praise be to God!

And remember on Tuesday, and EVERY day, that "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Some final thoughts....

I'm not complaining or suggesting an alternative lifestyle, but maybe the song should say, "I saw DADDY kissing Santa Claus".......

How did I end up with SO MANY things?

NO PEEKING!!!!
Step away from the tree......

After decorating cookies, "whaddya mean you don't like sprinkles?"

How did it get to be so late?

One more gift, just one more gift!

And our now-famous family saying, "I got you.........NOTHING!" (We taught the girls to say this last year when the beans kept getting spilt.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Callin' in the big guns!

With Christmas only 4 days away, I thought I'd share a little of our own family's Christmas preparations with you. This email is reprinted here, by permission of my husband, to show his ingenuity, creativity, and parenting-oomph.

*************************************************************************************
This morning Beta was pitching the end-all of fits in the back of
the car -- kicking, screaming, the works. So as we pulled away from
the house, I decided to get her attention. I pulled out my cell phone
and made sure she could see that I was "dialing."

"Hello? Yes, Santa please... thank you."
"..."
"Hello, Santa? Yes, this is Jim Kane. That report I sent you last
night, about Beta Kane? I think I'll need to make some changes to
it."
"..."
"OK, thanks, I'll send you the details later today."

"Alright, merry Christmas!"

You could have heard a bug fart in that car the rest of the trip. By
the time we got to preschool, she had cooled off and was fine.
************************************************************************************

Isn't that great? Rosemond would be proud. It feels weird to pull something like that, but boy, does it work like a charm!

My last thing of the evening, I need to give a shout out (podcast speak) to a new blogger. Jennifer Felio, one of my really good friends from college, finally has a blog! Her husband, David, another one of my good friends from college, has been blogging for a very long time. Go read both of theirs. They have very interesting things to say.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Christmas List

In the spirit of this Manic Mommies post, I thought I'd make my own Christmas list.

What I want for Christmas:
1. To understand instantly, totally, and completely, my new job and how to do it.
2. To not feel guilty for taking said job.
3. A spell to make children instantly know how to match clothes. Or a sign that pops up over their heads saying "I dressed myself!"
4. Strength to be one of those patient, calm, June-Cleaver-type moms who never raises her voice, always remains calm, and has copious amounts of Solomon-type wisdom.
5. Or just to yell a lot less.


I'm sure there's more. I guess I could add "Make chocolate be a vegetable" and "let everyone like their gifts." And one thing I'd really like, though not necessarily for Christmas, is a new scrub brush for the tub. I've asked Santa for that so maybe I'll get it. :)

That's all for now.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Is Christmas a bad thing?

In this weekend's Religion section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, they had an article about the origins of the popular holiday we call, "Christmas". The article said it was originally a pagan festival, and that many Christians of the time refused to celebrate it. Some cities even outlawed it!

The article mentioned one preacher from the Church of God who refuses to celebrate Christmas. He says that since it's not mentioned in the Bible, and the early Christians didn't celebrate it, then he's not going to celebrate it.

Which got me to thinking.

Is Christmas a bad thing?

I say no! Here's why.

Who cares if Christmas had its beginnings in a pagan celebration. Christians have made it into celebrating the birth of Christ, our Saviour and Lord. That's not a bad thing.

And what about the non-Christians who speak of the "spirit of the season" without meaning Christ? Well, is it really that bad for us as a people to try to be generous to the needy, polite and kind to one another, and spread "Christmas cheer?" No, it's not.

Besides, don't Christians watch TV, listen to the radio, read the newspapers, wear jeans and make-up, and enjoy celebrating football victories? Just because we're Christian doesn't mean we can't do some of the same things other people in our "culture" do.

Therefore, we can celebrate Christmas!

(As if you needed my permission...)

Merry Christmas! 9 more days to go!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tree-o!

The Great Christmas Tree Hunt of '07 is over! 3 times over, in fact.

Yes. We have 3 Christmas trees. All decorated. I call them our "tree-o". (Get it?)

Here is our main Christmas tree:

It is a real, cut frasier fir. 8 feet tall. With nearly a 5 foot diameter at the bottom! It contains all our most treasured ornaments.









Next, we have the girls' little tree.


We got this tree about 3 years ago. We bought it so the girls could hang their own (unbreakable) ornaments without messing up the real tree. Or hurting themselves. We all love this tree. The girls get to hang multiple ornaments on the top branch and I don't have to sweat seeing the big tree full of plastic-y things.





Finally, our newest addition!


A 4 feet tall, artificial white tree! As we were looking for artificial trees this year (long story), I kept seeing the white ones. I knew we didn't want to purchase a 7 ft tall white tree and pay over $100 for it. However, when we'd go look, I'd just stare at the white tree and love it! I can't really explain or describe why. I'm so traditional, and it just bunks tradition.

Anyway, my grandmother sent me some birthday money. I wasn't sure what to spend it on until we went to Wal-Mart last Friday. That's when I saw it. My 4 ft tall white tree for only $25!!!!! I bought the blue bead garland, blue ornaments, and candy canes. I got a blue picture-ornament that I put one of our family pictures from last year in. I also found a tree skirt for a table top tree that fits this one perfectly! I have some blue ribbon for the top, but I just haven't had time to make a bow.

Beta LOVES it! We set it on my grandmother's music cabinet in the foyer so it could be seen from the window. (Jim says he always wanted a tree you could see from the window.) It reminds me of my grandmothers. My grandmother Helen always had a small tree set on a table. She never (or very, very rarely) had a larger tree. My grandmother Clark at one point DID have an aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel! So this one kind of reminds me of her, too.

And that, dear readers, is how we managed to have 3 trees in our house, decorated, all at the same time. Maybe next year Jim can have one of HIS own. In the office. Reaching the ceiling. Adorned with computers, xbox games, and LED lights!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Overheard....part 2

"Karla doesn't celebrate Christmas. She celebrates Harmonica."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Overheard....

While making Christmas cards:

"It doesn't matter what color the Brigglers get. They don't care which one they get."

"Grandmother is not a Briggler. She's just a Grandmother."

And my favorite, as Alpha left webkinz.com to go potty:

"Don't touch the computer, Beta! Don't! D-O-T!!!!"

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Expanded Version

As promised, (sorta), here is the expanded version of our weekend.

It started early. Thursday evening, to be exact. It was my birthday! Yay! Well, kinda. Once you pass 21, it just doesn't mean as much. Here are some pics from my "party":

Do you see Alpha trying to blow out my birthday candles?? I think Beta was headed for one as well. We had 3 on my cake. No specific reason.....







Next, Saturday afternoon was Alpha's first gymnastics meet! It was a "fun meet" which meant everyone got a T-shirt and a trophy. There was no competition. Here she is smiling beforehand. She said she wasn't nervous, but she was very quiet.






Now if this won't terrify a mother, nothing will. Here stands your baby, alone, in front of everyone!








Here she is finishing her routine with a backbend. She can do these really well now.

(The red bars are the railing. We were upstairs and I zoomed in with my camera.)








Ta da! These are the regular gym participants. They all got to stand on the podium and raise their arms and say "ta da!"







Alpha said she really enjoyed it. She looked terrified during it, but loved it afterwards. We got to see 3 upper level gymnasts do floor routines after the regular girls. They were very good.

To finish out the day, we went to see "The Nutcracker" performed by the Classical Ballet Academy in Rogers. It was VERY good! Both girls actually sat on the edge of their seats and watched the entire 2 hour performance! I explained the story beforehand since there was no talking. Alpha loved reading the program with me. Beta was tired and sick, but even her attention was held the entire time! Only towards the last 15 or 20 minutes did she start sucking her thumb and climb into her daddy's lap.

All in all it was an absolutely wonderful family day! Both girls now want to be professional ballerinas when they grow up. We told Alpha that meant she'd need to switch from gymnastics back to ballet. She wasn't so sure about that. We'll figure that out later.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have a video of the routine up. Or a picture of our Christmas tree! (IF we ever find time to decorate it.)

Have a good week, everyone!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Coming soon....

Hello, everyone! There will be a new post here soon. Probably tomorrow night. We have had a busy last 3 days and we've got another busy one tomorrow.

In short, here's what we've done:

Thursday: Wendy's birthday
Friday: The Great Christmas Tree Hunt of '07
Saturday: Alpha's gymnastics meet in the afternoon, then we all attended "The Nutcracker" ballet this evening.
Sunday: Church, then finding a tree (hopefully), decorating it, and Community group. Oh, and clean the house.

Oh, and Beta's got ear infections in both ears.

I've got lots of stories and pictures. I just don't have time to post. Maybe I'll have time tomorrow night.

Good night, all!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The red rabbit ran over the round earth.

One year ago, Alpha could not say this sentence. When she spoke, it came out "De wed wabbit wan ovew de wound oowwf." Or something to that effect. She could not pronounce her /th/ or /r/ sound.

But now she can!!!!

I had a conference with her speech teacher today. She's been dismissed from speech! She has met all of her goals (mainly /th/ and /r/ sounds). I signed papers saying that she has no speech delay, no "disability", and that she should be returned to the main classroom full time. I wondered how she'd feel about stopping speech. Her speech teacher said that when she mentioned it to her yesterday, she said, "YAY!!!!!" Of course, she jokingly told her she was supposed to be sad.

The main thing her speech therapist told us was that, in her 25 years of working with kids, NO ONE has EVER gotten an /r/ sound this quickly. We started speech in March of this year, and then didn't do anything over the summer. So she had speech class for March, April, May, September, October, and November. She has actually been saying the /r/ sound since mid October and could have been dismissed earlier.

So next time any of you see her, ask her to say an a /r/ word! It's so exciting listening to her!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goodbye, Mugglenet

I am taking off my link to Mugglenet. I have not listened to the last 3 of their podcasts.

Because they insulted Christians.

Once the whole "Dumbledore is gay" story broke, there was tons of discussion. In one of the discussions, they brought up all the laws from Leviticus. Seeing as how most of us don't follow those dietary and lifestyle restrictions any more, this one mugglecaster in particular said that we shouldn't follow the law against being gay. But she didn't stop there. She kept going and ended up saying that Christians were "stupid and immature" for believing in all that stuff. She said the Bible is a rich historical text that was relevant in its own time but is not relevant any more.

The next podcast, all they did was apologize profusely for those statements. The mugglecaster tried to say she meant only "radical Christians" and not mainstream Christians. But really, the apology sounded more like "I'm sorry because I offended our listeners" and not "I didn't really mean that." She is obviously not a Christian herself or she would not talk that way.

Then, today, I went to Mugglenet for the first time in about a week. Their poll was asking which book series you would read before seeing the movie. Narnia 2 was on there but so was The Golden Compass. For those of you who don't know, The Golden Compass is a new "kids" movie coming out based on a book by a self-described atheist who wants to banish God from kids' minds. They also have an ad for The Golden Compass on their website.

I would like to point out that this has nothing to do with the Harry Potter series. I do not think it is a sin to read those books. To me, they are a-religious, not anti-religious. You can find religious symbolism in them, if you look hard enough and stretch a few things, but all in all they are not for or against religion. They are totally secular in nature.

Therefore, so long Mugglenet! It was fun while it lasted.

I'll pray for you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Short and sweet

It's late. I had tons of stuff to do when we got home this weekend. So here are some random pictures from Thanksgiving weekend. I've got some cute videos but I have no time to process and post them tonight. Maybe later this week.

Jim and Collin testing out their mom's digital camera.








Jim and his dad.








The Kane Clan!








Gramma/Mema fixing "supper" for her 4 grandkids.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gettin' religion

So we were outside tonight. Watering plants. Isn't it weird to water plants in November?

Beta was helping me. Along the way, she started singing this song from the "Psalty: Songs for li'l praisers" video that she and Alpha have taken a liking to. The words, which most of you know, are "Sing Hosanna to the King of Kings!"

Let's watch.


video

Isn't she cute? Sorry. I just had to brag a bit. My favorite part is the end where she sees me and says, "What're you watchin'?"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Resistance is futile...

Today, my cousin Jennifer and I took the girls shopping at Candy Cane Lane. It's a holiday shopping show put on by the Junior Auxiliary of Rogers/Bentonville. It was a lot like Holiday House in Little Rock, which I love love love! but don't get to go to now that we moved.

They had the usual vendors of girly stuff there. Plenty of food for the holidays. Expensive baby and children's items.

And Webkinz.

Have you heard of webkinz? I had heard the name, but didn't know much about them. As we were walking around, both girls were less thrilled than I thought they'd be. I'm not sure they're into shopping yet. Unless it's toys. (Alpha even said at one point, "can we just keep walking around, FASTER, and quit stopping to look at everything???" She's not going to be my shopping buddy, I guess.)

But I digress.

The girls found a booth selling these stuffed animals called Webkinz. They each come with a "secret code" inside their tag. You go online, register and enter the code, and then you can play with your "pet" in a virtual world.

Oh joy.

We ended up having some difficulty with it, though. Once home, we tried Alpha's first while Beta was napping. Well, Alpha's pet, the chihuahua, is December's "pet of the month". So, it popped up a warning message during registration that said if we adopted the pet now, she wouldn't receive the "goody bag" in her online room. But, it had an option to go ahead and adopt. She said she wanted to do that so I hit "yes" for "continue with adoption".

It didn't work.

The message came up AGAIN! I hit yes, AGAIN! The only thing I could do was hit "no" and then it canceled everything we'd put in so far.

Jim said they probably made it where you can't register that pet until December b/c they had too many irate mothers calling and complaining about purchasing a pet one day before a promotion like that.

Anyway, Alpha was upset at first, but now she seems ok with waiting until December. She asked me tonight how many days it was until December.

Ugh.

I believe it's 13 days until December. Until I get paid again. Until I purchase my one-way plane ticket BACK TO JAMAICA!

There are some days/nights when colic seems preferable to this. Especially when they both start fighting. But that's another post.

In the meantime, I'll be playing with my very own Webkinz! Yes, it was Buy 2 Get 1 FREE! Why couldn't it have been Buy 1 Get 1 Free??? I have no idea what to do with this 3rd stuffed animal. I thought about donating it to Toys for Tots or something similar, but then I realized that kids whose families can't afford toys probably don't have high speed internet either.

Oh, well. I'll think of that tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

TGIF!

Ah. Friday. I've always like Friday. Who hasn't? I was born on a Friday. The work week has ended. Saturday and Sunday are USUALLY open for doing pretty much anything. You can sleep in. At least a little bit.

My Friday went pretty well. Work was productive. I learned how to do a 990 Tax-exempt organization return. It's what charities have to file so they don't have to pay taxes. I swear. The IRS can smell money from 1000 miles away! If you're collecting any, they're gonna find out about it, and you'd better report it.

Speaking of, I got my first paycheck today for my new job! whooo! Go me!

Alpha had an ok Friday. Her class went on a field trip to see a play at the high school. She said it was ok. Her teacher was out at a meeting so they had a sub. I don't envy that sub one bit!

Beta did not have a good Friday. She was cranky when she woke up from her nap. She threw a big fit at snack time. This is totally unlike her at preschool. She does it at home quite frequently. I was sorry they had to endure it. I worry about my working. I'm afraid she'll grow to resent it b/c it means she has to go to preschool every day. However, 99% of the time she LOVES preschool! I'm also worried that she'll get burned out on learning things and not care to do so when she hits kindergarten. These are really my only worries. I'm not worried about her development at all. She fits in socially and is learning a lot. Also, her preschool doesn't push the learning. They do learn, and she's expected to sit there and listen, but it's not like report cards and conferences and strict teachers. Like I said, 99% of the time she LOVES the place!

Jim had a good Friday. We went out to eat at TGI Friday's tonight. (How appropriate!) (ok.....we had a coupon.) Jim got the cajun shrimp and chicken pasta. I got the cedar-seared salmon pasta. YUM!!! It was one of the best meals out we've had in a long time. Alpha got spaghetti with carrots and ranch dressing on the side. Beta got macaroni and cheese with french fries on the side. AND, they both chose chocolate milk to drink! Of their own accord! That was a nice change.

So now it's time to hit the bed and not get up right away. Here's to the weekend! Cheers!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jealousy

Ok, Robin. You got me. I am SO jealous of you! So jealous, in fact, that I took Jim's idea and purchased a bunch of Christmas gifts at one time. We are now, however, halfway done.

I've basically finished our extended family. Now I have to work on our immediate family.
And I'm not talking about Jim, me, or the girls.

So if I'm not blogging, rest assured I am SHOPPING FOR YOUR PRESENTS! (and Matt's and Mom's and Barbara's and Jim's.......)

Job update: Going great! The office is really relaxed. I mean, REALLY. I've started learning how to do a corporate return. So far it's not hard. It's just different. I can't wait until I know all this stuff already. That'll be a fun day!

Illness update: Beta was sick some last week. Now Alpha is sick. She's got a low-grade fever and her stomach hurts. She stayed home today, but was feeling much better tonight. We'll see how she is in the morning. It's tough when I'm working. I want to stay home but we get more money if I work and Jim stays home. (he has paid vacation/sick leave and I don't)

TV update: Tonight, all 4 of us watched Atlantis Squarepantis! The newest Spongebob Squarepants movie. It was perhaps more hilarious for us parents than for the kids. Both girls enjoyed it, though.

So now, more shopping! I love the internet. You can shop at night, in your pajamas, and they deliver to your door! This is heaven! Now if only I had more money.......

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I made it!

Well, I made it. My first day on the new job is over. Whew! I hate first days. I got there about 7:55, and the door was locked. Deadbolted. I wasn't sure what to do, but I knocked really loud and someone heard me. They asked if I was "the new girl". Thankfully my boss was already there and he came out fairly quickly.

I didn't do much work today. Most anybody who could train me was busy or out of the office. Speaking of office, I have a VERY nice one. It's large and even has a window! I never would have gotten that in downtown Little Rock! Maybe in a few weeks I'll take some pictures and post them here.

That's about all. I could say more, but not on the blog. Just to allay any fears, however, the day did go really well and I am really pleased so far. I just hope I know more accounting than I realize!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm nervous.

Tomorrow is my first day at my NEW job! I have been looking, hoping, and praying for 3 months now that a great job would come along. I think it has, though I won't know for sure right off.

But I'm now as nervous as all getout! I've told Jim probably 50 times so I figured I had to tell someone else. I think the internet is enough people. Or at least the 5 of you who read this blog...

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Oops, Halloween!


I'm sure none of you cared about my new job or my new landscaping. You kept saying to yourself, "OK, Wendy, get to the pics of the kids in Halloween costumes!" Well, ask no more! For my last post of daylight-saving time, here are the girls in Halloween garb!

Oh, yea. Our pumpkin was a witch with one tooth!




Beta dressed up as Tigger. She decided this on October 30, and I found out about it at 3:30 pm. Thankfully, I had saved a pair of black velour pants and an orange sweatshirt. Thanks to some electrical tape...Voila, Tigger!

I cut out orange and yellow construction paper for ears and pinned them on a headband.





The tail is a black knee-high stuffed with a pair of my black socks. It's attached to a stretchy headband that fits around her waist.








This is the girl that started it all! This little girl said she was coming as Winnie the Pooh. So Beta said she was going to be Tigger. They both had a great time that day!








Halloween night, Beta switched to Belle. Alpha kept Cinderella and got to wear a very nice cape that was loaned to us from a fellow PTO mom.

They were both very excited and acting silly with their costumes and glow sticks.

House Beautiful

Another "finally"! After moving into this house nearly 14 months ago, we have finally finished the landscaping in the front yard. I've been wanting a nice looking yard from day 1! Well, ok, maybe day 7. I did give us somewhat of a grace period. Anyway, this past month I came into a small bit of money, so I decided to go for it! We went a little bit over, but I figured landscaping adds value to our home so we can increase our basis in it for tax purposes when/if we sell it. (I'm practicing for my new job on Wednesday. See previous post!)

Pictures will show the details way better than I could ever say them so here they are:


As you can see, I am having to learn the art of shade gardening. The front of our house faces north. I did not know that north is the side that gets NO sun. I think the bed in front of the office (room on the left) will get some early morning sun in the summer. Not so, in the fall or winter.




I bought 3 azaleas. I've lived with azaleas my whole life. I love them when they bloom. But quite frankly, I was tired of them. So why did I purchase 3? Well, in browsing shade perennials, I quickly noticed, there ain't many. The girls loved these flowers so I decided they were worth trying. My only concern is that azaleas don't like "wet feet", i.e. soil that stays wet, and we have TONS of clay. In fact, we have ONLY clay. We dug up a lot and substituted Miracle Gro garden soil along with purchased top soil. (We have so much clay, I need to go take a pottery class.)

I also purchased 3 ferns. They are listed as FULL SHADE which is exactly what this place gets. The sod I dug up wasn't even growing there. I hope these live. This particular type is called a Tassle Fern b/c the new growth is supposed to look like tassles.

The plant by the door is an arborvitae. Hetz midget. I love the look of these plants. They are dwarf plants that only get maybe 3 feet tall. Emerald arborvitaes can reach 6 to 8 feet!


Here is the area we completed this summer. This spot was meant to be a garden. It is huge! We put the path in so we wouldn't have to garden the entire thing. Plus, it's just different. The front part with the small chrysanthemums does get some sun. I planted petunias there this summer and they thrived!




So there's my new garden! I love it! I can't wait until my daffodils bloom in the spring. They are planted outlining the right side of the sidewalk and then the bed on the left.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I got a job!!! YES! Finally! It's with a local CPA firm. I only have to drive about 15 minutes from Alpha's school and our house.

I start on Wednesday. It's part time until tax season. Then, it's "supersized" full time! But hopefully only from February through April 15. Then it's back to part time. The job is permanent!

This is DEFINITELY an answered prayer. Now, please pray that I know what I'm doing and don't make a fool out of myself.

I am excited and nervous, all at the same time!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MY first tooth!

I did it! I pulled my first loose tooth tonight! You'll remember that when Alpha discovered she had a loose tooth, we actually discovered she had TWO loose teeth. The first one fell out at school.

This second one was not budging. The back had let go, but not the front. It's been that way for weeks and hasn't gotten any looser. I've been suggesting she pull it for some time now. She tried to do it herself, but she wasn't willing to pull it to where it hurt.

Tonight we decorated Halloween cupcakes. After fighting over sprinkles and making a big mess, alpha says she doesn't want to eat any of them b/c she really doesn't like that icing OR the sprinkles! I jokingly tell her that if she doesn't eat one of those cupcakes, I'll pull her tooth! Having a bit of her mother in her, she says, "OK! I don't want to eat one!" and turns and smiles at me. I asked if she really wanted her tooth pulled and she says yes.

Ok.

Can this be that hard?

Being the modern parent, I google for "how to pull a tooth" and get everything from the old string tied to the doorknob to "NO! Only a DENTIST can pull a tooth!"

*sigh*

So we both get in the bathroom. I start wiggling it myself. I ended up twisting it and it moved! It also started bleeding a little. Finally, I got it out!

Unlike the first tooth, however, this one hurt. She cried a bit and had this sad expression of sudden distrust on her face. I felt so bad! I knew the tooth needed to come out, but I still didn't want it to hurt. I gave her lots of hugs and told her I used to scream and fight when my parents tried to get my teeth out. (really......ask my mother)

She really didn't cry for long, and then ran in to show daddy her latest pulled tooth. She's now very excited that the tooth fairy is coming to visit again. The tooth fairy may have to pay up a little more this time b/c of inflation, and because this one hurt. (and because maybe that was the tooth fairy's fault..ssshhhh!)

2 down, 18 to go!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Festival #1

Well, this afternoon we got to actually ATTEND a Fall Festival rather than working one. It was fun! There were games, a jumpy thing (i.e. inflatable), sno cones, popcorn, hotdogs, and of course, CANDY!

Here are some pictures:


Seeing Double!
Yes, Alpha and Beta BOTH decided to dress up as Cinderella this year. Thankfully we own plenty of Cinderella dress up stuff so we didn't need to purchase anything.

And we couldn't find Beta's pumpkin ANYWHERE! So, she used her pink plastic Easter bunny basket.


Go Alpha Go! Alpha loves climbing walls and does a great job with them.

Even in a dress....









Here they are at the end eating hotdogs and popcorn. They both seemed to have lots of fun. I think they like the dressing up as much as anything. Unless you count candy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Here are some Halloween jokes I received by email. I have no one to attribute them to. They probably came from some Laffy Taffy wrappers. Enjoy!

Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?

Because demons are a ghouls best friend!


What did the skeleton say to the vampire?

You suck.


Why did the ghost go into the bar?

For the Boos.



Why did the game warden arrest the ghost?

He didn't have a haunting license.


What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman?

Frostbite...


How do witches keep their hair in place while flying?

With scare spray...


What is a vampires least favorite food?

Steak.


What do they teach in witching school?

Spelling.


How did the ghost say goodbye to the vampire?

So long sucker!


Why don't skeletons ever go trick or treating?

Because they don't have any body to go out with...


What do you call someone who puts poison in a person's corn flakes?

A cereal killer...


What does the papa ghost say to his family when driving?

Fasten your sheet belts...


Why was there no food left after the monster's party?

Because everybody was a-goblin!


Why was the little ghost crying?

Because he had a BOO-BOO!


What's a Vampire's favorite fruit?

NECKtarine!


What do you call a ghost with a broken leg?

A Hoblin Goblin!


Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?

He didn't have the guts!


Why does a Mummy make a bad birthday gift?

Because he is too hard to unwrap!


What do goblins and ghosts drink when they're hot and thirsty on Halloween?

Ghoul-aid!!!


What is a Mummy's favorite type of music?

Wrap!!!!!


What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?

He is mist.


What are a ghost's favorite kind of streets?

Dead ends.


What happens when two vampires meet?

It is love at first bite!


What do you call a little monsters parents?

Mummy and Deady.


What do you get when you cross a black cat with a lemon?

Sour-puss.


What's it like to be kissed by a vampire?

It's a pain in the neck.


What did Dracula say after reading all these jokes?

They suck!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm not ready for this.

Hi, all. Well, we are on the cusp of a new era in our household. We are starting to see signs of school-age children rather than preschoolers. Alpha is coming home with new phrases on her lips. Two that she says frequently are "Drake & Josh" and "Hannah Montana".

Oh, boy.

Anyway, tonight we were watching Spongbob Squarepants. Then, Drake & Josh came on. OMG! Drake and Josh! *SCREAM!*

The girls had seen an episode of Drake & Josh when my cousin Jennifer babysat them a few weeks ago. Jennifer works in toy marketing for a LARGE retailer and assured me that Drake & Josh were ok.

Well, apparently, she hasn't seen this one episode. Tonight, Drake & Josh were entering a home makeover contest for their parent's 5th wedding anniversary. (Drake & Josh are stepbrothers.) They won the contest and were notified at the movie theater where Josh works. As they are celebrating, Drake runs over to the food court, grabs a girl, and kisses her hard on the mouth. He stops and says, "I just won a contest!" The girl then smiles and starts kissing him again.

Josh, not to be outdone, grabs a rather attractive female who is walking through the lobby. After he gives "her" a long kiss, this deep voice says, "hey, thanks man!" It was a transvestite!!!!!!!

WTF? OMG! I'm like what r u thinkin? (sorry, I went and read some chat forums on nick.com)

It shocked and disappointed me. The show was very good up until that point. The guys are truly funny and silly. There was no bad language (shocker!) The situation wasn't too "adult". But then they have to go and throw something like THAT in!!!!!

Luckily, I just sat there silently and the girls didn't understand it. But still, I don't want to have to explain transvestites to my 6 and 3 year olds! I wasn't really comfortable with them seeing Drake kiss the "real" girl, but that didn't bother me as much. I mean, they're going to see people kiss on TV from time to time. They even see me and Jim kiss some. Some of that is healthy and normal.

Now, to be fair, the show is rated Youth 7. Which means it's appropriate for 7 year olds and up. But heck, I don't even want any 11 year olds exposed to transvestites! That's a teenage subject as far as I'm concerned.

I went to nickelodeon.com to try and write a complaint, but I cannot find a single place to do it. They have nothing on there "for parents" or as feedback or even to submit a question. Well, one place allows you to submit a question, but it's more for the kids. (I read some of the Q&As)

In the meantime, I'm hoping I can just keep the TV off at that time of day. If it comes on at 5:00, I can say we have to watch the news and avoid the show. I'll probably treat them like I do the Bratz dolls. If I went in there and announced, "Henceforth, there will be no more Drake & Josh", I would have mutiny on my hands. So, I'll just casually "forget" that the show comes on. At all. Maybe we'll try again in a year or so. I might watch a few more episodes to see if they are any better. I did look for some reviews on the web by parents. I found a few at Amazon.com and some at Common Sense Media. All the reviews were positive. I wonder where this episode came from?

Ugh. Give me a temper tantrum any day!

Ready for the Holidays!

Hi, all! My blog is ready for the holidays! It's decorated for Fall/Halloween right now. I'll change it to Thanksgiving and then Christmas in due time. Hope you all like it!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Alpha on 2 wheels!

Whew! We have had a BUSY weekend! I am glad it is over. I was going to post another cool video with music added, but iMovie HD is giving me fits and won't work the way it should. Or at least the way I think it should.

Here's a rundown of what we did:

Friday night: Against our better judgement and any sound financial plan, we took the girls to Shogun's. It's a teppanyaki restaurant. You know, the kind where they cook the food in front of you and make flames jump all over everything. Well, the girls LOVED it! I thought Alpha might enjoy it but I wasn't sure about Beta. Both pairs of eyes were the size of dinner plates when that fire shot up in front of them. The funniest part was after the chef tried throwing bits of rice onto our plates. (Turns out you were supposed to try and catch them in your mouth, but none of us knew that.) Alpha leans over to her daddy and says, "I'm going to trick him with some lettuce!" She was getting ready to throw lettuce back at him! That would have been horrifying to have her lettuce end up in everyone else's fried rice!

Saturday: Too much stuff to list. The best part of Saturday was when Alpha got on the motorcycle with Jim and rode behind him! Here are some pics:

FAQ: WHAT????? ARE YOU INSANE??? SHE'S ONLY 6!!!!!
Yes, but she has legs long enough to reach the pegs and we even got her a helmet! Plus we made her wear long pants and tennis shoes.









FAQ: Did she fall off?
Nope.








FAQ: Did she like it?
She LOVED it! We had other stuff to do, but she was ready for daddy to take her out again. She even asked if this morning, before breakfast, he could take her for another ride. I think she's hooked!




We also got some landscaping done to our front flower bed. Finally! We've been here a year. It's about time. I may have some pictures of that later this week. It's not finished yet.

Anyway, that is the quick version of our weekend. I wish I could get that video to work. Maybe tomorrow.

Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend, too!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Redecorating

Do you like the new look? Inspired by my sister-in-law's blog, I thought I'd change some things around. I was tired of everything pink, but this template was so cute! It looks kind of girly with the "lace" at the top. I like the white background. It's easier to read and easier on the eyes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Putting mom in her place...

Ah. Parenthood. I once read in a magazine that Parenthood is "The Great Equalizer". No matter your education, work training, qualifications, etc, your kids will bring you back down to earth.

Enter Alpha! A very intelligent 6 year old. Has a big heart. Loves to play outside. Has never met a stranger.

And thinks her mom couldn't possibly understand math.

Her class is learning to call numbers either odd or even. This week she had to circle all the even numbers and put triangles around all the odd numbers. And color them different colors.

She messed it up. In fact, didn't even come close! She also had to list some even numbers so she wrote 1, 2, 4, 9. Her odd numbers were like 1, 2, 3, 6.

I tried, albeit poorly, to explain what the even numbers were. She would NOT believe me! She kept insisting that her teacher knew what they were and that he would say the same thing she would say. I kept telling her the paper was going to be wrong. Finally, she said, "Well, I'm leaving it this way. We'll JUST SEE who's right!"

WHAT?????? 4 years of a rigorous Hendrix math education to be told that I couldn't possibly understand this concept? Well, I never.......

The next day she did come home explaining that SHE had confused the patterns of numbers at school. She also recited the even numbers for 2-10.

Keeping mommy on track....
The other day, I was going to exercise in the morning. I had my exercise clothes on, breakfast had been eaten and the dishes cleared away. I was fully ready. And on my computer. As I was sitting there, Beta says, "aren't you going to exercise?"I answer yes. A few moments pass. She says, "I'll put your tape in!" I slowly get up. I think to myself, hey, this is a good motivator.

Tonight after supper, I took a walk. I took Beta with me b/c she was the only one who agreed to WALK with me and not ride any toys. I told her we had to walk fast. So what does she do? She takes off running! So I took off after her. We ran almost all the way to the corner. When she stopped, I slowed down and then passed her! She hates that so she started back up again. We then walked and ran back to the other corner on our street. It wasn't very long, and it was getting dark, but it was a great aerobic sprint workout! So now I've got my motivational buddy. I just mention exercising and Beta will put me to it!

I love my girls!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fair Video!

Here is the video I promised you. I took out the original audio and put a song behind it. I can go work at a TV station now! I'm a video editor!


video

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Fair!

Popcorn! Peanuts! Fried Coke!

Fried Coke?

Yes. Fried coke was the newest "fried" offering at the Arkansas State Fair this year. We didn't try it. I tried a fried snickers a couple of years ago, and it was ok. Not great, though. Definitely better things that should be fried than candy bars.

This past Saturday, Jim and I took our girls and Grandmother to the Arkansas State Fair. We all had so much fun! We got to ride rides, eat gyros, corn dogs, and ice cream, and see lots of interesting crafts and exhibits. The girls got some instruction in how to handle the "games" and "carnies".

Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I will shut up for now and just show you some of our fun!
Grandmother and Beta on the elephant ride! Alpha is in the background.








Smiling Beta on the merry go round!








Smiling (and waving!) Alpha on the merry go round!








A kiddie dragon roller coaster. This was the girls' favorite ride! Beta got off and said it was fun and scary!








A cool hot-air balloon ride. They worked together to spin the basket.







I'm working on a video from the fair. I'll try to have it posted in the next day or two.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This and That

Hi, all! Sorry I haven't posted more this week. I've actually been fairly busy. Here are some odds and ends for you:

Alpha got $1 from the tooth fairy. She seemed happy with it. She has that second loose tooth which is getting VERY loose. It'll be gone in another week or so.

Beta saw a doll at the store the other day that cries unless it has a pacifier in its mouth. She wants that baby for Christmas SO BAD! That night, when we were saying prayers, she asked if she could pray to SANTA to bring her that doll. AAAAHHHHHH!!!! What do I say??? I told her no, she can't pray to Santa. She asked why and I said b/c Santa is not real like God is real. I hope she doesn't ask any more questions.

Beta missed her dance class last week b/c her throat was sore. She went to a make-up class today for it. She asked her daddy this morning if this meant she got to wear make-up to dance!

Alpha got her school book-order in. She bought a "secret diary". She is very excited about it. Unfortunately, the lock broke on it the very afternoon she got it! I think she may have turned it the wrong way. But still, one of my pet peeves is when they sell this stuff to kids that's cheap and it breaks and you're left trying to explain why their beloved item no longer works. She still loves the diary part. Oh, and don't worry too much about the "secret" part. She's told me and shown me every single thing she's written in it. She just wanted the lock on it so Beta couldn't get in and read it!

Well, that's it for now. I hope to have a great blog post about this weekend. But for now I must get to bed or I will have a crabby weekend.

Good night!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!


It finally happened! Alpha lost her first tooth today!

This morning during breakfast, she bit down and knocked it WAY loose. It was probably hanging on by one corner. She wouldn't pull it, though, so we sent her on to school.



This afternoon when I picked her up, she RAN to the car and started screaming, "I lost my tooth!" She was SO excited. She said it came out this morning when she wiggled it with her tongue. Her teacher gave her a bag to put it in. She said it didn't hurt and it didn't bleed.

So now it's in the tooth pillow waiting on bedtime and the tooth fairy.


I don't know who's more excited -- Alpha or Beta. Alpha also said she hoped the tooth fairy brought her $100. I told her when I was little, she brought $1.


We'll just have to wait until morning to see how much she brings!

This is the same tooth pillow that me and my brother used. My mom made it for us. Isn't it cute?!

P.S. Alpha has been saying she wants to be the tooth fairy for Halloween!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Vroom! Vroom!

Well, our bike weekend is over! I can feel the testosterone dissipating in the air.

Jim's parents came up and we all went to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ on Saturday. I think the girls enjoyed it. We had trouble finding a parking place. Most were taken up with bikes! Imagine that! We walked around some exhibits and then ate lunch. Barbecue, of course. Well, the girls had corn dogs.

One of the most memorable comments came from Alpha. We had been walking about 10 minutes when she said, "I think there are more boys here than girls."

Here are some pictures.


Here are Jim and his dad relaxing in our new home theater chairs! I might do a post on those sometime this week.








Here are Gramma and the girls having lunch. Gramma had barbecue and the girls had corn dogs.







Aha! There ARE things for girls at this event. Like pink motorcycles.








This is what the parking lot looked like. TONS of BIKES EVERYWHERE! Truthfully, this picture does not do it justice. Imagine this pic in a 360 degree montage. THAT would be more like it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bikes, Blues, and Booboos

Ok people. This isn't funny any more.

This weekend is the much-anticipated Bikes, Blues, and BBQ festival. Bikers from around the country (?) are all coming to Northwest Arkansas to participate. The editorial in the NWA Times this morning encouraged motorists to watch out for bikers. Nobody wants to spend a beautiful weekend in the hospital, it said.

So, there I find myself driving down the road today. I'm doing exactly what the editorial said. I'm NOTICING bikers! There are sport bikes and cruisers. That's about the only difference I can tell. Lots of chrome and leather. Definitely a man's thing.

WHEN SUDDENLY................!!!!!

Haha! Fooled you! Nope. I didn't hit anybody. Didn't even come close. But I did realize that I'm watching these BIKES and not the ROAD! If anyone's gonna get hurt, it's me!

I resolved to try to put off my staring until I can actually be on Dickson street -- walking. I think that's safer for everyone.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Go Team!

Tonight for dessert, we had ice cream. We bought some yesterday since my throat was sore. Jim took the girls and we each got our own kind. Alpha got strawberry, Beta got chocolate, I got vanilla, and Jim got Yarnell's "Whoo Pig Chewy". His had brownie bites in it and a Razorback logo on the carton.

Therefore, it was quite humorous when Beta asked if she could have some of Jim's ice cream. She called it:

Whoo Chig Pooey!

Later, she called it Whoo Pig Pooey, but we told her it wasn't funny any more.

Round 9

For those keeping score:
Jim 2 Wendy 3 Alpha 3 Beta 2

These would be the number of illnesses we have had in the past month. I am sick now for the 3rd time. I thought I had strep because I have a low-grade fever and yucky white stuff on my throat. But 2 strep tests at the doctor's today came back negative. A test for mono was negative. (thank goodness!) He finally prescribed me a Z-pack. He said 80% of sore throats are caused by viruses. The other 20% are by bacteria. Of those 20%, 80-90% of THOSE are caused by strep. So, I have some uncommon bacteria floating around in the back of my throat. YUCK!

I hope I can get better in a couple of days. My throat hurts! I also hope I didn't give it to anybody else. Alpha just got done taking antibiotics for an ear infection with a white gunky throat. I probably got this from her. I hope neither of us gives it to Beta. She's hardly been sick at all so I think her number's about up!

When I'm well, I'm thinking of buying some Vitamin C tablets. I don't think it would hurt anything. We might also fork over some money for the flu vaccine this year.

Friday, September 28, 2007

You gotta see this!

Hi, all! Manic Mommies, the only mom podcast I listen to, has posted a hilarious YouTube video on their blog. Even if you're not a mom, you can appreciate it.

Here is the link:

http://manicmommies.com/2007/09/william_tell_overture_for_moms.html

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Free"?

Rant of the month:

I got a new cell phone a few weeks ago. Since we had been with Cingular a LONG time, I was able to go online and pick out a phone at a reduced rate. Well, I chose a "free" one.

But of course, it wasn't really "free".

It was $30 with a $30 mail-in-rebate. I hate those things. However, that was the best deal available so I did it.

Got the phone, it worked. Sent the rebate form in the very next day!

Earlier this week, I get a "free" text message sent to my phone. It says they have received my rebate paper work (3 weeks late??) and that my rebate will be happily mailed to me in 10-12 weeks.

10 to 12 WEEKS?????????

How can you even begin to call that "FREE"???? If you lose the use of your $30 for 4 months, is it really free???? Will they send me interest? You know THEY are getting interest on their cash balance during that time.

Ugh. I really hate it when companies use misleading tactics to sell stuff.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cheers!

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo - Cheers Lyrics

This is how I'm feeling tonight. I won't go into detail. Nobody likes to read that stuff. I just feel lost lately. I'm still looking for work, so that's the main part of my worries. However, the other groups I've joined just haven't felt right lately. I guess I'm just looking for some friends up here who know me, my sense of humor, and whom I don't have to worry about offending with some stupid remark that slips out.

I'm sorry. I said I wasn't going to go into detail.

Anyway, enjoy getting this song stuck in your head! Too bad I can't add an MP3 file in here like I can a video. Well, maybe I can, but it's too late to figure out right now. Plus, I don't own the song so I'd probably have to purchase it on itunes. Which costs money which a non-working girl doesn't have.

Cheers!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Update

Alpha is better! Well, almost. Her temp this morning was 98.6. You can't get much more normal than that. However, when we got home from church, it had crept back up to 99.7. Oh well. That was with no medicine since Saturday night so at least she's getting better.

Beta's temp was 99.2. I hope that's not a bad sign. Everyone at choir today was asking me where I'd been. I explained that each and every one of us had been sick two times over. They all inched away from me after that....

At least the house is clean. I got in a cleaning mood and got all the clutter up yesterday. I vacuumed today after lunch before any toys had the chance to escape their appointed holding places. Ah, carpet! How I love to look at the floor and see CARPET!

Hope everyone else is avoiding illness. It's not any fun!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Almost there.....

Illness update: Alpha has strep throat. Her fever has been hovering around 103 degrees since Thursday morning. I have been having to double up on the fever-reducers, i.e. tylenol and ibuprofen, to get her temp down. It hangs out around 100 after the medicine kicks in. I was going to ask a nurse today if I needed to bring her in, but I didn't realize until too late that the doctor's office closes at noon on Saturdays.

Luckily, though, this evening it was actually 98.9. I think she was still on medicine, but that's the lowest it's been since she came home sick. We're hoping it stays down so we can all go to church tomorrow.

Interesting happening:
We had a visitor tonight. The girls were all done with baths and we were getting them ready for bed. I was walking past our front door and heard a sound. It was almost like singing. I listened more closely and heard....meowing. Yes. That's right. A CAT!

I looked outside and there, right on our front porch, was a skinny cat. It was meowing like it had the starring spot on American Idol. I called the girls. They were ecstatic! A kitten! (it was NOT a kitten) It must be lost from its mommy! Maybe it just got the wrong house. What are we gonna do?

Well, the ending is anti-climactic. I called Jim, who had not heard the noise at all seeing as how he was a whole 15 feet away....He ushered the girls onto their nightly routine and said he'd take care of it. Knowing the dislike he has for cats, I urged him to be nice. Turns out as soon as he walked outside, the cat ran away. That was an hour ago and we haven't heard any more crooning.

So hopefully he was just stopping by to say hello and he won't come back. Neither of us wants a cat, or any pet at this time, for that matter. But, when you see a skinny animal, it's hard not to want to help. But we didn't break the rule: Don't feed the strays!

One last thing:
This past Thursday, we celebrated a birthday! Jim is now ##. Here are the girls singing to him while he blows out the candles and makes a wish.


video

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Keep it comin'!

Ok. So if you're keeping track of the illnesses around here, let's see how our current situation is stacking up.

Beta - 3 weeks ago had an eye infection and ear infections in both ears. Doing ok for now. (knock on wood)

Alpha - 3 weeks ago had an ear infection. This past Saturday had a stomach virus. Today came home from school with a 101.6 degree fever.

Jim - got sick over labor day weekend. Within 4 days or so was feeling better. Started feeling bad again last Saturday. Went to the doctor today and was diagnosed with bronchitis. Now he's on Levaquin, i.e. "the good stuff".

Me - Sick over labor Day weekend. Lost my voice. Took about 7 days to feel better. Was well for the next 5 days and then last week got a major cold. Had a job interview during said cold. Felt better by Sunday. Doing ok for now, but I seem to have some abdominal cramping going on. I honestly don't know why.

They say bad things come in 3's. Well, for us they seem to come in 8's because each one of us has had 2 medical issues in the past month!

So, to forget all of our sickness for a bit, here's a picture of a wreath I made for our front door. I made the bow myself, and I'm very proud of it! I let the girls place the flowers on. The flowers may not be as equally spaced as I would like, but I'm glad they got to feel like they were a part of making it. They call it "our" wreath!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Be healed!

Well, that's what I wish was happening here. We have ALL been sick in one way or another. Three weeks ago, both girls had ear infections and Beta had an eye infection. Those are over, but then I got sick over Labor Day weekend. Jim got sick about a day behind me. I thought I was well, but 4 days after I started feeling better, I got a terrible cold! Jim had a nagging cough which finally went away, but then last night he started feeling bad again, too! Oh, and to top it ALL off, Alpha had a 24 hour stomach bug! YUCK!!!!

I played piano for a healing service at church tonight. When it was done, I went and asked the preacher for prayers for the health of my family. Hopefully God will heal us and not let anybody else get the stomach bug. I'd much rather have a cold. The only thing good about stomach bugs is that they are usually done within 24 hours.

Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print for right now. I am going to try out a new feature on blogger. I can upload videos now!

This video was taken on Labor Day weekend at Grandmother's house. Jim and Uncle Matt are playing Trogdor on Guitar Hero while Alpha dances and cheers them on! Enjoy!


video

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cute quote!

As I picked up Alpha from school this afternoon, she informed me that the Razorbacks are playing "Alabamya" tomorrow. She then asks, "can we go to the game?"

The game is IN Alabama.

Um, no. I think we'll just stay home.

Some positive news!

I found this article in our Arkansas Democrat-Gazette paper today on page 2B. It's from the associated press about a soldier from Greenwood, Arkansas. (near Ft. Smith, I believe) Here it is in it's entirety:

Greenwood -- Sgt. Kris Logsdon made a surprise trip home to Greenwood from duty in Iraq -- and he arrived just in time to see the birth of his daughter Eden.

Logsdon arrived Saturday, and his wife, Melanie, went into labor a few hours after her husband's plane landed. Logsdon kept his trip home a secret to surprise relatives and had a friend meet him at the airport.

Melanie Logsdon gave birth the next day to their second child, Eden Elizabeth Logsdon. Kris Logsdon said their first child arrived a week early, and he timed his leave so he'd get back to Arkansas one week before Eden's due date.

"I'm happy she did not come before I got home. The important thing was to be here for the birth before I go back," he said.

Kris Logsdon is in the Arkansas National Guard and is on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He returns to Iraq on Sept. 24.
***********************************************************************************

Isn't that sweet?? I bet there were some answered prayers going on in that family!

For more positive news, check out The Positive Press. I've been getting their "Positive Quote of the Day" emailed to me since 1999.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The spiders can stay.

Tooth update: Nothing yet. They don't even hurt her while she's eating. I even fed her an apple today! I figure one day they'll just fall out with no more fanfare than when she sneezes.

Now, on to my current thinking.

Ants.

Lots of tiny, crawly, ants. I do not like them.

We have them. It's been nearly one year since we moved in here, and these are the first ants we've seen. I think the rain from this past weekend brought them in. I've seen them in the kitchen, Beta's room, our bedroom, and our bathroom. I'm wondering if the new construction behind us has disturbed some ant hills in nearby lots.

Anyway, our other problem is spiders. LOTS of spiders. If you look in any corner of any room in our house, you will see at least 1 spider. They are small and brown. Not brown recluses luckily. More like the kinds that make cobwebs.

I have been fighting them for months. Cleaning up their webs, smashing their little bodies.

Until the other day.

That's the day I saw nature in action and decided the spiders could stay. The ants were getting caught in the spiders' webs! There is a web by our front door that has probably 15 ants in it. The spiders near our back door aren't doing as well, but we've still found ants caught up there.

I'm wondering if there's any way to transport some spiders from other parts of the house to the back door. Or outside. We had a huge spider that kept spinning a web near our hummingbird feeder. I'm not sure where he went, but I wish he were out there on the ground now.

So now I thank God for the spiders. They are helping to keep the ants at bay. We've still had to kill a few, but I think the spiders are deterring rampant ant exploration. At least I hope they are.

Plus, their webs will make cool Halloween decorations!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

To tell the tooth

Ok. So now that Alpha is on her way to losing her first teeth, I have a question. How should I handle the tooth fairy? She already knows about the tooth fairy from her friends. When we discovered her loose teeth, she started asking me questions. She wants to go spend the night at the tooth fairy's house when she loses her teeth. Um..... Then, she asked if the tooth fairy lived at our house and I told her yes.

So, how far do I take this tooth fairy thing? I honestly can't remember exactly what my parents did. I know we had "the tooth fairy", but I don't remember there being a big "reveal" when I found out it was my parents. The tooth fairy wasn't as big as Santa Claus.

How did you find out the TRUTH about the TOOTH FAIRY?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Special Announcement!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

This special announcement comes courtesy of Alpha.

Alpha has TWO loose teeth!

These are her first ever loose teeth. She is SO excited.

She says they don't hurt her or anything.

The only thing I'm concerned with is pulling said teeth. My recollection of losing teeth is that it was not pleasant. Thankfully, Jim only remembers loosing his first tooth, and it wasn't traumatic for him.

I think Alpha will be fine. Now when Beta hits 6 years old, we may have some difficulties. But I've got awhile before that happens.

Anyway, I will keep you all updated as the days progress. Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fizzy Lemonade

Hi, all! We've been getting soaked up here in Northwest Arkansas! I'm sure the LPGA tournament hasn't liked it, but we sure do need it! Everyone's lawn will be lush and green now. Maybe our trees will quit dying as well.

Friday night, we decided to stay in rather than go out. Rain being one of the reasons. Money, the other. I have two recipes I'd like to share with you.

Chicken Burritos
Ok. This isn't really a recipe. It's just a way to put things together ala Sandra Lee's Semi-homemade style. To add some oomf to burritos, I cooked Rice-a-Roni Mexican style rice. This added lots of flavor and bulk to our burritos. They were delicious! I sprinkled some cut up chicken tenders with Julio's seasoning (It's from Mexico) and then cooked them in the skillet.

We then assembled the burritos using the chicken, rice, sour cream, salsa, and cheese. YUM! Qdoba, watch out!

Fizzy Lemonade
This is a modified Sandra Lee recipe. In fact, it's so modified, I'm not even sure I'd call it the same recipe. Sandra Lee has a recipe for Lemon Drop Champagne. It looked so good on her show the other day, that I wanted to try it. Well, we had no champagne, and I'm not that big a fan of it anyway. So, I bought the lemonade concentrate, like she said. Then, instead of sparkling water, which I couldn't find (thanks WALMART!), I used sprite.

All I did was mix the concentrate with 3 1/2 concentrate cans of sprite instead of water. Voila! It was fizzy, tart, and refreshing! I seriously think it could be used as lemon punch. We had the rest of it today at lunch and boy, was it SOUR! Maybe a bit more sugar would help. Or some actual water. But it was still delicious! I can't wait to serve it somewhere.

Oh, and I tried crushing Ferrara Pan lemon drops, like her recipe says, but they didn't crush that well or look as nice as hers.

So those are my two home-tested recipes from our rainy weekend.

Tune in tomorrow for a special announcement!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

Here are some pics from our trip home this Labor Day Weekend.

Beta is at Gramma & Pop's house. She learned to walk across the cattle guard, which she referred to as "the horse steps."







Pop helps the kids on the rope swing. They love stuff like this! It's so much better than TV or video games.







Jim and his brother, Collin, show some brotherly love. It MUST be a guy thing...









Alpha practicing to be a doctor. Grandmother got some hospital gear donated at her school. She got a set for each girl. We showed them pictures of their daddy wearing this type of gear when each of them was born.








Beta has to get in on the act as well. Isn't she cute???



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If the shoe fits...

Poor Jim. It seems like, more often than not, if something odd is going to happen with the girls, it happens when I'm at choir and he is home with them.

Tonight was no exception.

As he was helping Beta brush her teeth, he noticed her grabbing a bunch of toilet paper to wipe her nose. He asked her why she was doing that. "Because I have a shoe up my nose", she replies.

Say what?

"A shoe. Alpha did it first."

"ALPHA!", Jim says with authority in his voice. Alpha comes in the bathroom.

"Did you put a shoe up your nose?"

"yes" (eyes cast down)

"Did you tell Beta to put a shoe up her nose?"

"yes, but she took it out."

"No, I didn't," replies Beta.

A quick glance with a flashlight reveals the heel end of a tiny shoe from a Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty playset. Something like this.

About this time, I get home. Jim has Beta lying on her bed with a pair of tweezers and all the lights on. It becomes my job to hold Beta's hands down b/c she keeps trying to block the tweezers from touching her nose.

The tweezers aren't working.

Noooooo! We both think! Not the emergency room AGAIN! (We've been there twice in the past 3 months for Beta's asthma. I just paid the 2nd emergency room bill today. I don't want to have to pay a THIRD one!)

Luckily for us, Jim holds down one side of Beta's nose and tells her to blow. Out shoots a snot-covered pink shoe! I've never been so happy to see snot before!

We both breathe a sigh of relief! And then start trying to explain that we don't put tiny toys in our noses, ears, mouths, or ANY OTHER PLACE on our bodies!

I'm also afraid that we may have to take that Mattel recall seriously and take away their magnetic Polly Pocket toys. I haven't done it yet b/c they love those toys AND I figured my girls were old enough to know better, at 6 and 3. Apparently, they are not.

Jim's now working on his motorcycle. Let's hope it doesn't have any shoes up its nose.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Momma said there'd be days like this...

So here I sit yesterday. Happy to no longer have the grueling commute for work. (ok, ok. it was only a week. but I hated it!) I guess I thought my day would be like one mini-vacation. I was wrong.

My "day" started at 2:20 am when Beta woke me up. She needed to go potty, as usual. While she was washing her hands, I noticed her eyes had yellow gunk oozing out of them. Yuck! Pink eye! Oh no! I washed them off and sent her back to bed. At our real wake up time, she had more gunk. Ok. Doctor's office , here we come!

I'm filing this under the "you just never know" category. At the doctor's, I find out that Beta has ear infections in BOTH ears as well as the eye infection. Wow. Talk about a good call.

$51 and one trip to the pharmacy later, we are back home.

With eye drops.

For those of you who don't know, eye drops and 3 year olds don't mix. Or gel. Or even co-exist.

Which would be another blog post altogether.

So at 3:00, we pick up Alpha. YAY! I get to pick up my baby from school on time! As soon as she gets in the car, she says, "mommy, my ear hurts." I say, "oh, really?" She starts trying to describe the pain. She finally agrees that it feels like when she has an ear infection.

Great.

Call #2 to the doctor. Appointment in 1 hour.

While at the doctor's, we wait. And wait. We never have to wait this long. Ironically, this is the same doctor we once waited an hour on at the same time of day. I make a mental note not to use this doctor again. (There's like 12 so we have plenty to choose from.)

While we are waiting in the exam room, Alpha is laying on the table, moaning. I am wishing the doctor would hurry up and get there. All of a sudden, alpha leans over the side and throws up! AAAAACCCKKK! I throw open the door, and thankfully another doctor has just left a patient's room. He grabs a nurse and they help me start to clean her up. There is blood. We are all about to get really worried, but then we see that her nose is bleeding. Whew.

The doctor who helped us says that getting blood into your stomach will make you throw up. The doctor we were there to see, who finally shows up after everything is clean, says that the pain could make her throw up. No one is sure why her nose started bleeding. My guess is that the pain was so bad, and in her inner ear, that it made her nauseous and then sick.

$28 and one trip to the pharmacy later, we are back home.

At 6:00 pm. Wasn't this the time I was happy to avoid?? IRONIC, I tell ya.

And to add insult to injury....

Jim had called that morning and asked if his keys were on the dresser. He rode his motorcycle and ended up leaving his house keys in his other jacket. He figures there's no need for me to bring them to him (I couldn't find them anyway) since I'll surely be home when he gets home.

Well, he got home about 5:30. We got home at 6:00. On the plus side,the garage is a little cleaner.

Everyone got to bed early last night.

And everyone is on antibiotics, and not contagious anyway, so they are at school.

Maybe today will be better.
Except for the eye drops.