Friday, January 30, 2009

Potties and Fire Drills Don't Mix

Poor Lex! How many times can this possibly happen to one child? Last year in preschool, the restroom was on the other side of the building from her classroom. One day towards the beginning of the school year, Lexi was in the restroom and the fire alarm went off. Can you imagine? She was FOUR! Oh how awful! She was so traumatized that she would not go potty at school for the rest of the year, even with an adult! She wouldn't even go with me when I would try to take her to that restroom! For the two months that followed, she went through a horrible separation anxiety phase and every time one of us would leave the house or leave her anywhere she would go into these uncontrollable kicking screaming hysterical fits. It was so awful! As time went by, it passed but she still wouldn't use the restroom at school. When she started kindergarten this past fall, I thought "Oh good, now she can potty at school again" thinking it was a new school, the restroom was in the classroom, no problem right?

Tuesday morning on the announcements, the Principal announced they would be having a fire drill that day. So an alarm must have gone off in Lexi's head...MUST NOT GO POTTY TODAY! Because she had an accident in her pants! The teacher sent her to the nurse for a change of clothes and guess what happened when she went into the bathroom to change guessed it...FIRE DRILL! Bless her heart! How many times can this happen to one child? Have I already said that? The following day, I volunteered at the school all day so I went by to visit with her teacher during my break. I told her that Lexi had a history with fire drills and restrooms. She's the sweetest little lady. She comforted me and said, "It's okay, Mommy! She will be fine! I will make sure she goes potty!" The next day at the dinner table, Lexi announced that Mrs. F had been taking her to the Lu (that's what her teacher calls the potty, spelling???). She said, "She stands right outside of the door while I potty and she even lets me wash my hands in the classroom so I don't have to stay in the bathroom for very long." And today she told us that Mrs. F even flushes the toilet for her because she doesn't like the loud noise the flushing makes. I wanted to cry!

Mrs. F is so sweet and nurturing and caring and she truly takes care of these babies! She's a special teacher! For all the bad press public schools and teachers get these days, let me assure you, there are some WONDERFUL teachers out there that truly go to the ends of the earth to help their students succeed, even if it's just to succeed at getting over the fear of a fire drill on the potty! We love Mrs. F!!!! Thank you Lord for a special teacher that takes such good care of my baby!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can you say TORTILLAS?

And yet another fabulously wonderful meal has emerged from my kitchen today, two fabulous meals in one day. What's gotten into me? I'm not a fan of chicken & dumplins but they are my husband's favorite! So when my mom told me about this trick of using tortillas instead of dumplins, I was all over it! The dumplins are the part I don't like about chicken & dumplins. So now we have chicken & dumplins or should I say Heather's rendition of "Chicken Tortilla Soup". It's FABULOUS!

-boil some chicks with some cut up celery, I shaved some carrots in there, onion, and seasoned with salt and a pack of ranch dressing mix.
-Cut up your chicken and put the slices back in the same pot.
-I added a can of cream of chicken soup just to thicken a little and for flavor.
-cut up tortillas into fourths and put them in the pot to simmer for a few minutes.

That's it! Easy Schmeasy! I serve it with salad and sourdough bread and we dip our sourdough bread in balsamic vinegar/oil with herbs. YUM! Wanna come over? Sorry, it's all gone....heeheee!


I had the BEST dinner last night. It was SO good that I had to have it for "lunch" today too. Well, I guess you would call it "lunch" 10:30 a.m.! I couldn't even wait till noon to enjoy this one! And don't laugh when I tell you what it was. It's something you can order off of just about every restaurant menu (and probably for less than it cost me to make it!) But, I added a few of my own little ingredients to make it JUST RIGHT! And I'm gonna share my special blend with you.

HEATHER'S TACO SALAD...this is NOT weight watcher's approved!

-Ground beef browned and taco seasoning pack added
-All your favorite salad stuff (I used bagged lettuce, tomato, cucumber)
-1 whole avacado sliced..YUM...I was having to fight Ashton for all the avacado slices
-canned kernal corn
-refried beans (I had actually made bean/cheese burritos the night before so I used my leftover beans in the salad...yum)
-tortilla chips
-My dressing of choice: velveeta queso (I use milk, salsa, and velveeta to make mine...takes 2 min and it's SO good)

There was not a bowl in my house big enough to hold this salad. I ended up using a big mixing bowl! I just layered everything and poured the queso on top instead of salad dressing (I never said this was a low cal salad!) It was DEEEEEEEELISH! My kids ate it too. Actually they both ate 2 bowls of it. And I had to cut them off. They were still asking for more after 2 bowls. But if your kids don't eat salad, you could just make them nachos with these ingredients.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just some thoughts...

What's up with that creepy music on every show on the History Channel? Ofcourse this is Cary's favorite channel and sometimes I'll walk through the house and every t.v. in the house will be tuned into the History Channel and it just freaks me out! I like history, but is the music necessary, really?

Should you be offended when someone deletes you from their facebook friend list for no given or apparent reason and what is this, like high school or something? Who does that???

We're on day #2 of a semester long new schedule of Daddy not getting home from work/school till after 8 p.m. three nights a week. Day 2 I said! A whole semester. I need Calgon! Call me crazy, but when I said "I DO" I thought that meant I was married and had a spouse! A helper! 7 days a week!

Speaking of "I DO" today is my 8 yr anniversary. We've had 6 yrs of wedded bliss and 2 yrs of wedded miss! Thankfully, we're back to bliss! As much bliss as you can have with small children and a crazy schedule!

I got a CRAZY whacked out phone for my anniversary today! It's the Samsung version of the iphone and wowsers! Who knew a phone could do so much. It's a camera/phone/computer/ipod/navigation all in one! It will take me till next year to learn how to use it and by then I'll be ready for a new phone. But hey, it's PINK! I love it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Momma Brag Time!

Today was Lexi's 2nd report card day. I'm so proud of her!!! They don't really get grades in kindergarten, but she did not have any areas that needed improvement. She had all S's and O's (outstanding) and has made significant progress on counting to 100. Last six weeks she could only count to 16 and today's report card says she can count to 59, although I know she can go all the way to 100 b/c she does it for me in the car all the time! And the teacher's comment reads: "Lexi has been consistantly progressing. She is enjoying her friends in school and is a good citizen. Keep up the good work Lexi. I am proud of you! XOXO!" Her teacher is so sweet! We just love her! She's very grandmotherly. She also received "Outstanding/exceeds expectations" in Math, Science and Reading. Way to go Mrs. F!!! Well, I shouldn't give away all the credit. We do a LOT of homework to make this happen! She also took her 10th spelling test today and she has gotten a 100 on EVERY SINGLE TEST! Her words this week were "seven, eight, nine, ten". I think those are not the easiest words for a child who didn't even know all her letters and sounds 4 months ago! It's so amazing to watch her progress so quickly. We are very thankful for our awesome school and wonderful kindergarten teacher! We could not have hand picked a better environment for Lexi or better friends or a better teacher. Oh and have I mentioned that she takes gymnastics? She LOVES it! She's been taking gymnastics since Sept and I can't believe how strong that girl is and what an amazing athlete she's becoming. Her gymnastics teacher said a few weeks ago that she thinks Lexi could teach the class and this past week she said that she's so proud of Lexi. All of the girls in her gymnastics class have been taking there for 2-3 yrs and this is Lexi's first ever gymnastics experience and she just seems to absorb everything and do it immediately. She also plays basketball. Last Saturday, she scored the "winning" points. Well, they don't really keep score, but I keep score and she scored the winning points. I'm so proud of her! I would be proud of her even if she stunk at gymnastics and basketball!

With all that bragging, I should let you know, just so you'll feel better, that my house is an absolute WRECK at this very moment! And Lexi, as much of a superstar as she is, slept walk to the living room last week and peed on the floor! Seriously! Even superstars have lackluster days!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts on Obama's Inauguration

I don't agree with his policies and I certainly didn't vote for the man but despite my ill feelings towards our new president, there was so much about today's Inauguration that made me swell with pride as an American.

1. For starters, the fact that citizens of the United States were able to see past race when electing this president says so much about how far we've come in the past 50 yrs. God created us all equal and the color of one's skin is just that....color! So witnessing the first African American President take the Oath of Office I felt was such a turning point in our nation's civil rights history.

2. There are very few countries in this world that can have such a peaceful transition of power from one leader to the next. To watch all the former living presidents and their wives take part in today's ceremony was so special. To hear of how the Bush family has done so much to make the transition into the White House so smooth for the Obama's made me so proud. To see the million and a half PEACEFUL spectators there watching made me so thankful to live in this great land.

3. I loved how Rick Warren, during his prayer, called out the God he was praying to by name, Jesus! Because many people of the world pray to A God, but he made sure people knew he was praying to THE God! And there was a definite emphasis on God throughout the day. We don't know much about Obama's relationship with the Lord, but from the church service this morning led by The Bishop TD Jakes (one of my all time FAVORITE preachers of the gospel), to the two ministers who prayed during the ceremony, the fact that Obama was not sworn in on the Koran like had been rumored but on an actual Holy Bible, it all gave me hope that we are still one nation under God.

4. There were several references made to our forefathers and the freedom they fought for. It's something we so often take for granted and it's a thought that we simply just don't think about enough. I pray that we never forget the price they paid for our freedom so that we could live in a democracy, a country that allows us to go out and exercise our right to vote for a new leader every 4 yrs.

No matter your feelings towards Barack Obama, today was a patriotic day for all Americans. The world watched as history unfolded, the first African American took the reigns as the leader of the free world. The world watched as millions stood peacefully watching this great transition of power. The world watched as democracy became reality, this being the result of a totally free election, something that citizens of many countries can only dream of. I'm choosing to concentrate on this great pride I have in my country today rather than focusing on the things about Obama that made me NOT vote for him. Is it arrogant to say we live in the greatest land? If so, I'll be arrogant for a moment. God has so richly blessed America!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have absolutely NOTHING to blog about

Really! Sorry to disappoint you faithful internets. Things have been relatively boring around here. Well, I say "boring" but boring is really a relative term and when you're talking about a household with a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old, I guess it woulnd't be so boring to some folks.

I mean, yesterday within a 6 hr time frame, I did clean up a mess of nail polish, made a flying LEAP into the kitchen and snatched up the cough syrup just as Ashton had removed the "child proof" lid and was in the process of pouring herself a nice little cocktail, then while cooking dinner which involved boiling water, a basketball was thrown on the stove as the water was boiling. It knocked over the pot of boiling water and rolled across to the glass canister of sugar and that is when I made yet another flying LEAP into the kitchen to grab the sugar cannister just before it fell off the edge of the counter landing in the boiling water which was all over the floor and stove! Nice! Two flying leaps in one day! Oh but wait I forgot, when Ashton was getting into the shower yesterday morning, she just dropped her diaper and got naked right there on the bathroom floor and poop rolled out of the diaper and just as I saw it, she walked over to pick up to SHOW ME (oh yes she did). Oh Lord. That's how the day STARTED! Mind you she had just gotten a BIG spanking the day before for picking up dog pooh in the backyard and putting it on the trampoline while sister was ON the trampoline. She laughed. Ashton. Not sister. Nor me.

Oh but the day was not over. Ashton also likes to wash her hands in the bathtub rather than at the sink. It's just easier for her to get to. I saw her washing her hands before we left for gymnastics but I left the room before she was finished. Big mistake. The water was left on the entire time we were at gymnastics. When we got hom, I noticed water on the bathroom floor and heard water running. Apparently she had also closed the tub drain so it filled up the tub and then drained out to the floor. AND WAIT...there's more...There was a small piece of chocolate cake on the countertop that Ashton wanted for breakfast. And why not! So I let her have a few bites and oh she made the biggest mess I've ever seen. So I threw the cake away. A few hours later I noticed that she was walking around the house with chocolate cake spread across her face. She had gotten it OUT of the GARBAGE can and finished it off! In like 30 seconds because that's really about how long it had been since she had been playing happily in the playroom and then went into "hiding". But that's not all.

At dinner last night, Cary and Lexi and myself were sitting at the table eating and talking and Ashton had already asked to be excused and we thought she was playing in the playroom until we heard this strange sound coming from the kitchen cabinets. Cary got up and walked over to see what the sound was. It was Ashton sitting on the floor spraying bleach on her barbies. "They were dirty." He snatched her and ran with her to the bathroom to wash her hands and get her clothes off quickly and in the washing machine just in case anything got on them (and should I mention it was my FAVORITE outfit?) And in case you're wondering WHY I would leave cough syrup and nail polish within reach, well I didn't! It was up high. She's a climber! A climber with skills! The bleach was within reach, but for Heaven's sake, she's almost 4 and totally knows better. We've never had any issues with our kids getting into the cleaning products. We used those baby clasps on the cabinets when they were little and were crawling and learning to walk but enough is enough, you know? And she's so quick to get into trouble, literally the cough syrup issue happened in the minute and a half that I went to the potty! The nail polish happened while I was just making up the bed! AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

See, totally boring! Nothing to blog about!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Busy Bees

It was a busy busy weekend! It all started on Friday when I went to work and Cary stayed home to clean house and do laundry and take Ashton to the doctor (where she was diagnosed with Asthma as well!) That's a whole other blog entry! Then a cousin from Texas came over for a visit, and Lexi's new best friend came home from school with her, and Daddy needed a vegetable side dish to take to a deacon/elder/pastor dinner. I stayed home and entertained guests while he went to the dinner. Saturday morning, we were up at 6 getting ready for Lexi's FIRST BASKETBALL GAME! (And daddy's first game to coach!) It was quite a hoot! Not sure which was cuter, daddy coaching or Lexi in her tomboy basketball clothes on the court! After basketball, we went out for breakfast at McDonald's and came home to do some work on the house. Cary worked in the yard all day and put together the girls' Christmas toys so they could FINALLY play with them, while I snuck a nap (shhh, don't tell him) and then spent the ENTIRE afternoon organizing and cleaning out the toy room and cleaning out dresser drawers and closets. Finally, around 8 pm we called it a day and all took showers and ordered a pizza. Ashton fell asleep before the pizza arrived and Lexi nearly fell asleep at the dinner table. Then, I got to work studying my Sunday School lesson and getting ready to teach this morning. Cary was in charge of a reception for his former preschool director who resigned last month, so he got to church extra early this morning to get things in order before kidzchurch, then after church and the reception we went to pizza hut and all came home and crashed! But we couldn't let this GORGEOUS weekend get away without doing something fun as a family, so this evening we went on a family bikeride to the park and rode around the neighborhood until little Ashton's legs just couldn't pedal any more. She reminds me of Dennis the Menace on that tricycle! I long for a weekend when we have NOTHING to do! But tonight Cary and I relaxed with a movie after we put the kids to bed...Prince Caspian...SO good, if you haven't seen it...highly recommend it! Now it's time to get geared up for next weekend. I'm the wedding coordinator at our church and I have a wedding this weekend, as well as hosting people at our house all weekend for Disciple Now weekend! CRAZY times!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I am SOOOO excited...

Go ahead and ask me, "Heather, why are you SOOOO excited?" Well, I'll tell you. Two reasons! #1)Lexi is going to be a flower girl in my cousin's wedding!!!! We have a whole year to practice! The wedding is not till next January. But no fear of the happy couple breaking up or anything, they've been together for 8 and a half years!!! They've been dating for longer than I've been married. The wedding is in downtown Fort Worth which is truly one of my FAVORITE places on earth! I'm so excited! Mother of the flower girl. Sigh...... and reason #2 for my giddiness...remember how excited I was about Lexi's best friend at school that she just adores and talks about all the time? I've been praying for two long years for a best friend for that sweet girl! Well, I called the little girl's mom and invited her daughter to come home from school with us today to have a little playdate and when her mom came to pick her up tonight, we had the sweetest conversation about the Lord and about church and how God brought us both here to Orlando and so on and the whole conversation was initiated by her as she began sharing with me about how faithful God had been in providing for her family. Mind you, she didn't know we were believers or that my husband was a pastor or anything. So she was truly sharing with me on faith that I wouldn't think she was crazy. It was just SO awesome to see how God has truly answered my prayers in providing a sweet friend for Lexi from a Christian family. Not that I don't want her to be friends with non-believers too, but I want her best and closest friends to be from families that share our values and morals and beliefs. It was just so incredible to see how God has totally provided that for Lexi. Her other best friend at school is also from a wonderful Christian family as well. I'm just tickled pink that she finally has some good friends that she gets to be with every day and that she really seems to click with. They're all just super sweet and innocent and there's no competition. It's just all pure sweetness when they get together. I love it! YEA GOD! He is so faithful!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Romantic Getaway That Wasn't

Cary and I have wanted to get away for a while now, just the two of us. We had saved up a little money and decided our trip to Texas would be the perfect opportunity because we would have built in babysitters! We honeymooned in Fredericksburg, TX almost 8 yrs ago and it was such a neat town, we knew that's where we wanted to go. Only an hour and a half from my mom's house, it was the perfect place for our romantic getaway! Hahaha! We tried to stay at the BEST place on Earth, Palo Alto Creek Farms, where we honeymooned, but it was all booked. So we settled for this place, listed as one of the top 10 most romantic places, called Settler's Crossing, owned by the aunt and uncle of my good friend, Audra, which I didn't know until like 2 days ago! Small world! When we first arrived, our receipt was sent to our cabin in a basket of apple turnovers. I nearly TURNED OVER myself at the receipt. They charged us double! We called them immediately and they credited back our account for the mess up.
The property is made up of like 7 or 8 private houses or cottages. This was ours. It's called the Pioneer Cabin, which should have been my first clue! A pioneer, I am not!
Oh look, it's Little Bear's house! Thanks for the candy little bear!

Upon entering our cabin, we were greeted by a REAL bird and a stuffed bear. The bird was flying around and we had to get him out. But wait...the windows wouldn't open! So we chased him down with a stick. The owners laughed when we called for help and told us "good luck". The bird pooped all over the cabin. I would have to! But finally he found his way OUT the front door. We joked that the bear was real and when we walked in he probably grabbed a burger king hat and a tray of candy in an attempt to blend in to the decor!

Our bedroom! Very cozy by the fire. Probably not the best thing for pneumonia lungs. This should have been the room of LOVE but Cary was DYING of pneumonia all night.

I couldn't stay away from the bear. I kept thinking of how the girls would get the biggest kick out of him. I was also a little sad at the thought that he was once alive and a hunter shot him dead and now he's a candy statue at a bed and breakfast.

Isn't it cute? And very pioneery? A little too pioneery if you ask me! I had to walk gently because with each step I was afraid the floor would sink in or something would rattle off the wall.

Cozy little kitchen.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat to catch the absurd! This little guy came in our cabin while the door was open while we were trying to get the bird out. Didn't think we would ever get rid of him. Apparently he LIVES there. We found cat food in the kitchen.
And in case you're wondering...what's up with the water hose...
Well, when I was taking a bath in the claw foot tub on our first night there, I heard a loud pop from the bathroom wall and then water was pouring out of a pipe behind the tub! I called for Cary who came in and quickly turned off the main water source from the wall. It was the hot water, how convenient. Talk about PIONEERS? The next morning, we called the owners, certain they would come right out and fix it so we could get our showers before checking out and they said, "Well, it's a good thing you got a bath last night! We won't be able to get out there to fix it today." WHAT??? So my handy husband went outside and found this waterhose and cut it to the length to reach from the sink to the tub and filled up the tub with hot water from the sink so we could bathe. He said, "I dare him to make me pay for the $10 hose!"

There were lots of sheep, a donkey, and a whole slew of dear. But they all seemed to follow THIS guy. He must have been the G/T one of the bunch. Me with the leader of the clan!

Hey, wait, come back, I bathed...really...with a water hose!

All in all, still a fun place despite pneumonia, double charges, a bird, and a make shift shower! Oh and shopping ALONE. I had visions of us strolling through the streets together hand in hand, my husband romantically going to EACH AND EVERY last store with me, maybe even carrying my purse cause it's SO heavy. Well, that didn't happen. My sick husband slept in the car while I shopped all day! I shopped. He dropped.


Santa brought my girls a Playboy Mansion, I mean a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas...home of NIGHTLY wild wild parties as you can see...
After the party, this pretty lady lay naked on the front lawn, apparently run over by the corvette which smashed through the living room wall.
See, Corvette smashed through living room wall. Ken apparently was thrown from the driver's seat and lay unconscious on the kitchen floor.
I'm not even sure what to say about this one...playing footsies maybe?

After a rough night of partying, the bed is broken, the lamp has been knocked over and it appears as though someone has literally been swinging from the chandeliers.

Okay, now in all seriousness, my children do not really know why they prefer their barbies naked, but I assure you it's not for inappropriate reasons. In all honesty, it's probably due more to the fact that they have trouble getting those tight clothes on them. They've never made Ken and Barbie kiss or lay next to or on top of each other. They have bathed together, but only because "Mom, there was only one bathtub in the house...DUH"! Ken did take a dump one day on the potty, but "Mommy, he had to go potty!" So, you see, pure innocence! Only an adult could find adult humor in the state of our Barbie house. My children think I'm taking pictures of it "because it's pretty!"

Back to the grind

Well we're on day #3 of the reality of the real world NOT on vacation. So far only 1 tardy, 7 time outs, 2 spankings, and a very well rested mommy after 11.5 hours of sleep last night. I think we're doing pretty good! I was SOOOOOOO tired yesterday and the day before that and the day before that and the day before that....anyhoo, I went to bed at 8:30 last night and slept till 7 this morning. So did the kids and Cary! It's like we all got bit by the teetsy fly or something. I have good intentions of posting lots of Christmas pictures. One day. Oh funniest thing...our little "romantic getaway" that wasn't so romantic because Cary was buried under a pile of blankets with 104 fever hacking his lungs up with pnuemonia, well, I never really posted on the ol blog all of the "adventures" we faced at the "pioneer" cabin and I will...with pictures! But turns out, one of my bestest friends in the whole world knows the owners of the cabin. She doesn't just know them, they are her aunt and uncle! More to come on that story later. I'm off to get my hair cut and then, I don't know, take a nap??? I need a cure for the sleepies. (I think they call that SUMMER.) This whole lack of daylight hours is killing me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home again Home again jiggidy jig

My mom used to always say that every time we pulled into the driveway. Home again home again jiggidy jig. We pulled into the driveway at about 11:30 pm yesterday. I wish I could say I got all unpacked today and got my Christmas decorations put away, but neither of those happened. I slept in and then got up and went into the office and worked for a few hours this afternoon then came home and am about to work for a few more hours, study my Sunday School lesson and get to bed. I have SO much to do! I feel like I can't unpack until I clean out the girls' dresser drawers and their playroom to make space for all the new stuff. It will get done...eventually. I have lots to get caught up on at work this week so my house chores will probably have to wait! The price we pay for a vacation right? It's good to be home, even if it's not Texas. I LOVE my bed! And my bathtub! And my warm flip flop weather.

Lexi was so eager to get home yesterday. She kept talking about all of her friends from school that she missed so much while we were gone and how she missed her teacher and couldn't wait to get to school on Monday and give everyone big hugs! That made me smile! It's nice to know that your kids are happy! She has a little friend in her class that she is just smitten with and talks about non stop and I'm so excited that she finally seems to have a "best friend" here in FL. The little girl's mom volunteers in their classroom a lot and she took some pictures of Lexi with her daughter over the last few weeks every time she would go up to the school to volunteer and she sent them home in Lexi's backpack the day before Christmas break. They were so cute! She said her daughter never stops talking about Lexi. I guess it's mutual!

On the way home yesterday Lexi said, "Do you know what I don't like about Texas?" And before I could respond I had to pick my jaw up off the floor and pop my eyes back into their sockets because what's there not to like about Texas????!!!!! She said, "It's so far away and as soon as we get there, we have to leave again." I can accept that response! And I agree! Oh well, bloom where you're planted right? When in Rome...go to DisneyWorld!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions Anyone?

Would anyone like to share their New Year's Resolution? I'm not sure I really have one, but I would like to spend more time in God's word. I read God's word daily, but I mean REALLY STUDYing God's word. I'm not sure if that's a resolution or just being obedient. But either way it's what I need to do more of this year. Losing weight would be nice, but who am I kidding? I told my husband tonight I would like to resolve to volunteer LESS! Most people resolve to volunteer more, I need to volunteer less! Maybe that will be my resolution! I resolve to say NO! So what about you? What do you resolve to do in 2009?