Sunday, April 20, 2014


What a wonderful day of church, naps, family and good food.  I am blessed beyond measure.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


When Ruby walked out of school this afternoon my first thought was "how did I not notice her outfit this morning?" Then I thought, "you didn't walk her to a school and she was still in her pajamas when she came to breakfast." 

That's when I realized that I did walk her to school! So how did I miss this completely non-matching outfit? The answer: I have absolutely no clue. We were running late, Eliza Claire was freaking out over running late and one if the other two was having some crisis, though at this point I have no idea what it was. I guess Ruby's wardrobe was the last thing on my mind. 

I love these jeans. I think they are adorable and fit Ruby's style perfectly. Why she paired them with this shirt is a mystery. I'm sure if I asked her she would have some reason that seems perfectly obvious in her world but would never occur to me. 

In the end, it really doesn't matter if she looks like a rag-a-muffin or not. She is one amazing kid. 


The Best Neighbors

Friday evening Michael and I went out to dinner. When we left, two of the girls were across the street at Winnie Kate and Elliot's house. Winnie Kate is three and Elliot is not quite two. My girls love them to pieces. They love to play with them. I sent their mom a text letting her know to send my girls home at any time.

Two hours later Michael and I arrive home to a completely empty hours. That's when I check my text messages and find this adorable picture.

Not only had Ruby and Charlotte not gone home, Rehm and Eliza Claire had both gone across the street as well. When I arrived, my wonderful neighbors were feeding my kids dinner. Talk about feeling like a horrible mom and neighbor! Oh my! I told them we owe them a date night and to please not be shy about sending my kids home!

It seems Rehm went over to tell the sisters to come home for dinner. He got sidetracked talking to the adults and never got everyone home.

We truly have awesome neighbors! We are so blessed..


Fourth Grade Field Trip

Today the fourth grade went to Inner Space Caverns. They were supposed to go earlier this year. The original trip had to be rescheduled due to falling on a no school fur to ice day. 

Charlotte informed me before the originally planned trip that I had never been on one of the field trips. Further, she pointed out that I had been on more than one field trip for each of her siblings.I assured her that I was sure I had been on at least one prior field trip of hers. She went through the list and sure enough I had not attended a single one! Bad, bad Mommy! Poor middle child. 

Today was field trip day and I had to go even though I had a couple of things on my calendar that I really wanted to attend. I'm now behind on my 100 Modern Blocks and I missed my father-in-law's Holy Week sermon today. 

I like going to caverns. I like spending time with my daughter. I do not like field trips because my children tend to insist I come and then completely ignore me. I get that they are having fun with their friends, but why is it so important that I be there if you are not even going to come over and say hello? Ok, I'm done complaining. 

It seems I've been going on the wrong child's field trips. Charlotte spent a good deal of the time with me. In the cavern she held my hand and talked to me through most of the tour. It was lovely. It truly was. 

I'm very glad I went, but I don't promise I'll go on any others this year. 

Field trips always mean a completely disposable lunch. This is one part of field trips I have come to enjoy. It gives me an excuse to make a milk jug lunch box. These are quick and easy to make. I love the milk jug lunch box because they keep my child's lunch from getting mashed flat when all of the lunches are put in the bin to be transported. No chip crumbs and flat sandwiches for my kids!

Jenn - the horrible, awful Mom who doesn't like to go on field trips. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Worshipping with Kids

If you saw us Sunday in worship you would think my children had never been to a worship service. Actually two were very well behaved. The two sitting with Michael. He never seems to get the worship troublemakers. Hmm, maybe I'm the problem and not the children. I'll have to think about that...

During the sermon, I was trying to take notes. I started this discipline sometime last year. I found that it helps me stay present and focused during the sermon and helps being able to remember that thing that spoke to me. If I don't write it down, when I think about it later, I can never remember what caught my attention. Charlotte and Ruby were on either side of me. One was leaning on me and the other was trying to hold down my writing hand. It was frustrating but not horrible.

When we went up to form our circle for communion, I had a girl on each side of me. That was perfect. Ruby decided she didn't like standing next to a stranger and moved on the other side of me. That made Charlotte mad because now she could not stand next to me. This led to lots of dirty looks and sighing on Charlotte's part.

During a prayer in the communion liturgy, Charlotte decided she needed to stretch. Not a little stretch. She had her arms stretched way over her head and her back arched and was twisting from side to side. When I told her to stop she acted like I was insane for having a problem with the stretching. More ugly looks and sighing ensued.

I leaned over to Charlotte after communion and told her that I loved her. She loudly whispered, "Your breath stinks!" Wow thanks sweetheart. I'm glad you feel loved enough to share that with everyone we are worshipping with.

When it was time for us all to join hands so we could say the Lord's Prayer. Ruby did not want to hold Charlotte's hand. After giving her the choice of holding her sister's hand or moving back to my other side and holding the hand of a gentleman she did not know, she acquiesced. Of course then Charlotte decided she needed to hold Ruby's hand in a vice grip. That lead to Ruby complaining and squirming. More intervention by me and they settled down again. Halfway through the prayer, I realized Ruby was licking my arm!

I apologize to all who were around us. We try very hard to teach our children manners and how to act in church. I try to remind myself that this is how they learn. But some days, it sure is embarrassing and a lot of work!

I Don't want to grow up!

Saturday was a day with lots of chores much to Ruby and Eliza Claire's dislike. Rehm was at a band competition and Fiesta Texas. Charlotte was hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa ushering at a kids show at the Zach and just getting spoiled.

Ruby spent most of the afternoon playing with her friend Ellery that lives close by. She was not happy when we insisted that she come in to get ready for dinner. She was MAD! She pitched quite the fit. She was also hungry and when Ruby is hungry she gets extra mad.

She eventually calmed down, we went to dinner, had a great time and came home. After we got home she apologized to me for get mad. Her dad complimented her on being mature and apologizing without prompting.

Ruby immediately said, "I don't want to be mature! That means I have to move out of the house!"

Oh, how I live this girl. She always keeps me on my toes.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Crazy Dog

This afternoon, with four of us at home, Pearl managed to sneak a major snack. One of the kids left the pantry open and she rummaged in it as well as doing some counter surfing.

In round one she got a 8 pack of peanut butter crackers (My family has always called them Nabs, but I'm not sure anyone else refers to them that way) and a pound of linguini. She only got one of the packs of nabs open. She ate every last crumb. The pasta was open and spread out but I don't think she ate much if it.

After cleaning all of the mess up and closing the pantry, I left to get Rehm from school. When I got back, we found another open bag of pasta! Grrr!

When I told Rehm that we luckily had one package of pasta she didn't get in he said, "Let me guess, she didn't eat the veggie pasta." He was correct.

It seems that Pearl doesn't agree with me that she should be on a grain free diet. Every time she counter surfs it is for carbs. Einstein's Bagels are her favorite. She's been known to eat a half a dozen of them at a time.

The strange thing is I left her uncrated for a couple of hours today while I ran errands. She was an angel and didn't get in anything. But this afternoon, even with us at home, she was a very naughty dog. I'm thinking we will have to have some dog wearing* time to help her remember her manners.

*dog wearing is a great training tool that we have used many times. We attach the dog's leash to our belt. The dog has to go wherever we go. It keeps them close by so when they start thinking about getting in trouble we are right there to correct them.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Five months after it should have happened, the holiday cards are in the mail!

Honestly, I was embarrassed to send them so late. I decided late was better than not at all. Though, if I hadn't sent them no one would have thought twice about it. Sending them five months late, looks pretty lame. Oh well, they are done.

Ruby helped me stuff cards. I gave her the job of sealing envelopes. She looked down to find a large stack wait for her and exclaimed, "Woah! I better get lickin'!"

Rehm noticed me working on the cards last night and wanted to know why it was so important to get them done right now since Christmas was eight months away. When I told him these were for 2013 he laughed and wanted to know why I was so late doing them.

If for some reason you are reading this and did not receive a card (and you would like to receive very late cards in the future), send me an email with your address and I'll add you to my list.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Dinner Conversation with Eliza Claire

Tonight Michael and I were both sitting with Eliza Claire while she finished a late dinner after softball. I don't know quite how the conversation started but it had something to do with how much she likes to snuggle with me. Which turned into a conversation about the future.

Me: When you grew up I'm going to come to your house and tell you "I need snuggles!"

Eliza Claire (giggling): No you won't!

Me: Sure I will. Your kids will be complaining about wanting to snuggle with you and I'll tell them they can't because it is my turn!

Me: When you grew up are you going to have a husband and kids?

Eliza Claire: Yeah!

Me: Are you going to have a job, as well?

Eliza Claire (more giggles): Early I'm going to have a job but not when I have kids.

Michael: Are you going to stay home and snuggle with them all day?

Eliza Claire nods.

Michael: What if they are all boys?

Eliza Claire: Then I'm going to go to WORK!

Of course we all cracked up at that point. She is the cutest thing.


The Holiday Cards: The Rest of the Story

This is a follow up to my very frustrated post about Sam's club and my holiday cards from yesterday.

The short story is, I am a complete and total idiot and now have the cards in my possession.

Yeah, I can never stop with a short story. Who are we kidding? There is a reason I always liked Paul Harvey.

Yesterday afternoon, I called the online customer service number. I talked to a very nice gentleman who informed me that the cards were printed in store. I am amazed that I was able to stay polite when he told me this news, but I did. He said he would resend the order to the store for me and would put a note in explaining the situation. I'm sure the note said something about a crazy, super frustrated lady that was going to go all "Tawanda" on someone if they didn't find my cards, quick like.

A couple of hours later, I get a call from Dawn from the photo department at the local Sam's. She proceeds to tell me she has my cards in the store and has had them since 3/20 - the date I originally went to pick them up. She was confused as to why there was a repeat order and had stopped it from printing and called me. After I once again went through the whole debacle she said, "you are talking about the store in South Austin, correct?"

Insert complete shock and silence from me, followed by almost hysterical laughter, and then very sincere apologies for being a complete idiot.

Yep, somehow, in having to chose an alternate store to the one I typically use that was not available (I've learned in this process that they discontinued their photo department), I selected a Sam's Club 30 miles from my house to print the cards! And, thought I had selected a store approximately 10 miles away. I didn't even know this Sam's existed. Out of the four in the area it is by far the furthest away.

I had gone to the wrong store, not once, but twice!

Now, I will admit that I was a complete idiot. However, Sam's was not without fault. The phone number listed on my status for pick up for the store, you know the one where the cards actually were, was incorrect and gave me an error message. After I looked up the "correct" number, I called the store, where I thought the cards were. I was told the cards were there but arrived to find out it was someone else's order. The wrong store never questioned if I was at the right store or called any other store to check. They just told me the cards were in Georgia. The cards were never in Georgia. The Store that had the cards never called to see why I hadn't picked up, which the store admits is standard procedure after seven days.

But at the end of the day, I totally screwed up! I was wrong and I very graciously admitted it once it was brought to my attention.

I will say, everyone I dealt with had been well trained in dealing with a unhappy customer and tried to be helpful. I was given a discount on the cards though not the full price, "for all the trouble I went to." I did not ask for the discount as I was obviously the idiot who had them printed in the wrong store.

So after almost two weeks, two 20 mile round trips to the wrong store, and a 60 mile round trip to the right store, I have the cards sitting on my counter waiting for me to get the address labels printed so they can be mailed. My effort to make the process cheaper and quicker sure did not turn out like I planned. At the end of the day, the laugh I got when I realized my stupid mistake and the reminder to be humble and remember we all make mistakes were worth the experience.

And after all this blasted build up about the cards, I sure hope every one isn't disappointed when they arrive. Remember these are typical "I used snapshots and had them printed at Sam's cards," not something professional by any means.


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Good Parts of the Day

Ruby came in last night and saw a pan of rice fresh from the oven and exclaimed, "We are having duck duck for dinner!" When she saw my look of confusion she tried to explain. She thought we were having cous cous but got the name wrong.

Kaitlyn Princess, also known as KP, molted. It's the first time I've ever had a hermit crab molt. These were all of the parts we found from the molt I have no clue what happened to the rest. Everyone seems to be healthy and growing. The kids had mixed reactions to the molting. Some thought it was awesome and some thought it was gross. I find the idea both fascinating and disgusting all at the same time.

Rehm got new fish yesterday. Two mollies. He also ended up with a stow away baby mollie. The good news is the baby mollie has been spotted today and seems to be doing well as are the larger ones.

Charlotte and I have been reading the book Dragon Slippers for the past few weeks. Tonight we finished it. I loved watching her get excited when it all came together at the end. She can not wait to start the second book in the trilogy. The only bad part is we finished a little later than I would have liked. But when I wanted to stop we were at a real cliffhanger and I knew she was not going to be able to go to sleep until she knew what happened. She's been trying to fall asleep for a half an hour and is now stressing over the fact she can't sleep and has the STAAR test tomorrow. She is finally almost asleep. She will be fine and will do great tomorrow even though she is very worried about the test. Have I mentioned lately how much I despise all of the testing we do? But, that isn't a good thing from today so we are not going to talk about it.

More on the holiday card front to come tomorrow. It's too late for a second post tonight.


The Joke's on Me!

Ugh, ugh, ugh! Remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had finally ordered Christmas cards? Have you noticed that yours still hasn't arrived? Don't worry, it's not because you weren't on the list this year. It's because I still don't have the blasted things!

I ordered them from Sam's Club this year instead of online so that I would get them in a few days instead of a few weeks. Funny, isn't it? I originally went to pick them up on 3/20. When I got there, it was explained that online orders are all processed in Georgia. No where on the website did it tell me they were not processed in the store! And, my order status changed to "Pick up in Store" on Thursday. To me that means they are ready to be picked up in the store. But, no, it doesn't mean that at all. Apparently, I'm supposed to have some magic psychic ability to read the Sam's Club website's mind and know that it means no such thing.

The lady informed me they would call when they were ready. That is what they always do because they never know when they will arrive. Again, how was I supposed to know that? Again, she had no answers and seemed completely unaware of what was or was not explained on the website.

Today I realized they still had not called. I called and asked if they were in and was told they were. Great, my April Fool's cards would be a few days late but still close. I drive 20 minutes to go get them and spend another couple of dollars in tolls. I ask for my photos and the guy pulls put a package for Israel Mayen. Um, that's not me and I spelled my name for you! Hey Israel, if you happen to randomly be reading my blog, your photos are ready to be picked up, mine however are not.

The guy today was very polite and could understand why I would be frustrated but he had absolutely no idea when my photos would be there. He offered to get me a manager. If my photos are in photo processing hell in Georgia, the manager in Texas isn't going to do me a bit of good. The photo guy suggested I call the number on the website. I informed him the only number I had found so far was for the photo department of his store. Guess what, it isn't even a working number! It gives you an error message. It just keeps getting better.

Long story longer, I still managed to spend way too much money before leaving the store and I still don't have a Christmas card to send to anyone. I will be hunting down the number for online orders and calling them at some point today. Hopefully I'll get some answers and have cards to send soon.

If you haven't received a card in a week or two, it's not my fault, it's Sam's!

Learn from my mistake, don't order photos online from Sam's. They get held ransom in the Georgia photo processing Bermuda Triangle!