Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Flashback of a Different Sort

This is a trip back to 1982. Yes all the way to when I was nine. I have gone back in time and I am so excited. OK my mother is getting ready to roll her eyes big time. Are you ready for why I'm so excited? What could it be? Here's a hint

La, la, la, la, la, la ...

Yes, today at Target I found the first season of the Smurfs on DVD. I was as giddy as the nine year old that used to love watching it on Saturday mornings. I promptly came home and started watching!

Yes, I even took a picture of my TV screen

You know what? I still like it and I still have this goofy big smile on my face to get to see the show again. I'm sure when Rehm and Charlotte get home they will burst my bubble and find something lacking in the best cartoon of all time. Well that is assuming Rehm gets the privilege of TV back, but that is another issue altogether.

Mom are you done rolling your eyes yet? Wanna send Dad to the attic to look for my stuffed Smurfette doll?

La, la, la, la, la, la....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The New Grocery Game

This morning we needed to go grocery shopping and no one had any scheduled activities. We took a suggestion from the book Baby Proofing Your Marriage that I read recently and made grocery shopping a game. Each parent got a big kid and a little kid and half the grocery list. The first team done won and did not have to help unload the groceries from the car.

It is amazing how much quicker the grocery shopping was done and how much easier it was. Everyone had a good time. Charlotte, Eliza Claire, and I won. But only because Michael didn't follow the rules. He stopped and picked up some things that were on my half of the list and that time was enough for us to win.

Now I know you are wondering why this idea was in Baby Proofing Your Marriage. If I remember correctly it was talking about excepting this new life after kids and making it fun. Thus the example of making a family activity out of a chore. It really did make for a fun morning and I think we all enjoyed it.

I definitely think we will be playing this game again.

PS. I thought Baby Proofing Your Marriage was a good book to read. It is witty and good humored and peppered with quotes from real people. It also has some good advice as well.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Flashback Friday

About three weeks ago I cooped in Charlotte's class when they were doing their unit on Dinosaurs. That day they were starting some triops (aka auqasaur) eggs. I told the teacher all about my expensive and unsuccessful attempts to grow triops and she laughed and said she didn't think they would have any luck because she hadn't followed the directions.

I noticed about a week ago that they were still there. I asked the teacher about them. She said one day she started to throw them out because they hadn't done anything - she had them sitting on a shelf and hadn't fed them or anything - and one of the students saw something moving. Sure enough there were two triops!

As of today they have two nice sized triops living in their classroom. They are in a plastic container, have not had a constant temperature and are being fed fish food. They are doing great!

Michael continues to laugh at how annoyed I am by this. But of course he wasn't the one that failed miserably at growing them in the past. Of course this is making me want to try again. Apparently I tried too hard when I was doing them before. Here are last years endeavors...

From January 12, 2007
Our other excitement right now is growing Aquasaurs. Rehm received them for Christmas. From his parents - I managed to loose them the first time I bought them and had to purchase a second set. Then we had to have a desk lamp to help regulate the temperature. Finally, way too many dollars later, we are raising baby Aquasaurs. Rehm was very funny. After we had added the eggs to the water he got a funny look on his face and said "Oh no! in one to three days I'm going to be a parent!" He didn't sound so excited about them then.

The Fake Auqasaur - January 28, 2007

What is Frank? January 29, 2007

So long Frank February 4, 2007

Another try for Auqasuars February 17, 2006

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Today Rehm got to read a segment over the intercom during the morning announcements. One of his classes is adopting a sea turtle for their independent study project. As a class they have to raise $25 to adopt the turtle. They have made posters and collection banks and now they all get to take a turn reading the morning announcement asking all the students to donate to their cause.

Rehm was the first of the six students to have a turn. The teacher knew he would be out later in the week to have new ear tubes put in and didn't want him to miss out on the fun. He brought home the script last night and practiced several times. This morning he read through it a few more times. I could tell he was a little nervous about doing it.

I asked him how it went and he said "fine." Later he mentioned that when he came back to his class he got a round of applause. So I guess he did a good job.

Here is what he had to read:

First graders are working as hard as can be
To save the turtles that live in the sea.
So please bring your change and help us out

We'll change the world without a doubt!

Once they adopt the sea turtle they will be able to track it on the web. The class will all be working individually on learning different things about the sea turtle. They will each do a 15 minute presentation in May complete with project board and other materials.

I'm sure you will be hearing a lot more about the sea turtle.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Aggie Women's Basketball

Yesterday we headed to College Station to watch the A&M Women's Basketball game. Charlotte has been looking forward to this for a week. She was so excited to see the girls play!

We were leaving straight from church to go to the game so the night before Michael and I decided we would all just dress for the game and wear those clothes to church. So I get dressed, get the kids dressed and then Michael comes out of the closet in...a dress shirt and slacks! That is not what my husband typically wears to a sporting event! And he is the one that always tells me that God doesn't care what I wear to church, God is just glad I'm there. But there he was in dressed for church while the rest of the family was dress for a sporting event. He did decide to bring a different shirt to change into, but never quite got why I was so annoyed by his clothing choice. Men!

We got to College Station early and walked over to the MSC in hopes of shopping at the Student Store. It ended up being closed. The kids enjoyed seeing a bit of campus. Rehm wanted to know where the chemistry building and oceanography building was. Then he wanted to know why the oceanography department was in the same building with the meteorology department. Then he wanted to know what "specials" we took in college. He meant PE electives. Then he started asking why you would ride your bike on campus, and did we ride bikes when we went to college. It went on and on and on.

When we arrived at Reed Arena we learned that it was Breast Cancer Awareness day and everyone was wearing pink BTHO Breast Cancer shirts. For those of you that don't know BTHO stands for "beat the hell outta," Don't worry I didn't have a clue what it stood for and had to ask my husband, who of course knows all. Oh, and when the game started the Aggies were also wearing pink.

We went down to the Kid Court for the kids to play a bit before the game started. All four thought that was pretty neat. They had balls everywhere, including a big blow up goal and balls in the center of the court and toddler sized goals. The kids loved dribbling and passing and running around on a real basketball court.

Finally it was time for the game. We bought some popcorn and found our seats. I was surprised to see that the band and the dance team were both in attendance. For some reason I didn't expect them for a Women's game. The bottom level of the stadium was about half full. I remarked to Michael that I remember when just a few years ago that was the crowd their Men's team would have had and then there was no band, dance team, jumbotron or ribbon boards. Aggie basketball has definitely come a long way. And for a girl who grew up on Tarheel basketball, it finally seems to be a "real" basketball program.

Speaking of the jumbotron and ribbon boards. I realized at one point that I looked up at the scoreboard to check the score and was confronted with sensory overload. Between the TVs, stats, advertising, and moving graphics it took me 45 seconds just to locate the score! And the combination is so overwhelming it completely competes with the game for your attention. I swear it took me several minutes before I found the players on the actual court again! What happened to just a basketball game with a simple scoreboard? Do I really need all that? And what does the ribbon board really add to my game experience? It just distracts me while trying to tell me who my insurance carrier should be and what fast food restaurant I should eat at.

The Aggies beat Texas Tech. All four kids enjoyed the game. Eliza Claire and Ruby enjoyed the band and clapping. Charlotte like the basketball players and the strippers, I mean dancers. Did I mention that the dance team annoys me.
Why does every single dance have to have at least half the steps look more like something you would expect to see in a strip club than at a wholesome family event? Do they understand that my worst nightmare is for one of my daughters to tell me they want to be on the dance team in college? Hmmm. I'm starting to sound like an old fuddy duddy. When did that happen?

Oh, and Rehm enjoyed the game. He has obviously learned a lot playing basketball because he actually followed the game and clapped and cheered at the appropriate times.

We really did have a fun day!

Laundry, Laundry and More Laundry

It appears that lately I'm obsessing about laundry and washers and dryers. This morning I was thinking about the laundry situation and realized that in a given week I do at least one load of just regular clothes every day, plus 2 or 3 extra loads of linens on Tuesday. So that is 10 loads of laundry a week assuming no one throws up or has and accident and the cat is being good.

Last week Zach added an extra four loads to the weekly total because he peed on Rehm's bed twice and some blankets the girls left in the playroom. I had to wash everything on Rehm's bed including pillows. Luckily, he has a water proof mattress pad on his bed so the pee didn't get to the mattress.

No wonder I'm obsessed with laundry and a better washer and dryer! I'm constantly dealing with it. Either treating stains and soaking, washing, checking for stains and retreating, drying, folding, hanging or putting it away.

I have found my dream set. I know what I want. I check every week to see how good the sale is this week. And yes, I have a brochure on the fridge so I can look at it every day.

My washer is leaking if you don't push the button in after a load but not enough to have to replace it. This morning I went in to move laundry from washer to dryer. When I opened the lid the tub was still full of water. Uh oh. My first thought was "Hallelujah! I get a new machine now!" Then I realized that I accidentally pushed the button in and turned it off and didn't realize it. So it is still chugging along.

Every time I get a piece of the kids clothing out and realize that there are grease stains that got missed I think "the steam washer would have gotten that out." Or when I see the sleeves of Charlotte's shirts that I just can't get completely clean I think "I wonder if the steam washer can make that look better."

So yes I'm obsessed. I think it might be time to look for a self help group:)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Grocery Bill

Ruby, Eliza Claire and I went grocery shopping this morning. They do great for about the first half of the trip and then they are ready to be done. Today I was a bad mom and gave them unwashed grapes to keep them happy. Yes, I understand that I didn't pay for a couple of ounces of grapes and that my children may have ingested pesticides or other toxic substances. But I needed to finish shopping and it was the first thing I found in the cart that wasn't going to require me to explain to the check out person that "yes I was aware the box was open because I opened it to feed my starving children so they wouldn't scream in your store." Not to mention it was Ruby and Eliza who make a sport out of seeing what they can find on the floor to eat!

Going into to the store today I thought this would be a cheap week at the grocery store. I didn't think we had that much on our list. But when the final bill was tallied after coupons it was $142 and some change. Ugh! How do I trim the bill? Last week was a big trip - it had been a week and a half since we had been to the store - and it was $160. It appears we spend roughly $150 a week on groceries. That is $600 a month and doesn't include all the things we buy at Sam's (diapers, cat litter, laundry detergent, dog food, about 1/2 of our meat, etc.)!

So how do I reduce the bill? I try to buy meat on sale. I use some coupons. I buy a LOT of store brand items. I try not to buy too much prepackaged stuff - today I did buy juice boxes, sponge bob crackers, and propel that were prepackaged. I try to only buy the produce that is in season. I did buy strawberries today but only because they were finally under $3 a pound.

I did notice that all of the dairy items have gone up significantly in price recently and we seem to eat quite a bit of dairy. I probably purchased $40 of dairy products alone - that included block cheddar, shredded cheddar, 4 gallons of organic milk, and six containers of yogurt- it seems like there were other items but I can't think of them now. I know I'm paying more for the organic milk but at the moment feel like the extra $6 a week is worth it to not have growth hormones and antibiotics in my kids milk. Maybe not, I'm really still on the fence but that $6 a week isn't the problem.

So where do I cut? I feel like we are doing a good job of eating at home and packing our lunches instead of eating out but I feel like the grocery bill is still too high. I think I do a good job of price comparison and buying store brands. I try to use coupons when it makes sense. So what else can I do? Or is this just what it costs to feed a family of six?

Off to finish putting away groceries.

Valentine Girls

I tried to get a good picture of the three girls together on Valentine's Day. I never got one where they all three looked good in the same shot. But they still are cute!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Flashback

I am shamelessly stealing this idea from my friend Linda. She started this a few weeks ago and I have throughly enjoyed it. I am adding a little twist and not doing all pictures. I hope you enjoy, maybe this will become a weekly thing.

Here is my blog entry from last Valentine's Day. I read it last night and it made me LOL. I had completely forgotten about this. It made me so happy that I am blogging and recording all these wonderful snippets of life. I hope you enjoy it reading it again too.

And now for some pictures...

Eliza Claire and Ruby Feb. 2007

Rehm and Charlotte Feb. 2006

Rehm and Charlotte in the snow at Cici and Papa's house in Feb. 2006

Rehm 11 months old in Feb. 2002

Happy Friday,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day with lots of Hugs, Kisses and Smiles!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Uh Oh!

What a fun day. I've just realized there is literally only one diaper left in the house. And I don't know when either Michael or I will have time to get more. As soon as Ruby and Eliza get up from their nap I have to take Rehm to choir. Then I have to work until 7:45. Michael has meetings until 5:00 and then he has to come to get the kids from church and get them to bed.

I wonder which one of us is going to cart 3 or 4 kids into the grocery store to buy diapers. Why doesn't the grocery store have a drive through for picking up those one or two items you need? It would be so helpful on days like today. I even have a slew of cloth diapers, but I gave away all of my covers so they are no help either.

I never let the diapers get this low. How did this happen?

And to top it off I just went in Rehm's room and oops I left the cat closed up in there all day. Not a great thing to do when the cat is 14.5 years old and diabetic. He has peed on Rehm's bed. Luckily it has a waterproof mattress pad on it. Now I have at least two more loads of laundry to do today and that doesn't count the three loads I've already started that are waiting to be folded. As I was stuffing the comforter in the washing machine, I kept chanting to myself, "I need a front loader, I need a front loader!"


Monday, February 11, 2008


Ah the world of twins is a whole new experience. The way they interact with each other and the things they do are so funny. A few days ago they Eliza was laying on the floor. Ruby walked up and sat on her stomach. They both burst out laughing. This is what followed.

If you can't view the slide show you can see the pictures here.

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby

Last Thursday or Friday I made popcorn for the kids to snack on. One of the big kids spilled some on the carpet. I saw Ruby messing around and realized she had put a popcorn kernel up her nose. I helped her blow it out. This happened a second time before I got the popcorn cleaned up. I just shook my head. Why in the world would you want to put something up your nose?

So this morning Ruby is eating breakfast and her nose is runny. I get her a tissue and ask her to blow. She blows really hard and out pops a popcorn kernel! Any bets on if there are more still up there? That could not have been comfortable for the past three of four days. Silly, silly girl.

Ah the joys of toddlerhood.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Another Visit So Soon?

Yep, we are keeping the tooth fairy busy this week. Rehm has lost another tooth! If she is as generous as she has been in the past he will have had a very profitable week. Rehm earned a $10 Toys R Us gift card at Bible Adventures (Sunday school) and has been trying to earn another one so he would have enough money to buy a Pokemon starter kit. It looks like he will have enough money to buy it tomorrow without having to earn another gift card.

In case you are wondering, the tooth fairy brings $5 a tooth to our house. Before you start giving me a hard time, remember that is at most $100 over the course of 6 years or so. So far in 10 months we have had to cough up all of $20. Rehm only gets $1.50 a week for allowance and he only gets $1.05 of that to actually spend. So if the tooth fairy is a little generous that is OK.

Where do you think I'll be tomorrow afternoon?
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I had mustard on my sandwich at lunch today. I am now wearing it on my shirt. My Mommy has chosen not to change my clothes as she thinks I'll just get something else on them. If you see me today, please notice my new hair cut and not my dirty shirt. My Mommy and I would both appreciate it!

And yes, my Mommy knows there are things called bibs that keep some food off of my clothes. I however, don't really like them and tend to take them off before my food arrives. Or my other trick is to just smear the food on my pants or sleeves if I wear a bib.

I'll give you a big smile if I see you today, especially if you tell me how pretty I am.
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today Rehm and I had a breakfast date. OK, I have to admit I didn't really plan the day that way, but after I dropped all the girls off for school I realized that while I needed to work it was an opportunity to do something special with Rehm. So I took an hour to take him for his favorite - pancakes at Kerbey Lane.

While we were waiting for our food Rehm asked me, "Mom, four times what, equals 100?" I asked him if he knew the answer and he said "no" so I told him it was 25 and reminded him that it was like 4 quarters making a dollar. Then I asked him, "two times what, equals 100?" He immediately answered "50!" We continued playing our game.


He answered all without pause. When we got to 2*_=3 I expected him to be stumped. He thought for a second and said "1 1/2!" At this point I about fell in the floor. I really did not expect him to get that one. I expected to have to explain it and then it make sense. But no, he knew the answer.

So then I asked him, "Two times what, equals negative two?" He didn't know the answer so I asked, "two times what, equals two?" He immediately answered "two!" So I repeated the first question and he immediately answered "negative one!" Then I asked, "two times what, equals negative six?" He immediately answered, "negative three."

Later in the day we were in the car and he was scribbling math facts on a sheet of paper. He asked me "Mom, four times what equals six?" I asked if he knew the answer and he said, "yeah, it is 1.5!" He went on doing this kind of math for several minutes. I was and continue to be shocked that my first grader can do multiplication with fractions. Then he really surprised me when he said "Mom, 4+4+4+1/2=12 1/2 and that is the same as 4*3+1/2!" Again he did several more number examples of doing the addition and then changing it to the appropriate multiplication.

I asked him if they were doing this in math at school. I've not seen anything come home beyond addition and subtraction, so I didn't think so? He said they hadn't. Maybe this isn't unusual for a first grader but I don't remember this kind of stuff making sense to me this early.

I'm just glad he enjoys math so much.

Now I have to admit for a brief second I thought, "maybe I should homeschool, this is actually fun to see these things click." Then I remembered that I have four kids, not one. And while this was fun, it wouldn't be so much fun with the other three all needing my attention while trying to have school with Rehm. And it wouldn't be so much fun when I was doing school for four children all at different levels. And that while Rehm likes math trying to get him to work on his handwriting or write a story is torture. I quickly thanked God for the wonderful teachers he has and the wonderful school he goes to. Homeschooling is not for me and it wouldn't be the same thing as playing math games while having special one on one time.

Back to reality,


Charlotte at 18 Months
Eliza Claire at 19 months

So now you can decide just how much you think they look alike...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

What is wrong with this picture?

Oh, Tooth Fairy!


Rehm has had a loose tooth forever. I swear it has been at least two months. Several weeks ago he and I both thought it would be out before the week was over. We were both wrong. Today I asked him how the tooth was. He opened up so I could see and I predicted it would be out before the day was through.

About halfway through our gourmet dinner of mac and cheese he clasp a hand over his mouth and said "My tooth!" Michael and I both thought he had swallowed it. But no, it was still there but now barely hanging by a thread. I took him to the bathroom and barely touched it and out it came. This is the first tooth he has lost at home the other two were both at school.


I guess the tooth fairy will have to come tonight. I hope she doesn't forget...

Silver Belle Ranch

Last weekend our family go the privilege of going to Silver Belle Ranch to visit our friends the Kelleys. Shelly and I have been friends for nine years. However, we have only met in person maybe a half a dozen times. You see we met when we were each pregnant with our first child on a message board on ivillage (back when it was parentsoup). We have remained friends since and still talk regularly on our now private board with about 20 other moms who all had babies due in September of 1999.

It is always interesting when we see each other because it does not seem like so much time has passed between visits as we talk regularly online. The last time I saw Shelly in person, Charlotte was under a year old, so it has been at least 3 years. I had never met Brenna and she is five. When we do get to see each other it seems like a regular occurrence, not something that only happens every few years.

When we arrived the kids immediately started playing together and having a great time. Everyone that is except Eliza Claire. She was a bit out of sorts to be in a new place with new people. Every time someone looked at her or spoke to her she cried and came running to me. After a few hours she warmed up a bit but still wanted to be where she could see me.

We all took a walk down to one of the tanks. Rehm kept asking what the cows names were. Several of them had ear tags with numbers. He would say "What is number 12's name?" Shelly would say "Number 12!" So he would ask about a different one. I'm not sure he ever caught on. The cows started following us back to the house which made Rehm a little worried. They were just hoping for some food.

At one point in the afternoon Rehm asked me when we would get to ride the "EPGs." I laughed and told him I didn't know but if he didn't know what they were called he had no business riding on them. A little while later Bryan and Mr. Henley were nice enough to take Rehm and Charlotte for a spin on the ATVs. They of course had a blast. Shelly and I also went for a quick drive to see some of the property. It is so peaceful and beautiful.

We enjoyed dinner with everyone and then it was time to head home. On the way home we saw two rabbits, one deer, and one opossum.

My big kids talked about nothing else for the next 24 hours. They had a blast playing with Cameron and Brenna and being in the country. On days like these I realize I really am raising city kids! Yikes!

Here are some more pictures and what Shelly had to say about the day.

I hope it isn't quite so long before we get to visit with them again.