Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'll Show You!

This is what happens when you insist on a child emptying the dishwasher when she really doesn't want. Notice the plates on the bottom left and the bowls on the top right. Yeah, that really showed me. Last I checked all the dishes are in the cabinets and the dishwasher is empty. I'm sure this tactic even made the chore take extra time. I wonder if she thinks it was worth it.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Palette Expander 3 of 4

Eliza Claire got her palette expander this week. Charlotte had hers removed last week. I found the timing funny. I joked with the girls that the orthodontist was going to sterilize Charlotte's appliance and use it for Eliza Claire. Neither girl thought that was a good idea.

Eliza Claire is our third child to have a palette expander. Ruby will be getting hers in 6 to 12 months. Every single one has a cross bite.

I did learn something new with this go round. Each crank of the appliance pushes the palette by 1/4 mm. A penny is 1 mm thick. We will be expanding Eliza Claire's palette by six pennies, almost a full inch! I've decided that orthodontia is modern day torture.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone


I've gotten really lazy about taking sports pictures. Here is Eliza Claire playing basketball.

And here is Ruby entertaining herself while Eliza Claire plays basketball.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Way to Go Charlotte!

I'm so proud of Charlotte and her progress with spelling and writing this year. Look at this awesome spelling test.

The cartoon is pretty appropriate for my life. My mother-in-law was nice enough to cut it out for me.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

This Dog!

I love this dog to death, but she sure can get into trouble. It seems to have become a pattern for her to get in trouble if we are not home in the evenings. I can leave her all day and no trouble, leave her in the evening for an hour and trouble city!

This particular night she knocked a stack of mail and papers off the counter and swiped Charlotte's valentine box from school and ate lots of candy.

When Charlotte was inventorying her candy, she realized that Pearl had eaten a small bag of M&Ms. She was so mad at her for eating her stuff, but burst into tears because she thought Pearl would die from eating the chocolate and it would all be Charlotte's fault. I assured her that it wasn't enough chocolate to hurt Pearl and that even if it was it was not her fault.

This bag used to contain a bunch of candy hearts. Pearl seemed to think they were extra tasty.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Tsumommy Averted

This weekend there was a major Tsumommy warning. I was this close to completely losing it and unleashing Tsumommy.

It came to a head when I asked two children to pick a chore to help clean the downstairs of the house and both responded with basically "Um, no, thanks."

Yeah, that did not go over well, at all. Luckily I refrained from unleashing Tsumommy and over the course of the next hour or so got the kids to see that it was in their best interest to help out.

It shocking how well my son can vacuum when properly motivated. I told him his vacuuming job would determine how well I drove him to his evening plans. He looked at me dumbfounded and uttered, "What do you mean?" I explained that if he did a mediocre job, I would, too. Meaning, I would not take him the whole way if the floors weren't completely clean. If they were half clean, he'd get half a ride. The look on his face when that sunk in was priceless.

I was thrilled that I refrained from yelling and blaming to get things done. After stewing on the situation a bit I realized that the kids weren't the only ones to blame for their current slobbish habits.

I was also to blame. I had not been holding them accountable for their part. I had made it too easy for them to not clean up after themselves or help out because I had stopped expecting it.

Well, my friends, that has changed. Tonight, I asked Rehm twice to take the garbage cans to the curb. I realized at 10:00 that I had not heard him complete the chore. I texted him and this is what happened.

Yep, I insisted he get up and do it. Forgetting was not an excuse. I didn't care that it was inconvenient, he would come up with another way to make it inconvenient in the morning.

I've also revived the uh oh box, which really isn't a box, it's the top of the refrigerator. It currently contains three backpacks, two pairs of shoes, at least one lunch box, and a couple of other things. Yes, there will be drama in the morning when they realize they have extra chores to do before they can go to school, but I bet tomorrow they put these things away.

I'm glad I took a bit of time to quit bemoaning their poor habits and look at how my expectations were causing the problem. Now to get things back on track around here.


Sunday, February 16, 2014


It amazing what an affect me getting sick has on the family. I was out of commission Wednesday and Thursday with a stomach bug or food poisoning. I'm still not sure which.

Ruby had to be picked up early from school on Tuesday because she had gotten sick at school. She never had another symptom and was completely fine. If I got it from her, I would have expected someone else to have also gotten sick in the family. And, I was much sicker than Ruby. I don't know. I guess it doesn't really matter.

What does matter is how much didn't get done awhile I was not well and how long it takes to catch up on everything. The only good result is my husband really appreciates what I do, after having to do everything for a couple of days.

Wednesday morning before leaving for work Michael asked if I needed anything. I told him I needed my dog. Don't get me wrong, I love both of my dogs, but Pearl is the perfect dog when I don't feel well. This is where she stayed pretty much all day Wednesday and until about noon on Thursday.

I'm glad to be feeling better and caught up enough to be back to blogging.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Am Over Homework

Please tell me my kids are not the only ones that come up with every excuse under the sun to put off homework. When I finally force them to do it I'm met with whining, screaming, and tears. It drives me crazy. And of course they swear they need me to help them with their homework. Meaning they want me to sit beside them the entire time they work on it, even when it is stuff they have the skills to do independently.

Of course, if I decide that I'm done fighting this battle and they can suffer the school consequences and don't make them do it, come bedtime they panic because their homework isn't finished. Drama ensues, magnified by tiredness. I hear how if homework isn't finished they will miss part of recess, have to sit at the special do your homework table at lunch, get a conduct code, etc.

When I asked today what we could do to get homework done with out all the drama, I was informed I needed to make it fun! I nipped that in the bud immediately. Nope. Not happening. Not my job. I will be available to listen to them read, answer questions, and help with things they don't understand. I will not be finding ways to make it fun. They can figure that out, it's not my job and I'm not taking that one on. Nope. No sirree. Not me.

I hate homework. There I said it. I know it has a purpose, but the screaming has to stop. I can't take it anymore.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Ruby and Rawleighs

Cici, I remembered the Rawleighs tonight. Ruby was hilarious! She kept repeating, "Is it really, really cold or is it burning?"

I told her that Granny would have sworn that Rawleighs would fix any bruise, cut or scrape. She wanted to know how it worked. I told her I didn't know but Granny was usually right about things like this.

As you can see she could not hold still for a picture. And yes, her shirt is wrong side out and backwards. I didn't bother mentioning it. She would have just shrugged and told me she didn't care.

Charlotte, later, complained about her carpet burn on her knee from Saturday's basketball game. I told her Rawleighs would fix it right up and slathered some on her,as well.

I told Charlotte that you bought me my can when I went to college. She wanted to know if I would buy her her own can of Rawleighs when she went to college. Then she asked where you could buy it. I told her maybe Websters.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

No Sleep for the Weary and other Sunday Happenings

Ugh! I just left Charlotte's room. She had a horrible time falling asleep tonight. She was stressed over not being able to sleep which just makes it that much harder. She kept falling asleep, snoring or talking, then waking and swearing she had not been to sleep at all, yet. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! We've got to find a better solution.

In the morning I have to decide whether to wake her at her regular time or let her sleep and then freak out when she wakes and realizes she is late for school.

This morning I left everyone the same message in their hearts. I hid them in their seats at the table knowing that everyone doesn't usually sit down to eat breakfast together on Sundays.

Ruby had breakfast first. She came back upstairs with a twinkle in her eye. She snuggled up to me and asked if she really was my favorite. I assured her that she was. She gave me the biggest smile and hug. It was adorable.

All went well until we came home from church and Charlotte found her heart. Everyone just happened to be in the kitchen, Charlotte read hers aloud, to herself. Immediately there were multiple exclamations about each person having that message. Eliza Claire declared that she found hers first so clearly she was the favorite. Ruby informed her that she had found hers before Eliza Claire and was therefore the favorite. I assured them all that they are all my favorites. Luckily, they all took it in good humor and today's message did not backfire.

Ruby's head is looking better today and is bandage free. Still a bit bruised but healing, I just realized that I forgot to put any Rawleighs on it before I sent her to bed. My Granny swore by this salve for everything, but especially bruises. Mom even reminded me today when I talked to her and I still didn't do it.

It was such a nice day that Ruby asked if we could eat dinner outside. She offered to clean and set the table. It was a lovely evening for dining outside. It's a good thing we got that end before the next arctic blast this week.

Eliza Claire has decided that since I am hiding surprises for her that she should hide surprises for me. Being seven she can not wait for me to find them. She always comes to give me a nudge in the right direction. Tonight, she left these treasures for me.

Her note says, "You're my star." She really knows how to make a mom feel special. Maybe, I'm her favorite!

Jenn - the favorite mom

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Typical Saturday

My kids went to bed super late last night because if the Toros game. I don't think anyone was asleep before 11:00.

Charlotte had an 8:00 am basketball game. I was not at that game. I was at home with the still sleeping children. And by that, I mean I was also still sleeping.

This was Miss Eliza Claire right before I woke her to get ready for her game.

After basketball games, we had lunch with Grandma and Grandpa. I love having grandparents close by that can come to so many of the kids' activities. They even made it to Charlotte's early game, unlike Charlotte's mother.

Rehm was at the middle school for a band rehearsal. He missed lunch with the family. He was not happy.

This afternoon Ruby and Eliza Claire played with their friend Ellery. This seems to be the new Saturday afternoon norm. The three of them have a lot of fun together.

The kids all found their Valentine's hearts. The girls actually had to do a bit of searching for theirs today. Rehm told me his was too easy today. I explained that given
His tendency toward obliviousness I didn't think I needed to make his difficult. I expected him to complain about today's treat. I was surprised when I saw him walking around later in the day with it on his shirt.

Poor Ruby injured herself this evening. Somehow she managed to walk into a corner wall and cut her head. She had a small goose egg, as well. She is fine. As of bed time it was barely oozing when I changed the bandage. Yes, Cici, I've assessed her for head injury and she is fine.

Ruby is such an interesting child. She really doesn't like to do anything to call attention to herself. This sounds funny given her ability to throw a major fit at any time over anything or nothing. When she gets injured especially she will tell you she is completely gone, even when she isn't. Today she was furious with herself for doing something she deemed to be stupid. Since she thought it was stupid, she would not admit that it hurt, even though it was obvious it had to. It was three or four hours later before she finally admitted her head hurt and let me give her something for it.

To help her with feeling like she had made a stupid mistake Charlotte, Eliza Claire and I all told her stories of things we had run into that we should not have. Charlotte, a poll between two doors; Eliza Claire, a wall when sleep walking and a pole on the playground when running; me, a glass door. That did seem to make her feel a little better.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Photos From my Phone

Here are a few pictures from this week that I realize never made it to the blog.

Pearl making her self at home on the couch. She looks very uncomfortable to me. I guess she was too lazy/sleepy to knock one of the pillows in the floor, like usual.

A hidden Valentine's Day heart, with a message tucked inside. These have been a huge hit. Even Rehm seems to like them.

All that fruit was found in the fruit drawer, where it belongs. Unfortunately, it was frozen solid. Ugh! We had this problem several months ago. Michael replaced the thermostat and the problem stopped. I'm thinking a new fridge is in our future.

This is from Wednesday night dinner at church. Ruby doesn't choose to go to choir with her sisters. This week she helped Mrs. Kern make the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children who don't like the hot dinner being served.

We were short servers that evening so Rehm and I helped serve on the main food line. It is a fun way volunteer with the boy. We get to spend a bit of time together and say hello to many of our diners.

Another Pearl shot. This time curled up in a chair looking more like a cat than a dog. I think she was cold. I need to find her clothes.

I'm not sure who is behind me and why they insisted on this silly picture. I think they were making me a moose.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, February 07, 2014

Another Bad Weather Day

Due to a chance of freezing drizzle all schools in the area cancelled school today. In our area the roads stayed completely dry. Cold, but dry. I'm glad it stayed dry as it allowed me to take care of some errands that really needed to get done and get to my Block of the Month class.

I didn't think I was going to get to go to Block of the Month today as Charlotte was supposed to have a field trip today. She informed me earlier in the week that I had never been on one of her school filed trips but had attended multiple ones for her siblings.

I really thought I had been on at least one, but when she went through the list she was right. Talk about major mommy guilty. Though in my defense, the first two I didn't go on because the twins were not in school yet, the next two were due to limited numbers of tickets as they were going to plays. Last year, I have not excuse for that one. Or if I did have an excuse I forgot what it was.

My poor middle child. I am starting to understand why middle children complain about getting lost in the shuffle. Maybe they really do have a point.

Is it bad that I was excited the filed trip didn't happen today? I really didn't want to miss my class. But I really would have gone on the field trip.

This evening we went to a Toros game. I'd call it minor league basketball but that would be the incorrect term. I don't know what they call the NBA feeder teams. I could look it up, but honestly that would take more effort than I am willing to exert at this point in the evening.

It was nice to go to the game,. It was even nicer to get to visit with friends and see everyone's kids, and to see all the kids have fun together.

Charlotte is feeling much better, finally. She still has the occasional coughing fit but overall is back to her normal self. The antibiotics seem to have done the trick. Tonight is he first time I weeks that I have not spent over an hour in her room helping her go to sleep. I'm thrilled, but apparently, not getting to sleep any earlier because of it.

I spoke too soon. She just came to get me. I'm off to get some snuggles from my girl.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Weird Weather, Weird Week, Wonderful Words

The weather has been strange this winter. We have had to late start days and tomorrow will make our third full bad weather day. Today was a delayed start day and it turned out all the precipitation, a trace in most places, ended up well south of us. Tomorrow may very we'll end up the same way. No school and no bad weather. Only time will tells us.

It doesn't help that we had teacher work days Monday through Wednesday of this week. I enjoyed our days off but I was happy to have them going back to school for the rest of the week. That means, my children spent exactly five hours in school this week.

Tonight I found this lovely surprise from one of my children, Eliza Claire. It says: "Before you sew I love you. Love, someone in your family. PS. One kid." Isn't it adorable? I think someone likes her daily Valentines. Today I put their hearts in their lunch boxes. I love that they are feeling special and are learning to do nice things for others in return.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Why is it?

I took Charlotte to the doctor today because her cough is still horrible five days after our initial visit. She coughed all the way there. She coughed all the way home. She did not cough a single time while we were at the doctors office. Argh! I swear she did it just to make me look crazy. Of course, I coughed the the whole time we were there.

Hopefully the new medicines will give her some relief and she will be up to going to school tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Fixed for Now



Since we are on February break I scheduled dentist and orthodontist appointments for today. Dentist for all and orthodontist for Eliza Claire.

Rehm's appointment had to be rescheduled due to a band rehearsal he had to go to. Can you hear my annoyance in my typing? Ugh! And he told me about it at the last minute.

In addition to a cleaning Eliza Claire also had her front two teeth repaired. She spent an hour an a half in the dentist's chair and thirty minutes later had to have X-rays and spacers at the orthodontist. She was a trooper and her new teeth look great!

The big question is, how long until she does something to these teeth again? Any bets?

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Overheard from the Backseat

But stealing is more fun! ~Eliza Claire

What?! It seems Ruby was telling Eliza Claire that she should ask to borrow Ruby's socks before taking them.

Meanwhile Charlotte was doing a neb treatment for her wheezy cough that just won't go away.

Given our afternoon of appointments. I was glad she could do the treatment in the van on the way to the dentist.


Eliza Claire on Reading

Reading is awesome because it lets your imagination go wild! - Eliza Claire

I'm sure her teacher will be as thrilled as I was to hear this. I love having children who love reading. I am blessed that all four enjoy the pastime.

Learning Ally has been a huge help to my tow that have dyslexia. It allows them to read books their peers are reading without the frustration. We are lucky that our school provides accounts for both of our girls who need this wonderful tool.


Love Notes for my Children

Last year I used a Pinterest idea and wrote notes on hearts and put them on the kids' doors each day from February 1st until February 14th. The girls loved it. I think Rehm secretly did as we'll but was too "grown up" to admit it.

I realized yesterday that I had already fallen behind for this year. Instead of trying to catch up or give up on the idea completely I decided to do something a little different this year.

Today I made these little stuffed hearts. They have a keychain attached and a small little pocket, perfect for small notes or treats. My plan is to hide them in their rooms tomorrow with the following note:

This little pouch is yours to have, please let me borrow it until St. Valentine's Day.
Each day I'll add a kind word or surprise, and tuck it away for you to find.
Once your surprise you've found please let me know, I'll borrow it again and on it will go.

Then, each day I'll hide them somewhere different. When Valentine's Day arrives my three girls will have cute little key chains to add to their backpacks and Rehm can hide his in some random spot in his room.


Monday, February 03, 2014

Seeing the face of God

Our family attended church yesterday, like we do most Sundays. We worshipped as a family at the 8:15 service, again, like usual. I left in tears. Not bad tears. Tears of wonder. Tears of love. Tears of compassion. Tears of empathy.

Yesterday the wonderful gentleman playing the piano touched my heart. He is battling serious illness. This was to be his last Sunday to play for this service. His health is not good. Despite his health, and barely being able to sit at the piano, he played beautifully as always.

I was moved to tears, watching and listening to him play. I was witnessing what true sacrificial service looked like. I was also witnessing what pure worshipping of God looks like.

I thought of how easy it can be to skip church because of other commitments, being tired, having a cold, etc. I thought about how easy it is to be in the service but not be mentally present. I thought about all the ways I fall short of serving my God and worshiping Him.

I was brought to tears by the beauty of seeing such pure devotion and witness. I'm brought to tears as I write this and every time I think about worship yesterday. I am so very blessed that I got to be present for such an amazing and selfless gift.

Thank you Vince and Jan. I know it was not easy to be there yesterday but you were both an amazing blessing to me and I'm sure many, many others.


Saturday, February 01, 2014

Happiness in the Little Things

These pictures show three things that made me smile today.

I love these sunny yellow flowers. Can you tell what they are? They are broccoli flowers. One of my three broccoli plants bolted. The other two are fine and looks like they just might produce edible broccoli, eventually. I have no idea why one bolted and the others didn't or what caused it to bolt. This is the first time I've planted broccoli.

Above my posies hangs a stained glass piece of two birds. I bought this for Christmas one year for my Granny. I was in college at the time so the piece is approximately 20 years old. It hung in her kitchen window. She frequently looked out that window to check on the cows, admire her gorgeous flower garden, check the weather, etc. It makes me smile and think of her.

Next to my unusual flowers is a piece of McCoy pottery that one belonged to my great grandmother. I was very young when she passed away. Oddly enough one of my earliest memories is being at her funeral. Not a bad memory, just sitting in a pew and wanting to go to my Daddy who was one of the pall bearers, and thus, not sitting with us. I've always been a daddy's girl.

I realize I need to add something that reminds me of my mom to my window. Hmmm. I'll have to give that some thought. Mom? Do you have any ideas?

I love having reminders of the strong women in my family softly encouraging me each day.