Sunday, April 29, 2007


Does the title mean anything to you? It sure would if you lived in this house with JOEL. He has a powerful set of lungs that the Lord has blessed him with. I hope someday that he will use those lungs for God's glory. Honestly I wish that he would use them today for His glory!!!! Joel has an amazing way lately of stressing me out with his crying and screaming fits. Recently every time Jeff asks me how I am doing, I just answer according to how Joel is acting. If Joel is being quiet and playing by himself, I am very happy no matter what else might be happening. If Joel is throwing a fit, I am not doing well at all (no matter what else might be happening). If it were at all possible to live without lungs, Joel's would be donated to the next person that needed them!! It is a good thing that Joel has also been blessed with a wonderful smile. When he is good he is very good, but when he is out, he is impossible!!! I am just praying that we will be consistent with him and break this NASTY habit that he has started. I am trying not to get overwhelmed and fear what the future holds for us with this bundle of WILL!!

The weather here is supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow. The children are looking forward to going swimming. I am looking forward to being outside and not cleaning the house for a couple of hours!!! With the garage sale coming up this weekend, my house just can't seem to stay clean for five minutes. My house needs to be declutered!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Growing up

Lauren looking very happy! She loves her new look, but doesn't care for the pain too much!

Amy has been dressing up as a "bride" lately! I will have to save this picture for her wedding day! It will be so sweet to compare the two pictures.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tonight's Entertainment

Joel and Bradley were outside my door watching Mr. Bryan "play" with the back hoe! We were outside for almost an hour watching him rip out two tree stumps. I will say that Bryan is fearless in that machine, he tipped it every which way. More than once he had ALL four wheels off the ground at the same time!!

Earlier today, Lauren and I got our hair cut. This was her first professional haircut. Leanne did a great job at giving Lauren layers and making her look a lot older!! Everyone that has seen her likes this new look! I wish that I could show you a picture, but she is like her mother and avoids the camera. Maybe after she gets her braces on tomorrow, she will let me take a picture of the total new look!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Let me see!

It has been almost a week since my last post. Let me see if I can remember all that has been happening. First of all, our computer has been to blame for the long absence. We got a new one a few weeks ago and we returned it last Thursday. (didn't like a lot of stuff about it) Well until we get another new one, I am forced to use our old one. Everytime I tried to get on the old one this died on me. I tried it again this morning and it is working for now!! YIPPEE!!
The weather here has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! The children are outside all the time. Friday they played with our friend Joanna Maines who stayed for the weekend. Joanna is 17 and she is the favorite "friend" for all the kids around here. It is really cute to hear them come over to my house and ask if Miss Joanna will play with them!! Friday night Joanna and I priced TONS of clothes for a garage sale that some of us are having the first weekend of May. We did more pricing on Saturday and I still have plenty more to do. I can't wait until it is all over with.
Saturday night Joanna and I went grocery shopping at Walmart. When we were done I took her home. I got home around 10:15, all the children around our house were in bed and asleep. When I got out of my van, with a load of stuff in my hands, I accidently pressed the PANIC button on our keyless remote. I did exactly as the button said I panicked. The alarm was blaring and I couldn't seem to think straight and turn it off. When I finally did turn it off someone next door peeked out to see what all the noise was. I was totally embarrassed! As far as I know, I didn't wake any of the sleeping children! Mine slept through it, even with their window wide open and the van parked right under it. The whole thing makes me wonder if they would ever hear a fire alarm if one went off.
Sunday was perfect. The message at church was so thought provoking, that I spent a lot of time that day in prayer! We had a real family day. Because of the weather we spent most of the day outside. Jeff and the kids played soccer, the kids went swimming (IN ICE COLD WATER), canoeing and then to top it all off we had pizza for supper. My nephews Austin and Bradley came over for pizza too. Later that night I got a call from a woman named Dorothy. She is a sweet friend who is VERY lonely. I am so glad that God had her call me. Our family needs to go spend some time with her soon. After that I called my mom. I miss her. She was really sick so we didn't talk for as long as we usually do. I went to bed around 11:30 thinking that I loved this Sunday!!!
Today is a whole new day. Jeff is doing testing for students taking achievement tests, the children and I did school this morning, it looks like it might rain any second, and Joel has been VERY fussy ever since Daddy left this morning. I hope this day gets better!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My assumption was wrong

We took Lauren and Emily to the orthodontist today. I totally assumed that Emily would be getting braces for sure and thought that maybe Lauren would need them too. After many xrays and pictures, Dr. Chad told us that both girls needed them. He is having us wait for Emily's braces until her baby teeth are gone, maybe in 6 to 12 months she will be ready for braces. (She is very disappointed to have to wait!!) On the other hand he said that Lauren should start her braces as soon as possible. She has a lot of work to be done, two years worth! I was shocked, but during the exam he showed me that Lauren's mouth is shaped like mine was before braces. She really does need them. It is official, Lauren will be getting braces next Wednesday!! After two discounts, the total for Lauren's extensive mouth work was $5,080.00!! My stomach was in knots after paying that bill. I praise the Lord for providing the money, but man was it HARD to let it go. Emily's work will not cost as much, PRAISE THE LORD!!

I have a huge request for anyone out there in blog land that has a Dorothy doll from a McDonald's Happy Meal. If you have one and are willing to part with it....MAY I PLEASE HAVE IT!!! My wonderful sister-in-law Jana, is collecting the whole set and she is missing Dorothy. Just email me at and we can figure out the shipping cost!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Homemade Play Dough

Today was play dough day! Here are some pictures of the fun that they had playing with it. They played for HOURS together on our back porch.

Homemade Play Dough
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 T cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 T vegetable oil
2 t food coloring

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium pot. Add water, food coloring and oil. Stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Don't worry if the mixture looks like a globby mess; it'll turn into dough! When the mixture forms a ball in the center of the pot, turn off the stove and let it cool. Then take it out of the pot and put it on a floured surface and kneed. When done, put it in a plastic bag or airtight container and store it in the fridge.
We LOVE this stuff!! It doesn't stink like the other stuff does and it lasts for forever. When it gets sticky, just add more flour to it! ENJOY!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Some of my favorite things

Favorite things to eat...
1. Pizza
2. Fried rice and stir fry vegetables
3. Olive Garden Salad and breadsticks

Favorite things to do...
1. Spend time with Jeff
2. Be outside in the warm sun
3. Take a nap

Favorite things to receive...
1. A smile
2. A compliment
3. A hug

Favorite things to buy...
1. Chocolate
2. Almost anything on sale
3. Things for the kids

Favorite things to do with my kids...
1. Take them to the park
2. Have a great heart to heart talk with them
3. Watch them play with each other

Favorite friends...
1. Jeff
2. Karen Sutton
3. Paige Weeks/ Leah Hitt

Favorite colors...
1. Blue
2. Green
3. Khaki

Favorite places to shop...
1. Walmart
2. Goodwill
3. A good garage sale

Favorite authors...
1. Karen Kingsbury
2. Beth Moore
3. Elizabeth George

Favorite states to visit...
1. Arizona
2. Florida
3. South Carolina

Favorite things to drink...
1. Cold water
2. Cranberry/ Apple juice
3. Diet Coke

Favorite things to find...
1. Money
2. A clean house
3. A letter in the mailbox

I will stop here. I hope that you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me. Have a great day!

Friday, April 13, 2007

We are home

Wow what a week!! Sorry that I haven't written in so long!
Monday and Tuesday were full of shopping, swimming, playing at the park and packing.
Wednesday morning started real early for us. We left my mom's house by 5:15. We got to the airport a little after 6:00. It was a rush from there. We checked in a TON of luggage and hurried to our gate. We took off at 7:30. Our three hour flight took us to Cincinnati, Ohio. This flight was very easy for me. Amy watched a movie and Joel slept! We landed in Cincinnati at 2:00 (their time). We had a three hour lay over to enjoy. That airport is a fun place to be for three hours, it is so big and has lots of elevators, trams, buses, and moving sidewalks to ride. We had a blast! Our plane was scheduled to leave at 5:00, but it was late and over booked. They offered two blessed volunteers a hotel nights stay, food vouchers and 400 Delta dollars each (to be used for future air fare). I have prayed for this opportunity EVERY time I have flown! Amy and I volunteered! We felt like royalty! They took care of our EVERY need. (They already had our luggage on the plane, so we were pretty needy!) They drove us to a very nice hotel. This hotel had everything that you could want....except for a bathing suit for Amy. They had little shops, restuarants, two swimming pools, tennis courts, an exercise room and a great room for us to sleep in! It was such an neat place to be, I so wished that the rest of the family could have been there to enjoy it with us!
Delta gave us $63.00 worth of vouchers to spend on TWO meals for the three of us. I could spend them at any vendor at the airport or at the hotel. I had so much fun spending them! We are still eating some of the food that I bought. (special muffins and scones, frosted almonds, and cheese popcorn) I did buy us real meals too, and I still had a voucher left over.
Our plane left Cincinnati at 9:55 Thursday morning and we were in our family's arms by 10:45! That was an awesome 24 hours, but we were glad to be home!! (Jeff thinks that 2 weeks and 2 days is too long for us to be away from home! I disagree!)

I expected a great response from Joel when we first got into the airport and saw the family, but Joel didn't respond like I thought he would. He just sat in his stroller and stared at all of them. He probably would have been happy to stay in his stroller, but he had three siblings just dying to hold him!! Let the fighting begin! Things are back to normal now, but they couldn't get enough of him yesterday, even Amy wanted him!
I haven't decided how to use those 800 Delta dollars yet. We are either going to pay for me and another child to fly out to Phoenix next year or Jeff and I might fly away for a few days to be together!! I like both ideas.
Thanks to Jeff and the children the house was very clean when we got home. (All I have to do is put the rest of my stuff away.)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Today we had our first CHRIST centered Easter egg hunt and we had a blast!! My mom's church put this on for the children after the Sunday service.
Before the hunt, a lady told the Easter Story using Resurrection Eggs. It was nicely done.
The lawn was completely full.
It was so slow paced, that even Joel was able to get involved. He picked up quite a few eggs.
After the eggs were all picked up, the church gave each child a book of the Easter Story. It was a very special time for us all. (Yes, Amy did wear that outfit to church. I wasn't planning on being here for Easter, so we had no pretty dresses to wear and the skirt she wore last week had a stain on it. No one even noticed what we had on! Can you believe it, I almost didn't go to church today, because we had nothing nice to wear.)

My dream homes

These homes are absolutely beautiful. My mom works for the company that builds and sells them. (starting price over $1,000,000.) We had a chance to walk through a few of them today. We had so much fun. I have some great ideas now to give to Extreme Makeover, if they ever call us!! These houses are GORGEOUS and the view that they have of the mountains was awesome. I wish that you could have been there with us. I also wish that I would have gotten better pictures. I hope that you get the idea of how nice they are. (Nice, but in my opinion not worth a MILLION dollars!! Can you even imagine having enough money to buy one of these? There is just too many other things that I could do with that kind of money to even think about spending it on a house!) Oh well, it was fun to just dream!

Lets take a picture

Coming home from visiting the million dollar homes took us quite a long time. (My mom had to make a few stops on the way.) To keep myself and Amy from getting bored, I decided to take pictures everytime we stopped somewhere. She had a blast posing and I had so much fun taking the pictures. We will do this again some day!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Daddy's little boy

This is Joel "talking" to his daddy!! It is not even his best (phone) smile. He gets so excited to listen to Jeff on the phone. I am loving my time here, but I hate keeping Joel and Amy away from the rest of our family. I am looking so forward to our reunion. Joel will be SO excited to be with everyone again. So will Amy and I, but my guess is that Joel will be the one to watch for the fun reaction.

The children have not had any fevers today!! That is a huge milestone for us. YIPPEE!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Our life today

Grammie got us a pool to play in. We can't wait to take it outside and put water in it!

It is 90 degrees here during the day. The water feels REALLY nice! (Yes, to anyone that is wondering, they both have TONS of sunblock on!)

The flower beside Joel is his favorite thing to play with outside. While "playing" with this flower, we have found out that he has GREAT aim. He stands on the side walk and throws stones at it to get it to spin. Joel LOVES to throw things. My biggest challenge with him at the moment is to get him to not throw things!!

When I went to take this picture, Joel was smiling at me. Somehow I took a picture of what looks like Joel listening to his whale say something. He moves very fast.

This is one tired boy. He feel asleep after eating lunch. This is the only time he is not moving fast.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


We are staying here in AZ for another week.

Here are the top ten reasons for the longer stay.

1. The children had been sick for most of the first week. ( Amy is still sick, but if she follows her brothers' patterns, she will be on the mend in a couple of days!) I so want Mom to be able to enjoy sick free children.
2. We get to fly into South Bend instead of Chicago. (YIPPEE!!)
3. We will miss the cold weather in MI.
4. It has taken Joel this whole time to get used to my mom!! She will be able to enjoy him more now that he doesn't cry everytime she comes near him!
5. We can play at the park here for many more nights.
6. My family will love me and appreciate me more when we do get home!! (
I know that will only last for about one night, but it will be great while it lasts!)
7. I don't have to hear children fighting. (Amy and Joel don't fight yet.)
8. I don't have to do school for another whole week!!
9. I get to spend more one on one time with Amy and Joel. ( I am loving this!)
10. I get to have ice cream every night. ( Then when I get home, I get to undo all the damage that has been done!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Pictures for home!

Hi, Daddy! I woke up happy this morning! I miss you and I love you very much!

Hi, Daddy. I sure wish that you could be here with me. We would have so much fun together at this playground!! There is even a climbing wall here.

Lauren , Emily and Daniel I miss you all so much! In this picture, I am not sticking my tongue out at you, I am making funny noises for you. I can't wait to play with you all again!

Can you believe it? Out of all the fun places to play at this park, this is my favorite! It is a huge, open, soft space for me to just run around. It has a gate all around it so Mommy doesn't have to chase after me. (This is her favorite place too!!)

I hope this stuff comes OFF.........! Oh well if it doesn't, at least it is........ Tar Heel blue.