Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Hereby Resolve

I never make New Year's resolutions because like every other person on the planet, I don't keep them. So what I'm about to list shouldn't be considered resolutions but merely things I should be doing anyway and I resolve to really try to do them.

My 2009 "To Do" List

1. Get my paper work under control.

This is my current filing system for paperwork. Really? Really, really. (Sorry, watching Shrek with the kids) I know, I know, this is bad. I'm really going to be up a creek when I start my taxes in a few weeks.

See this beautiful filing cabinet? I haven't found the keys to it since I've moved and I put all my paperwork in this laundry basket until I found them. However, after 6 months I think I can kiss any hope of finding them goodbye.

I hereby resolve to get my paperwork under control and filed in actual files, alphabetized even.

{See I TOLD you that these were things I should be doing!}

2. Keep my house picked up and looking beautiful.

All right! You all can stop laughing now! Look at this:

And look at this:

Yeah, who's laughing now??? So I pick up all the live long day to keep it looking like this, so what? My house should be in a magazine. Or I should win some kind of award or something!

Oh, and by the way, these pictures were taken TONIGHT, not back on Christmas when all my company was here. So there!

3. Fold my laundry and put it away the same day it emerges from the dryer.

What? You think that goes with #2? One would think but this photo was also taken tonight:

See why I need #3? This laundry has been here 2 days. I think the key to keeping this resolution is to never take my laundry out of the dryer. (This is in the upstairs landing. Does that fact that my laundry is laying around the upstairs landing mean that I've already broken #2?)

4. Lose about 50 pounds and get in better shape.

Not that 50 pounds! And not even 50 pounds, more like 30. I suppose if I'm going to do that I better stop eating these Ruffle potato chips and French Onion Dip. Seriously, I'm literally eating them as I type, which isn't easy, I might add. I'm that talented.

What I really want to get is one of these:

Good luck with that! They were sold out everywhere before Christmas, believe me, I looked. But maybe after the Christmas excitement dies down I'll find one.

Does that mean that I don't have to work on this resolution until then?

5. Write and finish my book and actually get it published.
I'm working on this one! I'm currently taking a creative writing class online and the instructor read what I have posted here on my book blog and loved it. She told me it has real potential and encouraged me to take a Memoir Writing class online that works with you and your actual manuscript and helps you prepared it for submission.

6. Watch Lost.

That's really hard for me but I'll try really hard to do it. It shouldn't be too hard when I can see this:
Sorry, I've joined Team Sawyer. Sawyer had me at his line to Locke "You hurt one curly hair on his hair and I'll kill you." in regards to Locke forcing Hurley to stay with him at gun point. I already knew Sawyer had changed and was no longer the self centered guy he was 102 days earlier when he crashed on the island but this proved it. Plus, Jack's just gone wacko. Who needs that? I got bushel baskets full of wacko in this house. Not to mention that while Sawyer's beard looks sexy (sorry kids, I know you'll gag when you read this) Jack's looks plain nasty.

Even I have standards. I'm desperate but not that desperate.

7. Be a better Mommy.

Perhaps a good place to start is to actually feed my children real food instead of forcing them to scavenge for plastic grapes at Hobby Lobby. Or maybe even wash their face before I take a picture of them. (Example photo of Ryan #4 above) Perhaps actually read the books that I allow them to check out of the library. Or stop embarrassing them in front of their friends by singing High School Musical songs in the car.

Or not.

8. Redevelop a closer relationship with God.

I used to have a closer relationship with God, especially while Darrell was in the hospital. I was sure that God was telling me that Darrell would be healed. I now realize He was telling me that Darrell would be healed in Heaven. But the days and months after Darrell's death I felt betrayed and I didn't trust what I read in my bible. So I put it away. I've taken some Beth Moore bible study's since but with the babies and avoiding church nurseries, I haven't regularly attended church in almost a year and half. And I miss it. I need it. So I plan to find a church home and regularly attend and start daily devotions again. Because the first seven resolutions don't mean anything without this one.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year! I appreciate every single one of you. You make my life so much better!

Now, what are you all resolving to do?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quality Time

I've actually had people email me to see if I was still among the living since I haven't posted since Saturday! I'm here trying to be Housewife of the Year, an award that I will proudly place next to my soon to be acquired Mother of the Year.

My house was actually very clean and picked up on Christmas night when I had my family here for a progressive dinner (I was the dinner portion) although my SIL Karol, Darrell's older sister, told me I needed a house keeper. (Sorry Karol, I had to do it! It was too good a line not to use!) It was not said as an insult but in a "I don't know how you do it all, you need some help" kind of way... although she did say it after I noticed cobwebs on my dining room light fixture...

All that to say that my house was clean and I was determined to keep it that way. Do you know how hard it is to keep your house picked up and clean???? All I do from the moment I get up to when I plop into bed to watch my Lost Season 4 on my laptop with headphones is pick up my house. I feel like I'm in a bad episode of the Twilight zone, or in Cabin Fever, an episode from Lost Season 4 where John Locke meets Horace and the tree Horace chops down keeps reappearing standing up. I pick up the floor, leave the room, come back and what I picked up is there again. Doodoo doodoo....spooky. That was supposed to be Twilight Zone music. Duh.

So I've gotten quite cranky, all work and no blogging makes Mommy an Evil Overlord. Time for some fun. Since Christmas wiped out the cash reserves it had to be cheap. Or free. Free is good. How about the library? After I spent 2 hours making beds, dressing babies, picking up discard jammies, making breakfast, cleaning up, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, sweeping the kitchen floor, breaking up baby Ultimate Fighter rehearsals and finding library books we were finally ready to leave.

When we arrived at the library we were confronted with a sign.

I told the girls they had to turn around and take their guns and switchblades back to the car. Jenna looked at me like I had lost my mind, which of course, we all know that I have.

This was Jenna's second visit to our new library and she was excited to discover that she was not limited to checking out 2 books like she was our first visit. Her probation was over and she could check out more. How many more? The limit is 200. She better get busy.

There's a table in the children's area that has book bundles. Ryan loves this table and usually pulls up a chair and sits there looking at the books the entire visit.

Emma perusing the book shelves searching for the perfect book. That got old pretty fast.

Who wants to look at books when you can run up and down aisles?

Maybe she's interested in books after all. Somehow I think the library frowns on folding books in half Emma. I got exhausted chasing her up and down the aisles so thankfully she found the tables in the children's area and partook in one of her favorite home activities.

Climbing on top of tables. Emma, why can't you be more like Ryan? Look at him sitting there looking at books like a good boy.

I had hoped to get a couple of books but after several of minutes of leaving Emma with Julia, Julia got frustrated and I gave up.

Time to check out. Jenna's book bag was so heavy that she couldn't carry it. Two hundred books does weigh a lot! Okay, she didn't get 200 books. I told her she could get 10. Seriously, who would actually check out 200 books? I'm going to have enough trouble keeping up with 10 books let alone 200. We'd be homeless street people in a couple of months after all the fines I would owe for lost books.

Jenna was so proud of herself checking out her books with her own library card.

Ryan is checking out his books, his library card firmly in his hands.

Emma was tired of the library. We had been there all of about 20 minutes.

The kids holding up their library cards for yet another photo op. One of the librarians came up and asked if I wanted her to take our picture. They must think I'm nuts or paparazzi. Who takes pictures of their kids excursion to the library???

Jenna couldn't carry her bag so I carried my purse, Ryan's bag, Jenna's bag and Emma. Can we go home now?


Next we were off to the grocery store. The library wasn't enough family fun. We needed more quality time. Nothing like a grocery store trip to fix that.

Ryan loves these car carts. In the future when he gets bored I'm just going to take him to Price Chopper and push him around in the car cart.

Julia is waiting for the groceries to be bagged and put in the cart. Most of what we got was for her party tomorrow night. She's invited 5 girls to come spend the night to ring in the New Year. Pray for me.

I was exhausted at this point. Why?

Emma has decided she's too cool for carts. Momma has to hold her.

When I adopted the first time with Jenna the big thing was to carry around a 10 lb bag of flour or a 20 lb bag of rice to get used to carrying a bigger baby. I always thought it was kind of ridiculous. What baby is like a bag of flour or rice?

Emma. My stout little future linebacker is all solid middle and short limbs and lately she doesn't seem interested in hanging on to me. Think 25 lb bag of flour with a miniature broncing bronco inside. Yeah. In fact, she doesn't want me to hold her at all. She wants down to do her own shopping. So most of our shopping trip was holding my wiggly baby and pushing a the grocery cart. Like I said. Fun quality time.

We got home, unloaded the van and I made lunch. And what comes after lunch?

Time for bed babies! Momma needs a nap!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Memories

Our Christmas started on Christmas Eve. We went to my brother Kevin's church for their 6:00 service.
The 4 younger kids were in their Christmas finery.

Trace and Ross joined the mix with their non-Christmasy attire. It wasn't their fault; I didn't buy them anything to wear. Emma has lost her shoe and is totally unhappy with the posing.

After the service we went to Kevin and Janne's house where we taped our Christmas message on their staircase. It was a potluck appetizer shindig and I brought my Spinach Artichoke Dip. It was quite the hit-- there was none left at the end of the evening. It was a full house with Kevin's family, Janne's sister's family hence Kevin, also known as Kevio, volunteering to video us. (I thought they all might think it was weird that we did that but everyone was totally into it.) My parents were there, my brother Rick and his 2 kids, and Janne's parents and Kevio's parents. After we grazed extensively we moved to the music room and listened to the kids all play Christmas piano solos and sang Christmas carols.

After we got home the 4 younger kids opened one present.

They all had Christmas jammies to wear. This was a new thing for us. I had heard of other people doing this and thought it would be fun. Emma seems to disagree.

Then it was off to bed and waiting for Santa. There was some disagreement as to when we would get up to open gifts. The girls wanted as early as possible preferably around 7:00 am. The older boys wanted to sleep and preferred 9:30. I split the difference and said 8:00 but changed it to 7:30. The girls entered my bedroom promptly at 7:30 but the babies weren't up so I told the girls they had to wait, while I lay in bed dozing, of course. At 7:45 the babies walked in looking like little zombies and the girls swore they didn't have anything to do with their waking. We moved downstairs, roused the boys from their slumber and they emerged from their man cave, aka the basement.

Trace was still waking up.

Ross was pretty low key.

Emma was diving into the excitement.

Ryan was overwhelmed by it all. He and Emma got this castle from Santa, although Emma could care less about it.

Jenna got Baby Alive, a baby who eats and drinks and poops and pees 'cause there's not enough of that flying around this house. Well, not literally flying, although if it were to happen I wouldn't be all that surprised.

Emma got a baby of her own to love on.

And she and Ryan got tricycles from Santa. Emma's is pink and purple and Ryan's is a Harley Davidson. But something strange has happened over the course of a day...

They've switched trikes. Ryan prefers the pink tricycle (much to Ross' consternation) and Emma hops on the Harley. Trace thinks that the Harley suits Emma better, since she's so much more aggressive than Ryan.

This is another new baby that Jenna got from Grandma. She swims.

Jenna tried her out in the tub tonight and requested to bathe alone with her, meaning no live babies in the tub.

Ross playing golf with the family's new Wii.

Trace is offering moral support in the form of heckling.

Julia's very happy with her new pink iPod. The girl never hears me now. How come she gets her own little world???

That's okay because I got my own. I'm sequestering myself in my room for the next few days and watching a marathon of Lost episodes. The kids can all fend for themselves!