Tag Archives: kids

Car accidents, trash bag races, and gross hair……

So I feel like the last few days/weeks have been a blur…

trying to recover from the craziness of all this snow…

getting over being sick…….

we’ve had some fun and some scary moments over here…

and unfortunately there has been no wine “chasing” just making memories…..

So…here’s my 7 quick takes from the past two weeks :

 1.) My toddler is growing up WAAAAAAYYYY too fast. I’m not sure how I feel about this. As I was growing frustrated about her lack of ability to stay in her new “big girl” bed, (I forgot how GLORIOUS the “look mom….I came out again” moments are) she burst into tears. I just “NEEEED a bow!!!”  I said…”a bow? for your hair?”  Yeah..(calming down) and make it big… Who is this kid? And like the tired mom of 5 kids…I planted a big pink bow in her hair…and tucked her in….again.

Apparently she now makes coffee….haha


And..she wears glasses if the Fashionista helps her get dressed in the morning.

2.) Forget what people say about the “only boy” or “only girl” in your family. They will do their own thing and be fine. DDD loves his sisters. The only thing better than hanging out with them is when he declares it “treat my sister as a brother” day and they hang out all day.

IMG_3851He grabbed the fashionista, threw some of his clothes on her and it was a day full of fun. Legos, wrestling matches, laser tag, .. The fashionista (AKA ‘Bob’) was plenty fun for this little boy.

DDD is also the most imaginative kid. Today they lassoed a rope to my stairs and went mountain climbing. The delivery bag that my husband’s new Notre Dame clothes came in…..duct taped around his waist for the perfect hulk pants.

IMG_40193.) Our existence here on earth is ….temporary. Cling to it….live life with meaning and loving every minute you have with loved ones! I got a call last Thursday night around 11pm that was one of the hardest calls I have ever had to bear. The call was from my husband, “Honey…I’ve been in a bad car accident. I think I’m really hurt. Please…call (insert brother’s name).” I was panic stricken……take a look at his car…….yep…..

IMG_4026IMG_4024I can only say that the Lord was watching over my husband. No one on the scene could believe my husband walked away from this. No cuts, no bruises….nothing……but the notion that I could have woken up a widow. That my children could have lost their father in one fatal car accident…so scary. It really make you examine how you live your life and what you consider precious.

4.) If you turn off the TV, you turn on their minds. I have a really bad habit of putting the 2 yr old in front of “a show”…namely one with a monkey and a girl that go on adventures…and I’ve been trying to just “shut it off” and make the kids do other things…

Batgirl showed up for the day!!!

Batgirl showed up for the day!!!

Apparently, I live with Batgirl…who knew?!!! My kids also played house for about two hours the other day….2 hours??!!! Lucky for me, it happened during Miss Missy’s nap….happy “mommy conquering thing to do list” moment!!!!

5.) Mommy minutes…..Don’t you wish that was a thing?…”mommy minutes”…you could give yourself a time out. Maybe have a special couch that you sit on that has a wine storage/cooler in it…and a glass. I might have to add that to the new house rules….and mommy gets “100 mommy minutes per week”. Don’t you wish we could give each other “mommy minutes” …..like a gift card? Ok…..back to reality…haha.

6.) Challenge yourself…and reward big. So last week I was doing a week long Beachbody challenge with a former college friend and it was awesome! I’m such an emotional eater….and I was really impressed by my dedication to working out and eating right. Needing to “reward” myself differently than food, I purchased these awesome new “kicks”. They motivate me to work out…..

IMG_40127.)Hair and dust bunnies can be scary. It always amazes me the toddler’s “take” on everyday things. This week it was a small clump of hair that she found in the bathroom. I found her like this…..totally grossed out, and freaked out…you should have seen her scamper when she breathed and it moved…haha

IMG_3997Thanks for “checking in” on the crew!!! Here’s to hoping I find some more time this week to finish up a few more blog posts!!!

God bless,


7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about speaking for fourteen hours straight and trying to pronounce listlessly at the end of it

Superbowl Sunday!!!

SuperBowl Sunday!!!

This morning, Mini Me greeted me and said, “I’m so excited for today!” “We’re going bowling!!!”

Me: “What?”…what do you mean? (getting her dressed)

Mini Me: “We are going to super Bowl!!”….after laughing at her hysterically…and then apologizing, I cleared up that confusion. Her response?

“Wait….so we are just going to watch football and eat yummy food?…..Will there be ice cream (grinning)?”

We are not letting sickness break up our rhythm over here!!

We’re getting our game faces on!!

bria2Pre-gaming “girl’s style”:

nails4 nails2 kal2Getting out our Seahawk colors: navy blue, white, neon green


Rooting on the Seahawks!!!

It’s Superbowl Sunday…and Sundaes!!!!

We love ANY excuse to throw a fun party and the Super Bowl is an excuse to bring out the every-once-in-a-while treats. (And seeing as tomorrow starts my first Beachbody/Shakeology challenge….it couldn’t come at a better time. More on that mid-week)

On the menu:


Sausage and pepper sandwiches- an old favorite!!!

hot dogs

hot dogs for the littles!

root beer float

root beer floats!


Superbowl Sunday Sundaes!!!!

So thankful to my husband who didn’t ruin my “cool status” with my kids and went shopping for all our food! (I’m still under the weather and hoping for a full recovery soon.)

Counting down til the big game!

Let’s go Seahawks!

***(only because my husband says that’s who I want..lol)***

God Bless,


Mommy Phrases I hope go out with 2013!

So I saw a post recently on Facebook that was about “phrases or sayings that we use that should stay behind with 2013”. Of course, this got my “mommy brain” working and I quickly started thinking about daily “sayings” that come up in my house that I would like to see “stay behind” with 2013.

So…here we go.

These are in no particular order…they ALL ANNOY me equally…hahaha.

Please pick up your wet towel, and hang it in the bathroom!

Why is there toothpaste on the floor?

Who left the van door open? You better pray the van starts this morning!

Seriously??!! Don’t talk with your mouth full of food!

I love you too but…. can you please go play?

Listen, go to the bathroom…wash your hands. It’s really simple….

Listen…mommy HAS to take a shower!

So WHO opened the gate and let the toddler in the kitchen?

How hard is it to flush the toliet??!!!

What do you mean by “my tummy hurts”??!! Like…I might throw up or..I ate too much food??

What were you thinking getting in the van without shoes?! I have errands to run….

That’s fine if you don’t like it….the rule is that you have to at least take a bite.

Please tell me there is a pacifer SOMEWHERE in this van??!!!

These totally make me laugh as I recount the numerous times this year I have used these phrases. 2014….you better be good to this momma!!!!

God bless,


Parenting: “Phase 9”


I feel lately like….I’m being run over by a stampede…

Yeah…kinda like that….

Actually….that’s more accurate than I really want to admit….

I’ve also noticed that my wine consumption has increased and my kids’ bedtime is gradually getting earlier and earlier….so early that I debated having them get into pajamas for dinner…at 5.

I kid

well…..sort of….

Our house has been blessed with the “phase” otherwise known as “9” (it can also be synonymus with 8, or 10). This phase is characterized by the following:

·       Eye rolling

·       Door slamming

·       Clinched teeth

·        grunting

*Sayings such as “It’s not fair!” or “How come??!!”

·       And finding everyone “annoying”.

Doesn’t that sound awesome???!!!

IMG_2374It’s like I’ve just woken up on a train track with a train coming. I’m not sure how I got there but I know to get off the track!!!!

My first thought is to blast all my “mom friends” who have older children….”Why didn’t you warn me?”

But…that’s the equivalent of a first-time mom asking “why didn’t you warn me about labor?” It’s kinda like….”well, there really is no need to scare the crap out of you. When it’s time…you will be able to handle it.

So….the hubs and I have come to the conclusion that we gotta “step up” our parenting game.

70s partyWait…let’s not judge us as parents on this pic…haha

The simple “first level” parenting level that we had grown accustomed to…is still there. We are still dishing out time-outs; putting kids in their rooms, and issuing “quiet time” and naps.

Shayla balletYep…My little Sweet Pea during those “easy” years…=)

However, this “runaway train” called Phase 9 was going to require some serious prayer and parenting discussion.

So…as we take this journey…we have decided to try a few things that I wanted to share with you. It’s such a science experiment…I will either be able to offer you advice in a year or two……

or you will firmly commit NOT to do what I did.

 Parenting is loving our children and wanting their holistic formation into the life of a teenager. The first thing we decided to focus on was to remind ourselves of our roles as parents and to focus on our parenting philosophy. We are trying to teach our daughter how to communicate; to know herself; to have strong character and conviction; to desire a love for others, and to yearn for a relationship with God. 

shaylaSweet Pea, last fall…

So….how to do we do that without judging her?…critizing her?….or being too negative? How do we “water” her genuine desire to serve? How do we encourage individuality and yet love for her family and friends?

 listen. Listen to what my daughter is saying …Lord knows, at this point, I don’t LIKE half of what I am hearing…but I will rejoice that my daughter feels like she can talk to me. I will NOT confront her in the stress of an argument but will honor her desire for respect as a little lady. I will sneak in moments over a cup of tea or cooking in the kitchen to ask her to explain situations to me. “What were you thinking about when you said_______?” ”Why do you think you are slamming doors all the time?” “What is the most frustrating thing you are experiencing?”I must also be aware of what her body language is saying. What is it that she doesn’t like to discuss? Could I be embarrassing her when I am not trying to?   Does she have certain “triggers” that make arguments escalate?

IMG_0480Allowing Change. Change is so difficult but necessary. I am being called to now foster a different type of relationship with my daughter. I don’t need to make sure she has food nor do I need to dress her. I don’t have to worry about her personal safety but…I do need to assist her in making her decisions. I need to be her mom….gently reminding her to brush her teeth because of her braces, and encouraging her love of piano. I need to watch her to see the areas in her life that SHE is defining and to continue to make experiences to get “to know” my daughter.I need to encourage her desire to lead and help in situations. I need to allow her to have additional roles in the family that would alleviate my burden and yet allow her to feel “treated older”.

dinner with Dad

Date night with daddy.

Be her biggest fan. In a lot of ways, I already am. I know that my daughter is amazing. She is loving and thoughtful. She has such an amazing heart that I want everyone to see. I guess, I just want her to be true to herself. But…I need to spend this time of uncertainty and change for her, being “her rock”. She needs to be told how I view her and often. I need to deliver affirmations more than criticisms. I need to spend more time with my arm around her and my eyes looking at her. She needs to see my “correction” as just that…a fleeting correction and not an “overall” view of her as my child.

IMG_0973As we enter this new journey of “Phase 9”, our prayer, as a family, is that we may continue to be a stronghold for each member of our family. That the Lord will guide our decisions as parents and help us to be what our daughter needs.

Our whole gang

Our whole gang

“You will show me the path of life..you my hope and my treasure. In your presence is endless joy, at your side is my home forever.”- Psalm 16:11

 God bless,



Egg-free, dairy-free oat pancakes!

Pancakes??!!! Seriously??!! Who doesn’t love pancakes….

Miss Missy LOVES pancakes. I mean the girl used to be able to put down 4-5 medium-sized Hungry Jack buttermilk pancakes..

However, due to some allergy issues and some extreme cases of eczema, we have taken Miss Missy off of all dairy and wheat. Add to that her already diagnosed allergy to egg and peanuts, and this little girl is not very happy.  So…I NEEDED to find this sweet stuff some pancakes that she could enjoy. I mean…look at this face??!! How could I not??!!!

****Well…I should add that I would NEVER give my daughter food that I haven’t tried myself. In fact, I tried a coconut flour pancake and it went right into the trash. So…these got BOTH of our approvals!!!*****

This recipe is definitely a keeper. It tastes more like a delicious cinnamon, oatmeal cookie than a pancake. I would definitely add a little bit of water to thin it out.

Although…topped with some maple syrup….Miss Missy was loving it!!!

Dairy-free, egg-free oat pancakes

  • 3/4 c. oat flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup. applesauce (this acts as the egg substitute) *this recipe will make about 5-6 small pancakes. They also freeze very nicely.

photo(10)Melt a little coconut oil in a pan on medium high heat.  Watch carefully, as they brown up pretty quickly. Flip after 2-3 minutes and they are ready.

Serve with a little maple syrup.


I hope you enjoy them as much as Little Miss Missy!

God Bless,


Tip Tuesday: Kids chores!!!!

Kid’s chores???!!!


The Fashionista and I ready to conquer our chores!!

Absolutely in our house!!!

I wrote a blog in the beginning of the year about “taking care” of my house cleaners and how you can “clean” for your cleaners. You can read about that here.

However, with the hubs and I trying to take better control of our debt and how we spend our money, my cleaners were the biggest sacrifice that I had to make. Although, the chores still needed to be done. So…the task, once again, became the focus of the family.


DDD making eggs for his sisters….

So I’ve had several people ask me about kids chores and what I have my kids do and when. I decided to take this Tip Tuesday and share with you some of the things we do.

**Let me start with this disclaimer***

I have a hard time being consistent so what I do has to be simple and direct.

If you want a cute chore list …that’s not here. You can definitely find some adorable chore charts on ETSY and Pinterest. I’m really bad at making anything look crafty or like I have a clue what I am doing.
However, what I can offer you is what works for me and my crew…

Here’s little Miss Missy helping me wipe down our kitchen countertops….

She LOVES to help…which is great because there is always plenty to do.    IMG_2171On a daily basis my kids are expected to:

  • make their beds
  • put laundry in the sorted laundry bins
  • clear their floors
  • clear their plates at bkft, lunch, and dinner
  • help unload the dishwasher
  • sweep the floor
  • and help fold laundry.

However, Saturdays are reserved for our “housecleaning” days. I constructed a laminated chore list for each one of my children, except Miss Missy. I sat down and figured out exactly what chores weren’t getting completed during the week and decided who could take care of them. I then spent one Saturday teaching the kids how to do their jobs and what my expectations were. I laminated the kids’ list and punched a hole in it to add a ribbon. This enabled my children to hang their lists on their bedroom doors as they worked. My children pick up their laminated list and complete it after their morning of cartoons and pajamas. The list is the same every Saturday except for the space reserved for two tasks for that week. I have noticed that often the kids will start their chores friday night or keep an “area” that is on their list “managed” during the week. I then give them 30 min. of technology time when they are done.

IMG_2121This is Mini Me’s list. She is about to be 4. It is primarily pictures so that I don’t have to continually read this to her. She is so great about this, walking around with her little EXPO marker so she can cross off her work as she finishes. On the other side, it lists these additional chores:

Fold dishcloths

Wipe down all doorknobs

Clean up the girls dressup in the basement.

IMG_2115These lists belong to Sweet Pea (on the left) and DDD (on the right). You can see where I have added two additional chores for that week.

IMG_2118This is the Fashionista’s list. You can see where she has already started to “dominate” her list.

The kids have responded really well to this method. I love that I have four little ones who are busy working and that the hubs and I each have our own list of items to conquer on Saturday.

If for some reason, we have a very busy Saturday, the children know that the chore list must be completed by Sunday.

My advice….pick chores that you KNOW your kids can conquer. Make them age appropriate and then give them stuff that you don’t have to oversee. Show them what your expectations are and how to do the jobs you have given them.

God Bless,


Halloween Madness!!

Our family loves holidays! Any excuse to make the day extraordinary….and we’re in!!! The kids know to expect fun decorations and plenty of activities to “honor” the day.

Decorating the house.

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012

The kids were super excited about their pumpkins.

Can’t you tell??!!!

IMG_2310The 2013 kids area…complete with Halloween books for them to read. The little ones love to pick at all this stuff and play with it.

IMG_2309Our halloween mantle. I found some really cute Halloween picture frames in the clearance aisle of Target last year. I framed pictures of past Halloweens, which were fun to look at an reminence. The little black lanterns were from IKEA and the spider webs were from the local dollar tree. We grabbed a few small pumpkins from the local farm stand.

IMG_2313The outside of the house: complete with carved pumpkins, corn stalks, mums, a hay bale, and plenty of spiders and webs.


IMG_2314DDD loves scary stuff and wants to go “crazy” with scary decorating for halloween. I do not like the gory and scary aspect of halloween, and recently found the story of St. Felix. You can read about him here.  He was an amazing saint who was being persecuted by the Roman guards and was protected in hiding by a spider who spun a web to conceal his hiding place. After reading this story, I explained to DDD that he would be allowed to put spider webs up for decorations. They would serve as a reminder to us of the story of St. Felix. He LOVED that idea and was given “full reign” in taking care of the webbing outside. He was totally impressive and took great pride in what he did. I could have easily “fixed” what he did….but…is it really that big of a deal??

So…there’s webbing everywhere….my son feels great…..that’s really what it’s all about.


IMG_2279DDD’s scary jack-o-lantern. He managed to grab my cell phone and take this picture. Unfortunately, my hands were so covered in pumpkin seeds that I didn’t get close ups from the other kids.

IMG_2270IMG_2273This year I bought Mini Me a “stick on” face. She had so much fun arranging and re-arranging his face. She was obviously proud of herself!

IMG_2261These little foam shapes and patterns from the local dollar tree were fantastic for helping keep the little ones busy during the day.


halloween 1In the past, we have made orange pancakes with chocolate chip jack’o lantern faces.

Mandarin oranges for my 2yr old niece bday/Halloween party!

I found this idea on Pinterest and loved it. I simply used a black sharpie to draw on the faces. It was a great non-candy treat after dinner.

Dinner has always been something super simple to keep warm and feed the families that come over. Last year, it was chili. You can see my recipe for chili here. This year, it was a spiral ham, and homemade macaroni and cheese.

halloween 2Our table, last year, decorated for our party! I grabbed some halloween plates from the dollar store and found a cute black web napkin holder at the Ross last year. This picture shows our fun art clothes- line that details our artwork from the day.


halloween 4Last year, the kids were ALL ABOUT being ScoobyDoo and Mystery Incorporated. How funny are they?

IMG_2282This year I had a Doc McStuffins and her stuffed animal, Lambie.

I could just squeeze them!!!

Sweet Pea wanted to make her own costume. How awesome is she???!!!….she was a table!!! haha. She wore this around her waist. It was cumbersome but every one of the houses we visited commented on how awesome and creative her costume was. She loved it!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any close-ups of DDD, and the fashionista. The fashionista was a little kitty cat and DDD was a power ranger. In our excitement to get out the door to trick or treat, I missed snagging a picture of them.  Boooooo

I just love to watch my kids run from house to house in their excitement for candy. It’s like the ultimate scavenger hunt! It’s not about getting a ridiculous amount of candy….it’s about the fun of the adventure.

Here’s to the next Halloween!!!

God Bless,



Kids in Charge day 2013!!!!

Annual Kids in Charge Day 2013…

…these kids can sure pack a TON into one day!!!

This day always gives the hubs and I a chance to see what is important to them.

It allows us to know what is important to them now and to see how their interests change as they get older.

so…it all started like this…a meeting of the “minds” a few days before…

making sure all the kids got what they wanted out of the day..

the planning meeting

the planning meeting

I got a tentative schedule and a grocery list so I could make sure they had everything they needed.

the food menu

the food menu

Sweet Pea produced this list a few days before. Dinner says Enchiladas. haha. She decided that she was making all the meals and would call me in when she felt like it. When I read German Chocolate cake under dessert, I recommended that she might want to make it the night before….

and she did… all by herself….(just like the Little Red Hen)

yeah....it was good

yeah….it was good

Two words summed up this day…..electronics and quality time.

I have no guilt showing these pictures because…I’m not raising my kids like this everyday. Today is about their choices. For good or bad.

IMG_1450Check out Missy Missy. She was definitely getting the best of all worlds. Watching Doc McStuffins; while sucking on a nap-time only nummy; while playing Dora on the Ipod. Clearly, she has her mom’s gift for multi-tasking.

more electronics

more electronics

I mean…come on…the Fashionista just HAD to work on the salon app on the kindle and Mini Me was content to watch Doc McStuffins and wait her turn.

DDD and Sweet Pea

DDD and Sweet Pea

As you can tell, everyone is proudly sporting their pajamas until the afternoon when they will exchange them for bathing suits. DDD claimed the Ipad for a few, while Sweet Pea tinkered on her kindle. Check out his face…he is sending me into the kitchen to start his sausage and pancake breakfast…..

oh, and he’ll have a piece of cake too….for breakfast.

(any chance of me cutting myself one??? nope…didn’t think so….kid’s on a power trip.) =)


So demanding…he MUST get that from his dad…=)

Speaking of his dad, this was his job until breakfast…….

IMG_1440I know, gasps from moms everywhere at this injustice.

This was his view….birds humming, gentle water rapids…..calm

and this was mine…

splattering grease and heat…..

just sayin’….somehow this just didn’t seem right….

IMG_1446Sweet Pea created a Master Schedule for the day….which included quality time playing board games; a visit to the pool; and root beer floats after dinner.

the schedule

the schedule

The kids started their schedule with some rock painting. (Poor Sweet Pea still has her eye mask on from sleeping.)

IMG_1456 IMG_1464 IMG_1465 IMG_1467 IMG_1468

Apparently on Kids in Charge day, you don’t have to clean up either.

game of life

game of life

Barbie's messy house

Barbie’s messy house

Next was DDD’s turn to use a present he had been waiting on. These really cool Geodes.

IMG_1462He and his dad took a hammer and crushed these on the driveway behind the garage.

banging out some eggs

banging out some eggs

After Miss Missy woke up from her nap, we fought the rain and headed out to the pool. Since it was labor day and raining off and on, there was hardly anyone at the pool. The sun came out really bright and it was a great day!


eating a messy popcicle


“take my picture….oooohhh……ooooooo”


Mommy always wants kisses….=)


DDD loves his sister....

DDD loves his sister….


Dad…packing it up for the day…

After a delicious dinner of enchiladas, the kids assigned daddy the job of “clean up” duty. (Thank God!!!…sweet justice!!!) While he was in the kitchen, he decided to make the root beer floats while we selected our movie….SPY KIDS!!!!

IMG_1471Of course, Shayla came in and helped dish out the candy.

IMG_1470A whole lot of snuggling with big fluffy floor pillows and blankets finished off the evening.

  The kids made it really clear that their bedtime was 11:00. As daddy was leaving for a trip in the morning, the kids could not take over our bed as they had planned. I wish I had taken a photo of them all gathered in the bunk beds in the girls’ room.

I was put to bed promptly at 9:30. Thankfully, I was given my laptop and some reading time. These kiddos are tough…

Unfortuately, I knew that my work was going to be awaiting me in the morning, as I was looked around at all the mess from the day and took that walk of shame to my room.

But…it was worth it. All of it….

It was a great day….I’m so blessed that my children enjoy special days like today with us.

Bring on Kids In Charge Day 2014.…..well…..give me another 12 months…

God Bless,


Tuesday Tip: Three simple words…” I love you”….

I love you.


Three simple words but…they can be the hardest to say.

My tip for today is simple.

Say it.

Say it with your words.


Say it with your hugs.

IMG_0474IMG_1196Say it with your quality time.

IMG_0802Say it to your kids.

Say it to your mom who “hates that kind of stuff”.

daddy pileSay it to your dad who “doesn’t say that kind of stuff”.

daddy comes home

Say it to your older daughter who thinks its “not cool” or “already knows how you feel”.


Say it to your son when he rolls his eyes and says, ” Come on…”


Say it as often as possible.

Don’t wait til its too late.

People NEVER really regret telling people that they love them.

They regret NEVER saying it.