I'm Talking About Candy

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Stop by and let me know how you manage all that candy at your house!


It Wasn't a Cavity!

I just pulled pumpkin seeds out of the oven. I think they are a little browner than they should be, but hopefully they are still edible. After all, I did too much work washing pumpkin guts off of the seeds to throw them away now!

That is all very much unrelated to what I sat down to write. Rather, I sat down to write about what happened a little earlier in my evening.

I was sitting on Ann's bedroom floor with Chris. We were getting ready to read a few stories before bedtime. Suddenly, Ann came in the room announcing, "I have a cavity." What?

She'd been complaining on and off of a sore tooth. The girl can be a tad dramatic so I hadn't paid too much attention.

So, tonight, in a non-sympathetic way, I asked her to show me her tooth. Then I poked my finger in her mouth and discovered that MY FIRSTBORN'S TOOTH IS LOOSE!

I won't lie. My stomach actually did a little flip flop when I realized that she is fast approaching the mile stone of loosing her first tooth. Rather than tear up, I put my game face on and told her how exciting it was that she would soon get an adult tooth.

She wasn't buying it. It obviously made her very nervous to think about losing a tooth. As I tried to continue reading stories, she turned and hugged me while saying, "I"m afraid." Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing.

I asked if she'd like to talk to her friend who'd lost a tooth. She did and we did. We also prayed. Finally, I did have to ask her to stop thinking about it. I told her she'd be just fine.

After I got everyone tucked in, I wandered downstairs to finally do the day's dishes. As I did, I reflected on my oldest's tooth. I wondered if I'd be there when it finally came out or if she'd be with daddy or at preschool. Then, I remembered something from my loose-teeth days. I recalled a book my mom read to me, appropriately titled Lizzie and the Tooth Fairy. I stopped doing the dishes and rushed to the computer where I found and bought it at

Shortly thereafter it dawned on me that we're soon going to need a tooth pillow to keep that first lost tooth safe before the tooth fairy is able make a little exchange. Again, I went to the computer and found a cute little polka-dot tooth pillow on Etsy.

Fourteen dollars later I had to chuckle. It was a bit reminiscent of five years ago right before my daughter was born. I was trying to make sure we had everything we needed. Of course we did and even some things we didn't need.

I felt a little bit like that new mom tonight as I purchased the appropriate first loose tooth accessories. I guess I'm learning that every new stage or milestone has the possibility to bring out that wide-eyed feeling of wonder at the wonder of life. It's a special thing even if it does make me a bit tearful with nostalgia.

If you'd like to read more about what others are learning, please stop by Jo-Lynne's.


The Best Day of Her Life

A few nights ago, I got to take Ann and Chris to see the Imagination Movers.

On the way to the show we picked up some food.

The kids were excited and I was excited as well, not so much for the show but for their reactions to the show. There isn't much better than seeing my children experience things for the first time.

I wasn't surprised when Ann spoke up from the back of the van that, "this is the best day of my life."

I asked her why assuming she'd say that she was getting to go to a fun show.

Instead, she seriously responded by saying, "Because Chris gave me one of his chicken nuggets!"

I just laughed because that is so my girl. From the moment she was born she has always liked food!

It doesn't take much to make their days right now. I love that!


Celebrating a Sick Computer!

I'm actually feeling quite grateful that our home computer is a little under the weather. It hasn't been an option to just hop on throughout the day so I can "check my email". That, of course, invariably leads to looking at Facebook or some blogs. Before I know it, more than 15 minutes are gone.

So, a day going on two days without the computer is quite the breath of fresh air. I'm doing more with the kids, visited in person with a friend and her sweet kiddos and even did some cleaning!

I really like the sense of community the internet fosters, however being without it except for a few minutes in the morning is a fine thing indeed!

Please visit Amy at The Finer Things in Life for more fine things!



I'm sitting here on Tony's computer for a brief moment before he heads to work. Our computer has a nasty virus and isn't cooperating. I really should have gotten it a flu shot.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to post a picture of all three of my children looking at the camera in the same picture, but no such luck. I started to try, but realized things weren't happening like they usually do and I'm a bit paranoid to do much on his work computer. We can't have two sick computers!

Aside from not being able to post a picture of my kiddos for my mom and brother to admire, having no computer has actually been nice. It's easy to think I don't spend much time on the computer until it's actually gone and I realize how much time I have to do other things.

Anyways, I guess it will be a bit until I post pictures of our trip to the pumpkin patch and our messy afternoon of pumpkin painting. I think you'll survive.

Have a good day!


Worth It

I've learned that our mornings really do go more smoothly if I do a few things before breakfast.

So, I try to get myself ready, make the beds and tidy the bedrooms. (Sometimes this is done with 'help" and sometimes not.) I usually try to pick out clothes for the kiddos and take them downstairs with me so that they can put them on right after breakfast. Of course, they pick out their clothes a lot of the time as well. In fact, there was a time when my oldest would put on quite the ensembles. I'd like to say that I'm the mom who would let her go out in her crazy outfits, but more often than not, I didn't.

Anyways, today I did the few things I mentioned and our morning was off to a good start. I did, however, realize after breakfast that I'd forgotten to bring down clothes for my youngest who is one. Since I couldn't send her upstairs and actually expect her to pick out a top and a bottom, I got ready to head upstairs myself. Before I could, my four-year-old offered to go pick out an outfit. I hesitated, but said okay. My three-year-old followed her.

Not much later, she came down with some jeans, a too-small t-shirt and some Baby's First Halloween socks (it's not her first, but someone gave them to her...). My first instinct was to say thanks and head upstairs to pick out a more suitable shirt, but I stopped.

It was the pride beaming from my oldest's face that made me stop. She was clearly happy that she had chosen to help me by getting her sister's clothes.

As my son entered the room holding a fresh diaper for his sister, I knew what I had to do. Instead of finding something that I thought would be cuter and better fitting, I dressed my youngest in some slightly mismatched and ill-fitting clothes.

After I had her dressed, I thanked my other two children for being such good helpers.

My oldest said with much pride, "Yeah, we were helpers because we're the big kids, right Chris?" Her brother agreed as they both went back to playing with blocks.

It was a small thing, but I know it made a difference. I'm glad I'm learning to take time to pay attention to those small things!

Now, I'm curious, do any of you let your kids wear whatever they pick out no matter how outrageous it might be?

Please stop by Jo-Lynne's to read more about what others recently learned.


This Week's Meals

Do you know that it is rather hard to come up with a catchy title about menu planning? At least it was today!

So, I ended up making Crab and Rotini Casserole last night, so I pushed last week's Ritzy Chicken to tonight. Wow, exciting reading, right little brother.

Here is what we're planning on this week:

Monday- Ritzy Chicken, Green Beans, Bread and Pineapple

Tuesday- Cowboy Bake, Salad and Broccoli

Wednesday- Turkey Sausage, Green Beans, Grapes and French Fries

Thursday- Italian Bread Pizza and Salad

Friday- Takeout

Saturday- Tacos, Carrots, Dip and Apple Slices

Happy Eating! Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for a few more hundred (literally) meal plans!

Cowgirl Cutie

Ann had Dress-Like-a-Cowboy/girl last week at preschool. I suppose I'm a tad biased, but I've never seen a cuter cowgirl.

This girl makes my Monday!

Happy Monday! Be sure to check out Cheryl's at Twinfatuation for more Monday happies (that should soooo be a word)!


I'm Thankful!

Well, well, well. I sat down at the computer about five minutes ago. Plopped down or slouched down might be more accurate. You see, I was frustrated.

I pulled out my journal and started to get ready for some quiet time reading and praying. I was about to start with a list of things that were on my mind. I probably would of started with how ungrateful the children were even though I planned a picnic inside for them. (I even cut their sandwiches into dinosaurs for crying out loud!) Yet, I never started the list.

Instead, a devotion I had read earlier in the week came to mind. I realized that I was about to complain on paper. The devotion is from a book titled, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. One line on last Friday's devotion reads "It opens the door to deadly sins such as self-pity and rage." The author is referring to what complaining can do.

After looking up the devotion and thinking about Philippians 2:14-15, I decided I'd make a different list. The list looks like this:

Three Healthy Children

A devoted husband

Tony's job

Tony's health

My health



Our warm house

The fall leaves

Childrens books



Cream cheese frosting

Chocolate Chips







Hot Chocolate

Brussel Sprouts


My Dyson Vacuum

Staying home with my kids

The above list is in no particular order. It took me no time at all to think of these things. I could have easily filled another journal page of more little and big blessings.

I'm not sure what the rest of the day holds. The weather is still dreary and cold (and has been all week!). Yet, I do hope I have closed the door on self-pity and anger, if only for the afternoon. Please Lord, let it be so.

A not-so-good picture of three of my favorite blessing having an indoor picnic.

Happy Friday!

I'm linking this blog up to a new-to-me carnival at The Finer Things in Life. Be sure to head over there and check out her blog. You won't be disappointed!


My Youngest Makes My Monday

I'm loving Cheryl's Makes My Monday carnival. It's the perfect excuse to post a picture that just makes me happy! Take, for example, this one. I took it this afternoon and it makes me smile every time I look at it. She just looks like the definition of happy.

You see, this week, it's pictures of my youngest that makes my Monday!

Here she is sporting the orange wings and tutu that one of her grandma's recently mailed to her. She borrowed the wand from her big sis.

After posing for the picture, she decided to more closely inspect her new wings.

In addition to discovering the world of dress up, little Jane has also discovered how to pout. The first time she did it was when Daddy told her she couldn't touch something. She crossed her arms and stuck out her lower lip. We laughed. Ever since, the rest of us like to say, "Jane, pout!" We think she looks so cute with her little arms crossed. She thinks it's a funny game. The wings only make the pout cuter.

Little Jane, you make my Monday and many other days for that matter. I love you!

How about you? What makes your Monday? Be sure to head over to Cheryl's for more fun starts to the week.

Happy Monday!

A Meal Plan Minus the Pumpkin

Well, who knew that posting a little menu plan on this old blog would actually motivate me to follow through last week? It was soooo nice eating mostly home cooked meals and enjoying plenty of leftovers.

But, do you know what was not so nice?

I found it very sad that I couldn't find canned pumpkin! That means that I didn't get to make my favorite pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. It also means it isn't really officially fall. After all, making those pumpkin bars is a requirement around here and without them, I don't suppose there can really be fall. Or something like that.

Now, don't think for a minute that I didn't almost make the cream cheese frosting to spread over graham crackers. I didn't actually make it yet, but I will if canned pumpkin doesn't surface soon at my local stores.

Also, don't think for a minute that I'll resort to actually using a fresh pumpkin that I cook. I won't. Maybe sometime, but not anytime soon.

Enough about pumpkin. Right now I've got some homemade bread rising and I'm trying out lasagna in the crock pot. All I've left to do is to throw together a salad. (All that really means today is that I'll wash some spinach leaves and toss them on our plates to accompany our dinner.)

So, my menu plan is off to a good start! Here is what the week looks like:

Monday- Crock Lasagna, Homemade Bread and Salad (or maybe I should just say lettuce leaves)

Tuesday- Leftovers or sandwiches. (We've still got plenty of leftovers from the weekend.)

Wednesday- Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Orzo and Salad

Thursday- Upside-Down Pizza, Carrots, Dip and Grapes

Friday- Leftovers or Sandwiches

Saturday- Dinner at a friend's house. (Here's to hoping I can bring pumpkin bars!)

Sunday- Ritzy Chicken, Noodles, Homemade Bread, Green Beans and Pineapple

Hope you have a great week!

Please be sure to stop by I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Meal Plan Monday posts!


Because They Aren't Mini-Adults

Tony, my husband, has a way of putting into words what I can't. Sometimes I just hate that!

For example, the other day I sent him an email describing the fun things the kids and I did earlier in the day. Then, I went on to describe how I thought it would be nice if giving them my attention all morning would then pay off in the afternoon when they play quietly and at peace with one another. They, of course, don't always do that.

Instead in the afternoon, I usually find myself outside with them or at a park. Sometimes we read more books or even do a craft. I'll make dinner either with or without (and I'll be honest, I prefer without) their help.

Then, I'll look around and everything looks just the same as it did earlier in the day. There is no sign of how I (and sometimes them) worked all day in between playing, of course.

The floor is still dirty despite having been swept more than once. Laundry is still piled up despite two or even three loads already washed and put away in its place. You get the picture.

Sometimes it just makes me weary.

Back to what my husband said...

He said something to the effect of, "Lizz, you're expecting them to be mini-adults." He's right.

I'm expecting them to be able to easily understand that mommy will play with them all morning, but she needs a bit of time in the afternoon to get her work done. It just doesn't work that way, at least for now.

I suppose I don't really even know where I'm going with this except to say that I really do want to cherish these sweet days. Sometimes (usually between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.) that is just really hard to do!

As I was struggling to have the right attitude, I received an email from my husband referring to an earlier post I had written. I read my own words and I just had to smile.

I really, really do think that someday I'll miss the constant chatter and crayon marks on the wall. I'll miss hearing the voices calling "Mama!" However, I'm not so sure I'll miss those things between the hours of 3 and 6 in the afternoon. I'm really not sure...


Another Reason I Love Fall

Perhaps that title was a bit misleading. I don't believe I've ever written about why fall is my favorite season. I do make lists in my head quite a bit and have also read about others' reasons for loving autumn so much, maybe that counts? Back to my reason...

I'm sitting here sipping coffee out of my favorite polka dot travel mug. It is still dark and the house is quiet. Let me repeat that. I'm sitting here in the quiet dark drinking coffee. I just love that the sun doesn't rise so early this time of year!

I'm one of those odd people who both really enjoys the company of others and really enjoys solitude. It makes me seem a bit crazy I suppose. I do know that a quiet start to the day where I can read, pray, blog or do anything I desire with no interruptions, makes me smile!

Why, assuming you do, do you like fall?

Now, I'm off to answer to the sweet call of "Mama." I do believe one of my little ones is ready to start the day.


Keeping Expectations Real

Recently, I found myself with a notebook in hand watching my two girls play. (My son was otherwise occupied at Mother's Day Out.)

I've been keeping a notebook in my bag because I'm just old-fashioned like that. It's where I jot anything I need to remember. I'll make to-do lists, write meal plans, keep track of ideas for Christmas gifts, you get the idea.

As the girls played, I found myself making a to-do list. It was already noon so I knew I needed to keep it realistic. Yet, I also knew that the pile of laundry was rather large. Still, I fought the urge to write down "catch up on laundry." Sure, it needed to be done, but it wouldn't get done, at least not in one afternoon. Well, it might if I felt like staying up until the wee hours and sneaking into the kids' rooms after they drifted off to sleep so that I could put their clothes where they belong, but I didn't.

Instead, I wrote, "Wash, dry and fold 2 loads of laundry." That's all I wrote about laundry and it was manageable. I'm learning that keeping my expectations realistic motivates me. Sure, it may not be my ideal to still have three loads of laundry waiting for me in the morning, but that's okay. It's better than not getting the laundry done and also not getting to scratch something off of the day's list.

Also, notice how I didn't include putting away the clothes as part of my expectation. I know from experience that clothes typically get put away in the morning. This way the kids can help. Getting the clothes in baskets folded and on the floor of my bedroom is good enough.

So, I guess you could say that this week I learned that expectations don't have to be the same as my ideals. That is something that doesn't come easy to a perfectionist.

Be sure to stop by Jo-Lynne's at Musings of a Housewife to see what others learned this week.


Makes My Monday

I was tempted not to get up when she asked. After all, it wasn't the first time my four-year-old had summoned me to the back yard to see something "new." Truthfully, I've told her many times that I'll be there "in just a minute" or "right after I _____." Yet, today I went. In fact, I got up in the middle of an email I was writing.

I followed her to the backyard where she headed to the swing set. I stood on the patio and watched as she climbed a tipped over Little Tike car and grabbed hold of the two rings that hang on one side of the swing set. She smiled as she quickly flipped over and dropped down. (Well, truthfully she hasn't mastered the art of dropping to the ground, so she hung there while her arms and shoulders got sore and then finally released her grip. But hey, you've got to start somewhere, right?)

Pride lit up her face as she looked at me to see my reaction. I smiled and told her how great it was that she was big enough to fip over like that. She then asked me to come give her five. I obliged and even gave her a kiss before returning inside to finish my email and then start dinner.

I was so glad that I got up when I did. It truly made my Monday and it just might have made my oldest daughter's as well.
If you'd like to read more about other fun starts to the week, please head over to Cheryl's at Twinfatuation.
Happy Monday!

Uncle G, This Meal Plan is for You!

Well, after my little description of a recent Saturday and all of the fun we had, my brother (my most loyal reader) commented that he would rather read about my domestic mornings than my kids bathroom mishaps.

So, with that in mind, I'll skip the story I could share about having all three children with me in the bathroom at church while one of my children refused to "take care business" until said child's pants, and shoes were removed. Oops, I guess I accidentally shared too much once more. Hee, hee.

Now, after that appetizing opening, let's move on to our meal plan for the week. I've never participated in this little carnival before, but meals are getting a bit repetitive around here for lack of planning. Spaghetti is good, but it isn't three-times-a-week good for three weeks in a row. Now that summer is more than officially behind us, I do believe it is time to get back to business. (Whatever that means these days.)

Here goes...

Monday: Green Chili and Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas, Salad, and of course, Chips and Salsa

Tuesday: Pot Roast, Red Potatoes, Salad, Homemade Bread and Sliced Apples

Wednesday: Spinach and Chicken Quiche and Apple Sauce

Thursday: Leftovers or Sandwiches

Friday: Dinner at a Friend's House (I'm bringing pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm.)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza, Carrots and Apple Sauce

Sunday: Tomato Cheese Ravioli Soup with Homemade Bread

Please be sure to head over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Meal Plan Monday posts.

Have a great week!


Just a Saturday...Night

Yesterday morning I was planning a blog post in my head. It was going to be about lazy weekday mornings and how I love days that don't require us to run out the door. Lazy, I suppose, is relative because I never did find the time to sit down and write.

Eventually we found ourselves at a play place ordering some "food" while I had a meeting about MOPS. The rest of the day sort of got away from me.

Then, this morning, I just knew I was going to post something about Saturday mornings. On Saturday mornings, Tony usually takes all three children for a few hours leaving me to do whatever I see fit. Today that meant cleaning and cooking, but some days it means shopping or relaxing at a coffee shop. My husband is so sweet that he truly doesn't care what I do, he just knows it helps me if I get a bit of quiet time.

So, I was going to write about my productive morning that included baking cookies, making two casseroles, putting together a pot of chili and cooking and freezing some chicken. (I'm never that productive in one morning.) Yet, somehow that seemed very uninteresting and a bit like I was boasting about how much I was accomplishing while my amazing husband played with the kids. (Hmmm, I suppose I just did that anyways. Oh well.) Also, I couldn't help but think of my twenty something brother who reads my blog. I could just picture him being glued to every word about my domestic Saturday morning. Or not.

Finally, it was time to go take a meal to a friend who just had the cutest baby boy. Before I could get out the door, Tony was home with the kids. Yet, only one got out of the van and that one had some serious bathroom issues.

Now, all three are using the bathroom frequently and it isn't pleasant. Good thing I've got Clorox wipes and some lovely room freshener from Bath and Body Works.

Most recently, I thought I was going to finally write that post I intended to write yesterday. Tony's dad and step mom are here and they went on a walk with Tony and the big kids. All that was standing between me and a bit of quiet time was getting my youngest bathed and in bed.

Well, her little body barely touched the bath water before she, um, had bathroom issues. So, I whipped her out of the tub and put a diaper on her. She ran around pulling all of the baby wipes out of the package while I cleaned the tub. Round two went much more smoothly and now she is clean and in bed. She is, of course, not asleep. I set up the pack and play in her brother's room and she isn't too sure about that.

All that to say, I'm enjoying some semi-quiet time and writing something entirely different than I would have written yesterday morning. Of course, that isn't surprising. There never is a dull moment around here.

Happy Saturday Night!