Sunday, November 30, 2008

Give a Family a Goat for Christmas!

For Christmas every year we try to do something for a charity. We used to sponsor a family thru church, picking out clothes and toys for them. Last year we read in the newspaper about a single mom who had several children, and one had all kinds of medical issues. She had to support and care for her children, while not having means to take care of her handicapped child. So we helped them. This year I got a magazine in the mail, with some of the coolest ideas. It was for World Vision, and I really though it was neat for my kids to see a glimpse of what other children their age dealt with on a daily basis, and what we could do to help. We had a family meeting and picked which one we would do.

Now they had so many neat ideas...You could buy a family a goat, and then they would have fresh milk. You could buy them 2 chickens and then they would have eggs to eat, and even eggs to sell. Chickens multiply quickly, so they could give to neighbors and help their village. You could buy vaccines, school books, pay to dig a well so they had fresh water, train women for jobs, buy a bicycle so children to get to school safely and not get kidnapped, buy them a fishing kit, seeds, fruit trees, mosquito nets...the list went on and on and told you the amount. It was all reasonably priced. From $30 and up. We chose "a goat and 2 chickens" for $100.

A goat nourishes a family with protein-rich dairy and can offer an income boost by providing offspring and extra dairy products for sale. Chickens also provide a lasting source of nutrition and income: fresh eggs are rich in protein and other nutrients, and extra eggs can be sold to pay for other household needs.
I know this is the best money I will spend this whole Christmas season.
If you are interested in World Vision, check them out online at or call 1-888-511-6511

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gimmie an "O"...Good Lord!

Well sorry this has taken so long, but the letter I was assigned by Aubrey over at the Fam Five, was "O". I let it soak in and with the help of my oh so smart daughter, we came up with some pretty good ones!

*Old English Sheepdogs

Wasn't this the breed of dog used in the original version of The Shaggy Dog by Disney? It is one of those breeds you admire from afar, because that hair would be so hard to take care of!


This is in Hocking Hills and our family has taken trips up there in the summer. There is a lot of nature, and alot of hiking, and not much more. But we have had awesome times renting a cabin with my mom and brothers family, and roughing it for a week. There are some really neat caves and rocks to check out and alot of stories to go with them. It is believed that in the 1700's a man lived in this cave as a hermit, and his final resting place is in it.



This is one of my favorite months. This is when I had my 1st baby...such memories of that time. Walking in the cool autumn, patiently waiting for her to come. It is when the hot, humid summer is finally giving away to cool nights and there is a smell in the air of leaves and campfires.


I know you think I am scraping by with this one but I do LOVE oats. I eat them almost every morning for breakfast. Bananas, butter, brown sugar, and milk....YUM!

That is when you use opposites to describe something. Love that.

Deafening silence
Forward retreat
Accidentally on Purpose

Little Big Man

**The movie "The Others"

Love, love, love this movie! It is about a woman who thinks her house is haunted. It is set back in the late 1800's. Her and her children are alone in their big house. Her children suffer from the disease where they can't have sunlight touch them, so the curtains have to be pulled all the time or else their skin will blister. Come to find out, she is the dead one having contact with people. Cool twist and makes you think.

** Oprah, Okra, orgasms, Olive Garden, otters, old people, oars, oxen,opera, oak, outside, opium, one....
There are as many as the day is long! I never knew how COOL the letter "O" is!

Friday, November 28, 2008

First Baby

Here you go mommies - a different kind of survey for a change - it's all about you and your first baby. I got this great idea from Betty over at Keeper of the Sky Wife.

1. Were you married at the time? When I had her....yes.
2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? I was scared to tell my parents. I was so in love with Mike. I was in shock.
3. How old were you? 17
4. How did you find out you were pregnant? bought an at home kit after my shift at Friendlys.Then Mike took me to a doctor to confirm.
5.Who did you tell first? Mike
6. Did you want to find out the sex? Yes! We tried, but that little booger kept her legs together, so our only ultrasound we didn't find out. She was the only one that we did not know, and it was a very cool moment being surprised. The others I found out, because I am impatient.
7. Due Date? October 11th, 1993
8. Did you deliver early or late? 6 days late
9. Did you have morning sickness? yes. I had to Finish up my senior year, and every morning Mike would have to drag me out of bed.
10. What did you crave? Lots and lots of food!
11. Who irritated you the most? I don't remember being irritated by anyone too much. I guess the girls at school. I went to Vocational school, and our class was a tight nit class of only 11 girls. We had been together for 2 years and there we only the 11 of us. I married Mike in Feb. and I remember feeling on a different plane than everyone else.
12. What was your first child's sex? Girl
13. How many pounds did you gain throughout your pregnancy? like 60lbs. WAAYY to much.
14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy? no
15. Where did you give birth? Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
16. How many hours were you in labor? like 14 hours
17. Who drove you to the hospital? Mike
18. Who watched? just Mike
19. Was it natural or c-section? Natural
20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain? Besides the epidural, I also got some kind of Iv drip that chilled me out.
21. How much did your child weigh? 6 lbs 8 oz
22. What did you name him/her? Tatum Winter
23. How old is your first born today? 15 years old. In 2 years she will be the age I was when I got pregnant.

Let's hear your stories ladies! Tell us all about your first baby:)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am slowly getting ready for Thanksgiving. It is at my house tomorrow. It is so unlike me to not be stressing, but I'm not. I think I am slowly learning to embrace "It is what it is" outlook. I like this feeling much better:)
We have a small extended family, so it will not be big. It really is sad to both Mike and I, and I think that is why we wanted at least 4 kids. I so look forward to busy full holidays with grandbabies, and our children being adults, with hopefully their mates. I want that Walton feel.

We have 4 guests coming, but with the six of us that already makes 10! My mom and her husband, my uncle, and my grandma. I am posting this on Wednesday night, and I having gradually been getting things ready.

One thing that is my signature each year, is I make name places. One year the kids and I made Turkeys with feathers, another year we glued candy canes into like a tripod to hold the name cards, baby pumpkins with the names scrolled across was once, and last year cookies in the shape of gingerbread boys and girls.

This year I found these cute bundles of sticks at Target. They were called "vase fillers". A pack of index card for .89 cents and leaves from my burning bush out front. Too easy and too cute!
This year I give thanks for so many things. But a new addition, is all you bloggy friends! What a fun and happy time I have had meeting all of you. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas Card Making

Last night I went over to Heather's and made my Christmas cards. We had so much fun doing it! She is really talented when it comes to this kind of thing, and has got the coolest set up for all her tools. We listened to Christmas music while I doubled sided taped things, and made corners look rounded. Heather offered to let me do the stamping, but since it looked like she was having to hand her first born baby over, I declined and she quickly agreed. ( I won't put the part about you referring me to a 9 year old:) I think they turned out great considering we were completely lit! (We even had poor Joe go back out to the store to by us a 2nd bottle of wine!) Thanks Heather for helping me make these beautiful cards that my family and friends will enjoy I know!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who are You???

I got this fun test over from Hot Tub Lizzy...It was fun to take and easy to do...go find out who you are .......

I Am a Doris!
-- "I must help others."
Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me
* Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
* Share fun times with me.
* Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
* Let me know that I am important and special to you.
* Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships
* Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
* Reassure me often that you love me.
* Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris
* being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
* knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
* being generous, caring, and warm
* being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
* being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris
* not being able to say no
* having low self-esteem
* feeling drained from overdoing for others
* not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
* criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
* being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
* working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often
* are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
* try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
* are outwardly compliant
* are popular or try to be popular with other children
* act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
* are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents
* are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
* are often playful with their children
* wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
* can become fiercely protective

Monday, November 24, 2008

I am Thankful

I am Thankful...

*For the teenager who is watching TV instead of doing the dishes, because that means he is at home and not on the streets.

*For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.

*For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.

*For the laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear

*For weariness aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been productive.

*For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.

*For the mess I have to clean after a party, because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

*For the taxes I pay, because it means that I am employed.

*For my shadow who watches me work,because it means I am out in the sunshine.

*For the lawn that needs mowing,windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home

*For all the complaints I hear about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.

*For my children, who give me the chance to see through the eyes of innocence and be a kid myself again.

*For the arguments with my spouse,because it means that I am not going through life alone.

*For the weeds I spend hours pulling in my garden, because it means I am not seeing my garden from 6 feet under.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chocolate, Twilight Weekend

This weekend has been so fun so far, and we still are not through it! On Friday night Tatum and I met a bunch of friends and went to see the movie Twilight. I thought it was really really good. I think the book is better...but I usually think that just because books are so different to digest. In books you pour over the words, and let in settle deep into you thoughts and emotions. In movies, they only have 2 hours to tell you the whole story. I LOVED the movie, and think I will watch it again soon!

Since Tatum was with me, we had her best friends Danielle babysit. She is staying the whole weekend too. Tatum has another Hip Hop competition on Sunday, and since these 2 girls had competed together for years in gymnastics,(till Tatum had to leave this summer due to her knees and ankle) Danielle really wanted to see Tatum do her new thing.

Danielle fits right into our family and is such a sweet girl. I was nervous, but she did a fantastic job with the kids.

I had left them pre cut Christmas sugar cookies to make and decorate and eat. The kit contained a squirter of icing. Apparently they had way to much fun, and found my camera.....

It looks like even Sum got in on the fun!
Ummm...yup they got carried away and decided after cookie making to do what Danielle does best! MAKEOVERS!
Sadly enough, my boys ate it up, loving the attention she gave them. They had such a fun time, laughing and getting all dolled up. Jake is such a clown.

Soon it was time for bed.

And Mike came home then. We all know how he feels about the boys doing stuff like this.
Party over.

So then today I slept nice! To 10:oo! Mike had to work so me and the kids went over to the Dayton mall. We bought clearance movies at Blockbuster, and shopped at the grocery store for dinner. Mike was home by the time we got back and he and I made SUCH a good dinner for everyone. Lasagna, french bread and a Cesar salad. It was so yummy.
But the BEST part was while I was shopping at the grocery store, I asked (for the millionth time) for a type of wine I have been searching for. We went years ago to Valley Vineyard ( this really cool restaurant where your men cook the steaks outside on grills, and they have a salad bar, a bread table, and a desert table. they are a winery and sell all their own made wine) and they gave me the BEST wine ever. It was red, and sweet, and chilled. Now when I describe this to clerks at the stores, they always say..."Red wines usually aren't try this." and it always sucks! The Valley Vineyard Waiter called it " communion wine " as a joke, because it does taste kind of like the sweet chilled juice you get at some church's. So today, I found this older gentleman who really new his stuff...and no, it wasn't exactly the same, but it was what I have been looking for.

Call me a light weight, but by one glass I was feeling all Yummy. By two, I was winking at my husband. Needless to say we finished it all off. It was called Rosa Regale.

Then came the F. U. N.
I had bought a chocolate fountain for Thanksgiving and wanted to give it a test drive.

The kids were so excited! We had lots of cool things to try in it. Bananas and strawberries were the best I think.

My only tip for people out there trying it is to REALLY REALLY melt the chocolate good before you put it in.

Summer was demanding YUM YUM, and really liked the chocolate!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Honest Award

I received this award from Heather over at Want What You Have. She is a really neat lady that inspires me to be more! Thank you very much Heather!

Here are the rules that you agree to when you accept this award: "When you receive the prize, you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in their content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing that they were prized with 'Honest Weblog'. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on!"

Oh my goodness. Time for me to be Honest Abe....well let's see..

1. I guess that is easy, since we are on the topic of being honest. I kind of have a hang-up with this. I always try to be honest. If I am not, I feel soo guilty that it wasn't worth it in the first place. I let it eat me up inside, until I confess, and right my wrong. Blame it on growing up Catholic...I don't know!

2. I cut my hair just short enough to not be able to pull it up or pin it up. If it happens to get long enough, I know me well enough that I will be pulling it into a ponytail. Even if that ponytail is a teeny tiny centimeter long. I had long hair for years, and it didn't matter. I always pulled it up. Sure it could of look cute in so many ways, but I never did. When I made the daring choice to chop it all off, it was all or nothing baby! Now I am forced to style it, and am happier.

3. If you know me at all, you will already know this...but hey! I have to come up with TEN things people!
I have NO self control when it comes to baked goods. Donuts. Coffee Cake. Brownies. Cookies. Yum yum yum yum yummy.
(that would probably be why you see me at the YMCA 3xweek)

4. I think I am addicted to having kids. (Is that an actual problem?) If I had married someone that wanted to keep on having them, I probably would. I am in LOVE with that special moment you and your husband share. Those tender first days together.
I also loved the idea of a houseful of kids spilling out. "Cheaper by the Dozen", "7th Heaven", all the pioneer books I read, make it seem so endearing.
But that idea in my head never seems to match reality. Pregnancy SUCKS. Those cute babies grow up and turn into HANDFULS. God knew best to have me marry someone with guidelines.

5. The big 05. I am trucking along and halfway there. This is easier than I thought. I will tell you something that I didn't even know about me until recently. I am addicted to blogging. Yes, yes, we all say this. But I think I really have a problem. It is like I am addicted to CRACK! Not a day passes without a new post...God forbid! I keep having talks with myself about this fact, and how I need to curb it some (remind the talk of needing guidelines). I don't know if I was happier in the dark, following my BFF's blog and chats with all her bloggy friends, or if this was a release that I desperately didn't know I needed.
Oh what the hell, the cat is out of the bag now!

6. I am afraid of the dark. Stop snickering people.

7. I hate fun-yuns. I am suppressing vomit right now. I am not even kidding about this one. I swear the smell, the word, Oh my gosh...please new topic

8. I am hardest on my husband. I am brutally honest with him. I don't know if it is because I am so comfortable with him, or if it is because we tease each other alot. I have told him he has bad breath, has a booger in his nose, is an over salutator ( I mean really...when on the phone I feel for the other party "Take care!", "See ya later", "Hang in there", "Have a good day", "goodbye!"....see I'm picking on him already!), or I have said "you are not wearing that". He is such a good guy, and takes it all in stride. If he were to say anything like that to me....I would CRY.

9. I adamantly go to the dentist every 6 months. I HATE dentist and teeth (who doesn't!), and I hated them so much when I was young, and stupid, and newly independent adult....I just didn't go. For like 6 years! And then when I did, I had FOURTEEN cavities. No Lie. It was torture to get 14 cavities filled, and I swore from that day on, I would never let it get that bad again.

10. I am a list maker. I have lists for my lists lists.

There ya go. I am out and proud! Now the FUN part...picking my 7!

1. Of course I pick Heather. She is my best friend and I love her so much (although she is the one that got me hooked on blogging) We exercise together, we laugh together, we vent together, we share our lives daily.

2. Jennifer at The Fun House. I think she is great! She is one of the first blogs I found on my own, and left a comment. And she left a comment back! And she keeps doing it!!!!!!!!!! That is so cool. She also has a very funny blog, and a great family (Dr. Hoppy included!).

3.Lula. She is so funny with her comments, and she LOVES my apple cake. Need I say more?

4. Catherine. She is a cool cat, and a real life blog friend.

5. Heather from Sugar and Spice. Mother to 3. All boys! Gotta love her!

6. Jenny and the Princess Peonies. This cool mom has just started visiting me. She has great taste in books, and music. Although I really don't know what a peonie is (flower?)
7.Michelle from Tales from the Lunchroom. She is my best friends sister. And I get to meet her for the first time tonight. Live. And in Person. Very Cool!
8.Jennifer from What's shakin. She is sweet and I love reading her blog. She is very poetic at times, which interests me.
9.Betty at Keeper of the Skys. I LOVE Betty. She is so darn cute!
10. Aubrey from the Fab Five. This was a very long award and post, and it is payback for a future blog game I wanted to play with her where you come up with a certain letter for favorite things. And she gave me the letter "O"!! Like in OH my gosh, how am I going to do this?!! (She has a very cute blog too!)

Friday, November 21, 2008


AAAhhh...Today is FINALLY the day. I am so excited I can barely wait any longer.

Read all 4 books..........check

Prepay and reserve tickets..........check

Babysitter lined up..................check

My posse of Twilight chicks I am meeting up with....check

Plans for drinks after, so we can all drool over the movie........priceless!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Walk down Memory Lane

I got this great idea of a Meme, from Heather over at Want what you Have. I thought it was such a neat idea, that I would give it a try. I had a little trouble with the pictures, so bare with me!

15 years ago....

This was December 1993. Gosh, so much in my life had changed, and I was all for it! I was 18 years old and Mike was 29. We had just had our first baby together, Tatum, and she was about 6 weeks here. We couldn't afford to buy a picture of her on Santa's lap, so we brought our camera and took our own. It was our first Christmas married and we lived in our brand new trailer...yee haw!! Mike worked 2nd shift running a pizza store as a manager. We were living on love.

10 years ago...

This was 1998. Tatum was 5 and Jake our new baby had just turned one. We had just bought our 1st house a year before, and Mike had gotten promoted to Director of Operations for a pizza chain. We had insurance now, a company car, and a little money in our pocket. I was 23 and Mike was 34.

5 years ago...

This was 2003. Matty had joined us 2 years ago. We were saving our pennies to buy our own store one day. Yes, that is a broken arm on me. I had taken Tatum and Jake to a school roller skating party. I didn't even make it off the carpet. I have broken this arm 3 times now.
Life was sure busy, but we loved our home and neighborhood and friends.

3 years ago...This was 2005. We had, after 12 long years of saving bought our 1st store. 5 months after that a 2nd store (literally a gift from God) fell into our laps. That 2nd store was our saving grace. We packed up, changed schools, bought a house, and moved to the cutest little town ever. Hot Air Balloons that fly overhead, an old town with historic building filled with antiques, farms and cornfields, great schools, the town had it own little train, the biggest YMCA in the whole United States of America (not lying! it really is), and hey! Neil Armstrong lived here too! We felt so blessed. I got to experience moving away from my family (always had lived in the same place my whole life), but really they were only a hour away. Our bedroom window looked back onto a horse farm. We were so happy where we were.

That next summer we took a trip to Disney, and made our decision to have one more baby..

1 year ago...

This is 2007. This is the whole gang. My only sibling, Timmy, with his wife and kids, my mom and her husband, Jack, my family (Summer's 1st Christmas), and my uncle and grandma


This would be Summer after one of the kids gave her a cookie. I didn't know they had till I saw this face. She was very pleased with herself.


This is me! 33 years old. Mother of 4. Wife to Mike. Daughter to an Awesome Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fox Run Road

When I have dreams at night, if they take place in a home/house, a major percentage of them take place in my childhood home. Whether the dream is sweet and comforting, a nightmare, or even an illogical bunch of nothingness, most of the time it is back grounded by this home.

I grew up in a solid brick colonial home. To me it was picturesque. We owned an acre of land and it was mostly forest. I spent most of my playtime in that forest. It had a creek that ran through it. I was quite taken with my imagination, and would spend hours trucking the creek pretending I was Laura Ingalls. There were vines in the trees you could swing on. There was an huge old tree that had fallen over years before, but was still attached to all the roots that came ripping up from the ground. Because of this, it didn't quite lay on the ground and could give a bounce. You could have 18 kids straddle it and bounce up and down. We would use it as our balance beam, and if we were tricky enough we would bounce as we balanced. The creek ran under the road so there was a huge metal pipe that you could stand up in and actually walk under our street. We could collect clay from the creek walls and make molds. We would catch water bugs, and tadpoles.

Our house was settled deep in a hill. It was so steep on all 4 side that sled riding was a given on snowy days. You knew if Dad had to park at the top of the driveway the night before, you would probably have a snow day from school. We had a deck attached to the back of the house that was the whole length of the house, it was connected to our first floor, but with all the hills from the back yard it was up in the air a whole story. Under neath it walking out from the basement was a brick layed patio with a swing.

I moved there when I was 2, and had to move away when I was 14. My dad was sick and couldn't climb the stairs anymore. As bad as things were (mom and I would have to step by step drag him upstairs at brother was away at college) I in my selfish 14 year old mind didn't want to go. I was heartbroken leaving my home.

That was for 12 years that I lived there. I was dumbfounded the other morning, when I was waken up from a dream taking place in that house, and realizing that I have been married to Mike for almost 16 years! I have been with him longer than those forever childhood 12 years.
I guess that house is a feeling of my safe place. Things that happen then will never be again. I was carefree. I was young. I felt safe and loved. When I was 14 things changed drastically as I guess they do for everyone. I grew up. I had responsibilities. My innocence was slowly lost by time and age and life. In 3 short years after leaving that home I was getting married and pregnant. Five years after that my dad was gone. Three more kids, my mom just snowballed far away from that time and now I am here. Here is a great place...don't get me wrong! It is just so far away, from what was.
I hope more than anything, that while my children are carefree and innocent, I can create that loving, safe nook. For them to get to carry with them throughout their journey in life:)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To Tube or Not to Tube

My poor baby is still sick with ear infections. I took her to the doctor to get her ears rechecked and the right one still has an infection. This is the 3rd consecutive round of antibiotics. She has had E.I. in Jan., June, Sept., Oct.,and Nov. We are being sent to a ENT doctor after this round of medicine. The criteria for tubes is 6-8 in a 12 month period or 3 consecutive months of ear infections.
I am so nervous she will have to get tubes. I have been SO blessed with the health of my children. None of them have ever had a surgery. The extent of 15 years of kids are a broken bone, stitches, braces, knee injuries, strep, basic cuts and colds. Not anything to write home about. Just basic stuff. I am constantly trying to be grateful for their health. Just in our neighborhood we have Cystic Fibrosis, Children's Ruemitary Arthritis, and genetic gene disorder. I know what these families go thru and my little old problems amount to nothing compared. But I still am so nervous about this. They have to knock her out for it. To me, that is TERRIFYING. She is just a little baby! My friend who is a nurse, has had to go thru anesthetics with her child ALOT of times, and she said even she cries every time she watches them do it to her daughter. I am not good in this department. I can endure whatever, but please don't hurt my babies:(
If you have had tubes done for your children, could you share you story with me. I have heard that they are such a blessing, and they are so glad they got them.
Thanks everyone!