Friday, October 31, 2008

Did you guess?

A few weeks ago, I posted a hint about Halloween. One girl was going to be an angel, one a devil. Did you guess right? Stay tuned to find out.

The day started off with a bang when I left work before lunch. I thought I was coming down with the dreaded stomach virus. I decided it was more of bad sausage at McDonald's this morning at breakfast time. But it took me all day to start feeling better. I got a good nap though. That helped.

The girls had fun at school in their costumes and came home completely hyped up for Halloween. I pre-ordered pizza tonight from a local place to be delivered at 6. Our friends, Brian, Christy, and Mikey were joining us for Trick or Treating. The plan was to eat, do make-up for costumes, and head out.

Well................6:20 comes and no pizza. Hmm. I called to check on it. Evidently, it was enroute. Okay. Christy told me to start the oven for frozen pizza. That would make the delivery arrive.

In the meantime, the kids started the process of preparing the costumes.

Here are Brian and Mikey putting on make-up for the zombie.

Katie doing Abby's hair

We were killing time in the kitchen waiting for our dinner while the make-up sessions were in process. Mind you, I haven't eaten most of the day now so I am hungry. The clock ticks. It is now 6:45. I am getting ready to call again when Alex yells that someone is in the driveway. Well, it had darned well better be my pizza because I am not handing out candy to a person who can drive from house to house.

Whew, it was.

Kristin and Christy

Mikey's finished costume. He also had this fake hand that moved when you pushed a button. It freaked the girls out but they sort of got used to it by the end of the evening. Not really, but they tried to be brave!

Anna Grace and Abby before trick or treating

Katie and her friend Natalie were the hair and make-up crew tonight

So we headed out into the neighborhood with a blue party cup in hand. We had to find someway to keep warm you know. Anyhow, Mikey, Anna Grace, and Abby had a great time. They returned with lots of candy.

Of course, Alex had to check it all out to see what they "couldn't eat". Hmm. Sounds rather fishy to me!

Guess the girls thought he was trying to fake them out too because the next thing I know, they are tying him up....

But the funniest thing the whole night was when we were out trick or treating. It turns out we live in a really cool neighborhood. Really cool. :-) Every couple of houses or so, the owners were handing out candy for the kiddies and adult beverages for us old people. Turns out the neighborhood Bunko group decided to do this. I am not a member since our nights are already so busy but several of my friends play. So we got the word passed to us early as to which houses to ask for a treat.

Brian and Christy said they wanted to come back again next year. :-) They will be with us for Thanksgiving. How can we top Halloween???

PS. Anna Grace was the devil; Abby was the angel. Quite fitting. :-)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our Ordinary Days

It's been a long few days around my house. I am still in shock and mourning over the loss of MJ. My thoughts and prayers continue to go to her family.

I decided today that I needed to bring some light into my day so refreshed my memory on Denise's post about not feeling quite up to par as others. It seems that others lead such perfect lives while the rest of us are not quite there. This is all theory of course. :-) But I want to make all my readers feel better when they realize I am just as ordinary as others.

Well, let me share my night. You'll be feeling much happier about your own lives, I'm sure. :-)

I left school at 4pm (after a long day with a bunch of rambunctious 5 year olds) and promptly received a call from both big kids asking where I was and what my plans were before going home. Suffice it to say, they wanted mom to go buy them stuff. Okay, we arranged for me to swing by and pick up Katie to head to Wal-Mart-----------my favorite place in the whole wide world (NOT!). I got the little ones, ran home, picked up Katie in the driveway (no one got out of the car which caused other issues), and headed to the store. We got two shopping carts though which made Anna Grace and Abby both happy campers.

We did the usual pick up of shampoo, saline, tylenol, and stuff. Then I headed for the Brita water filter aisle while Katie headed toward scrapbook things (school project).

The Brita story: Our fridge has the water and ice in the door. But about a month ago, it stopped giving us water and ice. We get nothing. What kind of deal is that??? It still makes ice but won't hand it over. All righty then. We haven't had time to call someone to see about it. Our tap water is okay but not great. I am tired of running through expensive water bottles so decided to buy a Brita water pitcher (which we used to own but I tossed when we got this great fridge which filters water----ahem). I was trying to clean out and downsize!!

Anyhow, we bought our stuff (including tacos for dinner----always a hit) and headed home. I unpacked and found out the Brita was missing its lid. Yippee for me. Do I head back to Wal-Mart now or wait until later tonight? I opt for now. I will be in my jammies later and didn't think Wal-Mart would appreciate it.

When I realized I was missing parts to the water pitcher, the little ones were fighting like cats and dogs. I told AG she had to come with me (she was crying the loudest---and is usually the instigator). We headed back to Wal-Mart. Thank goodness it's only 2 miles away. Yes, I could have waited. But I wanted water! And, I needed to separate the girls before I lost my mind.

I ended up buying a Pur water filter. We'll see how it goes. As long as I can drink water, I will be happy.

Flash forward to dinner: things were somewhat peachy keen although it was very loud. You'd think with four kids it wouldn't be that bad but when two of them are five and under, all bets are off. We experienced yelling, silliness, playing around, spilling food/plates, and everything else during dinner. What else is new?

So it's now 9:30. One kid is watching TV, one is on the computer, and two are (cross your fingers) are asleep.

I will tell it like it is. No sugar coating here. Life is not perfectly perfect no matter what we might think.

Happy weekend to all my usual, typical, crazy, silly, normal, friends of mine. If you are a new visitor or poster, welcome! I love to see new people visit my crazy yet normal life. And I love to read about others who lead the same ordinary, mundane, boring days as I. :-)

Leave a comment or email me. I would love to add you to my blogroll. :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MJ Kreuer Memorial Information

Darlene at Our Journey to Timothy Tai sent me further information regarding MJ's services and memorial fund. Please visit the Ocala Star-Banner online to read about her planned services. There is also an online guest book if you'd care to leave a message.

In addition, Carrie and Aaron's church has set up a memorial fund for MJ. Here is their church information:

Central Baptist Church
1714 SE 36th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34471
phone: 352 694-2212

Further info from my CCAI Waiting Child group: The church is not set up to take online payments nor credit cards. If you do send a check, the church said to please indicate on the check that it is for the Kreuer's. They will have such a long road ahead of them as they try to recover and heal from this tremendous loss. Their financial needs will be so great as they are facing not only funeral expenses, but the cost of life flighting MJ to the hospital, surgery, and three days in hospital, all out of their insurance network.

If you know others who would like this information, please pass it along to them. You may link to my blog if it's easier.

Thank you so much-

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carrie and MJ

Darlene at Our Journey to Timothy Tai wrote beautifully about Carrie and MJ today. She gave me permission to share the above picture of Carrie and MJ as well as link to her post. Please visit. And please keep the Kreuer family in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Please pray....

I just received word that my friend Carrie (a CCAI WC mom) suffered the most horrendous loss yesterday. Her beautiful little girl from China passed away after an accident at home. I don't know much more than that but this news has rocked my world.

Please be thankful for the time you have with your precious family. You never know when that may be snatched away from you.

Keep Carrie, her husband, three children, and extended family in your prayers. Especially pray for her sweet MJ.

Thank you.

Katie's Pumpkins

Well, as stated yesterday, Katie strongly dislikes anything to do with gutting a pumpkin. It's gross. She chose to use paint instead to create her masterpieces. However, we had no paint at home yesterday so she had to wait until I brought home my paint from school today. (FYI: my personal paint, not the school's property!!)

She started painting right after I got home while trying to keep the girls away so they wouldn't interfere. I was putting things away, checking messages, helping Anna Grace with her homework, etc. when Katie asked me why I wasn't taking pictures of her like I did with Alex. Hmmm. Guess I didn't think about it. Sorry!

So, here are Katie's projects: Mickey Mouse and Georgia Tech. I thought they turned out really well!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alex and the Pumpkins

Alex loves carving the Halloween pumpkins each year. He and the little ones have been asking for a week now to carve this years batch. I told them all they had to wait until Dad got home. Since dad is now home, the questions started about making the jack-o-lanterns.

Let the fun begin!

In the midst of "gutting" the pumpkins, Alex got a phone call. So, yes, he chose to multi-task instead of not answer the phone.

The girls enjoyed sticking their arms down into the pumpkin to clean it out. Katie was grossed out and would not watch.

Alex told the girls to draw the faces they would want on their pumpkins. Oh, how hard this was for them to do!!

Alex, my non-cooperating photo-op child, said this photo could be posted tonight. Not what I would pick but he liked the scowl. :-)

And, the finished products. Thank you Alex!!

Oh, and making the kids wait until daddy got home was pointless. He slept through the whole production. Jet lag is a killer!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sisters, soccer, and surprises....

Our day began early but I was able to keep the girls in my bed happily watching Disney so I could pretend to sleep a bit more. We woke up the big kids a little while later and headed for soccer. I left early to drop Alex off at the field with the intent to return with the girls (who were with Katie) in time for kick off. When I dropped him off, I realized there was plenty of close parking (which is very unusual) so called Katie to have her get the girls shoes on so I could run home the few miles, grab them, and get a good parking space. Yes, that is my thrilling moment of the day. Grabbing a good parking space at the soccer fields. Anyhow, I called Katie's phone and the house phone but got no answer. Rats. I drove home, pulled into the driveway, got out of the car, and heard music blasting. Hmm. Could this be the reason I got no answer when I called??

I walked in and found the girls dancing in the family room. So out comes the camera so I could get it on video. Katie didn't even know I was home until she turned around and saw me with the camera. :-)
(Editors note: The video turned out great but Katie does not want me to post it here. Oh well.)

I have taken very few pictures of Alex playing soccer so thought I'd try to get a few today. Easier said than done. But here are a few. He is number 5 and the goalie in the red shirt.

The boys won 5-0. Yeah! And, the best news was the team they were scheduled to play a few hours later decided to forfeit-----which meant my afternoon got a whole lot easier. Whew! Oh, and this is what little girls do during their brother's soccer game. Play limbo with a piece of yarn found in a jacket pocket, pick weeds to poke at each other, share chairs, and play train with their friend Julia (whose brother is on the team too.)

We headed home for lunch, errands, and cleaning in prep for company tonight. Things were going along as planned until I checked the flight status of Dave's plane. He was due to arrive over an hour earlier than planned. Great news--but hard with company coming and dinner planned. But we worked it out. John and the boys arrived and I left for the airport a few minutes later. I left them with plenty of snacks, coke, beer, and football. Dinner would be after I returned from the airport.

Katie and John's son headed out right after we got home for a seniors only Halloween party. She would not consent to a picture because she knew it would end up here. Suffice it to say she looked cute but daddy hated her costume. She and her friends went as Hooters girls. Enough said.

But before leaving for the party, Katie captured these pictues for me. We did not tell the little girls daddy was coming home. I just left to "go to the store" to get something. They were so excited to have Mr. John, Jack, and Patrick here that they didn't care about my leaving.

Welcome home daddy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are you lucky?

Yet another typical Friday night around our house. Maybe your house is different but I imagine we all share some of the same thrilling boring things in our lives.

Here is a run down on our night:

Dinner: We ordered pizza and ate off paper plates. Maybe not good for the environment but good for my (somewhat) calm night. Less stress, less clean up, easy night for mom.

Entertainment: During dinner, Abby headed for the bathroom. At this point, she and Katie carried on this long conversation about what she is doing in the potty, how much is she going (complete with Abby looking down into the potty to verify), and when will she be back. Yes, I know, TMI.

Musical interlude: Goofiness reigned with the singing of Taylor Swift songs during dinner. I know, no singing at the table. Somehow, no one listened tonight.

Medical intervention: After dinner, Katie insisted someone walk on her back to crack it. I missed Alex standing on her but did catch a few of Anna Grace.

Fine arts: After dinner and back cracking, the excitement turned to coloring. Strange thing was, when we looked over, Anna Grace was writing music. Yes, music. I have no idea where she learned this.

Photo segment: The girls did consent to a picture together but Alex was no where to be seen. Yes, the boy really does exist. He is just very camera reluctant. Very. Sigh.

Finale: So the little ones are now finishing their treat of gummy bears and preparing for bed (after brushing teeth really well of course!). The big kids ditched us to head to the final home football game of the season---in the cold, drizzly rain. Sound like fun to you?? Me neither. But here was their send off picture....

Upcoming events: Cleaning in preparation for company (the girls godfather and sons), two soccer games, grocery store/BJ's run, and maybe a nap if I'm lucky.

But, even as crazy, hair raising, stressful, and mind blowing as my days are, I have to say..........

Yes, I am lucky.

PS. Daddy comes home tomorrow night but we haven't told the girls. :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Memories to Wear

Two friends of mine at school have started a side business of making ceramic pendants of pictures. I recently had our family picture from the beach (my profile pic) made into a pendant. The picture may not seem perfectly clear because it's taken at an angle. To be right above means having a shadow so what else could I do?? But here is the finished product (minus silver chain):

Isn't it so cool??!! It is such a "mom" thing to wear. :-)

Then, our art teacher had the students do projects which can be ordered on tote bags, note cards, mugs, etc. My friends also offered this as a pendant. So, I ordered Anna Grace's picture. Yes, my child is the only one in kindergarten who had to have pink ocean water. But that's okay. It matches more of my clothes that way!

So if you are interested at all in having a favorite picture turned into a pendant, silver key chain (I ordered that too!), dog tag, or ceramic tile, check out Picture Perfect. You will be very pleased!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mommy is Old

Just had to add this to my Pity Party post:

Last night, Anna Grace and Katie were talking about death. I have no idea why but they were. Here is the conversation....

AG: Katie, when Mommy and Daddy die, will you still be here to take care of us?

K: Of course, but they aren't going to die anytime soon. You have to be old to die. (which we know isn't always the case but she's talking to a five year old!)

AG: Well, Mommy is old.

Dead silence. Then a yell to me:

"Mom, Anna Grace says you are old!"

Thanks a lot, kid. I'm only 41, thank you very much. I don't think that's old but then again, when I was 5, I probably did. Maybe if I didn't whine so much about being tired, she wouldn't think I was old. Maybe??

Not gonna happen though. I AM tired!

Have a happy night!

Pity Party at My House..

Anyone want to come?

It's been a tiresome few days so I'm feeling a bit grumpy. Anna Grace is getting up again during the night (probably because daddy is out of town). I wake up between 1 and 3am to find her sound asleep in my bed. I just leave her because I am too tired to get up! But then she ends up kicking me, hitting me, or something which causes me to not sleep well. This is the main reason I am wiped out today!

Yesterday, the big kids picked up the little ones at after school so I could run a few errands. I had to buy a few groceries and get Alex a pumpkin for math class. He told me to get an average sized pumpkin. But all Publix had were large ones. I called him again to clarify. He said average---which means nothing to me! I continue into the produce area where I was able to find a smaller pumpkin. Yeah for me!

I head home with my bags and deliver the pumpkin to "the boy" (as dad calls him). First response from him:

"It's too small. I have to carve math things into it."

Well, if that had been told to me from the very beginning, I would have known what to look for! Good grief. So I had to head back out to Wal-Mart to try again. What a nice mom. I returned with four pumpkins all about the size of the first one I had found just an hour earlier at Publix but decided to not purchase. Guess what? These were fine. Agh!

Pumpkin dilemma solved so we went about our evening. Katie asked to borrow my shampoo and promised to return it to my bathroom when she was done with it. I don't know why I believed her.

This morning, I am in the shower, therefore soaking wet, when I reach down for my shampoo and it's not there. No way, you say. Like it's a big surprise. So I mutter a few choice words aimed at my sleeping 17 year old in the next room. She, of course, does not hear me.

Okay, Plan B. I will use Dave's. Reach down for his and it's empty. Strike two for me. Now I'm irritated. I have to get out of the shower, drip water everywhere, and search under my sink for discarded shampoo that I decided I didn't like for one reason or another. Thankfully I found some, dripped more water on the floor and returned to my shower.

Once I was out of the shower and dressed, I woke up Katie (quite abruptly, I might add) to voice my displeasure. She didn't seem too concerned.

Today when I returned home from school, the clean dishwasher was not unloaded and the trash was overflowing. To be fair, I did not directly state to the kids that this needed to be done. But would it be too much to ask that you be aware of when I might need help? I guess so. To make matters worse, neither realized the fact that the dishes were clean and added their dirty dishes from breakfast.

Suffice it to say, I had two teens in my kitchen completing these chores before they did anything else.

Dave heads home this Saturday after two weeks in Asia. He emailed Sunday saying he was going to be done early so would catch a flight home on Thursday or Friday. Cool! The next day he emails again saying there are no flights available. Everything is booked. So he is stuck with his original flight home. Never imagined he'd have trouble finding an earlier flight. Rats.

The plus sides to the day are that dinner is already done thanks to the crock pot, the girls are playing nicely together in their still clean playroom, and my day at school went pretty smoothly thanks to my assistant, my special needs assistant, and my student teacher. Yes, there are four adults in my room!! Not all, day every day but quite often. Add volunteering parents and the count can be as high as five at a time. :-)

Oh, and even though I instructed Katie to return my shampoo to my bathroom before going shopping with her friend today, guess what is still missing in action?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Katie's Photo Shoot

Got you all excited huh, like Katie is modeling or something. Nah. Big sisters love to doll up their little sisters. Well, at least at our house. So today was another make-up and photo session with Katie. She has the girls do smiles and then the solemn "model" face. Katie keeps saying Anna Grace is a natural so we should take her to modeling/casting calls.

Uh no. AG's cooperation for pictures depends entirely on her mood of the day. Just when you think she'll be outgoing and personable, she spends the next hour hiding behind you and pretending to be shy.

Abby, well. We're still working on the smile thing. She has a wonderful smile but when you ask her to smile for a picture, she does this weird face. So we're trying to "teach" her to smile. When she does her gorgeous smile, she hunches up her shoulders, tips her head onto her shoulder, and holds her hands. This is a Katie pose which we cannot break now. Thanks Katie!

In other thrilling boring news, the playroom is clean once again thanks to hard little workers (amazing how bribes work), three loads of laundry were washed, Alex is at youth group (after many complaints), our pantry is full (love BJ's Wholesale Club), and lunches are already made for school tomorrow.

Feel free to ignore this drivel if you choose. It's primarily for daddy who is currently in Shanghai. :-)

Pony party pictures :-)

Well, I lied. I said yesterday that I didn't have any pictures of Abby riding the pony at our friend's party due to my dead camera. But today, Cindy and Carey sent me a bunch of party pictures!! Yeah!

So here are two pictures of Abby riding the pony. Doesn't she look thrilled?