Monday, December 27, 2010

The President

So, while we were cold in Georgia (with snow and wind) and my parents and brother/sister in law were stuck in Virginia due to hoards of snow, my sister and family were attending church in Hawaii with the President.


No matter your party or opinion, that's cool.

Just sayin'.


(my sister and family are in the pew right opposite the President. Karen is wearing a pink floral sundress).

The Christmas Blur

Ah, Christmas. Seems like we wait all year and all of a sudden, it’s done in a flash. Let’s recap the very busy twenty-four hours…

Christmas Eve found us preparing to church but I was missing one child. He was already at church warming up with the band. I had planned on taking a picture of the kids once we were all home, but guess who forgot?


Stromboli dinner, spreading of reindeer food, leaving of cookies for Santa rounded out the evening. I, however, added another special something…..Benadryl.

I fully admit I am one of “those” moms. ‘Nuf said.

Christmas Day arrived but did not bring early risers. No one got up until almost 7:30. Whoo hoo! This day had lots of surprises…..I think I was more excited than the kids!



In the midst of all chaos, the family gift was opened….

and a scavenger hunt held for…

The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys, hosting dinner for twelve, and serving dessert for twenty....including grandparents from Pennsylvania!

The clean up crew.....what good teens!

My babies….

But the best event of the day?

The snow! Yes, snow in Georgia on Christmas Day.

We hope your Christmas was just as wonderful!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rockin' Christmas!

My girls gave me a concert tonight. To say it was amusing would be an understatement.

My favorite? "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"......

From Anna Grace:

"Rockin' around the Christmas tree, and a happy holiday.

Everyone snacks and never leaves

in the good old fashioned way."

So, I ask you, how did the people go home if it wasn't the good old fashioned way?

Who Am I?

As Christmas approaches, how are you spending your days?

Shopping? Wrapping? Baking? Being lazy?

That’s what I’d like to do.

But alas, today, I undertook the task of beginning the cleaning process to prepare for company.

Yep, had to get the house “guest room ready.”

As I was cleaning the bathroom, Anna Grace came in and said,

“Is there something I can clean? I like being Cinderella too.”

So, does that mean I am a princess or just a maid?

I’m gong with princess….but with a dusty crown.

You see, I’m not a very good maid.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Final Countdown

Yep, the final days until Christmas and what do you know…..?

*All my shopping is done (and wrapped) before Christmas Eve for the first time ever!

*The highlight of the zoo visit was watching the panda bear poop.

*My big kids think the abbreviation CN means either Canada or Connecticut. Why they didn't consider China is beyond me.

*Evidently it IS possible to subtract six cookies from zero. You just make more cookies.

*No matter how much food you put in the pantry, someone will always say, “There’s nothing to eat!”

*None of my kids have any common sense. I’m a bit scared.

*Wrapping presents without labels is not a good thing.

*There is no such thing as “no talking medicine”.

*Katie fell asleep reading the newspaper. At 5pm.

Yep, the final days until Christmas and what do I want….?

*All my kids home for the holiday. Hard with Katie working a retail job at school an hour away. Sigh.

*No screaming and yelling from little people. Like I’m ever going to get that wish…

*No more shopping at all. Maybe???

*Laughter and smiles to fill the house.

*No more school. Sigh. Two more days to go.

*Visits with family and friends….

*Lots of good food and drink(s)…..

Yep, the final days until Christmas and guess what??

*We are thankful for good friends and family that fill our lives. Blessings to all as you begin this holiday week.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Math is NOT my Friend

Or more accurately, homework is not my friend. But today’s battle was with math.

Math and knowing when to regroup when subtracting.

And my kid played dumb like she’d never seen it before. Lucky me.

I spent part of my day teaching this and got to do it again after school.

Again, lucky me.

The session started off with the prompt…..

“Okay, if I have 0 cookies, can I give you 6?”

Dummy me thought that would be an easy answer.

I was wrong.

Her response?


How, I asked?

The response….”You can just bake more.”

Math is going to be the death of me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Dusty Sign

I have never stated that my claim to fame involves cooking or cleaning.

But that is common knowledge, isn’t it?

There are some rooms in my house I don’t venture into much at all. Alex’s room being one. Scary place.

The office is another place I don’t visit often. I only go in there to print something or open the blinds. That’s about it.

You see, I make the kitchen my office since that is where my laptop resides.

The office is primarily Alex’s zone….computer, tv, games, etc.

Well, this morning I went in to open the blinds.

I happened to glance down and saw….

Oh my. Guess we need to dust, huh?

Now, whose little piggy toes are those? And how did they get there?

Good thing she left her calling card….

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Brothers and Sisters

Why does it never seem to fail that afternoons cannot be calm no matter how quickly I arrive home after school? It seems that the days I get home pretty early seem to be the worst.


Today brought us home a bit after 4. Toss in homework, lunch making, choosing clothes, checking email, breaking up fights, returning phone calls, telling kids to stop screaming at each other, talking with daddy in California……and my leisurely afternoon turned hectic.

Then add in needing to run to the store to fax something to daddy (at 5:45), and that just creates more havoc.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time away at the fax machine and won’t lie about it. The girls stayed with Alex and his friend. If I could have driven slower, I would have. But it was close to dinner and shower time so I kept on my merry way.

I returned home just 20 minutes later and found no kids in my kitchen. And all was quiet.


Upon looking more closely, I spotted two little girls hiding under the desk in the kitchen. Hmmm.

“What are you doing?”

“We are playing hide and seek with Alex. He is still looking for us in the office. He is a bad looker.”


Upon further inspection, Alex and his friend were hanging out at the computer in the office with no intention of searching for them.

You see, they were smart and played the game of…..

Hide and NOT Seek.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tis' Thanksgiving Day!

Tis the day of Thanksgiving,
and what do your hear?
Not the prancing and pawing
of eight tiny reindeer.

Pots are a’clanging,
timers are beeping,
some family is chatting,
but some are still sleeping.

Clash, go the silverware,
bang, go the plates.
More family is coming,
we cannot be late!

Tis the day of Thanksgiving
and what do you smell?
Turkey and potatoes,
does that ring a bell?

What other scents do
you sniff through your nose?
Pies, breads, and veggies,
can’t forget those!

Add stuffing and berries,
and drinks all around.
We know for sure
good times will be found.

Tis the day of Thanksgiving
and what do we see?
The Macy’s day parade
live on the tv.

Busy hands are spotted
setting the table,
still others preparing
what they are able.

Apple turkeys and friends
are headed our way
to help decorate the table
a bit later today.

Tis the day of Thanksgiving
and what do we say?
Blessings to all,
on this Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Giant Sand Box

Earlier today, we were brainstorming ideas on how to entertain the little girls while visiting the grandparents.

Daddy got this “brilliant” plan. Send the girls out the backyard to the golf course and let them play in the sand traps. Uh huh.

Imagine this…..It’s a beautiful sunny day. The weather is warm but with a slight breeze. You take advantage of the day and head outdoors to play a little golf.

When you hit a drive, you mistakenly hit your ball into a sand trap.


You approach the sand trap and see this…..

Two little girls, wearing bike helmets (to deflect golf balls), surrounded by toys, and enjoying the giant sand box.

What would you do?

****and no, we did not do this. But it’s funny to think about, isn’t it?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The other day, we pulled up our boots, cracked the whip, and set forth on an adventure to Grandma and Grandpa’s house….ten hours away.

Oh my.

All the way there, we were asked, “What state are we in now?”

For ten long hours.

Yes, I am thrilled about the prospects of driving home.

After spending one day just chilin’, we opted to venture out into the great outdoors. The great outdoors meaning…Colonial Williamsburg.

Ah, the sights…of Christmas coming….

…the sights of Colonial days….

….the sights of saved parents…..

…the sights of important people signs…

…and the sight of one obnoxious teenage boy ruining yet another picture….and in a church, no less!

Heaven help me....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How NOT to Start Your Day

I was resting peacefully in bed at 5:30 this morning…..when a short person approached my bed. I figured she wanted to get in my bed with her sister (who HAS to take over daddy’s spot when he is out of town).

But no.

She said those words we all dread…..

“I think I’m going to frow up.”

And you are standing there talking to me??? Why? Get to the bathroom…..after all, you passed one to get to my room.

After no such “frow up” episode, I put her back to bed (with a bucket) and started my day.

An hour later, I got her up for school.

Whereupon, she had tummy issues. Not major ones, but enough to find the need to be home from school.

Yay me.

Daddy is out of the country so I needed to find a substitute…..within 45 minutes of starting school.

And then it hit me. I had an ace in my pocket. And in my own house.

Katie was home from college for the day to visit the dermatologist.

Yay! She can stay with Abby.

When I woke her up though, she was less than thrilled with the prospect of staying home with a kid who was “frowing up”. Can’t say I blame her.

Plus, it interfered with her nap and homework time.

But off to school I went anyhow. Came home during Katie’s doctor appointment to stay with Abby and found a very happy, bouncy, child.

Hmmm. Guess there was no virus after all. Perhaps too much drainage from the yucky nose.

Returned to school, finished the day, and came home to one big girl and one little girl playing outside on the driveway with chalk.

Spent the afternoon watching her play, bounce around, and be silly. Sick, you say? I think not.

But what did I hear after I put her in bed?

Mommy, my tummy hurts.

Oh no it does not!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Santa....

Dear Santa,

I thought I'd start composing my Christmas list now. I realize I am not a child so there is no need to remind me of my advanced age. I already know that, thanks anyhow.

This Christmas, I'd like one of two things, please. Yep, that's it. Only one thing.

I'd like either new genes or new jeans.

New genes would be preferable. Ones that don't allow the fat to accumulate.

Advanced age teamed with no time to do anything but work full time, make three meals a day, supervise showers, check homework, corral kids, read stories, listen to needs of others, and so much more has prompted me to add this to my list.

That's not too much to ask, is it? After all, you are Santa and can do anything. If you can't, the elves can.

At least, that's what my kids tell me.

New jeans would be okay too. But new genes would be the ultimate gift.

I will be anxiously awaiting Christmas morning to see what is under my tree!

Oh, and there is no need to gift wrap it. It's okay, really.

(I'm being helpful and saving you time by not wrapping. Brownie points for me!)

See you in a few weeks!

Love, Kristin

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Ode to Socks

Socks, oh socks, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

You keep the tootsies warm.

You add color to our wardrobe.

Hmmmm. Guess that’s it.

Socks, oh socks, how do I dislike thee? Let me count the ways….

You disappear into the depths of rooms and toys to never be seen or heard from again.

You leave your partner once in the washing machine.

You never get clean no matter how many times you are washed.

Hmmmm. Guess that’s it.

Socks, oh socks, how do my girls like thee? Let me count the ways….

You are fought over daily. Seriously.

You have a special resting place on the steps.

You are reused without washing….see above.

Yes, you are so special that it does not matter if you are clean or not. You are just grabbed and worn again…all from the magic sock pile.

But oh dear socks, that will not be happening any more. You see, when I was told today by a certain little girl that she just grabbed socks from the sock pile, the little light went on in my brain.

(There is a light there, I promise. Sometimes it seems dim but other times, it shines brightly.)

Lovely socks, prepare to live a new life. A life free from being tossed in a pile on the steps and free from dirty piggy toes.

Dear socks, in exchange for my saving you from the dreaded yet magical sock pile, I have a favor to ask.

Please try to not murder your partner when in the washing machine or dryer.

I’m sure we can reconcile any differences you may have.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alive and Kicking.....

Yes, I've been away for a long time.

Yes, I've dropped the ball.

No, I am not dead.

I have no excuses for my absence.

Well, maybe one.


Life with two teenagers and two little ones plus a full time job is putting me over the edge. Toss in a daddy who just left for a three week trip to China as well as other issues, and maybe you'll understand.


I hope to catch up on my blog reading and posting soon. I hope.

But I fear my blogging days may be screeching to a halt.

As much as I enjoy writing, the time seems to get away from me.

Out the door at 7, home at 4:30, homework, check email, make lunches, get snacks for the next day, choose clothes, start dinner, eat, showers, stories, collapse.


I will do my best to catch you up soon. Until then, I will leave you with a Halloween picture of my two princesses

who just two days before went to school for costume day dressed as a devil and an angel......

So who was the devil and who was the angel???

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The South Rides Again

Bedtime is a wonderful thing. Small children are finally quiet. And in our house, that is a huge feat.

What is your bedtime routine?

Likely it’s similar to ours. Brush teeth, read stories, music turned on, hugs, and kisses.

Well, last night brought a new dimension to bedtime.

Anna Grace was tucked in bed with books and music playing. Country music, no less.

When I went back to check on her a bit later, I heard this…..

“And Kyle Busch is in the lead.”


The child fell asleep listening to the NASCAR night race.

Y’all, I know we’ve lived in the south for a long time. But seriously??

Yes, daddy watches NASCAR. The girls have their favorite cars....they don't care about the drivers. But....really??

Hmm, come to think of it, the little girls are from southern China.

Guess they have southern blood, huh?

Heaven help me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life Lessons....

***I posted this several days ago but deleted it for personal reasons. However, I had a request to repost it as it is valuable information for parents.

Don’t know about you, but the world is much different than it was when I was a teenager. It’s scarier. It’s unpredictable. It’s uncontrollable.

How do we protect our kids from this?

The answer? We can’t.

All we can do is teach, pray, and hope for the best.

I want to tell you all a story. Listen carefully.

I know a student who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnessed an illegal event on school property that should not have taken place. He failed to report it to school officials.

Three days later, another student reported it. And guess what?

Long story short, the witness was considered “guilty by association.”

In addition, he was issued the same punishment as the students who actually participated in the illegal event.

Please, please, please warn your teenagers to be extra cautious. Please warn them that their lives can be altered within minutes. Please tell them their lives may never be the same again. Please get them to understand that “guilty by association” is how the world works.

You know how I know all this?

The witness was my child.

Let’s just say that mama bear took on the school system. Mama Bear knows her rights, knows how the system works, knows what to demand, and knows when errors are made within the process.

The punishment was reversed. And rightly so.

But what about those parents who don’t know their rights? Or those who are afraid to speak up? Or those who think whatever the school says is gospel? Or those who are afraid to challenge the system?

That’s the reason behind my post.

Don’t let schools scare you. Don’t let administrators bully you or your child into something you do not agree with. Make notes. Go to meetings prepared. Be ready to speak the truth and speak up for your child.

But most of all. Don’t be intimidated by authority. Question it if you feel they are wrong. You are within your rights. Move up the chain of command if needed.

The three things I want you to know from my experience are……PLEASE make sure your kids know they can be “guilty” merely be association. Implore them to be extra cautious even around friends. Your friends may not truly be your friends.

Fight for your rights. Fight as hard as you can. Don’t be bullied.

But most of all, make sure your kids know you love them regardless of the outcome.

We only have one chance at raising our kids. There are no re-do’s.

Don’t let someone else dictate your child’s future if you know they are wrong.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Redneck Life

What is the big fall event in a southern town? Any guesses?

The County Fair.

And guess what?

I have never taken my children.

I just don’t love the fair.

But my teens have been….once they were old enough to drive.

So Alex went all day yesterday and arrived home late last night with three friends. Three friends who swim in a glass bowl.

Yep, carnival goldfish.

He named them Darth Vader, Joseph Stalin, and Piranha.

And just a short twenty-four hours later, we have celebrated two burials at sea. Only Joseph Stalin still lives. But for how much longer?

With the arrival of the fair is the arrival of fall. Today actually felt like fall. Amazing! We hit a high of 68 degrees but that did not stop my girls from playing outside in shorts and barefeet.

Based on those nasty feet, they must think we live in Alabama or something….

Welcome to the south. =)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rainy Days and Sundays

My morning started off smoothly. Everyone was home, everyone was going to church to hear Alex play in the band, everyone was happy.

Until…we actually got to church. Then a certain second grader’s behavior took a nosedive. Sigh. Kind of set the tone for the day.

So when daddy left to drive Katie back to collge, I decided to make my escape as well.

All the way to the grocery store. Yippee.

I left the girls with Alex and his girlfriend and drove as slowly as I could to the store.

Got to relish those moments, you know.

I was a good shopper and did not veer from my list this time. I even used coupons. Yay me!

But as I was checking out, I realized it was pouring rain. I knew it was coming. I had just hoped to beat it home.


Loaded the van, returned the cart, and drove my wet self home.

And I got home to this……

Say what?

I kept watching and saw more….

Cheap entertainment which didn’t require any fire (which usually happens with Alex).

And it put this certain child

in a better mood.

At least until she was told to help clean up….

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Great Diet Coke Experiment

Six months ago, I was loving my diet coke.

Six months ago, I was loving the caffeine.

Six months ago, I had increased blood pressure, blurry vision, headaches, dizziness, head fog, and other unexplained issues.

So six months ago, I did some research to see if it all was connected.

Turns out, some artificial sweeteners can have negative effects on certain people.

Lucky me. Guess I was one of those “certain” people.


I gave up diet drinks for about two months. That’s all I could handle. Then slowly, diet drinks began to enter my life again. And you know what?

I had the same medical issues.

You’d think I’d learn, huh?

Once again, I ditched the splenda and tossed in caffeine for good measure.

So I have been caffeine and artificial sweetener free for four months.

And my blood pressure has decreased back to the normal zone.

Methinks perhaps artificial sweeteners are not the best thing for our bodies.

Or at least mine.

Oh, and the added bonus? I have lost my craving for sweets.

Strange how things are linked together, huh?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Party in 2010!

Well, Anna Grace turned seven on August 9. Today is September 18. We just now had her birthday party.

Can you say…..”You are a lame mom?”

I know, I know.

But when your birthday falls on the first day of school and mom is a teacher, parties tend to get postponed.

So today, six weeks late (ahem), we held The Birthday Party.

Heaven help me.

We chose, because we are crazy, to have a party at home. That meant we had to clean up and prepare for customers.
(aka….company. thank my little people for that phrase)

When it’s 92 degrees outside, what do you do?

Thanks to some great friends, The Boyfriend’s parents, we were able to get a bouncy house from their side business to help keep the short people occupied.

Toss in arts and crafts,



water balloons from Alex and Julie,

and the kids had a great time.

But the best thing about today???

The girls jumped to their hearts content.

And fell asleep within three minutes of hitting the pillow.

Now that is my kind of party!

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Blog Design

Well, I decided to have the blog redone. After all, it's been two years! Check out the work by Big House, Little Room.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Football Time is Here!

The football season has started once again which makes a certain daddy in this house pretty happy. He doesn’t care if it’s college or pro…..he just likes football.

Neither of us attended a major university so has no particular loyalty to a team.

Except….when it involves Penn State. You see, PSU is the closest major football university to where we graduated.

So yesterday brought a match up between Penn State and Alabama.

And I heard this from the daddy….

"We ARE Penn State!"

And this from Anna Grace….

"Roll Tide!"

And this from Abby….

"Go Rednecks!"

Hmmm….maybe we’ve been in the south too long!