Thursday, December 24, 2009

A comfortable Christmas Eve...

We made it safe and soundly to my parents house on Tuesday evening. We left Illinois later than we would have liked but Mike had a visit with the hand specialist before we could hit the road. As far as Mike's hand it is starting to heal and it will be 4-6 more weeks with the cast on before Mike is good as new. He is very anxious for this to be OVER!!

Today we had lunch with my Mom's family at my Aunt and Uncle's house. Normally we have dinner but due to some changes in the Christmas eve church services at Seville UMC we changed our time to accommodate. It was a lovely afternoon with good soup, delicious breads and lots of cookies. Both my cousin, Jessica, and my cousin Bill's wife, Ricki are pregnant. They are both due in April and it is great to see someone other than myself adding kiddos to the family! My grandfather makes the kids a wooden toy each year and this year was some of the best. I'll have to post pictures. They are priceless toys that we will cherish forever. Very, very special.

We went to church at 6:30 in the same church where Mike has gone his whole life, I have gone since I was 10, where we were married almost 12 years ago and where all 3 of our children were baptized. That is where I think of when I think of home. A very comfortable place for me. In a long story I got separated with Amanda from sitting with our family. I was sitting in the over flow room with Amanda and our friend, Earleen, who has celebrated Christmas with our family every year since 1981. Earleen commented that the hymnal she had must not have been used very much because the binding seemed tight. I was surprised to hear her say that as the hymnals in our church are at least 20 years old so I took it from her and flipped it to the front to read the placard in the front. That tells you who the hymnal has been left in memory of or if it is honor of someone special. Much to my surprise when I flipped it open it read

"This hymnal has been dedicated to the Memory of Eva McMurray."

That is my grandmother. She died in 2006 and the church memorial committee had purchased some new hymnals to replace some of the ones that were getting really used. I could have sat any where in the sanctuary but some how I picked exactly the seat where I think I was suppose to be. I miss my Grandma very much but her presence is every where in my life, even on Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Home, Sweet, Home...

How lucky is Molly? She got to make a Gingerbread House at school yesterday. You were suppose to have your Mom or Dad come in and help you but we were in a bit of a pickle. Amanda was still sick and Mike wouldn't be much help so Aunt Margaret got to go with Molly to school yesterday. Molly was thrilled and I was relieved that we had someone generous enough to help us out. Thanks again, Margaret!

The frosting was yummy and this was a really fun project to do. Molly, you made a beautiful Gingerbread House! Good work!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yucky day...

I'm tired. I'm cranky. I have no right to be but this is my blog and I can complain if I want to. Mike's orthopedic visit went well. He's in a temporary cast for a week. The cast is driving him nuts and hurting tonight. The straps that it attaches with are rubbing his skin raw. He is to call first thing in the morning and speak with the doctor's nurse about getting in to have them look at it. I personally think a regular cast would be more comfortable but they didn't ask me. The best part (NOT) of the whole visit was in the exam room. Amanda wanted me to pick her up so I was holding her and listening to the doctor explain how the x-rays looked. The next thing I know she is yakking all over me. All over me. And herself. The doctor looked at me in horror but kept talking and smiling through the whole thing. I wanted to die. I wanted to throw up, too. Gross. Apparently she has a bug because it has happened about 6 more times today. Gross. She is sleeping peacefully right now but I'm afraid to get too comfortable in bed because I'm sure I'll be right back up. I was feeling really sorry for myself tonight until I ran across this...

You have to see this and then know that this group of high school football players are singing this crazy song for their fellow teammate who was injured in a football game in October. You need to read this, too...

This boy is paralyzed from the chest down due to a football injury. He lives in the town next to my parents and I came across his story on Facebook. And I thought I was having a bad day. No way. There are a lot of inspirational people out there. This boy is one of them.

I have no idea what I am doing wrong on adding links. Does anyone know how to do it correctly?? Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Metacarpal #5...

Because there seems to be a requirement here in our family to always keep things lively Mike decided to keep up his end of the agreement yesterday. In a classic home accident he was running up the basement steps and tripped and completely wiped out. He caught himself with his right hand and immediately felt a tremendous amount of pain. His pinkie was going in a direction that it really shouldn't be. We went to the Prompt Care here in town and found out that he has a fracture of the Metacarpal #5 or in regular speak he broke his hand. This type of fracture is often called a boxer's fracture. I only wish he had some kind of fantastic story to go along with it but no, it really isn't very good. We really hope that this doesn't cause us to change our plans in visiting our families in Ohio next week. That would be the biggest bummer of the whole thing. We'll find out tomorrow as we visit the same orthopedic specialist that we took Amanda to last spring.

Wish us luck, please!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Now what have they done to Baby Jesus...

Oh my!

I don't think this is what God intended with the birth of baby Jesus in a manger. The nativity scene has been rearranged again and here's what it looks like now...

I think tomorrow there may need to be a serious discussion here about the birth of Jesus story. I'm pretty sure there weren't any Army men present.

As much as I respect the history and the symbolic nature of the nativity scene secretly this brought a smile to my face. I kind of thought it was funny. Weird sense of humor, I know. There should be an asterisk by this post that states...this is what happens when Daddy is home alone in charge. Lots of little minds at work!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Joseph is missing...

The kids love their Little People nativity scene. I got it a few years ago and they look forward to getting it out every Christmas. I don't worry about them hurting it and apparently it has been touched. Joseph and a Wise Man are missing! And they have been replaced...

I'm not sure 2 rubber ducks are the proper replacement for the father of the Son of God and a Wise Man. Creative, though!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lincoln School Christmas Concert 2009...

Here are some photos from Cameron's school Christmas concert. I was very impressed that they sang "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World." Kudos to the music teacher for not being afraid to remind us the reason for the season!

Yes, Cameron's Santa hat was too big! And here I thought he had a big noggin!

Name this bird...

This bird was sitting on our bird bath the other day and Mike got some pictures of it. We don't have any idea what it is. Any ideas? I need to go get out the bird book we got for Christmas last year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Good morning, Bethlehem!...

I can officially say that I heart Morton United Methodist Church. What a great day my kiddos had yesterday at church. It started out with Cameron receiving a bible in church. They handed out the Junior Adventure Bibles to all the Kindergartners and First graders.

Cameron promising to read his bible every day!

Our family then lit the advent wreath at the 9:30 service. Could that have gone anymore wrong?? The story is best told in person by Mike and I so remind us to share it someday soon. Yikes is all I will say!!

In the afternoon we returned to church and Cameron was a townsperson in the Christmas musical Miracle at Midnight. It was so good and all the kids did an excellent job! Since Cameron can't read all of the words yet to the songs we listened to them a lot in the car. My personal favorite is Good Morning, Bethlehem! It's a catchy song and I'm wondering how long it will be before I get the song out of my head??

Here's our townsperson...

The preschoolers also sang 2 songs. It was so surreal to see Amanda up on stage singing with the group. I don't think she is our baby anymore. We practiced the songs and she loved it! Molly was one of the "old" kids singing and belted it out. It was super cute!

The children's education department at our church does a fantastic job. We didn't have kids old enough to participate at our church in Ohio and our church in Michigan was too small to be able to offer what we have at our church in Morton. It is unreal and such am important part of our lives right now. We have little sponges and our kids are so curious about God. It is a learning experience for Mike and I to find the answers for them. We are all growing in our faith.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Is it wrong to need a drink while at the health department?...

Oh my.


I think I will survive our experience yesterday getting the kids second dose of the H1N1 vaccine but it was shaky as of last night. I have been scarred for life. I know deep down that getting the 2nd dose of the vaccine was the right thing to do but I have regrets based on what we saw while waiting for our turn in line. I am by no means criticizing how scared most children were to get the vaccine. I know it can be very scary and overwhelming. Molly told me it was scary after we were done and back in the car. Poor thing. It was the reaction of many parents that made our experience worse. I know that I shouldn't judge the parents reactions to a stressful situation. I am SO blessed that I have pretty laid back children who waited patiently and without any drama. The family in front of us had 3 children with them. I guess it was the tone of the father and the words that he used that really bothered me. "Turn it off." "Turn if off, right now." (What he said to one when the waterworks of tears started.) "You want to act like a baby, I'll treat you like a baby." To his wife when he was tired of the crying - "Do you want to to walk out of here and leave you?" The one child was kicking and screaming so loud and fiercely that it took 3 workers and the Mom to hold her down. By this point my children's eyes were as big as saucers and we couldn't help by stare. Not a good feeling. The experience is over and done and we won't have to go back for a year. I'm seriously considering bucking up and paying the nurse at our doctor's office to do them next year. Maybe in a year the memory will be distant. It just isn't today.

I said a prayer for that family and I said a prayer for myself that I work on keeping an open mind. I haven't walked in their shoes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our weekend of giving Thanks!...

We had a very nice Thanksgiving break. We had Mike's parents here for an extended visit, I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner and we had some nice family time as Mike took last week as vacation. Here are a few of our highlights!

Cameron was a pilgrim at his Kindergarten Thanksgiving feast! The feast was fun and a great way to get ready for Thanksgiving.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and our 2 nieces. Here are my kiddos with their cousins.

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

Saturday morning Mike ran in the East Peoria River Trail Classic, a 4 mile fun run. It was kind of cold when he started but it turned out to be a nice morning and day.

On Sunday we went to a breakfast with Santa with my brother's family. The kids were so excited to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Santa we saw has been visiting this country club for 30 years! Authentic!

I just love how Amanda is holding Santa's hand. So sweet!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Ours was a success!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We are having a big challenge around here. Our darling littlest girl is changing clothes multiple times a day - unassisted, too! We have had some really interesting outfits. I thought I would share a few...

PJ bottoms with an Elmo top...interesting!

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon we chose a nightgown and out butterfly tennis shoes...comfy!

And today for Thanksgiving we ONLY wanted to wear our Ohio State cheerleader dress...classic! We sure are raising her well!

Right now out outfit of choice is any dress or a nightgown. Period. If you see us wearing one of these and are legs are bare please realize that I may have been struggling with a certain someone to get them out the door!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Big Cheese...

Cameron's kindergarten class does a fun thing where they get to be the "Cheese of the Week." It's a week where you get to be the star and share of things about yourself. Every child gets to be the cheese of the week once throughout the year. Cameron did his 2 weeks ago and we thought we would share a little about it.

On Monday you get to take in your favorite story to have read by the teacher. Cameron selected "We're going on a bear hunt." Great story with lots of action!

On Tuesday you take in a favorite item that you hide in a box and the class asks 20 questions to guess what it is. Cameron took his soccer trophy.

On Wednesday you add items to an estimation jar. Here's a picture of what we took...

Lego's of course!! We had fun counting all of them out so we could tell his teacher how many were in the jar. Cameron was very specific that only one size Lego go in the jar.

On Thursday you get to sit at the teacher's desk for the whole day (all 2 1/2 hours!). I guess this is a big deal. I was thinking this wasn't much of a reward once you get to maybe junior high but it's a hit in Kindergarten.

On Friday you share pictures about yourself with the class. Cameron took a baby picture, a few of fun things he has done lately and some pictures of his family. He has enjoyed hearing about his classmates families. He reports back to me how many brothers and sisters they each have. How lucky is Cameron that he has 2 sisters??!!

You also get to take in a snack to share on Friday. Two new friends here in town have started up a baking business called Baked Blessings. They made the absolute coolest Big Cheese treat so far! Thanks Lisa and Donna! We received lots of compliments even if Abbey didn't make them - ha ha!

Of course Molly had show and tell on the same Friday and you are allowed to bring food for it so we shared these...

All in all, we had a very good "Cheese of the Week!"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halloween recap...

Ugh! I can't believe that I went so long without a blog post. I never would have been successful doing it every day! That would be really, really hard. I also realized that I never had posted any of our Halloween pictures. We had a great time trick-or-treating in our new neighborhood. It was a little cool so the girls only lasted about 12 houses but my boy was going strong so I continued to go to houses with Cameron while Mike brought Molly and Amanda home. Molly LOVED answering the door and handing out candy. When the door would ring she would yell, "We have customers!" So cute! Here is Batman, a little bumblebee and our precious ladybug...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thank goodness for direction...

The other day I had to go and renew Mike's tags for his Illinois license plates. First of all we were late. They expired last Friday but silly us forgot to do it on the 1 1/2 days he took off last week. And before you say it, I know. You can do this online. I would if I remembered to do that!! Before I even got to the Secretary of State (DMV - Ohio friends) this is what the renewal paperwork looked like:

And this...

I would blame it on the youngest here but I can distinctly read two words on the paper that might have just been done by a Kindergartner. Sigh.

I realized last Sunday that we had forgotten to renew the tags. I got all ready to do it on Monday, got the kids ready and then checked the website for the address. Thank goodness I looked carefully. Closed on Monday's. What?? It became a Tuesday job and got to the Pekin Secretary of State with this:

Aren't these just the greatest creation EVER???!!!
I really have no idea where in Pekin I was. I know how to get to Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart. That is about my knowledge of Pekin.

By the way I was thrown for a loop. For 15 months I have told everyone that I live in Central Illinois. According to the Secretary of State I live in Western Illinois:

Now I don't know where I live...maybe the GPS will help me with that, too!

By the way, I have already failed on noting posting everyday. I meant to last night but fell asleep getting the little one to sleep. I guess real life gets in the way sometimes. Good intentions!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To get a 2nd dose or not...

I'm pretty sure that the kids aren't going to be able to get their 2nd dose of the vaccine for the H1N1 virus. The health department has cancelled all clinics in our county due to a lack of vaccines. I can't imagine that by the first week in December there will be a whole bunch more for round 2 children. I read an article in yesterday's Peoria Journal-Star that says 1 flu vaccine dose is working in pregnant women. It says 21 days after receiving a single 15-microgram dose of the vaccine 92% of the pregnant women showed a robust immune response. A larger, 20-microgram dose produced a strong response in 96% of pregnant women. The same test says that just 1 in 4 children ages 6 months to 35 months had a strong immune response after 21 days. There was a sharp improvement after receiving a second dose. I guess that is why a second dose is recommended in kids. It will be good luck trying to find it though. I guess one dose is better than none. I hope to not to have to find out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Did you know that November is National Blog Posting Month? I didn't until I saw it on a blog that I follow. I'm beginning to think this is the motivation I need to get back into the swing of things. I am going to try and blog every day. I have some random thoughts swirling around in the mind of mine and maybe it's time to put some of them down for everyone to read. Scary.

Today Cam's K class celebrated 50 days of school. They were to dress like a 50's person. Not the easiest thing for a boy to do. We wore a white t-shirt, jeans, white socks, rolled the jeans up a few cuffs and gelled his hair. Here is a pic of Cam with Ms. Shields his teacher...

Everyone had to bring in 50 of something to share with the class. They counted, sorted, divided and then graphed about the different objects. I wanted Cameron to take something original. Here is what we contributed...

Army Men Rock!

It was a fun day in the kindergarten world!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I am not one to jump into somethings very quickly. I can make a quick decision about what to have for dinner, don't spend a lot of agonizing time shopping for any new clothes, shoot - when you drive a mini-van the only real choice is the color so we don't even spend a lot of time on that. What I struggle with is furniture choices and decorating ideas. The couch in our living room probably took several drives to the store, hours of looking at prints and fabrics, and many looks at the choice of legs and skirt vs. no skirt before we decided on it. We spent more time on that couch than any of the houses we have lived in. It was our first decision on something of that magnitude as a "couple" and I guess we really wanted to make a good one. This past week Mike's sister, Jill, and her husband, Greg, were visiting us. We gave them permission to get out the nails, hammers and laser level and they started putting holes in our walls. At first I was very excited. Very. I want this house to be our home. Mike and I hung exactly 2 things on the walls in our Michigan house and it always seemed kind of sterile to me there. I truly think I am a minimalist. We made a pilgrimage to Hobby Lobby in Pekin and Jill (with my permission) went wild. She had never been to a Hobby Lobby and loved it!!! We reframed pictures, found cute things for my kitchen plate rack, found 2 beautiful prints for the walls, mixed woods and metals for a cool look. Basically we went crazy. Then the holes in the walls started and I began to get a little overwhelmed. What we put up looks great but I was doubting my choices. I have now slept on it for 2 nights and feel better. Mike and I have a few more things to hang and it will probably take us the next year to do it but we do have a start. I realize that holes can be filled and patched but it feels kind of permanent to me. I think that maybe I'm a less is more when it comes to decorating. Or maybe I'm starting to break a HOLE through my shell. Here are some pics of what we did...

And two more...

And my 2 favorite things so far...

I don't think my photos really do it justice. Things are really starting to look good around here!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Good decisions...

I love the feeling of a decision that Mike and I make and we don't have any regrets. They come on many different levels. Picking a good restaurant where we have a super dinner. Excellent feeling. Making a major life decision like moving to another state for a wonderful job opportunity. Super excellent feeling. Picking a new house for some of it's practical characteristics and not just aesthetic reasons. Fun and good feelings. Deciding to get our children vaccinated for H1N1 despite the media and personal influences. Confident feeling. I'm not here to debate the pros and cons of the new H1N1 vaccine or what you think the government/media may be telling us about it. Mike and I consulted with both our internist and our children's pediatrician and went on their advice. They were able to give us compelling evidence and advice to go ahead and do it. There weren't any scare tactics and they were honest. I think that all of us are capable of making really good decisions. We also have made some doozies, too. Luckily not many of ours have been to catastrophic but don't think for one moment that Mike and I do not take decisions for our children's health lightly. There were many a day last spring where I think we questioned some of our decisions on choices we made for Molly. It is a horrible, sinking feeling and one that I do not handle well. We are sooooo blessed that we have those decisions in the past and were able to look at them now as a bump in the road. I think we have learned a lot from it and that is why I didn't take the decision to vaccinate lightly. I feel good about it and I hope that if you are reading this that you support our decision even if you would chose differently for your family. There are no better people to make choices for our children than ourselves. I thank god that we are able to freely make these choices every day.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Columbus 1/2 Marathon 2009

Yesterday my hubby ran his first 1/2 marathon in Columbus. It was the Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon and 1/2 Marathon held in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The weather was crisp and cool but sunny. I am sooooo upset because I didn't forget my camera but forgot to grab the battery that was charging in the wall at home. So disappointed. Here is a picture of Mike at 6:30 am before he left our hotel.

Mike ran with his brother, Mark. The kids and I went with my sister-in-law and our nieces to watch the Dads at mile 9 and then we watched them come in to the finish. I was so proud of Mike. He did great and was in way better shape after running 13.1 miles than I anticipated. Sorry honey for not having the faith. I, myself, would be crawling but Mike did awesome!

Here we are at the finish

All in all it was a great weekend as I got to see 2 of my dearest friends from college Saturday night. I met my friends Julie and Tracy at the Cheesecake Factory for a late dessert and we talked for hours. The thing I love the most about them is we can start talking at it's like no time has passed since the last time we were together. We covered a lot of subjects, too!

The kids traveled great except for Miss A's two episodes of car sickness which aren't that unusual for her. After the second time we wised up and rearranged the seats and she did great. She's always one to keep Mommy and Daddy on their toes!

I really hope Mike tries doing a 1/2 marathon again. The excitement in the air was really cool and watching the marathon runners at their best was exhilarating. The clip at which they run, even at the half way point, was so inspiring. They just fly!
I glad we were their to support Mike!