Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just so you know....

I am totally making a Part 2 to my "Funny things people say at a very large retail giant store..." Mr. Shook doesn't love that I used the "K" word but I'm pretty sure I've protected the innocent. I already have some additions of new stories that will catch your funny bone AGAIN!!

In fact, today starts the big 15/20/30% scratch off sale so the crazys will be out! Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Funny things people tell you in the retail world...

Believe me when I say I may have heard it all being out in the (scary) retail world. I thought I might include a few of my faves since I really need to lighten my bloggy world.

Side note: Nothing I say provokes these comments. I am innocent. Allegedly.

Me: What cute girls you have. Are they twins?
Mom: Nope. They are 10 months apart.
Me: Vision jaw hitting the ground: Oh.
Mom: Our oldest we adopted and then I found out I was pregnant.
Me: Oh OK! Doesn't God have a funny sense of humor (as I'm thinking shouldn't she have told me the details first!!)

Me: Would you be interested in opening a credit card? I am able to offer you 15% off of your purchases today.
Customer: I would NEVER get approved. When my last loser of a husband left me I had to file bankruptcy and I got stuck with all the bills. My credit sucks.
Me: Oh, OK. Do you have another form of payment?

Co-worker: Well, I hope that I can buy some Christmas gifts for my kids this year.
Me: I know, things can get really tough around the holidays.
Co-worker: Oh, well not because of the money. I'm just hoping that I'm not in jail in 2 weeks.
Me: Oh. (Silence.)
Co-worker: Well, you know, I got a DUI last spring and I was on probation.
Me: Oh. (Silence.) Ummm, did you do something that violated your probation?
Co-worker: I gave a dirty dump a few weeks ago.
Me: Oh. I'm not sure what that means.
Co-worker: Oh, well I was using and had to give a drug test and it came back positive. I thought for sure it had been enough time. It had been at least 3 or 4 days since I had last used.
Me: (Imagine jaw scraping the floor.) Oh. I guess that could be a problem.

Same co-worker (she's quite infamous at Kohl's but for some reason is friendly to me.): I need to write a check for what I'm buying. The address is wrong, the account number is wrong, the bank has changed names but the checks always go through.
Me: Oh. (Thinking...I hope I don't get fired for this.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One phone call...

I don't think that it's intuition that made me call my friend, Heidi, today. I just had an overwhelming feeling to give her a call. We hadn't spoke in several months, probably before school started. She's just one of those friends that I love to keep in contact with. She is another of those friends that even if you don't speak for months you can pick up the conversation in one breath. We do it really, really well, too! Heidi lived 2 doors down from me in Michigan and we met just days before Molly was born. We have been great friends since.

So I called her. And my breath was taken away.

She let me know that since our last conversation she had felt some womanly changes in herself and decided to pursue it with her gynecologist. Little did she know that the outcome would be ovarian cancer. I was floored. I was instantly sad. Life is not fair always. Heidi had surgery in October and recently finished her first round of chemo. Her prognosis is very good but she was still diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

I wish for my friend God's comforting touch, God's healing power and a lifetime of joys. Please, if you feel inclined, say a prayer today for Heidi, her husband Michael and their 7 year old daughter, Sierra. Heidi rocks it as a Mom and it is truly her calling. Sierra is a wonderful little girl.

I also say to Heidi to kick this disease in it's ass.

You are an inspiration, my friend.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

God is my fiernd...

Some days one might wonder how good of a job that they might be doing on this whole parenting thing. Highs, lows, good days, bad days...we experience them all. Today in the car I noticed this on a notebook of Cameron's. Excuse his spelling errors.

God is my fiernd.
I love daddy.
I love mommy
I love God.
I love Jeues.

I am thankful for a partner who wants to raise our children learning to fall in love with Jesus. I am thankful for a caring church community who is helping us to raise our children to learn about God. I am thankful for a son who feels confident about his beliefs to write them in notebooks. I hope he always puts God and Jesus first.

How lucky am I.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I am trying a first . A whole blog post on my phone. I have time to kill as I am on the train headed to the windy city to see my dearest friends in the world, Tami, Tracy and Julie. We use to do spa dates when I was in Cleveland and they are all in Columbus. But now I have moved some 350 odd miles away and we have all grown up. Between us we have 11 kids ranging from 12 to 18 months. We all have been married over 10 years. We all were at each others weddings. I was in 2 of theirs. One of us survived cancer and then went on to achieve her Phd. One of us is a teacher and the other owns a business with her husband. We all survived MANY heartbreaks during the college days and we all were sorority sisters. Pi, Pi, A Dee Pi! We are all really good wives and mothers. We are all really good friends. We all have new friends but one thing will never change. Even when we are apart, for long stretches of time, we will always be friends. My wish for you is that you ALWAYS have a friend like that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Living with no regrets...

Do you try to live life with no regrets? Do you try to do things "right" the first time. I know that I do, but not always very successfully. I have gotten upset at Mr. Shook or my children at times when it really didn't matter all that much. I have said something that didn't come out the way that I meant it. I have allowed myself to not be spontaneous and then been disappointed in my reaction. But, I think it's learning from these regrets that makes me a better friend, wife and mother.

Lately I have been having some regrets on the last few months of my Grandpa's life. I know it's the way life works out - I lived 480 miles away from him, I have 3 kids under 7, my husband is busy at work and we couldn't get to Ohio nearly as often as we should have...you catch my drift. I hope that Grandpa knew how much we all loved him. I think he did but I wish I could have had one last chance to tell him. I wish I could have hugged him one last time. I wish I could have heard Bether once last time.

Mr. Shook, my brother, my sister-in-law and myself are moving my parents to Illinois after Thanksgiving. It really feels like a whole chapter of my life is going to end. We have been Buckeye's for a very long time! I know that I will still have many reasons to go there and visit but things will be different. I guess it will eventually be like driving past an old house you use to live in. It's always a part of you but it becomes less and less of a memory over time. That can be said about the house on Pleasant Street but that could also be due to how scary it looks now!

If you are reading this it's probably because you are a friend or you are my family. Thank you to each and every one of you for appreciating my quirks, my sometimes weird sense of humor and for just appreciating me.

Because you are important to me and I say that with no regrets.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Now a days we are all about the games that light up, make sounds, have awesome graphics and are portable. We can take them anywhere. We have some of those and they are really quite handy. Great, superb for long car rides.

But, lately we have found that the simplest of games are once again really fun.

One of Cameron's math games a few weeks ago was an old-fashioned game of War where you had to add together the two cards to see who won the war. It was great addition practice and also a way to learn a new game. It's something simple like War that has had Cameron and Molly playing for hours. They even got Papa Choo in on the fun. A 3 way War.

Back to the basics...and fun learning!

Monday, October 18, 2010

40 and 2 days...

I don't really feel any different at 40 and 2 days. Everything is pretty much about the same. I had a good weekend of birthday stuff. I got the tears out early on Saturday morning and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Here are a few highlights...


A friend of my family who still lives in Erie, PA was able to find my birth announcement from when I was 4 days old. Back in the day (how old does that make me sound!)they use to print in the newspaper when babies were born at local hospitals. If you look carefully you can see that a baby girl was born to Allan W. Hall and Pamela McMurray Hall. It was really neat to see this in print...

Mr. Shook took me to a really yummy dinner with great company. We had a wonderful time. Look what was on the menu...

I have a mani/pedi coming my way that I look forward to redeeming. I got the best hugs from my small people and lots of kisses. I am a lucky girl!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Crazy animals...

The other day I was rushing around (typical) and was trying not to be late to leave (double typical) and I needed everyone to get dressed. I had laid out all the kiddos clothes on our bed and they were getting changed. I was doing the same myself. I walked out of our bathroom with my shirt on but not my pants. Here's the conversation that took place:

Amanda - "Mommy, I like your zebra underwear."

Cameron - "Those aren't zebra underwear, their cheetah."

Time to go back to the basic beige.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lists...part one...

I love lists. I love to compile ideas. And, I love blogs. It is a really, really small bloggy world out there. My Aunt got me hooked on a blog that is written by a college friend of someone my Aunt used to work with. I have followed it for quite a while. I have it as a link on my own blog. Then, a childhood/college friend of mine emailed me and said that he knew the author of the blog. Her name is Stacey and she is best friends and was maid of honor at his wedding. So, in other words, Stacey went to high school and is best friends with Red's wife. And even more ironic is that my Aunt knows Red also but we didn't know the connection until Red told me. And to think that Stacey and I were at the same wedding reception and we didn't even know each other. But, Mr. Shook and I were having fun with the Rogowski's and that might explain a lot...

Anywho, not at all the point of my post.

Stacey at www.anymommyouthere.blogspot.com compiled a list and I'm going to copy it. Anymommy stole the idea from another blog so I'm just doing the same...

It's about books.

Books I've read more than 3 times: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Author that blows me away with brilliance: Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns) Both of these books blew me away. Beautifully written and completely transported me into the story. Amazing.

Authors I choose time and time again: Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve

I'm Currently Reading: Unbinding Your Heart by Martha Reese (Bonus points from Amy??)

Best books I've read this year: I honestly haven't read that much but I did have some serious thinking after reading Keeping Faith by Jodi Picout. I recommend for some faith searching.

Could not finish classic: I really struggled with The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Somebody please assure me that this one is worth sticking out.

Could not finish modern
: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Best book I've ever read: Wow. Hard to pick just one or two. I am a huge lover of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Unbelievable story from start to finish. I also loved Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. I love the sarcasm of British humor.

Guilty Pleasure: Jane Green. She writes chick books that are pretty fluffy but hold my attention.

Book that tons of people loved that I hated: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Hated it. Couldn't relate. Hate it even more that Oprah loved it.

Ok, your turn. I want to add to my must read list. Give me a suggestion, please. I know that I will find more time to do something that I absolutely love to do...READ!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's October...

and that means our girl is a "Calendar Girl" this month.

Remember this...

It's hard for us to believe that it's been a year since the Children's Hospital of Illinois calendar was unveiled and it's been 14 months since the picture was taken. Molly has been doing wonderful since then and she just looks so much healthier. I know it doesn't sound like a lot but Molly had lost 4 pounds by February 2009 and it took months and months to put it back on. Her color wasn't all that good and she seem to look really thin to us. She's still a skinny minny but that is more genetic than sickly now. She probably has only gained a pound since she gained back the weight but it's a healthy pound and we know it's her metabolism kicking in. Kindergarten has been wonderful and she is learning so much. We hope you celebrate with us the joy of the wonderful children featured in the calendar. It is an awesome fundraiser and we look forward to seeing the calendar for 2011.

Happy October!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Young Jedi...

Cameron was lucky enough to participate in a Jedi Training during Pumpkin Festival.

I now present to you Padawan Cameron Shook...

Jedi training was the perfect thing for our young Star Wars FANATIC. It was a two thumbs up experience!

May The Force Be With You!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I had to share Cameron's poetry that he wrote. He was home from school today and bored so he started writing.

There was a young boy named Cameron and
there was a good princess named Molly.
There was a queen named Beth and
there was an old king named Mike.

There was a clown named Max and an old clown
named Dax. He can climb Max. Max can't come
he has to do balls. Dax had nine balls.
There was a baby named Mya. She went shopping
for some diapers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We're over our pumpkin hangover...finally...

What an exciting and exhausting 4 days we had with Pumpkin Festival here in town. I might have to break my days in to several posts so I can share all the great photos. Unfortunately, our girl was not Miss Pumpkin Princess but Molly still had a great time with the whole experience. Molly's confidence is so remarkable to me. She isn't afraid of going up on stage in front of a large group of people. I thought I might need to put my head between my knees for her but she did awesome. The biggest treat was that she got her picture on the front page of the Peoria Journal Star the morning after the pageant. It was very exciting and caused quite a cool buzz.

Here is our pumpkin princess...

And then here's our pumpkin princess doing what she really wanted to do...

We love the rides!! (Their Mom, not so much!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What have you been up to?...

What have you been up to lately? Here's what we've been doing...

Mr. Shook has run a few races, one in Manito, IL and one in Delavan, IL and the kids did a fun run in Delavan. And, Mr. Shook ran his third half marathon this past Sunday in Peoria and finished in under 2 hours, which was his goal. Yea!

We did our annual corn maze here in town and the kids had a blast doing it. I highly recommend it if you want some fun on a beautiful day...

And we figured out all the clues...can you??

Molly is doing a kindergarten aged soccer clinic which she is really enjoying...

Tonight is the beginning of PUMPKIN FESTIVAL!!! Can you feel the excitement?? Molly is performing in the Miss Pumpkin Princess Pageant tonight so that should be cute and fun. Pictures to follow...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More new things...

I can't believe the weekend came and went but it is official that we have lived in Morton, Illinois 2 years. Mr. Shook had his 2 year CAT anniversary back in August so here we are. I have told many people that I really think it takes just about 2 years to get familiar, have an identity and make friends in a new place. It can be a really hard thing to do. You really have to be able to put yourself out there. I can do it, I just don't want to have to do it too many more times. I am pretty happy here.

With that said, our little 3 year old experiences new things all the time. This week was 2 big ones!

Our first day at preschool...

and our first ballet lesson...

Both went well, at both she was slow to warm up and I have faith that at both it will go better next time. Luckily for Amanda she has a nice big sister who held her hand through most of her ballet class and did it with her. My heart was swelling at the sight.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chicken Sticks? Chicken Sticks!

I have gotten my boy over his anxiousness of buying his lunch at school. He did it 2 times last week and rocked it. He plans on buying about once a week and thought today's menu would suit him. I sent him on his way ready to purchase a yummy school lunch: corn dog, applesauce, oven fries, milk...perfect!

Today was Amanda's first day to be dropped off at preschool and the preschool teachers ask that you leave your cell phone in the car.

Wish everyone at Kohl's thought the same way...

In the time I dropped her off at school dearest husband had received a call at work from the school.

No corn dogs today.

What?? What!!

4 boys, mine included, felt that they just couldn't eat the chicken sticks offered today so they all came to the office and asked for a call home. Mr. Shook told the office that I would come to his rescue.

Does this sound weird, but I am so glad that I was able to do that for Cameron. How fortunate am I, that even in a trivial issue like no corn dogs, I can come through for my son. I really think this is what being a Mom is all about and I am ecstatic that I could do it.

Sounds silly, doesn't it?

I don't care, I'm thrilled!

And...he was so happy to see me!! Double bonus!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Musical chairs

As it goes with the first few days of school you rarely stay in the seat that you were originally assigned. The teacher quickly figures out who can sit by who and who shouldn't sit by who. Talking and whispering are 2 of the things that can get your seat moved. Both Cameron and Molly's teachers did some rearranging after the first few days. Molly told me that the boy next to her got his seat moved because he kept kicking her...

or was it something else??

Today on the playground a new Mom I have met recently says to me I heard why Davey (names changed to protect the not so innocent) got his seat moved away from Molly. I said that I heard it was because he kept kicking her. She says that she heard it different from her son who sits across from Molly. Her son said it was because Davey kept trying to kiss Molly.


I then realized that maybe what I thought had been kicking was truly kissing and I had to laugh out loud. Seriously?? In kindergarten??

I asked my girl about it and she got so embarrassed. I'm afraid her reaction (imagine huge big blue eyes) made me realize that this could possibly be true.

Thank you, kind Kindergarten teacher, for protecting my girl. They only boy she better be kissing is her dear old Dad.

Watch it, Mr. 5 year old. I am on to you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oops I did it again...

Note to self...do not make Mr. Shook mad.

He wasn't that pleased with my last post about America's Funniest Home Videos. The story isn't quite what really happened he says. Cameron was watching something else on the TV and that is the show that came on immediately afterwards. Mr. Shook just didn't change it. Truly, the whole thing was very innocent. Apparently I'm being accused of being a bit dramatic.



Mr. Shook wants me to let the whole bloggy world know that I watch bad TV, too. I think I may have admitted this before but I will share the following...

Mr. Shook doesn't not give one hoot who Ochocinco picks to be his real/not real girlfriend/lady/baby mama, he doesn't care if T.O gets an acting job instead of football, he isn't at all impressed with what girl "the situation" finds to join him in the Miami hot tub and he is equally disturbed that I knew the name Bentley was one of the babies born on Teen Mom. I think your probably catching his drift now.

I have the absolute best husband in the world and my kiddos have the absolutely best father in the whole wide world. He works hard for everything he provides for us and we love him so, so much. Mr. Shook was disappointed that I didn't share what our real world is about. Here are some pictures to show it...

We are in soccer mode here and it has been quite a learning experience. More about that later...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Something I detest...

My blog post today is going along with my mood...grouchy. But I feel it necessary to vent just a tad.

Today I ran to the store to get a few things that I needed to prepare a healthy and well-balanced lunch for the cherished 1st grader in this house. 1st grader didn't go along but his 2 sisters did. Darling hubby was doing some work on his computer and he reported that the 1st grader said the dreaded words...I'm bored, I don't know what to play.

So what does darling husband do...introduces his son to corrupt TV, oh, I mean shows him America's Funniest Home Videos. I would rather gouge my eyeballs out with toothpicks that watch that show. Or any show where people are taped getting hurt and others find it funny.

Guess what...


I seriously don't get that show.

It isn't funny when a grown man falls and hurts his privates, it isn't funny when a cat falls off of something high and it isn't funny when a baby slips and falls when learning to walk.


With that said I will also never watch World's Worst Car Chases, World's Worst Tsunami's, Largest Earthquakes and their Disasters, Unsolved Mysteries, Deadliest Kidnapping Stories, I think your probably catching my drift.

I am not mad at my darling hubby but I wish he wouldn't have turned the innocent boy to the dark side. I know that there are worse things to see on TV but this is my one thing that I'm allowed to be a little weird about.

Actually, in case you didn't know already I do have more than just one thing I'm weird about but that is another post.

A really long one.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today we will finish our second week of First grade and Kindergarten. We are still adjusting to getting up early (remember when I thought anything before 7 am was the middle of the night!), eating lunch at school, the longer day for first grade and all the rules and expectations.

Cameron still isn't eating the best at lunch but this is the second day that he has agreed to take a yogurt in his lunch and I feel a little better now. He rarely has drank any of his drink and I can't believe he's not thirsty. He says he's not and that he doesn't have much time. It seems like everything in first grade is rushed and he doesn't have much time. Maybe I have a pokey boy.

Kindergarten has been a breeze for my girl. I really think her introduction to school last year in her early childhood class has made her transition super easy. She is use to the routine, although Kindergarten is quite a lot less playing, and Molly already was familiar with the specials that they have. Gym, library, computers, music. Today those who have remained on green for the week will get to go to the treasure box. A huge deal and we will show our treasure soon!

Maybe the biggest adjustment has been for me. I'm trying to figure 1st grade out as much as my boy. I sometimes hate that he has to be the guinea pig for our family but he is pretty good about it. Today on the way to school Cameron informs me that some kids have been bringing a jacket to school because they are cold in class. I ask if he is cold in class. He tells me yes. I feel defeated. I really wish he would have said something BEFORE we were already on our way to school. I really wish I could read his mind and know before he even asks. I guess even the Mom's who really try hard don't know everything. There is still room for improvement!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some kind of storage thingy...

I really try and do my part in keeping my world a slight shade of green. I'm not great at it but I do put forth the effort. I am really struggling with how to handle Cameron's lunch differently and the be kind to the environment. I feel like I am using a ton of Ziploc baggies to make his lunch. He wants everything separate (not a fan of foods mixing yet) and therefore everything then has it's own baggie. I am envisioning a container I can use that has several compartments to keep things separate. Kind of like a divided plate with a snap on lid. Does anyone know if anything like this exists? Has to be able to fit in a lunch box, too. One of you clever Mom's will have an idea for me. And I already checked out Wal-Mart and they didn't have what I was looking for.

My poor boy comes home starving every day. He says he doesn't have a lot of time to eat. I'm guessing it's about 20 minutes. I hope that we can find a happy medium on lunches so that he eats enough/more and still enjoys it. This is all part of starting first grade, right?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week one under our belts...

We have made it through the first week of first grade and Kindergarten! Here are the traditional first day pictures...

Here are some of our highlights...

- Getting to eat at the peanut-free table with a new friend (Cameron)

- Getting to color (Molly)

- Getting to go in the boys bathroom for the tornado drill (Molly)

- Getting to go on the playground after lunch (Cameron)

- Meeting new friends (Both!)

I think this is going to be a good year. At least the first week has been great! Stay tuned...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010...

All of us that knew my grandfather can think of many, many things that he was good at and enjoyed.

Woodworking, reading, gardening, farming, fixing just about anything, trivia, puzzles (especially Wheel of Fortune)...Grandpa was good at many things.

But the one thing that I kept coming back to was actually something he wasn't very good at. It was being alone.

For the past 4 years my grandpa has been very lonely. Yes, he had his 3 daughters very close to him but the love of his life had gone before him and that left him feeling very alone. You see, when you are married to your bride for 64 years, when you have given your heart and soul to someone, when you have raised a wonderful family together that might just happen.

There is a very popular set of verses from the bible that might sound familiar to you that represent my grandfather's love...

1 Corinthians Chapter 13 verses 4-13:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. but where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled, where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love."

If you don't mind please allow me one good minute to boast. I am standing before you to say that our family should be darn proud of ourselves. Mac and Eva McMurray raised 3 smart, competent, beautiful (inside and out) women who married strong, competent and supportive men who all know that with faith, hope and especially love you can raise children who are smart, competent and beautiful people. Thank you grandpa for always, always putting your family first. Pam, Michele and Kris can give countless examples of how you went without so that they always had. And I know that they have all done the same for their children. I am the woman, wife and the parent I am today because of the values that you taught all of us, Grandpa.

It use to break my heart to think that my Grandpa was so lonely but we all can be comforted today knowing that he isn't alone, isn't in any pain, and has been reunited with my Grandma.

I miss you Grandpa but I am so happy that you are now our angel.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hello, Kindergarten parents...

It's coming.

I know it's coming.

Or at least I assume it's coming.

Probably by Friday we will receive a voicemail from the Kindergarten teachers welcoming us to Lincoln school and then inviting us to bring our kindergartner and their school supplies to school on Monday. Kind of a drop them off, see the room, meet the teacher hour. And the reason I know this is because I am some what of a veteran Kindergarten parents. I did this same thing exactly one year ago.

It's a cute voicemail. The teachers introduce themselves and tell you how excited they are to start school. I should have it memorized since I just deleted Cameron's welcome message this afternoon. I just couldn't part with the voicemail. It made me tear up every time I heard it. And I just couldn't delete it until today because keeping it kept my boy a kindergartner all summer even though he's been a first grader since the end of May. This is definitely one of those "OH MOM!" moments.

So I will be prepared this year. I will not cry, I will hold it together. After all I am a season veteran.

But, my Molly only goes to kindergarten once.

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 2009 to August 6, 2010...

One year later!

It has been one year since Molly had her last set of stents removed from her ureters and she has been problem free! I have been looking forward to this day for quite a while. And I actually forgot about it until we went to do school registration yesterday which was the day Molly had the stents removed last year. I had to go look it up in my old calendar to verify. It is such a sigh of relief that one year later she hasn't had any infections, kidney issues or hospitalizations. Things have been really good for her!!

On another note I would like to ask for prayers for my Grandfather, Richard McMurray or Mac as he is more commonly known. He is very ill and in the hospital in Akron, Ohio. I am worried about him as he has multiple issues going on. The one the doctors are focusing on first is treating him for pneumonia. My Grandpa will be 90 in December so making him comfortable and helping him to breathe better are important right now. Any prayers are appreciated! I've been doing a lot myself.

Monday, August 2, 2010

27 days...

We have had a first here.

This is really quite a stride for The Shook's.

27 days represents something for us in the month of July.



But, really not that hard and I'm not sure I even really missed it. And I mean the fast food part. It's nice every once in a while to eat out. It can actually be fun. But we are really trying to do everything in moderation.

No running through McDonald's, no stopping at Jimmy John's or Subway. No LaGondola. Now I'm not going to say that every meal here was gormet, but I fixed 27 dinners. And some of them were pretty darn creative and yummy.

I rewarded the kids by making a trip to McDonald's on Friday with some friends. We actually ate inside, which we rarely do, and I have to say that I immediately remembered that I don't even really like McDonald's. Of course, the kids had a blast so I can see where a treat, every now and then, is actually a good thing. A sacrifice from their Mom!

Less eating out is also good for the wallet. It can get really expensive for us to eat out. For a family of 5, who's small people don't actually eat that much, we can't leave McDonald's without spending $20. That's kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

I think this is an experiment that we will continue for a while. It's a healthier choice, too!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What we are thankful for...

I may have shared this before, but for our dinner grace we go around the table and share something that we are thankful for each day. Of course we start with the kiddo who's day it is and work our way around. Here's how tonight's went...

Molly: I am thankful for the last day of swimming lessons and that Big Abbey is coming over tomorrow.

Cameron: I am thankful for my health, Daddy's job, Mommy's job, the last day of swimming lessons and that Big Abbey is coming over tomorrow. Oooooooh, and this yummy dinner. (Bonus points for that one, Son.)

Amanda: I am thankful for going off the diving board tomorrow, church in the park and ring - around - the - rosy.

To be 3 and to be thankful for such fun and innocent things. Amanda gives the best what I'm thankful for's because we never know what she's going to say. She's thankful for church in the park a lot. And a good day at Sunday School (on a week day). We might be doing something right here!

But, I have no idea about the jumping off the diving board part. Not happening. I wasn't even planning on going to the pool!

And, to clarify, Big Abbey is one of our sweet baby-sitters who unfortunately got the name Big Abbey because Molly has a 5 year old friend she calls Little Abbey. Big Abbey is hardly big. All 75 pounds of her.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sk8er Boi

So today my 3 year old was running around singing...

He was a skater boy,

She said see you later boy.

This is what my life has come to. Anything, ANY SONG, played on Radio Disney is like crack to my kids. Remember my liquid crack was McDonald's Frappes. Well their crack is Radio Disney. We listen to it ALL THE TIME. And, it really isn't that bad.

They know a lot, and I mean A LOT of popular songs now. I challenge anyone to a kid version of Name That Tune. All 3 of them, but especially Molly, will smoke you. I would almost bet money. Another positive to the constant entertainment of Radio Disney is that our car satellite radio displays the name of the song and the artist. Cameron has learned to read almost every song name and who sings it from the display. If it's ever important to be able to read Demi Levato we have that covered.

It has also become a contest to see who can yell at the top of their lungs first the name of the song. "Today was a Fairytale by Taylor Swift. I said it first, I said it ha ha I said it first!" Imagine this almost every time a new song comes on.

It is very comical entertainment for Mike and I in the car and I have actually caught myself listening to it when no one under the age of 6 is in the car.


And in case you didn't know the lyrics at the beginning of this post it is a song entitled Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne. I said it first, I did!!!!! I know this song, you didn't!! Ha ha!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

These things I know to be true...

I have been compiling a mini-list of things that I now know to be very, very true. Here are a few...

- It's a good chance when your stomach hurts that you are in need of a 15 minute private water closet visit. Try it.

- Water really, really does quench your thirst.

- No matter how old you are you are always some ones child.

- Cheese that comes individually sliced in cellophane will never taste good nor will I really call it cheese.

- The cure for a bad day can really be a 32 ounce, crushed ice Coke.

- The above world solver does indeed account for 440 calories. That totally sucks.

- Giving your worries to God really does help.

- Stepping on a Lego smarts. The impression it makes on your foot will just piss you off.

- There is absolutely no way, and I mean no way, that I think I could live anywhere without air conditioning. Once you have it it's hard to go back. I'd probably have it in Alaska.

- I'm pretty sure that Twilight is overrated. No, I'm positive. But, with that said there is nothing like an excellent book that transports you to another time, another place where real thinking and emotions happen. Unfortunately, Twilight hasn't done that for me. But, I am pushing myself through Eclipse in case I haven't gotten to the really good part yet.

- My son is not playing flag football. (Let's see if Mr. Shook is reading like he tells me he is!)

What do you know to be absolutely true?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Angel...

Yesterday my Grandmother would have been 90 years old. She died in 2006 and she lived a very good life. But, it wasn't without daily pain as she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and that disease was very debilitating. My Grandma could hardly walk at the end without any assistance. It got to the point where she had to be taken care of around the clock in a care facility. The care givers were wonderful to both my Grandma and my Grandpa, who visited her every day. They were married 64 years and devoted to each other until the end. It is a great example for my whole family of enduring love.

At dinner last night I was explaining to Cameron and Molly that today my Grandma would have been 90 years old. I asked them if they knew anyone else that old. We talked about what a long life that would be.

Then the questions started.

My, had I opened a can of worms.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we opened them but the conversation went in a completely different direction that I imagined.

The kids don't remember my Grandma so I got out some pictures to show her to them. They thought it was funny that one of the pictures is my Grandma holding Cameron when he was just an infant. They were having a hard time understanding that this Grandma is the Mom to Grandma Choo (my Mom). Then the questions began with "where is Great-Grandma now?, why does Papa Mac (my Grandfather) live by himself?, does Great-Grandma have a rock on her head? (I'm pretty sure this means a tombstone), and what does Great-Grandma do in heaven?"

Oh my.

Of course, I did all of this solo while Mike was not home.

We talked about heaven, we decided that Great-Grandma is now our angel and she watches over us. I explained how my Grandpa takes care of himself but now lives in a smaller apartment where nice people help him (he lives in assisted living now). Molly cried and told me that she doesn't want to die and wants to live to be 100.

Sweetie, I hope you do to. You have a long life ahead of you.

I told her she had to become a Mommy first and I had to be a Grandma some day. We called all of her Grandparents and they all assured her they were doing just fine. She seemed much better after that but I'm sure little therapy will be in order. It was a healthy, beautiful conversation that made me cry, too. We try to be as honest as we can with our children. My parents always were when we were growing up and it made things less scary. I think some day, when necessary, we will have kids who can face some of these fears with confidence and not feel blind-sided.

It makes me sad to know that my Grandma never met, never held, never had a chance to make a blanket for my Amanda. There have been 3 more babies in our family also. Lily, Evan and Sadie. My Grandparents have 8 great grandchildren!! My Grandma would have loved all of them.

But, I feel reassured knowing we all have our own Angel...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hunger Pangs...

Believe it or not I have gone to the gym, consistently, 2 weeks in a row!

Can you hear Mr. Shook mumbling under his breath that he is glad that I have finally taken advantage of the membership he got us?

I have been very conscious about the food choices I have been making, too. Minus last Tuesday, with my Abigail circle girls, when someone had brought the very tempting brownies and I felt that I should really make sure that they were safe for everyone to eat. All be darn, they were!

Here are a few of what I have been picking for my hunger pangs. Don't give me the carrots, celery and other cut up veggies. Oh no, when I am needing something it has to be small and sweet.

This is a real treat. If you get to a Trader Joe's pick yourself one of these bars. Organic dark chocolate with raisins and pecans...heavenly! One square for me and then it goes back to the freezer. Yummo!

My middle child and I love both of these things. We love our "big raisins" and we split an orange. Helps your tummy and then helps the other end, too. We are all about being "regular." Plus it's another yummy treat from Trader Joe's. Pick some pitted prunes up on your next visit. Molly and I will tell you that they are the best!

When you need a little sweet and refreshing taste these bite size York Peppermint Patties to the trick. Can you see I have a dark chocolate theme here?

I am experimenting with other lo-cal snacks so more later...
Happy healthy snacking!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Waiting with your breath held, right?...

I'm sure that all my bloggy friends have been holding their breath to receive an update on our potty situation. Well, guess what...?





Surprised? I'm not.

This hasn't been nearly as successful as I might have hoped. In fact I would call it one big fat failure. What is a Mom to do about it? Drowned her sorrows in a Polar Pop? Don't tempt me!

I have decided that we might just have to give up our beloved spot at the preschool, we might have to accept that fact that we don't have a little Einstein on our hands, and I might have to admit that I am not the Super-Mom that you might have thought me to be. I had you fooled, right?

Instead we have been doing things like this...

Filling old water bottles with rocks, grass, ants, sticks...

Then have our brother practice his reading to his little sister while she just sits, and sits and sits some more...

Have a popsicle while sitting some more...

Build creative Lego creations and take all kinds of pictures of them (Mom's job)...

Making a royal wet mess in the back yard and loving it!...

If we go potty great, if not that's going to have to be OK, too. You see, I've decided that I do actually have a little Einstein on our hands because she is certainly smart enough to know that she can go potty. All the control is in the hands of one newly three year old. She IS pretty smart!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The pain has begun...

I can't believe I am sharing this for the whole world, or at least my bloggy friends, to see...I am not one who usually wants to share the potential defeats in her life.

Here is what I am staring down today...

Do you know what these are for??

That's right...


Cutie created a potty chart this morning, of course wearing the sacred Ohio State Trickerleader outfit. (That's what cutie calls it!)

I don't have a really great feeling that we are going to be super successful so a little prayer might be helpful. Miss Amanda's brother and sister are breathing down her neck (and mine) to get this pain over with. I think they are feeling hostage to the stickers and Smarties. We are on our second Capri Sun so there has to be some pee in there, right? I have to go myself just talking about all the liquid! Dearest Daddy has promised Culver's to his little one if she successfully pees 2 times on the potty. For the love of all things yummy, please do it, Amanda!!

I'm not due for a highlight on the locks for 2 weeks. After this experience I may need it done soon!

Wish us luck!! And don't judge me if this isn't successful!