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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Catching up!

Hello Again everyone! It has been almost two weeks since my last blog post. I have been so CrAZy with birthday parties, Doctors appointments, and and adjusting to Ben's new LONG work schedule. I have literally tried 3 times to write a post in the last week and SOMETHING has always needed my immediate attention. And honestly when I did have time at the end of the day to finish up what I had started here, I was so tired that all I wanted to do was chill out, zone out or sleep.

I guess we all have times in our lives like that. Times where the one thing we really want to get done or accomplished has to be pushed to the back of the list. We have obligations and commitments that take us away from our favorite hobbies or house projects. In my case, looking at what is on deck, it doesn't look like the hustle and bustle will end for quite some time. SO, I'm trying to adjust our normal life routine to a NEW normal. I have to find time for ALL of us to do the things we love and enjoy. Otherwise... we might all go nuts! I'll figure it out! It'll just take some time.

Catching you up on what's happened in two weeks would take forever. So, I'll just hit the highlights.

My Health:
The G.I. doctor says I have IBS. He has out me on several medications to get my stomach back under control. I won't have to be on them forever, which is great because pills are not cheap and our budget is tight. He did say however, that it won't ever completely go away. I will have good days and bad days. I will probably have to go back on them every now and then when I have a flare up.

He also referred me to a new Primary care doc. I saw her for the first time this week and I LOVE her! I feel I am in good hands and that things are turning around for me. Slowly, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Kids:
Things are wind down into summer mode. K's last day was Friday. I won't see him again until August when his mom goes back for teacher work week. Monday was his birthday and we had a little party for him. I decorated the house, made cupcakes and he got to open his gift. I invited my mom to come to the party too since it was also her birthday! (It was Ben's brother's birthday too, but he lives out of town.)

K loves super heroes. In particular he LOVES Iron Man. So, I found an Iron Man shirt for him. His response was priceless! I got him to try and re-create it for the camera. Of course it was funnier the first time, but you get the point. He loved the shirt!

Ruby has been loving this warm weather and the pool time that comes with it. She is my little fish! Most kids that I have seen her age are pretty timid when it comes to swimming. They usually don't like their faces to get wet or to go under the water. As you can see, Ruby LOVES the water. Our neighborhood has a swim team. Ruby saw them practicing the other day. She looked at me and said, "Mommy I do THAT!"  I had to explain that she had to learn to swim first. But from this video, you can see that she's not far from figuring it out on her own.

Bells and Ruby have one more week together before my sister-in-law is out for the summer as well. They are quite the pair.There are always coming up with some new princess/bad monster pretend game. I keep trying to catch it on camera, but they are too quick for me. It's so cute to watch them play together. I'm a bit worried that Ruby won't know what to do with out her "brother friend" and her "cousin sister friend." I'm certain that I am not nearly as fun as K and Bells. We've got a whole month of just the two of us. I'll give it my best try!

I'm so looking forward to a month of just being a mommy. I love K and Bells and will miss them, but I also love getting to sleep in and stay in my pajamas until noon. I love getting to focus just on what Ruby and I want to do for the day. I LOVE this time of year! The Pool, the beach, the lake... are you seeing a theme here? Happy Summer everyone!

Friday, June 4, 2010

My how things have changed!

As summer approaches many people look forward to a relaxed schedule. Sleeping in, going to the pool, margaritas with friends,outdoor concerts, and family vacations are all things that I associate with summer.Pre-Ruby, Ben and I would have friends over for cook outs and some late night fun around the fire pit on our patio. We would stay up late jammin' out to our favorite tunes with no worries because the earliest we would ever be up was 10:00 on the weekends. Spur of the moment trips to visit friends was no big deal. We had the freedom to come and go as much as we pleased.

While updating my calendar today I couldn't help but notice how much things have changed. In place of cook outs, we now have a gazillion kids birthday parties. In place of late nights and sleeping in, we have less late nights and a 2 year old who wakes up at 6:30 regardless of what time we go to bed. Instead of spur of the moment trips we now have to actually plan ahead and figure out how Ruby and our dog Dozer will be cared for while we are gone. We actually have to BE responsible adults.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY LIFE. I am soooo blessed to have such a wonderful husband and AMAZING daughter. But every now and then Ben and I take a trip down memory lane and laugh at how easy our life use to be. At the time, however, we didn't feel that way. I have wondered what I would say to myself if I could have aBill and Ted's Excellent Adventure moment. First, I'd have to find a phone booth, which are pretty much non-existent since cell phones. After that though, what would I say to a younger(and skinnier), pre-Ruby but still married me?

Hmmmm... That's a tricky one. It's tricky because the decisions I have made have made me who I am and I like who I am. Maybe I would give her some inside tips on who to invest in so we wouldn't ever have to worry about money. Maybe I would tell her to stop obsessing over her weight. Maybe I would tell her not to buy that Chevy Aveo because with her 6 foot 9 husband and giant dog in it, a car seat won't fit! Maybe I would tell her to enjoy this alone time with Ben because after you have kids, there isn't much alone time. I would definitely tell her that her future is awesome and to stop worrying.

What would you say to your younger self? Would you say anything at all? Would you change anything about your past? Or do you embrace it for who it made you today?

I have a fun assignment for you all! Call your friends, plan ahead for a cookout with no kids. Enjoy your summer night fun and pose the "what would you say to your pre-kids self?" questions to your friends. I would love to hear what they have to say. Be sure to post a comment and pass this on to your friends to read! This could be very fun and interesting!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Okay... It's not my gall bladder??? WHAT????

I thought I had an answer. I thought I finally knew. I thought it was an easy fix. I thought I was almost done feeling this way. I was so relieved when I heard there really was SOMETHING wrong with me and that I wasn't manifesting all of this pain and discomfort in my head. I was told it was my gall bladder and that I needed to see a surgeon to have it removed.

So that's what I did. I went to see our family friend who is a surgeon. Dr. H came in and said hello and we chatted for a few minutes to catch up on this and that. He got down to business and began asking questions about all that I was feeling and all that I had already done to this point.With Ben at my side, I started at the beginning and brought him up to date on every ache, pain, test, and scan. I even gave him a copy of the Hida scan that had finally brought me to his door. He had already looked at it, but he wanted to take it to his radiologist to look at.He left the room and Ben and I waited for him to return with the news we had come to here.

When he returned, however, he gave us much different news. "Well, it's just as I suspected, your gall bladder is fine! When we look at a gall bladder that we may need to remove we look for three things: is it excreting properly, are there crystals or are there stones. Your gall bladder is pushing things through fine and there are no stones or crystals."

Uhhh..... WHAT???

"I haven't really ever seen results like this." Dr. H said as he pulled out the paperwork from the scan. "It say's you have tested positive for bile reflux in your gall bladder. Now I think we really need to send you to a gastroenterologist and have and endoscopy done. Now he may send you back to me, but I really think that the problem isn't with the gall bladder."

As I sat there stunned that I did not have gall bladder disease, like the nurse practitioner at my general doctors office had told me, Dr. H continued to talk, but I didn't hear ANYTHING except, more tests and no answers today. I was very glad that Ben was there to catch the rest as I tuned out. So, he set up the appointment and we were off to find an answer on another day. i was hoping that would be Monday, since that was when my appointment was.

So, the weekend came and went, and I settled into the knowledge of no knowledge again. I was grateful that I had been to see Dr. H. He had been the perfect doctor to see. Some other doctor might have just scheduled the surgery and not taken another look at my scan. I would have been gall bladder-less and still in pain! That would have truly been devastating.

Monday arrived and I was READY! I woke up with high hopes of a great day with the kids and a helpful doctor in the afternoon. However, when Ruby woke up, we had a little kink in our day. Both of her eyes were swollen, goopy, and pink. UGH! K and Bells were arriving within minutes. I immediately called my brother and told him not to bring Bells just yet. I sent him a video of Ruby's eyes and he opted to wait until after I could talk to a doctor before exposing Bells to what might be a contagious pink eye. K however was in route and it was too late for his mom to make alternate plans that fast. She called her husband, who works nights, and he did his best to get K as soon as possible. But that was going to be a few hours.

So, my great morning had turned into a game of defense. I had Ruby upstairs and K downstairs in hope that there would be not passing of whatever was ailing Ruby. I literally broke a sweat running up and down the stairs to check on each of them and keep them out of trouble. It was not an easy task. When K's dad did arrive, it was the fastest pick-up ever. Very little chat and they were off to the car to get away from my obviously contagious house. I put Ruby in the car and headed off to find out that it indeed was pink eye and it was very contagious. So, there would be not Bells or K at my house for 24 hours while I took care of Ruby and lysol-ed everything I thought she might have touched or breathed on.

It turns out that the pink eye was a blessing in disguise. When I arrived to see my new gastro doc, Dr. A, I learned that I would need not only an endoscopy but also a colonoscopy! I wasn't going to just relax and cuddle with Ruby on her sick day... I was going to be very busy doin' my own business! HOW FUN!!(That was sarcasm in case you couldn't tell by the caps typing.)

I spare you the terrible details of my "business" Tuesday and jump right to the day of the tests. I wasn't going until the afternoon, so I had the kids in the morning. I was, ummm, a little grouchy. I hadn't eaten since before 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday. On top of that, even though Ruby's eye was looking better, she was now showing some lovely colors coming out of her nose! K was going to be at my house all day, because that's how it is on Wednesday. I had to figure out how to keep the kids happy, myself busy to not think about how hungry I was, and figure out how to get Ruby to the doctor again.

Somehow, with the help of Ben and my mom, I made it all work out. I took the kids to the park and ran them ragged. I took them to the grocery store with me on the way home. That was stupid. Not because of the kids, but because I wanted EVERYTHING!! Got home, left K and Bells with mom, took Ruby to the doctor, and came home. When I got home, Ben had arrived and was feeding K and Bells. Ruby joined them and I was off to take a shower. After the shower, I wrote up the kid's day sheets, helped get everyone to bed, kissed Ben, and headed off to my appointment.

Mom was my driver. She and I prayed together before I went in. We forgot to pray for the nurses giving me the IV and that was a BIG mistake. Four nurses and SIX attempts at finding my vein later, I am bruised like crazy and I can remember MOST of the procedure. According to everyone who has ever had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, I was supposed to have a wonderful little nap. THAT, didn't happen. It was terrible people. TERRIBLE!

When all was said and done. Dr.A said everything looked fine. He gave me a diagnosis of IBS and Fibromyalgia. Both of which are difficult to treat and there is NO cure. In fact, according to this wonderful world wide web, SOME people think that neither of these are REAL. They are just a made up diagnosis for people that can't be given a real diagnosis. This is not what I wanted to hear.

Don't get me wrong. I know that as far as a diagnosis goes, this is a good one to have in comparison to what Dr. A. could have found. It is just exhausting to know all of the work and life changes I have ahead of me. Diet is something I have struggled with literally since elementary school. I have NEVER been tiny. Losing weight has always been a battle. It always seems to take me FOREVER to see any tiny little change and I always have to work really hard to make that happen. Everything that I have read says that diet and exercise are crucial to getting these two issues under control. I guess I just have to figure it all out.

Over the last few months, I have also been battling a bit of depression. DR. A says that is very common because the gut and the brain work very closely together. If the gut isn't feeling good, then the brain will respond in kind. I am trying really hard to pull myself out of this funk. I'll be fine and then all of the sudden, I am very, very low. I'm overwhelmed by all that I have been through and all that is to come. I am praying daily, but lately I find myself at a loss for what to pray for and the right words to pray. I'm trusting that the Lord knows my heart and will do what is best.

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me. Please continue to do so. I will do my best to keep things moving around here as normal. I'm still Walking the Land looking for God's plan in all of this. I know I will understand in time. May He use me and this experience to his Glory! Blessing to you all!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hallelujah! AN ANSWER!

Hallelujah! We have an answer friends! It turns out that all of my pain is from my gall bladder! I am so thrilled to have an answer. I really was beginning to believe that perhaps I was crazy and making it all up in my head. I had actually been asked if I thought it could be mental rather than something actually wrong. At first I dismissed such a thought but as time went on and there were no answers, I began to feel like maybe it WAS all in my head.

Luckily, I didn't give up! I persisted and pushed my doctor to keep testing. Tuesday I went for a Hida Scan. They injected me with some sort of dye to be able to watch my gall bladder work. The test took two hours to complete and was terrible. Because they needed to see what was happening to my gall bladder, they had to give me a medicine to make it work like it would if I had eaten. They told me I might cramp and I REALLY did cramp. It hurt, but I was so glad I had done it when I got the news that they had figured out the problem.

So, now what? I go today to see a surgeon. I have all my tests and questions in hand. I have heard that the surgery is so easy these days. I have also heard that I will feel a million times better. I am ready! BRING IT ON! The surgeon is a family friend. I know I will be in good hands, so let's get this party started. I am praying that he will schedule me right away so I can get back to feeling like a normal active person.

I have learned so much about my family gall bladder history since I have been diagnosed. I will be the third woman on my mom's side of the family to have my gall bladder out at the age of 31. My grandmother, aunt and mother have all had theirs removed too! I guess I got the wrong end of the genetic stick on this one. At least if Ruby ever has an issue, I will be able to guide her in the right direction to get it detected as soon as possible. Fortunately, she seems to be taking after he father's side of the family.

So friends, Please continue to pray for me. Thanks so much for the prayers you have already sent to the Lord on my behalf. He was listening and answered! I will keep you posted on what the doctor says and when my surgery will be scheduled. Thanks again everyone!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Prayer request please

Hello Friends,
I have a favor to ask. I need to ask for some prayer. For quite a while now, I have been in pain. The pain is in my chest, back and stomach at times. Sometimes it comes with an upset stomach and sometimes nausea. All of the time it comes with frustration and worry. I have been dealing with this for quite a while with no answers. This issue is not only hurting my body, now it is hurting my spirit. I am grateful to the Lord for all of the good test results, but at this point... I need answers and relief.

I have had countless tests run. A stress test was done to check my heart. That came back normal. An x-ray was done to check my lungs... again, normal. Blood work was done and nothing was found. Monday I had an ultrasound done on my abdomen and the gall bladder which also came back with nothing out of the ordinary. Next, we will do a Hida Scan ( whatever that is!) on Monday and look closer at my gall bladder. I really hope that we can find some answers with that.

I am tired and I am grumpy because I don't feel well. When you work with children like I do, that is not a good combination and is not acceptable. Two year old children, although sweet, are a handful and a lot of work at times. They need patience and that is something I am running low on these days. I am being creative to keep them happy and entertained. I don't want them to suffer because I am. That's not their fault and they deserve the best me I can give. They keep me going and motivated to get up and get going.  

Since we have finished all of our letters and are basically in summer play and review mode. I've been keeping them busy other ways. Our favorite times are dance time and instrument time. It's moments like these that lift my spirit and make almost forget about my pain and frustration. Their laughter and smiles and silly outfits make me laugh and smile. They have been the BEST medicine for me when doctors haven't given me any relief. I am so lucky to have them.

I watch them play and I find myself wondering where on earth they get all of that energy. I am in amazement daily at their quickly developing imagination and humor. They have all of this excitement about each day. Everything is so new and fresh. I love watching their little light bulb moments. K had one figuring out it was funny to have his chicken hat on backwards. You can literally see that connection made in this video. It's so precious to be here for these moments.

These are the things I am trying to focus on. It's not always so easy when I am hurting really badly. So Friends, I am asking for prayer from you. Please pray for answers for my pain and an easy solution. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors and for swiftness from all involved. Please pray for my day care children and Ruby to continue to be inspirations. Please pray for my spirit to be uplifted and not pulled down by the pain in my body.

I have seen the miracles prayer can do over and over again. I believe in the power of prayer. I will keep you all informed as I continue in the search for what is causing all of this discomfort. I am grateful for all of the encouragement and support my readers have given me in the past. I am looking forward to what our prayers can do together. Blessings to you all!

Happy Friday Follow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Have you ever had one of those moments when God answers a huge prayer? Maybe He provided for you and your family when things were getting tight. Maybe He healed a loved one or even you from an illness. Perhaps God provided an answer regarding a job change. Maybe the Lord gave you clear direction regarding a relationship. God has answered many many prayers like this for me and my family. He has proven to be faithful over and over again. I know that if I ask God and my heart is in the right place, I will receive what need. That doesn't mean the answer is what I want or think I need, but what the Lord knows I need. He knows me better than I know myself and will provide just the right answer!

What did you do when God answered your prayer? Did you get to praising God for his faithfulness? Did you share God's blessings with a friend? Maybe you put on your favorite praise and worship CD and started singing and dancing for the Lord. Perhaps you just said a quiet thank you. Those would be great things to do in appreciation. It would be wonderful if we all remembered to give thanks with a grateful heart. I'm sure you always do that part right? ( Insert annoying buzzer sound from family feud here!)  

I'm willing to bet that sometimes... you forget to say thank you.  You go about your life as normal never stopping to  recognize God's answer as a gift. Sometimes... you ignore God's answers and try and do things your way. The Lord sends you signs and answers over and over again. Instead of recognizing them as answers and making a change,  you continue to pray for an answer that sounds better to YOU. Unfortunately, instead of stopping to give God the GLORY he is DUE, we quickly move on to the next thing and next prayer request.

Can you imaging if your children did this to you? What would you do if your child received a gift and didn't say thank you? What would your reaction be if your child got a gift from a friend and complained that it wasn't exactly what THEY wanted instead of being grateful? Wouldn't you get upset if you repeatedly told your child an answer to a question and they kept saying,"what?"  Or what if they ignored you all together when you tried to guide them? I think we all know the answers to these questions. It would certainly NOT be acceptable behavior in my house and would likely lead to some major consequences.

If we don't accept this behavior from our children, why do we think it is okay to treat our Heavenly Father this way? This is YOUR wake up call. Take the time today and say THANK YOU to GOD!  Tell Him how He has blessed you and offer Him praise. Instead of praying for help or for something you want, today why not focus on all of the big and little things God provides for you everyday. Write God a Thank you note! If you are comfortable with sharing, perhaps you could post your Thank you comments here.

Here is mine to help you get started!

Dear Lord,
Thank you so much for providing for my family. Thank you listening to our hearts and providing what we need. We are grateful for your faithfulness. Thank you so much for making it possible for me to be home with Ruby. What a blessing to be with her everyday. Thank you for keeping her healthy and happy. Thank you for my wonderful husband. He is exactly what I prayed for. Thank you for my parents and in-laws who keep us in their thoughts and prayers and provide support each in their own unique way. Thank you for being the AMAZING GOD you are and providing for me even when I am not aware of it.
In Christ's name I pray,


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What makes Glee so special to me!

Tonight I was watching one of my new favorite shows. I have become addicted to the show GLEE. I know it is a huge hit right now and that the actors of the show are on every talk show these days. I just saw one of them on Ellen today and I saw the whole cast on Oprah not that long ago. I had a seen TON of people posting things about Glee in their status on Facebook and I had heard the show was really great.

I had really wanted to watch it for a while, but never got around to doing it. Plus, I was pretty sure Ben was going to veto the idea. One night, I guess I caught him in a particularly good mood and he agreed to watch it with me. I was HOOKED! and to my surprise Ben actually liked it too.This show puts me in the best mood and takes me to a place that I have missed for a long time. I too was a member of a group similar to this in high school.  We didn't call it Glee club, we were a SHOW CHOIR!

Show Choir gets some mixed reviews from people in the music education field. Some people think it teaches bad vocal techniques. Some people feel it puts too much emphasis on the SHOW part and forgets about the CHOIR part. When I began my teaching career, Show Choir was almost a dirty word in the county where  I was teaching. While there were a few of us who lived it and loved it, I felt a bit outnumbered by people who thought it was disgrace to teach such a thing. I always felt so bad for the kids at the schools with those anti-show choir thoughts. I felt they were missing out on something that provided me with some of the life skills I have today. Sounds silly, but its true.

My Show Choir experience taught me many life lessons, exposed me to new music, and gave me life long friends. In show choir I learned that hard work pays off. I learned that you have to give your all EVERY time because you might not get a second chance. I learned no matter what drama you have with the people you are working with, you have to leave it at the door to get the job done (There's always drama in high school!). I learned that practice and persistence only lead to better things. And I learned that everyone looks better with a few sequins on!

Without Show Choir I might not have ever grown to love such songs as Pinball Wizard and probably would still be wondering what's THE WHO. I would not have known that I can't be bothered now was from a musical called "Crazy for You." I may have never even cared that Billy Joel sang And So it Goes without hearing my brother sing it when he was in Show Choir! ( YES! there were LOTS of boys in Show Choir. Cute ones, and MOST of them were NOT gay! No offense to any that were.) Our teacher made us learn the classics too. Every year we learned a major work like Messiah or Requiem. I had some exposure to classical, jazz, musical, and everything else by the time I graduated.

My favorite part about Show Choir was the friends I made. There is a bond like no other when you sing together. It didn't matter that we all came from very different places, in that room, we were a family. Don't get me wrong, like any family there were arguments and struggles, but in the end we all worked together. I am still friends with many of these wonderful show choir alumni. While we are spread out all over the world doing our jobs, raising our families, and living our lives, we STILL have that bond. I'm willing to bet that all of us crank up the radio when we hear one of our show choir songs on the radio. I'm also willing to bet we all miss the roar of the crowd and the sense of accomplishment with a job well done. There's nothing quite like those lights being on you with your Show Choir family with you.

My husband talks about how glad he was to leave high school and how sick he was of being there. He doesn't have many fond memories of high school ( and we went to the same one). I on the other hand had a blast!!! I am positive that it was because of my show choir family and the relationships I built and the experiences I had with them.I got to take several trips to Disney and one to New York! That's not to shabby, right? All in all, it was the my show choir family that made those trips so fun.

I miss those days and Glee helps take me back! Thanks Glee for being so fun and creative. I wish we had thought of some of those songs when I was in show choir. I hope future show choir generations are inspired by what you are doing. I hope that it brings some pride to their hearts to know that they are not alone!

I do have one question for any of my former Show Choir peeps out there... Do you still have show choir dreams? Like for me, I am back in Capital Swing  or Touch of Swing and I can't remember what I am supposed to do next. Please tell me I am not alone in this. This is the only bad side effect of watching Glee. I have Show Choir nightmare, nightmares! Oh well! It's worth it!

Friday, April 30, 2010

10 Little Things for Happy Healthy Living

Taking care of yourself is something we all know we need to do, but isn't always so easy to accomplish. We live in a busy world that is always nagging us for our attention.For some folks it is a job that always has them putting their needs on the back burner. For me it is often family life that keeps me feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from myself.

The sad thing is, sometimes it's the "taking care of myself" that stresses me out. I find myself looking in the mirror and beating myself up with all of things I see wrong.I find myself freaking out because I don't have time to work out as much as I would like to get my butt in gear. I find myself overwhelmed by the pounds I want to lose and the muscles I want to tone. Certainly this negative self-talk is only making things worse. Health is not just physical, it's mental too!

I have to change my train of thought. TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 have teamed up to ask bloggers the 10 Little Things that Lead to a Happier, Healthier You. ( Just click on the highlighted print to find out more!) This is just the opportunity I need to get my mind in the game, the right way! It's the little things I can do that will make a BIG difference in my mental and physical health. I need to start by recognizing what things I am already doing right, and add some new SMALL things in to make BIG change. So, here is my list!Try

1)Laughing! Laughing is good for so many reasons. I know there have been studies that show all of the positive physical effects laughing can have on your body. It's also good for your mind. Lucky for me, I have a very funny family AND I work with kids for a living. Kids are always a great source of laughter. Even on my worst day, I try and find some humor to help me through! Plus, it's good to laugh at how silly I am too!

2) Affection! I need lots and lots of affection. I love and need hugs and kisses and winks and smiles. My line of work is very helpful in this regard. I grew up in a very huggy family. My husband is also wonderful at giving me my quota. If I ever feel overwhelmed, I just bury my head in his chest and let his giant arms (he's 6 foot 9 people!) wrap around me. I can literally feel my stress fall away. My dad is also awesome at this too ( he's 6 foot 7)!  There is nothing better than a big-ole- hug!

3)Dancing! Sometimes when the kids are nuts, I put on some tunes and we get our groove on. It's great for lowering the stress level in the house and blowing off some steam.

4)A walk or a run. I love getting out with the my ipod and just having some me time on the pavement. I always feel so accomplished when I am finished.

5)Vegetable garden. My husband and I planted fresh veggies and herbs last year. Not only did it help us eat healthier, but it helped our budget too!

6)Getting away. My parents have a house at Lake Gaston, NC. The moment we pull in the driveway, I feel refreshed. Just getting out of our house where projects loom and duty calls is huge for helping relieve stress.

7)Trying not to sweat the small stuff. This is an on going battle for me. I am a worrier by my genetic make up, so I have constantly remind my self to let the little things go. Thank goodness I have an amazing mom and sister to help me talk through that process.

8)Writing. Whether it is in my journal or I am blogging, getting my words out there make me feel happier. It allows me to think things through. I can go back and read journals and blogs from the past and see how the Lord is working in my life. It's something I have done since I was little.

9)Pampering myself. Money is tight, but if I can get a massage or beg Ben to give me one, I always feel better. Taking the time for a hot bath, a hot cup of coffee, putting on my make up are all ways I pamper myself.

10)Prayer and Praise. Although this is last on my list, it is not in my life. Daily prayer and praise to God is where I find my true peace. Turning to God shouldn't be a last resort, it should be our first step in taking care of ourselves. When I am feeling unsure about a path to take in life or trouble is on the horizon, I give it to God. However, it is so important to be THANKFUL! I love turning on my favorite praise and worship songs and singing my praise. I am so blessed and I need to remember WHO make those blessings happen. Like the song says, " Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below." God should be praised for my health and my happiness.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.  

Just for reading this post I can share some rewards with you right now! Here is a special TwitterMoms Juicy Rewards code TWMOM-READR (worth one Juicy Rewards point – that’s up to $5 in savings). This one-time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY. Must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account. Limit one new account bonus code per new account. All accounts must be created and all codes entered by May 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. Enjoy!

Trop50 Little Things for Happy, Healthy Living
1000 Little Things for Moms from Trop50

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Have you ever wondered why kids CD's are soooooo painful to listen to? Usually they are filled with  the most annoying songs EVER. Seriously, how many different ways can you sing Bingo or the Wheels on the Bus? I'm pretty sure I have heard it just about every way possible. Traditional cheesy style, rock and roll style, and my personal favorite disco style! Some are better than others, but any way you slice it, it's going to be torture for any adult listening.I have been teaching music to children for over 6 years, I still have trouble swallowing the music that is out there. I'm always looking for something fresh and new that even I can handle listening to over and over.

That's why I was so thrilled when I was asked to check out this new CD, Beautiful Creatures. I was really ready for some new tunes to switch things up. This CD seems to be exactly what I was looking for.  Beautiful Creatures is a CD  that the my kiddies love and I can enjoy with them. Of course, ANYTHING, can be over played ( even top 40 hits on the radio), but this CD will last far past any average kids CD.

  Beautiful Creatures has an African theme to it. Many of the songs are about African animals. While the songs are fun, they also give facts about each of the animals they are singing about. The educational side of the songs was a bonus considering the songs were so upbeat and fun. As I listened to each song, I was able to visualize how I could use these songs during our circle time. H is for hippo, Z is for Zebra, L is for lion, and so on. Using music is a great way to keep the kids engaged in learning, so these songs will come in very handy in that regard.

The true test was to see if the kids liked it. From the first note, the kids were bobbing their heads and wiggling in their seats. They loved the African kids singing in the background and the fun African beats. K asked to hear several songs over and over again. It was a hit! The kids were quickly singing along where they remembered the words and dancing around the playroom. I guess to say they liked it was an understatement! Ruby even asked to listen to it on our car trip to D.C. this weekend!

If you would like to check them out too, you can follow them on Twitter or on Facebook. These songs are available on itunes for you to listen to. You can also go to their website: I'd love to hear what you think! If your in the market for this type of music, I bet you like it. I know my kids and I did!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things are not what they appear to be

Do you know what this is? Have you seen it before?

You probably think it is a pretend service station. You're right! Well... kinda right. SOMETIMES it is a service station and other times it's not. This seemingly innocent toy is actually a GIANT pain in my rear. Why? In the wonderful world and mind of a two year old, this service station transforms into a stool. Magically, my little darlings can reach the things that were once, I thought, safely out of reach.

How about this?
Plastic pretend tongs, right?

And these?
Did you guess a plastic tomato, lemon and apple? That's what I thought too!


When these two items are put together and just the right amount of pressure is added
It's fruit flinger!!!! Yes, that blur is the tomato. Or I guess I should say it WAS the tomato. It takes me forever to find that darn thing when they do this! Not to mention, flying plastic fruit sounds harmless, but it hurts! Trust me!

I never imagined in a million years that my little kiddies would figure out how to do these things. Now, every time I a buy a toy or get a hand me down I have to stop and analyze it to death. I have to try to out smart a bunch of two year olds. I have to determine how each toy could be morphed from its intended use into some clever tool and try to stop them from figuring it out.

When they DO figure these little things out, I can't help but think the terrible two's are just a guise. It could be just an act to cover up that they are actually baby geniuses. Perhaps our little innocent babies were taken in the middle of the night and replaced with these unnaturally curious creatures. Perhaps, they were sent by the government to figure out how to turn ordinary things into weapons and tools in the event of a domestic war.
This may look innocent enough, but perhaps this is actual survival training. "Quick someone's coming! Hide under the Rug! They'll never find us here!!!"

Just imagine the possibilities!
A bad guy coming across Bells playing with her alphabet blocks might think, " That's just a kid with a block! I don't need to worry about her!" He might not feel that way when that block comes hurling towards his head and leaves him knocked out on the floor. Those blocks can be deadly when they are lying all over the floor or flying through the air. Even the most skilled attacker wouldn't see it coming!

I'm just saying.... Think about it! Things may not be what they appear to be.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Revelation about marriage

This past weekend Ben and I took a little get away to my parent's lake house. Originally when we planned this weekend we wanted to bring a bunch of our friends down there for an adults only weekend. However, NONE of the folks we invited were able to make the trip. They all had plans already or couldn't find baby sitters for their children. We already had Ben's mom lined up for the weekend, so we decided to go anyway and enjoy some time alone.

Ben and I hadn't had time truly alone in a very very long time. In fact, the last time I remember us taking a trip that was just the two of us and didn't require us to attend a wedding or a ceremony of some sort, was on our honeymoon. WOW! We are very social people and really enjoy spending time with our friends and family, but I never imagined it would take us 7 years to get some quality alone time.

When Ben and I first got engaged we talked about how we wanted our marriage to unfold. Ben had come from a family full of divorces and wanted to make sure that never happened to us. I, on the other hand, come from very different experience. My parents were high school sweethearts and have been married for a VERY VERY long time. I have never really even thought about divorce as something that could happen to me. I have seen my parents fight and argue, but somehow they always made it work.

I'm not judging Ben's family and the choices that were made in their lives. They molded Ben into the wonderful man he is and I am grateful for that. I'm just saying that the difference in our up bringing put us in very different places mentally coming into the marriage. In the end we both wanted the same thing. We wanted to make sure that we maintained our connection to each other. We didn't want to let the things that life might bring our to pull us in different directions and ultimately pull us apart.

I have heard stories about people who had been married for 30 years and all of the sudden they decided to get a divorce. They had raised their families and lived their lives day to day together. However, after the children had grown, they suddenly realized they no longer had anything in common. They didn't know how to talk to each other or love each other anymore. Somehow in all of the hustle and bustle of raising a family and having careers, they lost touch with the founding basis for their family... each other.

It wasn't until this weekend that I realized how easy that can happen. Don't get me wrong, Ben and I are fine and love each other very much. But, once we left Ruby behind and headed off on our own, there was definitely a sense of "what now?". The hour and a half it took us to drive to the lake we chatted about the usual things. Ruby and the funny things she does, Ruby and the things that drive us nuts about being parents, work, issues with our extended family, money, and projects we wanted to do around the house. We arrived, unloaded and relaxed.

The next day, Ben had scheduled a tee time for 9 holes of golf. I find Golf fun for about the first 3 holes and then I get bored and angry when things go sour with my long game. My short game is hopeless, so that doesn't get to me too bad. We were having fun chatting and playing, but there were definitely a few times when the conversation seemed to sputter. I am not use to that. I just figured we were both concentrating and brushed it off.

Later, when we got back to the house we both kind of went our separate ways. I started watching a movie that didn't appeal to Ben. He gave it his best shot, but then decided he would rather go sit outside and throw the ball for the dog. We pretty much remained apart the rest of the day. I started to worry that we were missing out on this quality time together.

Ben moved up to the deck by the house. He was chillin' and listening to some tunes. I decided I needed make the effort to get my butt off the couch and spend sometime doing something he wanted to do. So, we hung out outside and listened to music and talked. We had a great time and even learned some new things about each other. We made fun of each others song selections, we talked about things we wanted to accomplish in our lives, we wondered what our parents were like when they were young and even flirted a little. I wasn't even sure I remembered how to do that!

When we started our trip, I was a bit bummed that we weren't going to have our friends down. Now I see it was all part of God's plan! We needed a wake up call to work on our relationship. We needed some time together to keep us from growing apart like those other couples. We both recognized the importance of the unexpected time alone together. We always knew it was important, we had just let other things get in the way and forgot to put the time away train into motion.

I do feel it is important that we are both able to do things alone too. It is important to maintain your friendships. It is important for me to be able to go out with my girls and for him to go out with the boys. I've seen plenty of relationships that were unhealthy in that way too. It's not healthy to not be able to have time away. I know some people who claim they can get away, but the entire time they are out... they are texting or calling each other. There is never true separation. They never truly have time to think for themselves or be an individual. It all seems so controlling and unnatural. It stunts personal growth and makes one or the other person a doormat eventually.

There has to be a happy medium. Somewhere in between "up each others butt" and "who are you?" is the right place to be, in my opinion. I do feel Ben and I are in the right place, but we realized it's gonna take work to keep us on track. Not hard work, but the make time for each other work. That's work I don't mind.

I realize what a gem of a husband I have. He supports me, but he lets me fight my own battles. He wants me to be me, flaws and all. I don't have to hide any part of my crazy personality to accommodate him, he loves me just as I am. He encourages me to meet new people and try new things. He doesn't look down on my decisions past or present. He loves my family and gets along with everyone. He just fits! I didn't and don't have to convince my family of how wonderful he is, they already think so too! I know he isn't perfect, but he is perfect for me. AND... HE COOKS! Which is awesome because I stink at cooking. I am so lucky.

My hope for you all is that you will dig into your marriage and see where you are. Maybe you need time alone too or perhaps, you need a girls or guys night out. Investigate who you are and who they are. Are you connected in a healthy way? Is there trust and encouragement from both of you? I hope you will find that you all are in the right place for you to grow as individuals and as a couple. If not, start praying, talking, and working.

Maybe you are reading this and you are not married yet, but you are in a relationship. I encourage you to examine your relationship too. If you have to hide things, big or little, chances are... you might not be with the right person. If they make you feel small or stupid, even if they act like they are joking... you might not be in the best relationship for you. If you are constantly having to defend their behavior or your behavior when you are with them to friends or family...that's a red flag. If there is always's not going to get better with time, it will just multiply!

Choosing to walk away doesn't mean that you don't care or you don't love them, instead it shows maturity and strength. It's may seem easier to deal with what you already know, than to push yourself to be alone and find someone new. Being alone can be scary and lonely if you let it be, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and learn who you are and what you want in life. Most of us have had to go through this, and we made it! Trust me, the things that are hard now, most of the time just get harder when you get married. Think LONG and HARD about how you want your life to be before you make any final decisions. I did and I am sooo glad I did.

I have dated some wonderful people and continue to be friends with many of them. I still love who they are and what they bring to the table as friends. It was hard to walk away from such fun people, but it wasn't working and both of us new it. We may not have wanted to admit that it wasn't working, but it clearly wasn't. In the end, we all have made the right choice for our lives together. That choice was to NOT be together.

It seemed like God was taking way to long to bring Ben my way. But, knowing what I know now... God was just getting us both ready for each other. Ben and I should have met way before we did. We both lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same high school. My brother even gave him a ride to school! I remembered seeing him in school, you don't miss someone 6 foot 9, but I never spoke to him and he never even knew I existed. Seriously, he didn't know my brother had a sister! It wasn't until we had both been through school, several relationships, and some life experiences that the Lord was ready for us to meet. God has a way of working things out if you just listen!

Listening doesn't stop when you find your match. Now, I am listening as the Lord helps Ben and I bring some fresh ideas about how to keep our marriage growing and moving forward. I am excited about our life together and I am really looking forward to our next opportunity for alone time! I don't want another 7 years to pass by before we take time for ourselves. That was not acceptable! We can do better. I know we can!

Good luck to you all. I hope you share your thoughts about where you are in your life! I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back to basics. Q is for...

It's been a while since I have shared some of what I am doing with my lovelies for circle time. This weeks letter has been fun, but a little challenging because not much starts with the letter Q. I know there ARE plenty of words, but I mean words that Ruby, Bells and K can understand. I try to use words that the kids can experience or have seen. As beautiful as a Quail probably is, to my kids it just looks like a bird. And bird... does not start with Q. So, I had to get creative with my limited choice of vocabulary. Here is just a little of what I have done.

We always start learning our letters the same way. Looking at it, trying to make our bodies look like it, looking at words in our word book that start with it and usually coloring it. This week was no different so I will spare you that part and get to the things that really connected with the kids. For example, Q is for Queen!

I have a queen cape from a previous Halloween Costume that came in VERY handy this week. Looks like my tendency to hoard worked to my advantage this time. We talked about what a queen was and colored a picture of one. THEN, we played Queen says, also known as Simmon says. It was great. All day long all I had to do was say, "Queen says..." and it got done! It was AWESOME. So, I used it to my advantage with cleaning up the playroom, sitting in their spots at meals, and various other tasks that are usually like pulling teeth to accomplish. It's not rocket science, I know, but in my house... it was mind blowing! I'm keeping that one in my bag of tricks.

The second activity I wanted to share with you is Q is for Quilt! I took construction paper and cut it into squares. Then, I let the kids paint, color, and put stickers on each one of the squares. We practiced taking turns, which is pretty difficult at this age, but the kids were really excited about painting and using stickers, so they followed directions knowing if they didn't they would miss out on the fun.

You can see the complete concentration in their faces. It really was amazing how long this activity held their attention.

Next, I let the kids go play and I put the quilt together. I was planning on having the children help with that part, but they had pretty much used up all of their concentration on making the patches of the quilt. As you can see, Ruby is already taking her apron off.  I was so proud of their hard work. I didn't mind giving them the wiggle and snack break. It also gave me a chance to clean everything up without little people asking me a million questions.

Lastly, we had the big reveal! The kids walked in the room after I had put it on the wall and squealed at how great it was. I heard "Wow!" and
"oh pretty!" and "there's mine!" It was great to see them so proud of our project 'Q is for Quilt!"

I wish I had done this at the beginning of the week so the kids could have looked at it and gotten the reinforcement from the start of our letter Q exploration. However, I have decided to leave it up for a while and I can use it as a review tool instead.  I have also thought about cutting it up when we are done and sending the pieces home for them to enjoy. We'll see! I might like it too much to give it up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Summer? oh wait... here's Spring!

Last week, it seemed that God had decided to skip spring all together in Virginia and go straight to summer. We had highs in the upper 80's and mid 90's. Wednesday, it go up to 96 degrees! It was crazy! So, what do you do when it's 95 in the middle of April? There are no pools open to help you cool yourself off. We were still reeling from one of the most harsh winters ever. Just six weeks earlier where we were stuck inside, like people on house arrest. So, we didn't want to waste such a sunny day just because it was hot. 

I got a text from a neighborhood friend, Danielle, wondering what I was planning to do with Ruby in the heat. I didn't have Bells and K last week because it was spring break. Since it was spring break, we wanted to avoid the places we knew would be hot spots for school aged children to gather and possibly crush our little ones. I suggested a sprinkler day! Danielle agreed and as she put it, we had a redneck water park in her front yard. 
As you can see Ruby was loving it. She looked so cute wearing the bathing suit she got for Easter!
 However, not all of the children were fans of the sprinkler fun. This is Danielle's youngest, little T. Poor thing. 
But Danielle's oldest, Big T, knew what to do!

Little T had a better idea. He's hanging out with one of the other neighborhood girls. He likes older women. 
  One of the other girls wasn't so sure she wanted to get wet either, but she got the hang of it later on.You can see Ruby in the background. She didn't have that issue.

Ruby isn't afraid to get dirty. Here's how I got to take her home.

Not only is my friend Danielle a good sport about her yard becoming a redneck water park, but she is also a pretty darn good photographer.  I took some of the pictures above too, but I wanted to give her a shout out. Here is one of my favorites that she has taken. 
You can see more at her website

Beautiful hot weather last week has lead to unbelievably gross pollen this week. I guess God remembered about Spring! Yesterday, as the kids played with Ruby's new bubble machine ( Which is awesome by the way!It made the biggest bubbles I have ever seen and I didn't have to get light headed. ), the pollen was covering everything. It took me five minutes to de-pollinate one of our little slides. It was beyond disgusting. 

What we need is some big rain to come through and knock down the rest and wash away the stuff lingering on the ground and toys outside. I wouldn't normally be begging for a rainy day when it means 2 year olds will be stuck inside all day, but I'm willing to suffer for one or two days if it means less sneezing and less nose wiping. I can handle poop and pee until the cows come home, but give my one snotty nosed kid and my gag reflexes kick in. I have heard people say, that when you have kids, you get over that sort of issue, but it has yet to happen for me. I deal with it, but I am NOT happy about it. 
I know pollen is important for the plants and for little bees to make the sweet goodness that is honey, but I swear is this much really necessary!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Weekend Part 2!

Sunday morning Ruby woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30. That was not what I was wishing for, especially after the long day I had on Saturday! I opened her door to her smiling face saying, "good mornin'!" just like she always does. I thought the next thing out of her mouth would be something about her Easter basket, but instead she went right on past her basket to the bathroom as per her usual morning ritual. We went passed the full basket just waiting to be noticed at least 3 or 4 times. I was starting to worry she just wasn't into the Easter thing. I was just going to have to remind her. That part of her must be from her father because I would have NEVER forgotten about my EASTER BASKET! Being born on Halloween, I pretty much came out of the womb looking for candy.

I asked Ben, who of course was sleeping in because it was his actual birthday, if he was ready to do the Easter Basket. He climbed out of bed to help me make a BIG deal of our discovery of the Easter Basket. FINALLY, she noticed the basket and came over to look through her gifts. She got a new bathing suit, two books, some swim shoes, and a few treats. Ruby pulled out the books without hardly even noticing them, looked at the bathing suit for 2 seconds before she discovered the very small amount of candy we had put in the basket. She had one of those malt ball eggs in her mouth faster than I could tell her we would have one treat after breakfast. Ahhh!!!!  There's the Mommy side of her shining through! I knew it was in her!

I took the basket away because she was fast headed for a second which, of course lead to a full out two year old fit. UGH! HAPPY EASTER! In order to divert her two year old mind off of the delicious treats, I offered for her to try on her new bathing suit. She agreed but, surprise surprise, then she refused to take it off. So, she ate breakfast in her new bikini. Pick your battles, right? Breakfast in a bathing suit was not one I was going to fight about this particular morning.

After breakfast, I was finally able to pry Ruby's bathing suit away in exchange for her pretty Easter dress. Ruby loves going to "Baby Jesus' house" so getting ready for church wasn't too difficult. I got myself looking Easter pretty and Ben, in his new pink shirt to match his ladies, was looking handsome! We were ready to head out the door and off to church.We made a stop at Starbucks for my caffeine fix, headed to pick up his mom and finally to church. We made it!And sort of on time too! Woo hoo!
Next, we headed home to attempt a a quick snack and an early nap time before we headed to our next destination of the day. Ruby's been struggling with naps lately, but luckily I actually got her to sleep by laying down with her. I fell asleep too! It was GREAT! I LOVE NAPS! Ben had to come in and wake me up to get ready to go. We waited until the last possible second before we woke our little darling up. She woke up pretty refreshed and ready to see her cousins. This was going remarkably well!

Our 3rd destination of the day ( I don't count Starbucks and the stop to pick up Ben's mom because it was on the way.) was my brother-in-laws mom's house. Scott's mom, Carol, always does an amazing job at family functions. Her house and yard are just beautiful (which makes for great pictures) and the food is always delicious. Every Easter, she does and Easter egg hunt for the kids who can come. This year, we were down two cousins due to illness, but we still had a great time.

Mac, Lou, and Ruby scoping out some eggs hidden up high! Good thing Mac is such a tall young lady!

Beautiful Lou with her VERY full basket! YAY!

Ruby and Lou counting up their loot!
I love that Carol doesn't put candy in her eggs. She puts change in them. Which mean no temper tantrums over candy and no melted chocolate on pretty Easter clothes! YAY!

My brother-in-law Scott looking VERY pooped! I was feeling that way too, but we still had pictures to do.

Awe! Aren't we cute! I love Ruby's face in this picture.

Nannie and Ruby!

Ben and Nannie

The happy couple with our fashionable shades. Hey, it was bright!

I mean, come on! Does it get more perfect than this?
That didn't last long.
Silly faces!
Ta da!!!!

Daddy and his little girl.

Me and my sis Holly sitting pretty.

The Princess and her ladies.She looks ready for a parade doesn't she.

My mom and dad were there too, but mom has just had foot surgery, so they didn't hang around for too long and weren't in many pictures.
But at least I got this one!

Pictures were done, lunch was great, and the egg hunt was a success. It was time to head back home, our 4th destination of the day, to do Nannies basket and treats for all of us. It was a quick trip and then we were back out to take Nannie home for her to rest up after an already busy day. We were beyond pooped too, but we still had a 5th destination. There is no rest for the weary!

Our final stop was a visit with Coakey, Ben's dad.. Coakey has M.S.and due to his medical condition has been in a nursing home for the last year. It is always great to see him, but the nursing home isn't always easy for a two year old. Luckily, it was beautiful day and we were able to visit outside in their little garden. Nannie gave Ruby a bubble maker for her Easter gift.  We took it with us to keep her happy and entertained so we could visit for longer than 5 minutes.
Yay bubbles!

After a VERY wonderful day, we were finally able to go home. I was sooooooo tired. Two days of places to be and parties to throw, I was ready for a relaxing week at home. Woooooo saaaaah!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ben's Birthday!

It Began on Friday morning and continued through Sunday night.This weekend was... THE EASTER/BEN"S BIRTHDAY MARATHON!!!! I am still tired this morning from all of the weekends comings and goings. All in all though I think it was a success. I know Easter is busy for a lot of people, but throw in a birthday and we got straight up nuts on our hands.

Saturday morning began VERY early. I wish someone would explain to Ruby that Saturday's are supposed to be sleep in days. I've tried to tell her, but she just doesn't care.UGH! Usually Ben and I trade off who gets up with her, but being that this was his birthday weekend he pretty much took both days. Oh well, such is life and it WAS his birthday. I had a lot to get done anyway. Watching my daycare kids doesn't exactly give me the flexibility to go shopping for a birthday present during the week. I have a hard enough time just hitting a few stores when it is just Ruby.

That being said, I was hoping that once my darling birthday boy rose from his wondrous slumber, I could head to the store kid free and get to business. That didn't happen. He had other plans to finish some yard work and get and get a keg for the weekend happenings. Ruby was "helping" him with the yard, but it wasn't going too well, so I swept her into the car and off we went. We had a lot of ground to cover and I knew we were on a tight schedule before she needed a nap.

Needless to say, it wasn't the best experience. When I got back, Ben asked me if I had a good time. HA HA HA! UHHHHH NO! It had been a battle of the wills since we left the house. I spent the entire time listening to Ruby try to dictate what we were going to do next. " No, all done shoppin mommy! I go playground! I sooo hungry! I go potty!" It was NOT fun people. Not fun at all! I pushed the issue and I got all of my check list accomplished. She fell asleep on the way home. At least I didn't have to argue with her to take a nap!

Next we were off to Ben's moms for a great dinner. She had a fabulous spread. The best part was, all I had to do was bring some store bought potato salad. Ruby, was the star of the dinner. She showed off all of her tricks and big words. Ben got his key lime pie for dessert instead of a birthday cake. Ben is not a lover of sweets, but he LOVES key lime pie!  We had a great time visiting with the family, but we needed to head on home for party number 2 of the day at our house.

Ben mentioned earlier in the week that he wanted to have people over to watch the basket ball games that were going to be on that night. I thought from the conversation that HE had already talked to the folks he wanted to come. THAT was NOT the case. I was supposed to do it. SO, on Thursday night I was frantically Facebook messaging people to beg them to come. We had a few takers, THANK GOD! So, Ben got what he wanted and I wasn't in the dog house.

Ben had a great time. Tuxedo t-shirt and all! 

There he is in all of his glory! Yes, he is wearing a tiara. I forgot to get plates, so we had to use Ruby's princess plates. DUHHHH! He had to wear the crown to match the plates! He was such a good sport!

There's the spread! Ham biscuits, potato salad, fruit, chips and the only other type of sweets Ben likes...CARROT CAKE! Notice the LACK of clutter! Ohh yeah! I've been working hard on the clutter front. Pictures and post are coming soon!

In case you lost track, we are only on Saturday. We still had ALL DAY Sunday! I'll be posting about Sunday in my next post. I've got a million pictures to go through first. And right now, Ruby is begging to go to guess where... the playground! It's just Ruby and me this week because it's spring break, so it SHOULD be a nice relaxing week. Now, if I could just get her to sleep in tomorrow, THAT WOULD BE PERFECT!