Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sob Story...

I guess little things have been mounting slowly. A bi-fold door to the laundry room off the track and laying on the floor, the slider door handle fallen off, the auto-slider door in the van randomly not working, leaves in the yard collecting and reminding me they need to be raked, a costume needing to be finished. These were just a few things that were on my mind as I started my day- behind schedule- today.

It wasn't until after there was a forgotten lunch, and wallet, and my 5th and last sewing needle broken that I *started* to lose it. I held back the tears and bounded thru the house picking up all the little piles of clutter that constantly seem to be there. Jaleigh sleepily walked into the room I was in as the phone rang. She had just woken from a nap and I picked her up, sat her on my lap and answered the phone. It was Nathan calling to thank me for dropping his wallet off at work. He asked what was wrong, I sounded a little down.

The flood gates opened and I told him that I had been working soo hard on the costume and I didn't think I would be able to finish it. I wanted him to help me figure out a way to attach the ears without breaking the needle, and make them stand up like they were supposed to. I needed him. As soon as the tears started flowing, Jaleigh sat up, put her hands on my cheeks, and then threw her arms around my neck. She stayed just like that until I finished talking to Nathan and had calmed down. Then she looked at me and said, "Momma, why are you crying on the phone?" I said, "Because I am having trouble with Saroya's costume and I don't know if I am going to be able to finish it." She said, "Don't worry Mommy, I will help you." LOTS of tears again, and I hugged her and whispered, "Thank you sweetie."

I know kids are just sweet and always want to help, but today when Jaleigh said that, it meant soo much. I think Nathan working and going to school are starting to catch up to me. I know that we have it soo much better than most, but there are times in every situation where you can get really overwhelmed. I am thankful for a sweet little girl, who in my sad moment, was able to remind me that I'm not alone and that everything Nathan & I do are absolutely for the betterment of our family.

It may not seem like much, but when I FINALLY finished Saroya's costume tonight (and believe me there is MUCH to be desired) she put it on and said, "Mom! It's PERFECT!!" The whole time I was making the costume, I was afraid she was going to be embarrassed to wear it because I am not a seamstress in any stretch. I am so thankful for a wonderful big girl that doesn't see my shortcomings, just sees that I tried, and that makes it "perfect".

Tonight after going WAY out of our way to find sewing needles, and getting home too late to rake the leaves (which I had promised we would do) Ethan offered to make dinner for he and the girls so that I could get right to sewing. That was so helpful, and allowed me to finish the costume without being up all night. Also, I am so impressed with his decision today, to stick up for his friend on the bus, against the same bully that gave him trouble last year. Even when this same friend didn't stick up for him last year. He is such a responsible boy and I am so thankful that he is such a helper.

Finally, I am thankful for Nathan who wanted to fix all my problems over the phone. Who apologized profusely for things he had no control over. For offering to wake me in the middle of the night so we could solve the costume problem together. He was willing to cancel meetings he has planned to go over big projects for school, so he could be here. I know that he would do anything for me and our family, and I also know that he IS doing everything he can for us already. He works so hard.

Sometimes we just have bad days. I started this blog as a way to focus on the positives in my life. Although today didn't start out positive in any way, I wouldn't change it. Not one minute. The folding door is still on the floor, the handle on the slider is still broken, and the fact that for some reason my camera won't communicate with my computer anymore frustrates me to no end, I am OK. I am blessed beyond belief, and I look forward to a crazy busy Halloween day because that will be MY daughter with the falling-apart easter bunny costume with the cooked ears, that she couldn't be more happy about. :)

***edit*** I had to laugh tonight as I was sweeping the horrendiously dirty floor. There were chocolate cupcake crumbles everywhere! It made me remember how much my kids LOVED the cupcakes I made for them.... even though I forgot to add the eggs. :) Saroya actually says she prefers them that way now! Aren't kids the best??

Saturday, October 27, 2007


OK- here it is!! The weekend before Halloween and Saroya's costume is ALMOST done! Yippee!. Here are some "progress pictures" courtesy of Saroya & Ethan. (Who by the way is an aspiring photographer himself, but he says they don't make enough money... Maybe that's because I do all my gigs for free? :)

Doesn't it look like I know what I am doing? And a real picture of me on my blog? Whew! (And while it looks like I know what I am doing, I really don't! :) Anyway- this has turned out to not be stressful at all, and it is actually really exciting.

Not so funny part is that tonight, I ran to the store to grab a few final things for finishing the costume and the first thing I see is a PINK BUNNY COSTUME... Saroya's size. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had scoured the Internet soo long to just buy one. Nothing.. Then when I am almost done, I find it. Then Saroya says the unthinkable. "Mom, can we buy it even though you made one too??" (I wouldn't make the bunny costume pink. I think it confuses holidays too much!) I said, "No way- Yours is much better than that." I don't know that it really is, but by golly! I MADE it!! :) All was well after that, and now that I think about it, I didn't even look at the price tag. HA! :)

This is the picture so far. I have a few more details, including how to attach the ears so they will stay up, but I have saved that part for my artistically minded, problem solving parents this weekend! :) More to come!

By the way- Being at the store on a Halloween weekend evening. YIKES!! What about Halloween says you can just dress like a skank and not care? It is still disgusting no matter what day it is. BAD idea. Really bad idea...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ethan has become a BEAR....

Just a quick little post to let you know how proud we are of Ethan! He just got his "Bear" award from Cub Scouts. At the pack meeting there was just one thing he needed to do before he got the award. He needed to tell the pack a folklore story. Nathan called Ethan up to give him the beads he had earned, but Ethan wanted the badge. He was so bummed when Nathan wouldn't let him see it until he had read the story. The look was classic!
The then read the story of Rip Van Winkle, which of course has been a matter of debate ever since.

Ethan- "But how could he sleep for 20 years?"

Me- "It's not real, it's just a story"

Ethan- "Well it could really happen.."
Me- "People can't live without nourishment, if he was sleeping he couldn't eat."
Ethan- "If rain fell into his mouth while he was sleeping, then he could live."
After the story he finally got his badge! He was so excited. He & Nathan worked hard on getting this. Congratulations Buddy! Next stop- Webelos! (Which in my opinion is WAY too close to being a Boy Scout.. Boy Scout= Teenager. YIKES!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkin Faces

Well- we finally got around to carving the pumpkins. YEA! I have learned however, pumpkin carving is sure not like it used to be. Back in "the day" my parents would cut off the top of the pumpkin and each kid would be in charge of scooping out the nasty stuff. I LOVED this part. It felt so weird to squeeze the slimy stuff between your fingers, and the seeds were so cold and smooth in all that slime. That was the only time we were encouraged to play in gross stuff! Then, while my dad would take our orders and do the carving of the pumpkin, my mom would be busy washing off all the seeds and baking them in the oven for an after activity snack. It was fun and traditional. I loved it. Maybe not eating the seeds, but I did have some on occasion.

Fast forward to 2007. I gave the kids each a piece of paper to draw what they wanted their pumpkin to look like. They did great, were excited and had soo many ideas!
Then came the scooping. Oh my goodness!! My kids were like, "WHAT?!?! You want me to TOUCH that???" I said, "Yes! It is cool. Mom & Dad will carve the pumpkins, but you clean them out." Saroya was the first brave one...

First this....

Then this...

Then a huge gag and almost puke. She was done.

Then Ethan's turn...

His dramatics even influenced Jaleigh, who wouldn't even come close...
Jaleigh kept changing her mind as to what she wanted her pumpkin to look like, so she continued modifying her plan way into the carving phase...

I think there were sounds of gagging when I mentioned the baking of the seeds (from children and adults alike) so we skipped that. I guess that won't be part of our tradition. Nathan & I did start a tradition when we were first married that we would watch a Christmas movie while we carved our pumpkins, but no TV near the pumpkin carving this year. Bummer. Hey- My name is Holly ALL year round, not just at Christmas time. I am entitled...

Well, after all the goo was gone, after Jaleigh FINALLY decided to carve her pumpkin like the one on her shirt instead of the one she had been working on all evening, and after Nathan worked his "magic" at creating floating eyeballs for Ethan's pumpkin, they were ready to set a glow.

Another thing I did today that was...well, and still is, CRAZY. I, whom has sewn curtains and not much else, have decided to make Saroya a bunny Halloween costume. OK- it's one thing to decide to do it, and it is quite another to decide a week before Halloween to do it. I am a crazy lady. I am. I know this. But I am so pumped to do it! Saroya has insisted on this costume idea partly I think because of "Junie B. Jones" book she has read recently, and partly because of a Easter basket shaped like a Easter Bunny head she found at Goodwill. Those two thing have cemented her decision to be a bunny for Halloween. Bunny costumes are apparently, for babies and adults because there is nothing in between. This is what "drove" me to JoAnn Fabrics on a nice Tuesday morning.

It was really fun to look at all the patterns of things you can make, but a little daunting when the little person right next to you says, "I want this. I love this. I need this. This is what I want..." to every picture in the book. An older lady down the table from us looked up from her book and said, "You must be SOME seamstress!" I half smiled and thought, "Ha! If only you knew. If only you knew how clueless I am right now. If only you knew that I will be spending the next hour and a half trying to figure out what is written on the back of this envelope that pertains to me. If only you knew that I have no clue." I wanted to fold her up and put her in my pocket, or at least drag her through the store with me because I was sure she knew what she was doing.

Not a minute passed before I hear the lady at the end of the table say, "Oh, Hello Betty!" and the conversation continued something like this...

"Who are you making things for today?"

"Oh I am making some things for the Pregnancy Crisis Center. Who are you sewing for?"

"I am making a few things for the Rescue Mission. They need so much this time of year."

"Oh yes, that's why I make things just as often as I can..."

I was humbled. These ladies must have been in their mid 70's. Was it just a coincidence that they knew each other and were just there, or are they sewing so much for charity, they see each other all the time. Either way, I was amazed at these women. When most would consider them past their prime, these women were STILL making a difference. They were doing what they could to help others. And what a difference one little sweater or fleece shirt would mean to someone with nothing, or very little as the weather grows colder. There I was so consumed with what I needed, for a Halloween costume, and they were blessing the lives of others and not just for fun. It was indeed an eye opener, and I did find what I needed. I found it on my own. I want to learn NOW, so that maybe when I am old like them (and hopefully before then) I can make a difference. Not just for fun, but to bless the life of even one. That will be worth the 2 1/2 hours (plus a call to my lil' sis) I spent that day in the store finding what I needed. You can learn a lesson anywhere. As long as you are willing to take notice of the lesson being taught, I guess.

So far I have cut each of the fabric pieces out and tried to study the directions. I have a ways to go, but I am encouraged and can't wait to post my success! (No- it will not be a close up picture!) :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pickin' Pumpkins

I've decided to do a post just for Nathan today. He likes the pictures much more than the words.. Maybe you do too?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Who Turned Out the Lights???

This is what the kids and I came home to after a meeting at church last night. It was so sweet. Even a power outage couldn't keep Nathan from working on his school work!

After a very windy day with a few severe thunderstorms and even a tornado watch, we lost our electricity. At first the kids were a little nervous but then they got excited. EVERY candle in the house was lit (even the pumpkin candle decorations fell victim...). Since we have our own well, we had no water either. Luckily when we lost power, it was late enough that it was time for kids to go to bed. We got to brush our teeth with bottled water, and the kids went to sleep with candle nightlights. Nathan had a big paper due on friday so he just kept right on working so that when the power came on, he just had to type it up.

Once the kids went to bed, no power wasn't so fun anymore. Nathan was also supposed to have a study group here on Friday so we tried to clean by candle light, and no water. Every time I went to put something away, I had to take a candle with me to see where I was supposed to put it. I was missing all the Thursday night shows I like to watch while folding laundry, and all I could do was stare at the washing machine full of every white piece of clothing we own (except what was already on our bodies...) and it was soaking wet. WHY didn't I change the clothes over to the dryer like I kept telling myself to do all day? Grr..... Then I looked out my window to either neighbor. It seemed they had every light on known to man. Every Halloween decoration I swear was saying "neener neener neener..." Why were WE the only ones with the power outage on my road? The adjoining road had lost their power, but WE WEREN'T ON THAT ROAD!! I thought, "Look at them, wasting so much electricity and we have none..." After that thought, I realized I was really tired. I tried to read by candlelight, but after I spilled wax on me and the bed, I just decided to go to sleep.

We woke up by the alarm I had set on my cell phone "just in case". Back to lighting all the candles, and it was cold cereal for breakfast. On the way to school, the kids were so excited to have electricity in the car it was funny. When I got home, I had to get ready for a doctors appointment. Hmmm..... No shower, but one load of clean clothes in the dryer that I didn't take out yesterday! I was so happy to find an outfit, but the pants were sooo wrinkled! I folded them up as nicely as I could and then sat on them to iron them out. Hey- It worked!! I also had Jaleigh lay on a package of baby wipes to warm them up for our sponge bath later. Luckily Nathan's study group got changed to a different location because without sunlight, you don't see things under tables and smudge marks on the floor. Finally we got all ready to go and before we took one step out the door, the power came back on! I was SO excited! Jaleigh ran through the house turning everything on and then yelling, "It WORKS!! It REALLY WORKS!!" IT was fun "rediscovering" things for her after 16 hours of no power.

As I backed out of the driveway I noticed that all of our outdoor lights were on. I made me remember the thought I had the night before. "Look at how much electricity they are wasting..." This experience, as simple and common as it is, has really caused me to reflect. How prepared am I for an emergency? Yes- this time I could just go to my neighbors and get water, or anything else, but what if it was bigger? More widespread? My sister was just talking about the blizzard that hit Buffalo one year ago. 2 feet of snow in less that 24 hours. 341,000 people and businesses without power. Hey- that includes the grocery store too- that is IF you can get there. By the way, blizzard means cold and no electricity means no heat. What would I have done? I think it took them WEEKS to get things moving again. Also- it makes me think twice about turning on a light when it is sunny outside. Do I really need it? It just really makes you reflect when you have to go without something for even a short amount of time. Maybe it's good for everyone to lose power once in a while to appreciate it more. I know I certainly do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Things I Love Today

1. 2. Rain outside making the sky dark.

3. Comfy clothes & a warm bed.


5. That Jaleigh will watch PBS for a long time.

7. Hot bath with George Winston's "December" playing and no interruptions.

8. Hot spiced apple cider.


10. Watching the kids dance to (and try to sing) "4 in the Morning" by Gwen Stefani.



Monday, October 15, 2007

Jaleigh, Jaleigh, Jaleigh...

This is the picture of innocence, right??

Let me share a little of my life with Jaleigh lately.

Unfortuatley last thurdsay was "crazy hair day" at Ethan's school. There was much commotion about getting his crazy hair just right. So this is what he looked like when he left...
Fast forward a few hours to a grocery store in town.

"Momma. Momma!"

"Yes, Jaleigh?"

"Momma- Look at that lady! Look at that LADY!!"

Lady turns around to smile at Jaleigh, since we were only a couple feet from her and Jaleigh was using her abnormally-lound normal, voice.

"Yes Jaleigh I see her. Are you gonna say hi?"

The Lady stays looking at her waiting for Jaleigh's hello.

"Momma- That lady has CRAZY hair like Ethan!"
Horrified, I quickly give the lady an uneasy smile and say, "Jaleigh- say goodbye to the lady." and start to push my cart away.

Jaleigh says, "But Momma- That lady has CRAZY hair! Did you see that lady has crazy hair like Ethan" all the way down the isle.

Next stop, Dollar Store.

As we go to leave I hear Jaleigh yelling, "Momma!!"

I turn to look and she is standing inches from the back of a larger lady. Regrettably, I was standing in front of the lady. Large lady in between Jaleigh and I. It seemed in slow motion to me at the time, but Jaleigh lifts up her hand with a pointed finger and says (again with the abnormally loud voice plus a little louder) "Momma- that lady has a BIG BOOTY" I try to ignore it and get to her as soon as quickly as I can. All the while she thinks I can't hear her so she keeps raising her voice and repeating it over and over. The poor lady acted like she didn't hear, and I truly hope she didn't. Somehow that seems impossible. I get to her and say, "Jaleigh- that isn't nice!!"
"Why Momma? She just has a big booty." and we continue that same dialog all the way to the car. (And by the way, BOOTY??? Where did she get THAT??) I can't take any more so that is it for the day.

Next day. Hallmark store.

Before we walk into the store I remind Jaleigh to "look with your eyes, not with your hands". We get in the store and she is doing *pretty* good. Then I see her approaching the stained glass window hangers and wind chimes.

"Jaleigh, remember to look with your eyes, not with your hands."

Two seconds later I turn to see her head butting the display. I guess she was trying to touch with her eyes??
Saroya recently lost her 7th tooth. Ever since Jaleigh realized you get a present when you lose a tooth she has been saying her teeth are loose (even to the dentist!). When Saroya made it to her 7th tooth and Jaleigh still hadn't lost one, she hatched a plan. She found a broken piece of a plastic toy (or pen, I'm not even sure what it is) and told me her tooth had fallen out.

She then placed it under her pillow and checks every morning to see if it is there. This has been going on a week and she is still suprised when she checks and it is still there. She says, "WHAT?!? (with her mouth hanging open for dramatic affect) It's still HERE???"

What's a mom to do??

She decided she needed to paint her own nails today (fingers and toes),

And to make her OWN bologna sandwich.

Sometimes she even SLEEPS like she is getting ready to do something else unexpected.

Any time Jaleigh hears the water running for someone to take a bath or shower, she begs to get in. Tonight the bath was getting filled for Ethan. Jaleigh comes to me half naked.

"Momma- can I get in the bathtub?"
"No Jaleigh, Ethan needs to get in and it's too late. You need to go to bed."

She goes to the bathroom, dips the front of her head in the water and comes back to me.

"But Momma- I am so SWEATY!! See??

So sad. I just don't know what to do sometimes. Should I laugh or cry?? Sometimes I do both.

But when the day is over and everything is quiet, I sneek in and find Jaleigh snuggled close to her big sister my heart is full. I just reach over, give them both a kiss and sneak out of the bedroom. It's all worth it. Everything...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Manic Monday

Something is seriously wrong with me. I am sitting here hungry but I can't seem to decide what to have for lunch. (The fact that it is almost 3pm is beside the point.) So what do I do? I start to scour blogs. Do I really think that by looking in blogland I will decide what to eat? I guess it's kind of like checking & re-checking the refrigerator to see if something new appeared. Anyway- I've decided to at least get something accomplished.

Monday was fun and crazy. We started out at a story time for preschoolers. Miss J sure loves going to her "little" school. It is really fun to watch her interact with the other kids, learn new songs and do activities. I am so thankful that we have this program at the local library and that it is FREE!! :)
When Saroya & Ethan get home it is hustle time. They need to eat, change, pack up, and hit the road in less than an hour. The girls gymnastics is first. I swear they start out looking normal, but somehow Saroya ALWAYS comes back looking like she just got a swirly.While the girls are doing gymnastics, Ethan works on homework. It is so much fun to watch the girls because they LOVE gymnastics. Fifteen minutes before gymnastics is over, Nathan & Ethan go out to the van and get him into his hockey gear. After the girls finish gymnastics and they are good and sweaty, I put them in clothes (hopefully sweatpants & a sweatshirt), winter coats, and gloves and we run for the van. Let me tell you how ridiculous this looks especially in light of our record high temps lately! People must think we are crazy. We roll into hockey practice just as it starts. Isn't this a nice look?
The girls run around and get filthy while we watch Ethan play. He didn't play hockey last year, and it is amazing how fast he is picking it up again. We forgot how much we love watching him play. Everyone in the arena know when the girls are paying attention because they yell, "Go Ethan, Go Ethan, Get the PUCK!" Too bad there are two Ethan's playing this year... or maybe it's a good thing!
For some reason this year he looks huge in his hockey gear. I know the hockey stuff adds a little depth to him, but he seems bigger under it all. I guess he is bigger than when he started at 5...

..........2003 ......................................2007

Then after all the kids are gross, sweaty, and hungry, we stop somewhere and pick up food to eat between showers.

I don't usually like busy days, but these Manic Mondays, I love. I love watching my kids experience new things, I love to see them work hard, but mostly, I love for them to know that we are their biggest fans.
(By the way- in case you wondered... I ate a Peanut butter sandwich... :)