Archive for February, 2008

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

February 28, 2008

Well, that’s how the saying goes. But for me, I was actually working a day ahead. You’d think that would be a good thing. The problem was that on Tuesday after lunchtime I decided it was Wednesday. Seriously! I did everything as if it were Wednesday. Normally that wouldn’t have meant much, but I pick up the carpool on Tuesday, but NOT on Wednesday! When my daughter called to find out who was picking up (they had been waiting around), I even went into the whole schedule and told her who was picking up. She then reminded me it was Tuesday. YIKES!

It actually scared me a bit to realize I could have been so off. Where was my head?! I took 2 vitamins before I went to bed that night, instead of just one.

Have a great day~

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It’s a Sock-Basket Revolution!

February 27, 2008

Ok fellow sock folders, it looks like we have a revolution a-brewin’
With the permission of a friend and reader/listener, I am posting her email to me. I’m inspired to tackle my sock basket. How ’bout you? Maybe we’re moving closer to that olympic team after-all!

READY!
SET!
FOLD!

Pilar wrote:
I’ve decided that this is one of my elephants…and I must admit if I am to move forward.. I mean if you notice.. I believe that my basket is bigger than yours (which I’d like to stress that I am NOT bragging about) and there are only 4 people in this house!
I pledge to: sign off, to fold and to toss the loners WITHOUT GUILT OR SELFDOUBT.pilars-socks.jpg 

A couple of hours after that email arrived, I received this one:

UPDATE: I did it! Its all done. And I feel GREAT!:)

I wish you each a completely folded sock basket!
Good night~

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Mommy of Many-P.S.

February 26, 2008

If ever you have trouble listening to the show, on the site, you can click the “Mommy of Many Podcast” button to the left and it will lead you to the show.

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This Life of Mine

February 26, 2008

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I thought I could find one topic to write on, some great little story to tell. But, the last week has been so full that it’s hard to pinpoint one idea. We are at the 3 week mark before deployment. Clay is on leave this week so that we can tie up loose ends and finish projects. Not to mention that it’s great for him to get some “daddy” time in with the kids. But trying to cram a ton of things into a short amount of time ends up being stressful!
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Parenting kids that are away is tough! When they are upset or ill, it’s terrible! I think that anxiety is high because they won’t see Clay before he leaves. I hadn’t given it too much thought. His deployments have been a part of our married life from the start. But the comfort of knowing he’s here, at home, is shattered for the kids that are away and facing his leaving without being able to say good-bye. As a mom, I just want to make it better!
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I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last 15 years. I worked, full-time through Kateri and JJ. After crunching the numbers we decided that it wouldn’t pay for me to work with having 3 children. So, after Mariah arrived I stayed home and did child care for a neighbor and made other adjustments so we could live on one income. As the years moved forward, we grew more and more comfortable and eventually were able to put our kids into the schools that they now attend. Over this last year, I’ve spent a good portion of my thinking time, trying to come up with a good idea to be able to stay at home, raising the little ones AND make some $ to help support all this schooling that we have happening. I get frustrated when I think of what it was like when I was growing up and we just went to the local schools. Things have changed so much within schooling.
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On a higher note; a few nights ago Clay and I met a friend for a drink at a local restaurant. We LOVE this place because we’ve gotten to know the owner, love the food and it’s close by. Ok, the sangria doesn’t hurt in our decision making either. :-) It was a great night! It was one of those times when you just feel content to live where you do and love that you see familiar faces when you go out. This is not always the case for military families! There have been plenty of places that we’ve lived that we don’t get to know much of anything. Granted, most people make the most of each duty-station, but when you have several small children and don’t know anyone who can pass along a reliable baby-sitter, you don’t do much. We’ve been fortunate to be here long enough to get to know local people! I love this place!
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Well, it’s a week full of many things and I hope we make the most of it. A lot of good is happening, but it’s mixed with a few trials. ~Sigh~ I suppose that’s life.
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I miss hearing from all of you! When I sit down to write it’s a great feeling to know that my words are read by each of you. It’s been so nice to use “big people” words on a daily basis and not just stick to the routine of the day which often feels like saying the same things over and over day in and day out. I’ve called it “my recording“. So, thank you for making this site a part of your day. It means a lot to know you’re out there!

Good night~

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Mommy of Many Show #18: Learning Lessons #1

February 24, 2008

I decided to take the Learning Lessons series of posts and turn them into a series of shows. It’s always nice to be able to talk about something that I’ve written about because it gives me the chance to expand the idea.

Thank you for visiting the site. I’d love to hear your ideas and what lessons you’ve learned as you’ve gone through your parenting. You can email me at Jen@MommyofMany.com or simply click the contact button to the left.

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NO Internet!

February 23, 2008

Imagine my surprise when I had no internet access last night. I felt like I was being forced into rehab! When I got up this morning I thought I’d get on and make up for lost time. What?! No internet still!? ~Big Breath~ Ok, there must be something I can do that doesn’t involve internet access…….right? Let’s see, what did I do before I started all this internet stuff? Hmmmm……….laundry, making breakfast, pick up the front room, write a letter…………..Well, I ended up spending a full hour putting ringlets in Maddi’s hair for a Girl Scout event where each troop represents a country. Her troop is doing Ireland. They have an Irish dance to do and if you’ve ever seen any Irish dancing, it requires tons of boingy curls.
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I suppose the internet going down was a providential way of letting me know that there are other things to do on Saturday morning.

While I was making marvelous curls, Clay loaded up the other kiddos to bring Mariah for volunteer work at a local nature center. The kids love to go there when she’s volunteering because they get to do this;

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I’m not much of a snake fan, but my kids love them.

So, it’s looking like a good Saturday (now that my internet is working again ;-) )

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many-Social Events and Wonderful People

February 22, 2008

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Whew! Over the last week I’ve kept busy with several social functions involving different groups that I’m involved in. I try to stay connected in all areas of my life; Clay’s squadron, kids’ school, church, neighborhood, etc. I love to meet with everyone and keep current with each group. But I am wiped-out! Today I wished and wished that the alarm wouldn’t go off. Yeah, wishing doesn’t do much! So, off to the shower I ran!

One of the things that’s stood out for me over this week is that I’ve unconsciously surrounded myself with REALLY great and positive people. There were a couple of rough spots this week that made me stumble backward a little. But when I stepped back up and looked around to try to figure out the best way to move forward, the people around me were so positive and full of great ideas that I knew it was all going to work out. I am continually reminded, in life, that I am not meant to stand alone and try to figure things out by myself. That I am meant to rely on community and that the people within that community are there to remind me to look outside of myself and remember that God has put an amazing plan together for me so that I don’t ever have to despair. Thanks to everyone who gave me great ideas and positive words this week. It seems that it was a week heavy with issues, but one-by-one they’ve fallen into place.

Many thanks!

Good night~

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Mommy of Many Morning Short

February 20, 2008

Mom-Gabi, do you remember the story that I told you? The one from my mouth with the princesses?
Gabi-Yes, the dancing princesses!
Mom-Yes, the dancing princesses that rode the flying horses to the princes’ castle.
Gabi-I didn’t want them to ride flying horses.
Mom-Yes, I know. But a lot of people have told me that they liked that story and that we should think of more.
Gabi-Oh! Well, I just want the dancing kind of princesses this time, from your mouth.

Have a great day~

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I Suggest You Start Your Day Differently Than I Did

February 19, 2008

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After a long weekend, it’s back to the routine of early mornings. So, out of bed I jumped at 5, when the alarm went off. I headed to the computer to check all the things I check and then to look at schedules for sending JJ to Kateri for Easter. I tried the train schedule. Hmmm…………someone needs to talk to Amtrak about the user-friendliness of their site! I spent a good chunk of time trying to decipher the whole thing and then gave up and decided to look at Southwest airlines! Well, they were offering their $49 fares! Hooray! I promptly booked a flight! When Clay got up I shared the good news.

Me-I booked JJ a flight from Philly to Pittsburgh for only $49 each way!
Clay-How’s he getting to Philly?
Me-Huh?
Clay-It’s 3 hours (give or take) from Scranton.

I then remembered why we never use Southwest for JJ’s flights! They don’t fly from where he is. So I bought a ticket that no one can use. ~banging head on desk~
Luckily my husband can be level-headed and diplomatic (and it doesn’t hurt that JJ is actually Clayton Jr. so Clay can say “I booked a ticket for myself from the wrong city”) and was able to get them to agree to refund.

So, I’m back to square one. The school told me to have him travel from a train station that isn’t listed on Amtrak’s site. Though a 15 year old boy might think that traveling on a phantom train would be exciting! Hogwarts anyone?

Just one more chapter in the complicated world of having kids be away. I’m thinking I need a geography lesson and that booking travel at 5am may not be so smart either.

So, start your day with coffee, yoga, walking the dog, making breakfast, listening to Michael Jackson, anything but what I did!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #17: Questions and Answers-part 2

February 17, 2008

This is the second part of my Q n A show. Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in your questions. Everyone did a great job! I hope you enjoy the show!

Thank you for visiting MommyofMany.com. You can email me at Jen@MommyofMany.com or just click the “contact” button to the left.

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Story-time, Gabi style

February 15, 2008

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Gabi-Tell me a story. A princess story from your mouth.
Mom-Ok, lay down and I will tell you a story.
Gabi-From your mouth. Not the book kind.
Mom-Ok. Now lay down. Once there was a princess……
Gabi-NO! Lots of princesses.
Mom-Once there were 5 princesses……….
Gabi-I need water.
Mom-Ok. Lay down and I’ll go get you some water. But lay down!
Gabi-Ok.
Mom-Here’s your water. Now, let’s tell that story.
Gabi-No, no, no! I want 3 stories.
Mom-No, just this one story.
Gabi-No, I want 5 stories.
Mom-No, now, lay down and I’ll tell you this ONE story
.Gabi-It’s from your mouth and it’s got LOTS of princesses in it.
Mom-Yes. Now lay down. Ok, there are 5 princesses and their names are Kateri, Mariah, Arianna, Maddi and Gabriella. They all have horses with wings so that they can fly wherever they want to go.
Gabi-NO! They are the DANCING kind of princesses.
Mom-Ok! Their flying horses take them to the princes’ castle that’s in the middle of a beautiful garden of pink flowers.
Gabi-NO! They are the DANCING kind of princesses.
Mom-THEY ARE AT THE PRINCES’ CASTLE TO DANCE FOR ALL THE LOVELY LADIES OF THE LAND!
Gabi-Yes, they are the dancing kind of princesses………………

Whew!

The ONE story took me about 1/2 an hour to get through, once I knew all of the rules! It was a good and precious experience. This littlest princess of mine knows what she wants!

To bedtime stories…….

Good night~

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Mommy of Many is Feeling the Love

February 14, 2008

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Valentine’s Day is a lot of fun around here because all of the kiddos get so excited to make, give and get valentines. These are the beautiful roses that are for me. Clay and I don’t usually go out on Valentine’s Day (or any holiday, for that matter), because everything is so crowded and booked. We’re more likely to do something quiet for each other and go out on a more random evening.

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We’ve hung up the handmade cards and decor that have already been brought home. I’m positive I will be adding to that collection in the next couple of days. I love to display the kids’ art work for each holiday in this way. Then I pack it up with whatever decor I use from year to year and am able to take a little trip down memory lane each year, when I unpack the items. It’s always fun to see the items again!

Much love on this special day to each of you! Thank you for spreading a little love by coming to the site. It’s greatly appreciated!

Happy Valentine’s Day~

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The Gray Elephant: A Story of Deception……….

February 12, 2008

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Some of us have the theoretical Elephant looming in the corners of our home. At our house we actually HAVE the darn thing taking up space and staring at us on a daily basis. Since Clay’s getting ready to deploy and we’re in the mode of cleaning up and clearing out, we decided to get on each side of the darn thing and wrestle it out of the house.

What the heck am I talking about?!………………Well, it started as one of those Smoke and Mirrors moments where I was trying to find the quickest and easiest way to clear off the counters and tidy up before someone came over. I had been working on paperwork and knew that I wanted everything together so that I could easily pull it back out and start again, after company left. Ah ha! The big, gray bin in the garage would be perfect! So, I hauled the bin into the house and swept everything I was working on into it (along with a few counter tops), closed the lid and wheeled it to my room (yup, it’s so large that it has wheels). This all worked out just fine for several months. I’d load up the Gray Elephant with everything that was unsightly and then pull it back out to work on it. Until………………..the first time I didn’t go back and unload it. Well, it just snowballed from there. It started being a regular resident of my room and finally, on one of those occasions that Clay cleaned out and tidied up our room, he said, “NO MORE GRAY ELEPHANT IN THE BEDROOM”. So, I found an empty wall to park it next to and all the while I kept “hiding” papers and junk in it. The kids started using it as a step-stool to reach my white board! After too many times of rewriting the “very important” things back on the white board, I wheeled it into the laundry room. Ugh! The laundry room isn’t very big and we have a TON of laundry, so maneuvering around the Gray Elephant became difficult. If we needed to get into a cupboard, it was I who had to push the beast out of the way. He was just too heavy for the kids to move. But, I kept ignoring the beast and enjoying my cleared counters. It started to nag at me that there had been projects that I had deemed important that were lying in the bottom of the beast but that I couldn’t remember what they were. I would quickly quiet the nagging voice with whatever task was at hand. But the day of reckoning came. It was inevitable. You can’t live with an elephant looming in your corners forever. So, Clay asked a friend from work if he and his girlfriend would come take the little kiddos and entertain them while we opened and disposed of the beast. Saturday was our day!

It took us 4 hours and we removed 5 bags of garbage (yes FIVE bags!). We’re not talking brown, paper, garbage bags, but the full-sized white, plastic garbage bags for lining the kitchen trash, size! Then we unloaded a whole TON of pictures. I kept saying,”where did these all come from?”. Then we unloaded a bag (just the brown, paper kind from the grocery store) of things that needed to be shredded. Finally we ended up with 1/2 a table-top of papers that need attending to. Whew!

The beast is dead!

So, while I believe in Smoke and Mirrors I also need to remember that a dog is the only animal we can comfortably keep in our home! But what to do with that big, gray bin? I think it’s going to be a perfect place to store sleeping bags. :-)

So today, people, I challenge you to look around and find the elephant that may be looming in your house and lead it out, shut the door and never let it back in! :-)

Good night~

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Mommy of Many Show #16: Questions and Answers-part 1

February 10, 2008

A few weeks ago I asked you to let me know what you were interested in hearing about, what questions you’d like to ask me. I received some great, thought-provoking questions. Thanks! So, here are my answers. Next weeks’ show will be part 2.

Thank you for visiting Mommy of Many. You can email me @ Jen@MommyofMany.com. Now it’s even easier! There’s a contact page listed to the left. Enjoy~

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Sometimes Everything is Beautiful

February 9, 2008

Sometimes everything just fits. Sometimes you look around and you know it’s not perfect, but it just makes you smile. Sometimes you can see the good even when you have to look over the things that are in the way. For the last few days I’ve been fortunate enough to see the beauty in everything. Maybe it’s the weather. I’m serious (stop laughing!). I’m one of those people that would have a very hard time in a place like Washington State, where it can be dreary and grey for great periods of time. For the last 2 days it’s been positively beautiful here. The air feels like Spring and my attitude has felt renewed with it. It’s the same feeling I get when I listen to music that I really LOVE or being by the ocean. There’s just an energy! Whoo Hoo!
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Having said all that beauty stuff, I wanted to also say that my girls have been fortunate enough to have great people come into their lives as friends recently. There is a girl (I really wanted to put “little” in front of that, but, gee whiz, they are all getting too old for that phrase) who has become friends with two of my girls who is just so lovely (that made me sound old!). She really is! She doesn’t come from a large family, but comes over and jumps right into the mix here. She helps the girls with their chores. She’ll run to see what’s wrong with a little one who’s crying. She was gracious enough to sit through a meal that I know she did not enjoy, but still said thank you. I’m just so happy that my girls have friends like her in their lives! AND I’m so happy that there are parents out there that are working so diligently to help a child grow into such a great friend and person in general.

I guess I’m saying all of that because I’m feeling so blessed to have the people in our lives that we do. (humming the Johnny Appleseed tune……)

Hope that wasn’t all too mushy and “lovely” for you!

Here are a few pics of the beauty I’ve seen in the last couple of days

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I wish you all a day of seeing the beauty all around you.

Good night~

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