Archive for March, 2008

Reader’s Digest Can Be Dangerous!

March 31, 2008

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I can hear the wheels a spinnin’ in each of your heads as you read that title. “Dangerous? Really?!” Well, only if you’re me and you’re reading a funny story by one of their funny writers and you start thinking funny thoughts and then you think that you are also funny. Dangerous, I say! I started to think of all sorts of funny scenarios, emails, physical actions. I planned out the next mass email I needed to send and LOL’d all by myself in my room at the very thought! It was all very Walter Mittyish. The real shame came in the realization that Clay was not hear to utter his mantra, “Jen, you’re not funny.” He keeps me in line and from making a complete comedic fool of myself in public.

So, readers beware: I’m feeling funny!

I hope you each find something to tickle your funny bone today. If you can’t think of anything, try this

Have a great day!

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Mommy of Many Show #23: Military Ceremonies

March 29, 2008

This week’s show was inspired by a Change of Command and Retirement ceremony that I attended this week. It really touched me and reminded me of what this life of mine is about and why we are separated from Clay.

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*note-clicking the picture will not play the show. You can now choose to simply play the show, download the show or open it in a pop-up window so that you can continue to navigate the internet while listening.

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Exciting Announcement!

March 29, 2008

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Mommy of Many is now a proud member of the MommyCast & Friends, Family Channel! You can find several fabulous podcasts on the channel, everything from technology tips at TechnoGeekery to wonderful stories at StoryNory.

Check it out! You can subscribe to the entire channel or just the shows that interest you.

Have a great day~

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Be Careful What You Say Around a 2 Year-Old!

March 28, 2008

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Well, if you want to talk about Learning Lessons, I’d have to say that this is a keeper!

Be careful of what you say in front of little ears.

When I asked Tristan to go out back and pick up after the dog, Luke-Xavier was dutifully listening. While Tristan went to get the bags, Luke-Xavier ran out back. When Tristan got out there, Luke-Xavier came running up to him with a handful of poop to drop into the bag. Thanks for being so helpful and eager!

Ick!

Good night~

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Mommy of Many-Great Ideas!

March 26, 2008

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Easter grass-Vile stuff!

A friend wrote yesterday about putting off the picking up of the Easter Grass that is strewn around her house.

I wrote back and said; “Easter Grass! Vile stuff! I started using colorful tissue paper instead. WAY easier to get rid of. Easter grass is like tinsel and should be eliminated. :-)

Her response prompted me to write this post: “Hey, are you keeping lists of your smart ideas – duh! I am going to buy some tissue paper at the dollar store, and put it in my Easter box so I don’t forget next year in my candy haze…”

Well, there you have it, one of my “Great Ideas”.

Good night~

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Oh!

March 25, 2008

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A Butterfinger wrapper? Really?! Yep! Today’s little post is about the funniness of kiddos.

When I went up North for my grandmother’s funeral, Mariah and I each chose an item or two from Grandma’s belongings to bring home. I took home a blanket that has been with my grandma for as long as I can remember. Mariah found this lovely necklace-
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She also found this little Butterfinger and thought it was funny to bring it home with her. Who knows how long it had been laying around in Grandma’s room? I had told her to throw it away, but she put it in her purse and brought it and the lovely :-) necklace home.

Yesterday I came out of my room, as Luke-Xavier was shutting Mariah’s door. When he saw me he did a little, hoppy step and started running, which let me know he was doing something wrong. I called him to me and asked what he was doing. He said, “chocolate”. So, I called Mariah and told her that he must have been into her Easter candy and to go check. The funny part was that he didn’t have any chocolate on him (odd for a 2 year old that’s been into chocolate). As I came into the dining room and asked him to show Mariah where the chocolate was, he pointed at Tristan. Tristan was sitting at the table with the empty Butterfinger wrapper on the table. EWWWW! Mariah and I burst into giggles! We didn’t tell Tristan. I just hope he doesn’t get sick!
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AN UPDATE-

Well, a big thank you to everyone who said a little prayer about the Girl Scout Cookie “Dough”. It’s been found! Hooray! It was in the hall of my church. I must have forgotten to pick it up last week, in the flurry of events. Hooray! Hooray!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #22: Happy Easter and The First Week of Deployment

March 23, 2008

A blessed and joyous Easter to each of you! I hope it’s a bright and beautiful day wherever you are. Here in Southern California, it’s beautiful.

Well, if you follow this blog, you know that I’ve had a crazy week. I decided to take the time to talk a little about the emotions of going through saying good-bye to Clay and arranging to leave for my grandmother’s funeral, just one day apart. My kids did a great job of juggling having their dad leave AND having me take a whirlwind trip, while they stayed with a sitter. I want to say thank you to everyone who played a part in making it possible for me to go while keeping the kids’ schedules running smoothly. THANK YOU!

Thanks for listening to the show. Remember to subscribe, it’s free and easy!

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The show can be listened to by clicking below. Clicking the picture will not play the show. I’ve changed the way I post the show, which should alleviate any further server problems. Let’s hope!

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A Little Craziness For Today

March 22, 2008

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The way I see it, I had to have a little nuttiness to finish out the week. Right?! Well, today’s dance feels like a Mexican Hat Dance! Two things going on; First-when I returned from my trip, I quickly went to the squadron to retrieve a box from Clay’s truck that had the last Girl Scout cookie order in it AND all (I do mean ALL) the cookie order $ in it. HMMMM……….looking under the seat, nope. Looking behind the seat, nope. Looking under the seat one more time, NOTHING! There was no cookie $ anywhere. I had no choice but to drive to the leader’s house and write a personal check for all of the orders. ~Big Breath~ So, I’m hoping (really hoping!) that everything is in the hall of my church, where I passed out orders last Sunday. Otherwise, it’s gone. ~Another Big Breath~

Secondly-yesterday I sent all of my kiddos on a nice, long walk to get shaved ice. I needed the time to record this week’s show. No problem! They all went together and enjoyed a long walk on a beautiful day and then some shaved ice. I recorded and then went and picked them up. Too easy! I should have known that something would be wrong. The show sounds like I’m sitting in a tin can. Kinda fitting for the week I’ve had. So, today-another long walk for the kiddos so that you don’t have to listen to me sounding all tinny. Ick!

You know, this all just makes me laugh. Seriously! If I couldn’t look at times like these with a little humor I’d be in the looney bin! So, everyone sit back, take a big breath and chuckle with me. This is what life is all about right? Right! After-all, I did invite you all to come along on this crazy ride of being a Mommy of Many and military spouse.

Hold on tight!~

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It’s Good Friday

March 21, 2008

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Today is Good Friday. This means that from 12-3 we spend time reflecting on the events of the Passion of Christ. This is always a day of challenge for me because I try to get the kids mentally prepared for the celebration of Easter. Since the movie, The Passion of the Christ, came out it’s been a easier to get the older kids to understand the severity of what an innocent man went through and why we offer up our challenges or sufferings for a greater good. But, it’s more difficult to get the little kids to understand why we are spending this time in prayer and reflection. There is a living Way of the Cross that happens in the city today, but I realized that I don’t have a working double-stroller right now, so dragging my kiddos downtown and not being able to contain Gabi and Luke-Xavier would be crazy! So, we’ll stay home.

Later in the day, we will get our eggs ready for coloring. Since it’s been a crazy week, we haven’t put a lot of thought into the preparation for Easter. This is the first year, ever, that I didn’t go out, shopping for new dresses and shoes for the girls and spring-colored shirts for the boys. We certainly have something for each person to wear, but usually the newness of Spring and Easter corresponds to getting something new and pastel-colored to wear.

Well, that’s ok, we’ll still enjoy Easter and celebrating a new beginning. I’m hoping that starting on Monday we will relax and enjoy the week that the kids have off.

So, a blessed Good Friday to each of you~

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Mommy of Many-Morning Short #2

March 19, 2008

I’m in Northern California for my grandmother’s funeral.  I arrived with Mariah (she’s the oldest at home and should be here) and Luke-Xavier (still waking at night which wouldn’t be fair to him OR a sitter!) and went straight to my uncle’s house, where many family members were gathered.  It will be a bitter sweet day with being able to see the WHOLE family here (hey, that didn’t sound right. But you know what I mean.)  The kiddos that are at home did a good job for the sitter.  Hooray! 

Thank you for all the kind words, prayers and support.

Have a great day~

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Our Good-Bye/The Beginning of The Deployment

March 18, 2008

It was a long and emotional morning. Clay left a couple hours ahead of me and the kids. We got ready and out the door, ate and got to the squadron. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours before it was decided that, even though Clay hadn’t actually left, we were going to say good-bye and head home. I’ve since, received my first email of the deployment and we are officially counting down to the next 7 months.

Here’s our morning, in pictures;
First, we got a pic with Clay and the kids (just in case it didn’t happen later. Plus, they were clean!)
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Then the kids killed time by;

Playing basketball
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Climbing stairs
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Running races
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Touring the IBar
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Having family photos taken in front of the helo
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Sitting in the helo
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And finally, giving hugs (and tears) good-bye
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So, as you can see, it was a long a full morning. We have a busy week, with me leaving for my grandmother’s funeral, tomorrow. Once I am home and we make it through this Easter weekend, we can get into a good routine and start marking off the days/weeks/months of this deployment. We are blessed to have a good support system, so that we don’t feel alone. Summer will come, Kateri and JJ will get home and we will be done in no time! Stay tuned! We’re bound to have some exciting days!

Thank you to all those who have offered kind words, thoughts and prayers for Clay and our family.

Good night~

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Mommy of Many Morning Short-Waking up to Deployment

March 17, 2008

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Well, it’s here! The house is still quiet and dark, but there are 4 sea bags and a couple of other bags on the living room floor. Clay’s all packed and ready to walk out the door. He will be leaving in about an hour and we will follow soon after. We should be able to see him fly off and to say our good-byes. I’ll take lots of pictures and let you know how it goes. Prayers please! I have some emotional kiddos! Everyone’s very tuned into the fact that Dad is going to work for a long time.

I’ll post again after we’re back.

Till then~

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Mommy of Many Show #21: Learning Lessons #4

March 16, 2008

This week’s lesson is that as parents, we need to remember to give out positive physical contact to our older children as well as our little ones. When we have babies and toddles, preschoolers and grader-schoolers, it seems to come naturally, but as the kids grow and stop coming to ask for hugs or to sit with us (or even on us), we need to approach them and give them a hug at the end of the day or when they walk through the door after school. It can make a big difference in a teen or older child’s attitude to just be hugged.

Thank you for listening to the show. I welcome your comments or questions. You can email me at Jen@MommyofMany.com.

Have a great day~

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Good-Bye To My Grandma

March 14, 2008

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Yesterday as I was pushing 2 kiddos in a cart ahead of me and pulling a cart behind me (which Max was “helping” to push) in the commissary, my mother called. I answered the call to hear the crackling and pauses of a bad cell phone connection. It took me a couple of tries to hear what she was saying and then I had to actually ask, “did you just say that Grandma died?”. She had. I’m not usually an emotional person, in public, but right in front of the bread and anyone who was passing by, I began to cry. My 3 little kids stopped anything they were doing and stared at me. Gabi wanted to know if it was her grandma. Max came over and said I was the best mom he’d ever had. Poor little guy, couldn’t imagine what would make me cry in the middle of the shopping.

My grandmother lived a long and full life. She had 7 children and has 37 grand children and numerous great-grandchildren. She attended daily Mass. She was a widow for the last 11 years. I lived with her and my grandpa on, at least, 3 different occasions while growing up. Kateri and I lived with them from the time she was 9 months old, until just after her 3rd birthday. Clay and I had gotten married about 6 months before that, but he deployed right away, so I stayed put. My grandparents put me in ballet/tap and square-dancing lessons when I was young. My parents couldn’t afford to do it for me, so Grandma and Grandpa made it happen. They would always take me for a treat afterward. She was stingy with praise which is why I remember how I felt when I got a compliment about how I’d cleaned the kitchen. Now, every time I scrub out my own kitchen sink, I hear her voice. Funny, the things you remember!

I’d have to say that I didn’t cry because she’d gone, but because of the immediate thought of Clay’s deployment. I was sad to think that my whole family would be together to celebrate her life, but that I wouldn’t be able to go. It turns out that I can. Clay leaves on Monday and Grandma’s funeral is on Wednesday. My babysitter will be on Spring Break and is willing to spend a night and a day here, with my kids so that I can fly up and be with everyone. I do wish it were possible to take the kids with me, but it’s just not. So, a 24-hour trip it is. Even my sister who’s a Sister in Portugal will be there. Hearing that her order was putting her on a plane (she arrives tonight!) made me feel like I needed to make it happen.

So, next week will be packed with emotion! I’ll be sending Clay off with the hope that he come home safely and saying good-bye to Grandma in the hope that I meet up with her and all that have passed on, when my time comes~

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Life is Amazing

March 13, 2008

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There have been so many things on my mind these last weeks. I’m getting my kids ready to face their dad being gone for at least 7 months. I’ve been trying to make sure that Kateri and JJ can get where they need to be for Easter. I set up a party for Clay’s farewell. Luke-Xavier has had some dental issues. I’ve been stressed about taxes and paying off the rest of JJ’s tuition. Anyway just lots of stuff all at one time. But piece by piece it’s all coming together. I’m amazed at how everything will work it self out if you just step back, take a big breath, utter some prayers and let God take over. Some beautiful people have been put in the path of my family and when we all work together things get done.

Kateri has been lent a car by a wonderful family in Ohio, so that she and JJ can drive to VA for Easter to be with friends. She’ll be able to pick him up at the airport and then they can take a little road trip. ~Whew~ Big weight off of my shoulders! I was trying to get them on a train for the trip but it was a long trip that actually would have sent JJ hours back in the direction he had just flown from.

Luke-Xavier has some teeth that need to be worked on and when the kids are little the dentist likes to have them asleep for the procedure. The cost for the anesthesiologist is substantial. We’ve had to do this with Max and Gabi. These last 3 kids have really had a lot of dental issues. I need to find out if it’s our water or toothpaste or what because none of the older kids ever had issues. But, Luke-Xavier does and it became one more thing in a pile of expenses that I was finding hard to face. Yesterday he went in for a cleaning and he did so beautifully by cooperating with the hygienist that I asked if she would recommend to the Dr. that Luke-Xavier be worked on without the anesthesiologist. They tested his listening skills by doing x-rays. I was amazed at how well he followed their directions! So, long story short- he’s willing to try to work on 2 teeth without putting him to sleep. Let’s hope and pray it goes well!

One more check off the list is JJ’s tuition. Now, this story is going to sound funny, but it’s a good example of how there’s a reason for everything and how we are given exactly what we need, when we need it. Go ahead and think I’m crazy, but here’s the story; A little over a year ago, Clay was biking to work. He had started riding a few days a week and was really enjoying it. Well, one morning he left for work on his bike and about 15 minutes later my phone rang. There was a frantic woman on the other end and she said, “I’m at the rec center. I have your husband and I need help”. I immediately figured I was going to get down there and find a pile of mush. But I threw on my robe, jumped in the car and went. Now, the rec center is on the street in front of ours, so it’s a quick trip that you wouldn’t normally use a car for, but again, I was thinking I was going to the hospital (didn’t think of ambulances). When I got there, he was on the ground off to the side of the sidewalk and he was bloody, but I could see that he was talking and his head and face were not injured. I thought, “ok, I can do this”. He was telling people what he needed and who to call at work etc. The poor woman who hit him was more of a wreck than he was. He could see that she was going to hit him so he was at least able to prepare for it. She never saw him! Imagine her shock when her windshield was smashed and a body was flying over her car! Anyway, he went to the hospital by ambulance and spent some time getting glass out of his arm, but was back home hours later and back at work in 2 days. However, the settlement process has been long and drawn out. We were beginning to wonder if it would ever be done. Well, apparently there was a plan, bigger than us for all of this! Clay received his settlement this week and it’s just the amount we needed to finish paying for JJ’s schooling! So, even something as scary and stressful as an accident can have it’s purpose in the big picture! (still thinking I’m nuts? That’s ok! Thinking this way has gotten me through a lot of tough times).

Well, that’s my long-winded Thursday morning post. I just wanted to share that even when things are stressful and appear bleak (or even impossible), a force larger than us can work it out!

Have a great day~

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