Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kid Klips

A New Form Of Patience
"Mom, can you get my train tracks down?" Landon asked me one morning.

I promised him we would get them down after breakfast.

"Mom, can you get my train tracks down now?" he asked the second he finished his food.

I assured him that we would get them in just a few minutes.

"Mom, can you get my train tracks down now?" he asked a few seconds later.

I reminded him to wait, we would get the tracks as soon as everyone was done with breakfast.

"Can you get the tracks down in a few seconds?" he asked about 30 seconds later.

"Landon, you need to be patient and then mommy will get the tracks down," Toby admonished Landon.

About 2 seconds later, Landon said, "I'm being patient now, can you get the tracks down?"

At Least He's Polite
One evening, Landon was being cute and funny and I just had to give him a kiss.

"Landon, do you need a kiss?" I asked him.

He shyly and quietly responded with a note of condescension, "Huh! NO!" and then quickly rephrased it, "no thank you."

Unreliable Source Of Information
While engaged in a friendly chat with a lady from Church, Landon had a tight hold of Janae's hand. Suddenly, he turned the conversation to details about his little sister... how she had cut her hair this week, where the hair was cut, what it looked like now, etc.

Then he noticed her ringworm spot and had to point that out,

"And here," he pointed out, "Jea got hit by a car."

Breaking The Ice
Approaching a very quiet, shy and rather reserved young mom from Church, Landon let her in on some details about the lady's own sister-in-law who is pregnant.

"Darla has a baby," he told her, "She has a baby in her big belly."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New News

But, what is news if it's not new? :)

May 11 is a new and exciting date for us: we're moving!

Through a turn of events that we've been waiting for but not expecting to quite happen like this, we're actually moving to Milford, not Seward. (Why did I ever say I'd NEVER live in Milford??? Yes, eating my words again...)

A little back ground... For the past several months, we've been preparing financially, prayerfully and spending a lot of time researching houses for sale. Every option we thought we had, something would turn up sour. Either we didn't have peace or the house was just not what we wanted.

Recently our tax money surprised us in a good way and that never happens when you own your own business. Just a week ago, Toby called me with the news that he had just talked to our tax accountant and found out that we were actually going to put a certain amount of money in our own savings this year, not Uncle Sam's.

On the tail end of that news, this house opened up for us. It's amazing too because this house has been for sale for several months and there's no reason why it shouldn't have sold by now. Somehow we never saw it advertised either. Which is amazing considering we combed all the ads and websites of houses for sale and never saw this one.

Other interesting details follow. When we bought our first fixer upper 3 1/2 years ago, our plan was to fix it up over a 2-3 year period, sell it and then buy another fixer upper. Repeat until we were debt free. When the 2-3 year period came to a close, we re-evaluated some ideas we had and decided to step out of that plan for awhile. It was a good time to rethink motives, options, family plans, etc. and pursue other things.

But, then when we started looking at our future and the goals and purposes we wanted for our family, it was hard to figure out how to balance church life and even work life with where our current home was situated. It is next to impossible to be involved with our church and with many of our friends and yet live so far away from them all. The challenge to maintain relationships was making it very difficult to actually participate in a lot of what we normally would've been involved in.

So, we started thinking about moving. We had a mental list of the things the next house would have to have and the price range we would stay in. I mentioned to Toby one time that we needed to remember that when we bought our first fixer-upper, we had no children. This time around, we'll have 3. The condition of the house needed to be a bit more livable than the last house was at first. He agreed entirely with me but couldn't promise that it would go that way, which I understood.

We could only hope and pray.

When we stepped foot into this house, we found everything to be very much in move in condition. Except for washing walls and eliminating a mild cigarette smoke smell, this house is ready for a young family too busy to make improvements right at first. The entire upstairs has been updated and remodeled so our decision was based on if the basement had potential for improvement, which would ultimately increase the value of the house once Toby fixed it up.

So, the upstairs was ideal, even more so than we had ever hoped but what about the basement?

As we headed downstairs, we found the lower portion of the home to be more ideal than we could've even dreamed of. 8' foot ceilings, nice new windows and a space for a second bath, the potential waiting down there is endless.

I looked at Toby and he had that "I'll take it" look on his face.

We then made an offer. We shot kinda low (at our realtor's advice) and expected a counter offer. The sellers surprised us by accepting exactly what we offered and under our terms.

It seems like it's been go, go, go right from the start. At this point, we're waiting on inspections and other legal stuff to go through but with the way everything looks, there should be no problems.

If I'm not blogging real regular, you'll understand where my focus is: get packed, moved and settled before the baby comes! I'll post updates as they evolve so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kid Klips

Exactly My Point
While shopping one day, Landon informed me that we needed a dog.

"What would we ever do with a dog?" I asked him.

"Feed it," he said.

What's With Drury Lane Anyway?
Landon was singing "Oh Do You Know The Muffin Man" in the car seat one evening and his ending was kinda cute... "that lives on the berry lane."

"Where is the berry lane?" I asked him.

He responded, "In Haiti." And then belted back into the song.

I Guess We're Keepers
"I like my mom and dad," I heard Landon say while we were all driving together one evening.

"Well, that's good," I adoringly say to him.

But then he said, "Who they are?" (don't you just love that English?!)

Surprised by his lack of wisdom in this area I asked, "Don't you know who you're mom and dad are?"

And then he relieves me as he refers to both Toby and I and says, "Are you my mom and dad?"

I Asked For Humility And God Gave Me Kids
Changing carts one day in Sam's club, Landon asked me why we had to get a new cart.

"Because your seat is broke and it'll make your butt sore," I frankly inform him.

"My butt?" he says, way too loud.

"SHHHHHH! Landon... don't say that so loud!" he was quickly admonished by his embarrassed mother.

"Why can't I say 'my butt' loud?" he says in a tone hardly any quieter.

On Moms And Tools
For some reason, Landon thinks that a contractor's level and a ladder are two similar things. He insists on using a 4' foot level as a ladder and will lean it against the wall, secure it carefully and then climb up it.

One day I was trying to show him how to actually use the level. You know, show him how the "bubble" worked. He seemed impressed, tried it a few times and then leaned the level carefully against the wall and reached way up to where the level met the wall and balanced a screw driver there.

"Go out, Mom," he suddenly ordered me.

"Landon," I say in a reproving tone of voice and not impressed with his rude request, "why do you want Mommy to go out?"

He points up at the screw driver perched above his head and says, "I need to work up there," fully indicating the level was still a ladder.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Saga Of The Missing Menu

I sat down at the table to work on a menu. Not the most life altering experience except that it has been a job I've been procrastinating for a long time. I keep getting this nagging, "you really should just get it done before you go to the grocery store again" feeling in the pit of my stomach but considering I barely get a grocery list scratched out -- much less a month's menu -- I was continually neglecting my calling in this area.

Just as I sat down, Landon came over with a pencil, sharpener and piece of paper.

He pulls his chair over right next to mine (and I was sitting on the END of the table... you know the place where only one chair is supposed to go? Yeah right.) He crawls up into his chair and starts making his writing lines.

Somewhere between writing "Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken and Rice," I teach him how to properly sharpen a pencil.

"No, we don't put the eraser in that hole," I instruct him. "That doesn't work very good."

I go on to the beef section of my food list and he's looking intently at my sheet of food.

What, he doesn't like my food choices? I wonder. And then I remember he can't read yet.

"Mom," he gets my attention. "Can you write a baby 'mmmmmmmm?' " he asks me.

So, I put two little humps together, forming a lower case "m."

"I want a big 'mmmmmmmmmmmm,' " he asks as soon as the little one was finished and I tried handing his pencil back.

So, I draw a really big 'mmmmmmmmmm.' Surely he'll be impressed with that.

He takes the pencil and carefully traces my big "m."

Then, he looks over my arm and stares at my paper again.

Here we go, I thought, knowing for sure he was going to tell me to skip the potatoe dishes and just put caramels on instead.

"There's a 'ssssssssssssss,' MOM!" he excitedly shouts, lunging across his paper and poking at the "s" in "tacos," while his needle point pencil is distractedly shoved into whatever is in it's way.

"Good job Landon!" I join in his happiness. "That's right! You found a 'ssssssssssss.' "

Now I have to draw a 'ssssssssssss' on his paper. Then another 'mmmmmmmmmm.' And then he decides he wants an 'aaaaaaaaaaaaa.'

I'm so glad he only knows 3 letters, I think to myself as I write down his letters and try to imagine having to write the entire alphabet between each entree' I write on my own paper.

He's looking at the cover of the curriculum book he and his dad are going through every evening, "Teach Your Child to Read In A Hundred Easy Lessons." He notices the 'tuh' (T) on the top of the book.

He's not supposed to know that word, I remind myself. The only reason he knows how to recognize it was because one evening I was trying to type on my computer and he kept grabbing my hands off the keyboard and telling me he HAD to find the 'mmmmmmm,' 'ssssssssssss' and 'aaaaaaaaaa' were. And then he saw the "t" and wanted to know what that one was.

"It's a 'tuh'," I tell him, hoping he'll leave the keyboard alone so I can finish typing. But, then he had to find the 'sssssssssss' but for some reason my "s" is worn off so you can't really see it; you just know it's there if you know how to type. I think I should write it back into the button because it would save a lot of time: he wouldn't give up looking for it until he found it.

When I came home from running errands one day, Microsoft Works on my computer had 43 pages of "m's" and "s's" and "a's" and "t's." Watch out grandparents: he'll be sending you letters before long I think.

I tried to get back to my menu but every letter, number and color was asked about. "What this?" and "What's that?" was said more often than not.

So much for a time saving, frugal focused, healthy menu, I muse to myself as I finally fold up my paper and plan to wait to work on it. It's hard to hide all the letters he knows so I can get my work done. To me, these letters are just part of the alphabet. To him, they're neon lights flashing at him. And the world is becoming more and more open to him as these letters seem to appear out of nowhere to this little guy.

"Oh Mom!" he shouts as he grabs my paper. "There's a baby 'mmmmmmmmm'!" he says as he points to the letter "m" in Beef Roast Meal.

"Good job Landon!" I tell him. "Now you write a 'mmmmmmmm.' "

"No, YOU write an 'mmmmmmmm'," he instructs me. "And a 'ssssssssssssssss', and a 'aaaaaaaaaaaa'." We work out who is supposed to write what and then he collects his papers while I collect mine.

I don't know what we'll have for supper tonight but I do know how exciting the letters M, S, A and T are. They may not spell anything yet and they may not even have names yet but wow, who knew those letters could be found in so many places?

If you read a blog on here in the near future that is missing letters, don't think I've gone crazy. Understand that it was the only way I could actually blog that day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Kid Klips

So That's What He Thinks
Landon told me one night that we should go for a bike ride the next day. I told him that we didn't have enough bikes to do that but maybe if its not raining, we could go for a walk in the stroller.

"The funny stroller?" he asked.

"What's the "funny" stroller?" I returned.

"The stroller on the porch swing (front porch)," he said and then I knew he was referring to our double jogging stroller.

A New Twist To Fruitcake
Upon seeing his Dad arrive home from work, Landon shouted as he ran to the door, "There's Daddy Roofcake!"

Where The Rain Goes
When Landon looked outside at the end of a very rainy day, he noticed that it had finally quit raining. Apparently he took my, "when the sun comes out you can go outside" too far and assumed the rain was quenched by the sun... which I suppose it is to some extent but not quite like this.

"HA! The sun got it!" he shouted, while observing the rainless view.

Wonder If These Work
I came upon Landon taping his eye closed with scotch tape one day.

"Landon, what are you doing?" I asked him.

"Putting my contacts on," he stated matter-of-factly.

Bad George
While retucking Landon in one day during nap time, I replaced Curious George up on Landon's bed. I was surprised to find the monkey discarded on the floor.

"No Mom... Curious George was naughty," Landon informed me, "he can't sleep up here."

Friday, April 06, 2007

On Men And Maidens

Pulling up to the self-serve car wash up the street from us, I was surprised to find an elderly man heading to my van after coming out the door that said "Attendant On Duty."

This is self-serve, I thought to myself as he walked towards my van.

Stopping several feet back from the automated car wash screen and buttons since this "attendant" had blocked me off by coming up to my window at just the right time, I put my window down to greet him.

We exchanged greetings and I found he was a nice, friendly old guy.

Then he asked if he could help me so I told him what I was going to do and he seemed to want to do it for me, even though the machine just 8 feet from my window was fully capable of being operated on by even a pregnant woman like me.

I handed him my credit card and he carried it carefully to the machine. Stepping back to get a good view of the slot, he aimed the card very accurately at the thin crack it was intended to go in. Then, he charged the card into the machine, giving a new meaning to "charge cards."

But, through the thrust of his hand and the depth of the card in the slot, he could not "quickly retrieve card" as I'm sure the screen was commanding him to do.

He pinched and pried, took a step back, sighed, took a hold of it with the other hand and tried it all over again. Then he turned around and headed back through the door that said, "Attendant On Duty."

Poor guy... that sign probably made him feel inadequate due to the impossible situation my card had just put him through. He wasn't being a very competent attendant.

He came back out with a key and a fancy tool.

With those instruments, he skillfully removed the entire face of the machine and swung it open. The edge of the card he was looking for could not be seen through the carefully constructed metal gadgets, wires and screws. Was he conquered? I wondered to myself.

He then closed the machine up and went back through the "Attendant On Duty" door and reinstated his attendance status by being on duty inside his office for a mere 2 seconds while retrieving a handy vice grip.

He headed back out the attendant's door and came to my open window.

"We have a serious problem," he confessed. "Your card is really stuck in there," as if my card went around town getting purposefully stuck in credit card machines. "I have one more thing I'm going to try though," he said to the maiden in distress.

And with that resilient and conquering attitude, he marched towards the machine like a brave soldier. Planting his feet firmly on the ground before aiming his pliers at the thin strip of my card, he courageously yanked the card out. He was the hero! The victor! The knight who saved the day!

Thinking we were over with this excitement with my credit card, my mouth fell open when I saw him repeat the scene over again. Aim. Charge. Yank. Jerk. Pry.

Thankfully, the card came out with very little prying this time.

The look on his face as he casually yet triumphantly handed me back my card showed a spark of heroism untainted by embarrassment.

"Wow," I thought to myself as I drove into the the misting water of the car wash.

Shaking my head subtly, I mused over the unique pattern of the male race. Even if they have to make up emergency situations just to prove their toughness and ability to conquer the world, they do it with pride.

They do it like a man.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Janae!

When I was pregnant with Landon, my family thought for sure "it" was a girl. So, they dreamed accordingly. My younger siblings found a picture of a small girl in a magazine that just looked like "a Courtney child" so they cut her out and mailed her to me.
"This is what your little girl will look like," they told me.

She was very cute. Long, thick, brown hair framed her round chubby cheeks with the accenting little button nose. The perfect picture of cuteness and girliness.

But then, the "it" became a boy and soon Landon arrived.

Where was that cute little girl? I stashed the magazine cut-out away and saved it.

13 months later, Janae made a daring dash into our little family. She's always been close behind Landon in everything he does so it's no surprise her entrance into this world was so close behind his.

Topped off with a dark head of thick brown hair and adorned with a darling button nose, her chubby cheeks were perfect for kissing. She was the perfect picture of cuteness and girliness.

Now, I don't look at the magazine picture and long for that little girl; I simply pull out my camera and chase down the busy little thing that I call my very own girl. The resemblence between the two is quite profound.

Or, I skip the whole picture and just look at her and marvel that the very girl I always hoped I'd have someday, is the very one I got.

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old little girl!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Man I Thought I Knew

When a man gets married, he is relieved to give up many tasks to his new, lovely bride. And that bride is so happy to take on these new tasks.

Those tasks include:
  • restocking clothing when it is worn (she buys his socks, underwear, t-shirts, patches his pants, sews buttons back on to Sunday shirts, keeps track of his belt, finds good bargains for shoes and other out-door wear, keeps his dresser stocked with in-season clothing, etc.)
  • washes and dries and folds and puts away ALL his laundry.
  • irons his church clothes.
  • makes his bed every day.
  • packs his lunch for work.
  • makes his meals.
  • cares for his children.
  • cleans his house.
  • mows his yard sometimes.
  • cleans his vehicles.
  • scratches his back.
  • finds his lost book.
  • keeps track of his wallet.
  • gives gifts to all his relatives.
  • keeps inventory on his hygiene care... deodorant, toothbrushes, shaving equipment, soap, shower gel, shampoo, etc.
  • cuts his hair.
  • and the list goes on.

Overall, she cares how he looks. Her concern is for his well being, his health, his image, his cleanliness. She takes pride in his personal upkeep. She helps him and enjoys every minute of it.

And when it's time to pick out new glasses for the next two years, she embraces that challenge and makes it a very important priority and spends her own personal time considering the best style, frame, size and nose bridge.

Until he goes to Walmart by himself to purchase the week's groceries and she finds out later he got his glasses picked out so that item on his to-do list could be considered taken care of.

If only he knew that this project wasn't just a thing to cross off HER list: this was a matter of important priority and one she was putting valuable thinking time towards.

Apparently even after four years of marriage, he's still getting to know her and... vice versa. There's nothing so sweet as being in the "newly weds" category even after this many years and children. But still, those glasses better be classy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Cranky Bug

Sunday was only a short reprieve. Fevers, bad coughs and colds returned by Sunday evening. Weird virus. Watch out if you get it: it has a deceiving end.

The worst symptom of this virus is not the low grade fevers or the constant dripping noses. Rather, it's the overwhelming crabbiness and emotionalism in the person inflicted by the fever.

I have never given Tylenol for a low grade fever before but when it's accompanied with this level of crankiness, the meds seem to quickly relieve unhappy faces. Seriously, when it comes to meds, I am a stickler in letting the fever burn itself out as long as it's not above 104. (My kids seem to quickly spike to 105 so I usually try to keep on top of it when it gets to that height.) But, with the crying and fussing that continued eternally through out the day, I was ready to try anything. And Tylenol worked better than running away would've. (I can't run very fast or far right now).

So, if you have the occasion to come in contact with this bug, remember two things:
  1. the virus likes to play around when it comes to leaving and will tease you for several days about when it's departure date is.
  2. it should be adequately referred to as The Cranky Bug.

Teaching Our Children Disobedience...

...And Other Bad Things

"Behave yourself," I hear mothers say. Behave myself? The child could tell them self to do something wrong and they'd still be obeying their mother. "She told me to behave myself," they could honestly say after committing a crime.

"Don't get that all over the house," I instruct my son as he heads to the table with a cup of water. All over the house? He's probably thinking that would be too hard to do with just an inch of water in the cup. It'll be easy to obey on this one -- even if he manages to spill all of it.

"Watch where you're going and don't run into the wall," I alarmingly call across the house to my distracted daughter. Whammo. Right into the wall. She completely disobeyed me and ran smack, dab into that wall. Should she be punished for her "blatant" disobedience? I think not. Eventually she'll learn that if she doesn't watch where she's going, those walls are just going to keep getting her.

"Be careful," I instruct my son, "Don't fall off that stool." Don't fall off the stool? Like I'm going to try to fall off the stool, he's probably thinking. And then he reaches too far and slips, and, you guessed it... fell off the stool. Tsk, tsk, how disobedient.

And we wonder why our kids don't take us seriously some days.

Most of us probably are very good at teaching our children true obedience but when I listened to myself talk to my kids one day, I had to laugh at myself for all the impossible "training scenarios" I was setting up for my children. Especially Janae. Don't run into the wall? Yeah right!

It got me thinking about other subconscious training we do with our kids everyday and the overall effects our techniques will have on our kids.

There's the parents that tack "please" onto everything. And not just a polite, "please-will-you-do-this-for-me" but the pleading kind of, "Pleeeeeease don't run in front of that car, honey" or, " Pleeeeeeeeease come to Mommy" or "Pleeeeeeeeease don't hit your sister." I heard a mom across the store the other day pleading with her what-looked-like 3 year old child to "Pleeeeeeeeeeeease hurry up, honey.... Pleeeeeeeeeeeease Don't touch that.... Pleeeeeeeeeeeease come here.... Mommy is in a hurry and just needs to grab something quick." Makes me wonder who the real parent is: the child or the person that produced the child.

Or the children who have parents that are teaching them that its okay to give in to fears and dislikes. Not real, live, dangerous fears like running in front of cars but rather, things like food, naps and other necessary practices of health and well being.

Then, my favorite is when a friendly dog shows it's happy, wet face to a child and the parent immediately runs to the child's "rescue" as he screams the way one would if they were having their arm detached from their body. Instead of showing them how to pet the nice dog or even just ignore the critter if its that big of a deal, they instead assure the child that they won't let that "mean" dog hurt them. Saying "mean" always helps the child know their fear of this friendly creature is a very accurate and proper reaction to the tail wagging Rover. They enable their child to fully surrender to an unnecessary and detrimental fear. Then they scoop their half grown boy up in their arms and whisk him away. That poor kid definitely won't have much of a backbone until he's out from his parent's umbrella of safety, unfortunately.

Thinking the best of our children, is something else that is dwelling on my mind in regards to parenting. My brother recently stated a normal practice his drill sergeants do if they sense in their trainees any attitude of dis respective or unwillingness to conform. Intense yelling, harsh physical punishments and demanding requirements are quickly inflicted on the soldier. This method has obviously proven effective for the military but its certainly not very conducive when implemented in a loving home. Do I want my children to give me respect only because I brutally demand it? Do I want my children to look up to me by belittling them? Is that look on their face true rebellion or are they truly frustrated that they're disconnected with their parents?

What about the rude things many parents say to their children? Especially in the face of disobedience on the child's part. Just because a small child committed a disobedience does not entitle any parent to criticize and cruelly correct that child -- no matter how much the child brought them to shame. Disobedience can only be corrected by countering it with positive influence. Though some kind of discipline is wisely needed and should be implemented, continuing the guilt will not ensure that the child will not re-commit the offence. Yet how often it's easy to forget the tender hearts of our young ones and continue to bring up past offences in hopes we can somehow shame them into never doing that again. Does God do that with us? I think we all know the answer.

One of the best words of wisdom I've heard throughout our own parenting of Landon and Janae is this: When you take something negative away, replace it with something positive. That can be as literal as when you take a breakable item out of their hands and then place something safer in their hands instead. The concept stems from the fact that everything we remove from our children's lives, they will turn around and replace it with something. As children grow older and bad influence may come into their lives through ungodly friends or some other negative influence, when we remove those items of destruction from our children's lives, rest assured our children will fill that gap with something else if we don't. And sometimes that something else is worse than what we removed. Mom, take care to fill your mind with creative counterparts to the improper things that come into your children's lives. If the kids can tell we don't really, really care deep down about their lives, hearts, passions and dreams, they won't care to share with us their inner joys and sorrows and will soon have a whole life filled with things we are not in approval of. But by then, many times it's too late to un-do damage.

On another note, how often does a parent thank or praise their child -- even for little things? So often I get caught up in the moment of the request at hand that I forget the sweet effort my 3 year old just made to get that diaper for me or when he obediently sets the table or the times Janae quickly brings her shoes for me to put on her feet. All these things are mundane and constant to me but that doesn't downplay the kind effort my children are showing by putting these things as their top priority.

"Train up a child in the way he should go so when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Endeavoring daily to insure that the way I train my kids will be worth it to them to not depart from when they're old. How awful it would be to not fully train my 2 year old to avoid walls and then when she's 20 and not living at home anymore, get up one morning and say, "Yay! Mom's not around... I get to run into walls today!" It's one thing for a 2 year old to run into a wall, but a 20 year old? I should hope not.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Procrastinated Blog

I feel bad my posting schedule has been so scarce lately. I just haven't had much to blog about and not only that but there's been other distractions that seem to take priority over my computer.

We've had sickness again but everyone is on the mend. I stayed home from Church today with Landon because his cough is still pretty thick. He sounds worse than he is though. Even I got this bug so there was another reason why I wasn't blogging.

This past week was very busy. I had routine pregnancy blood work that left me exhausted, thanks to the Rhogam shot. For those of you that are blessed to not know what this is, I have negative blood and have to be inoculated with each pregnancy in order to protect the currant baby as well as any future children.

The real culprit of my writers block is the fact that my iron is way too low. Thus the brain fog, fatigue, endless sleeping, never feeling rested way of life I've been living the past couple weeks. Now that I know my problem, I'm pumping iron and working on fixing it but it takes a good week or two to see improvement.

I was so glad to know my iron was that low. FINALLY, something can fix my problem! I kept mulling through my days wondering how in the world I'd ever be able to handle 3 children when I couldn't even take care of my 2. What is wrong with me? I'd shake my head and ask myself. It may sound strange but I was so glad my iron numbers were really low.

So, now that my energy is starting to climb, I'm tackling major procrastinated projects everyday. Plus, we have another birthday coming up this week and with the nice weather we've been having almost every day, our normal days our filled with extra activity. I love spring time with little ones around!

The other day was a good energy booster. I was feeling my normal, tired self by mid-morning but knew I couldn't take a nap for several hours. So, I contemplated my predicament and out of the blue, a horrible vision filled my mind of our extremely dirty van. And suddenly, I had to do something about that van.

I polished the kids up, donned them with shoes and sandals and grabbed a selection of cleaning supplies before marching to the van. The kids were surprised when I told them they could sit in the front seat. Even though the ride from the driveway to the front of the house was only about 30 seconds long, they were spellbound and speechless. That put a very good start on the big project... there's nothing like happy, content, impressed kids!

So, I scrubbed and cleaned and collected trash for the next hour or so and then went inside to retrieve my laundry money.

Did I tell anyone yet about my new job? Yes, I'm a laundry lady. I get paid well too.

Let me explain...

After several loads of laundry coming out of my washer and dryer accompanied with loud clanging sounds of coins, I decided that since I was the one that had to pick those coins up, than I could certainly use the "finders keepers" rule. I began to collect these coins in a cute little piggy bank on the top of the washer. If someone happened to mention that they were missing a whole handful of change, I'd direct them to my bank. But that never happened so I continued to add interest to my growing investment.

The day I cleaned the van, I knew my paycheck held enough quarters to efficiently vacuum and shampoo the carpet in the van. Sure enough, I had over $4 worth of quarters.

I dropped the large handful of change in my pocket before heading to the van and locking my kids in their seats. Then we headed to the car wash and finished up the beautifying of our dirty vehicle.

Having that huge project over with, I was ready to tackle other spring cleaning projects. Landon stayed up from his nap that day to help me and he was a really big "helper boy," as we fondly call him. He did laundry with me, hauled heavy baskets of rugs across the yard, cleaned up the living room, vacuumed and just was my right hand man. I was very impressed with his work ability.

That night Toby treated us to a nice supper and I didn't have to make a meal. A good thing when you just spent all day cleaning your kitchen. :)

With this delightful day under my belt (actually, I can't wear a belt right now so take that as a figure of speech), I am rejuvenated and re inspired to get big projects done. My sewing machine has been whirring, the wash machine has been dumping out clean bedding and even the guinea pig's cage is staying fresh and clean. And that's saying a lot for a pig.

And I even got this blog done. With that, I'll leave you to wonder when I'll post next and I hope right along with you that it won't be too long from now.