Sunday, October 11, 2009

The cold weather is approaching - it's reading season!!

The time of year has arrived when I start making a reading list for myself and the kids. I love to read and enjoy sharing my love of reading with the children also. I believe the benefits of enjoying a good book are life-long.

I started my list with the new Dan Brown book, "The Lost Symbol". Here is the description from the publisher:

"In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling-a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C.,The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale. As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object -artfully encoded with five symbols-is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom. When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon-a prominent Mason and philanthropist -is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations-all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth. As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown's novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown's fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet. From the Hardcover edition."

This book kept me engaged from start to finish. I liked it even better than "The Davinci Code". I tend to be a fast reader, especially when it is a good book, and I had this one done in 2 days. I loved that the entire story took place in Washington, D.C. I also enjoyed the fact that you knew exactly who the villian was from start to finish and had realistic and descriptive visuals throughout the book.

I have read all of Dan Brown's books thus far and he will continue to be an author that I seek out for future reading enjoyment.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Small Talk Six Saturday - Party Time!!

Today’s topic is “6 unconventional things you think people should celebrate by throwing a party.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . My answers are probably going to be all over the map, so be forewarned...

1. Groundhog Killing Day Party. Let's face it, we get hopeful for early spring every year and the little bastard always sees his shadow. Yeah I'm sure the PETA people will eat me alive for this one but who cares... Put him and us out of our misery and rid us of the hope of an early spring - it never happens anyway.

2. Grade card party. I would actually consider doing this for my oldest if he could pull his grades out of the crapper. Or we could go in the opposite direction and make the ones that didn't make good grades sit in a corner with dunce hats while the party is going

I think I'm in a mean mood today...

3. Hump day party. I think this would be more of a private affair (but to each his own...whatever trips your trigger) - candles, wine, kids put in bed for the night and some time alone with the hubby every Wednesday evening - at this point you need to fill in your own blanks...I could definitely go with this idea of a party.

4. Veteran's Day Party. I think instead of making this a day of mourning and remembrance, we should throw a good ol' celebration for the men and women in uniform that make it possible for us to live in this free country that we have. I think it should be bigger than the 4th of July...let's throw a huge kegger and hand them all a beer for all the hard work that they do. Whether you choose to agree or not with what they do, you get the opportunity to disagree because of these fine folks. Let's celebrate them!

5. A potty party. I have one that is potty training right now and one that I'd like to get potty trained but it's probably still too early for him. When I get them potty trained, I'm throwing a potty party for all Mommies and Daddies that have survived the trials and tribulations of potty training. And I'm celebrating after training the youngest that I will never have to potty train anything ever again...well maybe unless we ever got a new puppy...LOL

6. A Clean House Party. If I could ever get this house perfectly clean, I might be tempted to throw a huge party, which in turn would totally defeat the reason for the party in the first place, since my house would be trashed afterwards. Although a perfectly clean house would definitely be a reason to celebrate around here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


We are big MU fans around here. Even the little ones know it. The daughterling begged for this new cheerleader outfit when we were out shopping yesterday and her daddy is a sucker. :) However, why is it that taking pictures of two little ones at the same time is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E??

The littlest has his eyes closed here and I have no idea if she is sticking out her tongue or what...

Here he looks like she just scared the crap out of him...hilarious!

Here is the cute little ornery smile that I love and of course she is not paying any attention...

Now I get the cute dimples from her and he is not looking...

Now this is some sweet sibling love and about as close as I'm getting...I give up and call it good at this point. :)

Here's to hoping for an MU Tigers victory tonight!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is a picture of my oldest I took recently for his "About Me" collage at school. When he first started playing the saxophone, it sounded like a dying cat but he has improved so much over the past few years. Sometimes when I look at him it is hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I am the mother of a teenager. Where did all the time go???

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Morning routine....

I need to revamp my morning routine. However, that would require me getting up much earlier, which I don't want to do but I believe that I'm going to have to suck it up and just make a stronger pot of coffee or see if someone sells a caffeine IV drip that I can start about 30 minutes before the alarm goes off.

The average morning routine with the big boys here and not at their idiot father's house is to start with the oldest child. He has to be at school first so he is the logical first step in the wake up routine. Now if I could just get him to be cooperative with the program, that would be fantastic. I go downstairs and holler, "Son, it's time to get up and get ready, let's go!" No answer. "Son, you've got to get up and get dressed!" No answer. I flip the light on to his room. No response. I need to get that kid his own alarm clock that jolts him out of bed - wonder if I can find one that sprays ice cold water? Finally after cajoling, stealing the blankets and threatening to dump ice cold water on him, he drags himself to a sitting position, eyes bleary and unresponsive.

Second group of risers are the 7 and 8 year old. This also usually includes the 1 year old because these three share a room. I get their clothes for the day out for them and put them on the end of their beds, tell them to get dressed. This inevitably leads to a fight between the two of them about whose shirt is whose, even though I have put them on their individual bunks of their bunkbed and told them, "These are YOUR clothes for the day. Put them on." Punching and kicking commence... The 1-year-old has no issues in the morning, he just wants breakfast. However, he doesn't want to wait for it, he wants it RIGHT NOW AND NOT A MINUTE LATER.

Usually within the chaos of the boys, the daughterling wakes up. Her mission in the morning is to prevent the boys from going to school. She is quite angry that they all get to go to school and inform her that she is not big enough yet. She gets her Dora backpack and princess dress complete with heels and tiara out each morning in anticipation that one of these days they are going to let her go with them too. Poor thing...

Breakfast becomes a hurried mishmash of me playing short order cook. The kids enjoy this because it is the only meal of the day I am flexible on - otherwise around here it's "either you're going to eat or be hungry". While they are eating, I pull the clothes out for the wee ones. When breakfast is done, the tag team wrestling match commences. I tackle the 1-year-old as he tries to dart past me sitting on the living room floor. I wrestle a clean diaper on him and if I have to let go of his leg long enough to reach his clothes, I'm screwed. He's laughing and off and running again...some mornings I am lucky enough to tag his dad in when this is going on. He catches him, brings him back to me and volunteers to dress the daughter, who is generally more cooperative about these things...UNLESS you pick out clothes she doesn't like. If she does not approve of that day's clothing selection, there is kicking, screaming and pouting on the horizon. Does she think I'm running a democracy here??

By the time the morning routine is finished and the boys are off to school and the daughter is forlorn in the window of the screened in porch that she got left behind once again, I am worn out and ready to go back to bed. Maybe I need vitamins? :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Small Talk Six Saturday...

A group of ladies I've recently come into contact with over at momdot had a blog topic to write on for today. What are the six things that you say that you don't want your children to repeat? Are you sure that it only says "six" and not "sixty"??

1. I'm going with the word "shit" on the first one, simply because it's the word that hubby and I say the most and immediately regret when the little ones repeat it immediately and then proceed to run around and repeat it over and over and over and over and over....getting my point here?

2. "Dammit." We were at a store the other day and I dropped something and Delaney said "Oh dammit, Mommy". Funny to me? Absolutely. Funny to the 80-something-year-old lady in the store next to us? Probably but we got an awfully disapproving look. Old fuddy duddy.

3. "Because I said no." This is a favorite of the youngest. We have been going through the "why" phase here lately (he's almost 2 and his sister is almost 3) and they hear it a lot. Picture a scene where I pick him up and go to give him a kiss and he yells "No!!!" and I'm like "Why not?" and he grins his little ornery grin and says "Because I said no." Well all righty then...

4. "Do you want me to beat your ass?" Now let's put a disclaimer in this one before we get the anti-spank people all in a snit. We don't beat the kids - our preferred method of discipline around here is time out; however, a tap on the butt never killed anyone (I'm still alive, I'm typing this, right?). However the words "I'm going to beat your ass!" or "I'm going to beat you to death" are very self-satisfying to say when you are particularly frustrated at whichever child is annoying at that very moment. I honestly don't know why I bother anymore - they all know it's a bluff - the big boys and the little ones alike. For example, last night: Dear daughter does not want to go to bed. Daddy takes her to bed, reads her a story and tucks her in. Five minutes later she is out of the bed and back downstairs and trying unsuccessfully to hide next to mommy on the couch. Daddy says, "Young lady, get your body upstairs to your bed like a big girl or I'm going to give you a swat on the butt." She walks directly to him, pokes her little cutie patootie out and says "Just swat my butt, I don't want to go to bed." Pardon me while I walk out of the room to DIE LAUGHING before I come back and finish this list...

Still laughing....
OK better now.

5. "Your grandmother is crazy." Yeah that's a good one to discuss right before a big family dinner. Fantastic.

6. Although I've got to say the one that my daughter spouted off that I approved of wholeheartedly was this particular gem. My ex husband had come over to pick up her big brothers (the older 3 boys) and he's trying to be nice and say hello to her standing next to me outside. She is FURIOUS. She has figured out this is the guy that comes and takes her big brothers away. She says "No!!! I no like you!!! You a JACKASS and you not take my brothers any more!!!" He stood there stunned and said, "She was serious wasn't she?" I replied, "Umm, ya think?" and he said "She really hates me doesn't she?" I said, "Well thank God she is displaying better taste than her mother ever did." and with that I picked up my daughter and walked back in the house because ya know what? He IS a jackass - she nailed it right on the head.

As I am sure you can imagine with five kids, I could write a much longer list than this. I'm not known for my clean as a whistle language all the time for sure and neither is my handsome husband. Ah well, the humor makes it well worth it - well...except at family dinners. LOL

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm a book winner! And another book giveaway link..

I won a book tonight off of Northernmama's blog and I was soooo excited. I never win anything - ever.

She also has another book giveaway going on right now and I love the author of this particular book, so I thought I'd give her a blog shout out here and if you want to enter to win and check out her great page, go for it.

Northern Mama: A Separate Country ~ Book Review and Giveaway!#c2814749373145570275#c2814749373145570275

Let the wild rumpus start!

Am I the only one who cannot wait for this movie to come out?? This has been a favorite book of mine for years and a favorite of all of the kids. I'm really excited to take the 7 and 8-year-old to see this. I imagine the 13-year-old will say he is "too old" and "too cool" to go with us. I'd love to take the little ones too but is it just me or does it have kind of a creepy, dark feel to it? I don't want to scare them...maybe after we see it I can be a better judge of how they would handle it or we can just wait for the DVD to come out for them.

And a quote from the trailer that I'm using as inspiration for today:

"This is all yours. You're the owner of this world."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mom Time...

Mom time comes in small spurts...naptime if I can get them to nap at the same time...after bedtime...very occasionally I wake up early in the morning before they get up and enjoy a hot cup of coffee on the screened in front porch. The early morning one doesn't happen very often because I am NOT a morning person in the least.

Top 5 things I like to do during Mom time:

1. Read. Right now I'm between books but I just finished Alice Sebold's "The Almost Moon". It was a good book but a little bizarre for me to read because of a history of an awkward relationship with my own mother. I'm a sucker for books. I love them. My bedroom is stacked with them. Recently I've attempted to part with a few by signing up for I LOVE this website and it is a great money-saver, which is great for our family of seven.

2. Scrapbooking. I love to do this but I generally don't do it much during "mom time" because it involves a process of dragging out all of the supplies, actually accomplishing something and then putting all the supplies away again before little people come and start rifling through it all. For scrapbooking time I try to set aside a time when Daddy is home, invite my good friend Diane over and we set the baby gate up and block off the dining room so we have the whole table to ourselves without little hands "helping".

3. Sewing. This also has the dragging out of supplies issue. Although this one isn't as bad because my daughter knows when I drag out the sewing machine I am generally making something for her so she wants to help and watch. She is also very good at saying "No no, brothers! This is for GIRLS!"

4. Glass of wine and mindless TV. I like white the best but will go for an occasional red. My mindless TV choices lately are my old standby's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" (which I am watching as I type this). I've also been watching "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town". I am also into the HGTV channel, "Ace of Cakes" and the Food Network. If there is nothing interesting on, I am a CNN junkie. My afternoon guilty pleasure is "One Life to Live". And no you don't have to tell me how lame that is...I already know.

5. A long hot shower. This has to be done while children are sleeping. I never shower in the morning and here is why. Small children banging on the door, small children stripping off their clothes and hopping in the shower with me, the older boys turning the water off and on in an attempt to scald me, or the husband hollering through the door for me to hurry up because the children are going crazy. (I often ask him what would happen if I died - he assures me he and the children will all move in with his mother. I wonder if she knows this? She would go to any lengths to keep me alive at all costs, that's for sure. lol)

What are your favorite things to do during "mom time" (or dad time, such as the case may be)??