About Me

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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Friday, April 30, 2010

Something I hate, and something I love

Do you ever start writing and stop ten minutes later because you realized that the last 5 paragraphs you wrote almost put YOU to sleep, so you deleted it and started over?

Me neither. ;-)

I cannot STAND Alton Brown. See this picture? Does it really need any explanation? I do not think this man is funny AT ALL. Anytime I hear his voice or see that he is in some show on The Food Network I cringe and think "Man I hate that guy!" He hasn't done anything to me personally. For some reason, everything about him just annoys me. This picture, to me, is a great depiction of how stupid I think he is. Who poses like this? An adult with a party hat on, holding a chicken with a matching party hat. Who does that? Am I missing something here?

I wasn't planning to write about Alton Brown. It even annoys me that I am giving him any time at all on my blog but it was on my mind and so it shows up here. At the risk of driving off any of you who actually tolerate this man. I would apologize, but I'm not sorry. It's just my opinion...I do not like this man. I think he tries too hard to be funny, which inevitably makes him NOT funny!

What I really intended to write about (before I turned The Food Network on and had to abruptly turn it off because the annoying man was coming on...) was a conversation I had with my 8 year old son tonight.

Ever since Katherine was baptized almost a year ago, Kaleb has talked about baptism. However, he always says things like "I want to take communion" or "I'm the only one of my friends who isn't baptized." These types of statements concern Kris and I, and so we have sort of put Kaleb off. We haven't been trying to discourage him, but we haven't pushed him. We want to be sure that he is being baptized because he loves God and has a desire to serve him. That he understands WHY we are baptized and that it goes beyond wanting to take communion or being like his friends.

I am not exactly sure what prompted Kaleb's questioning tonight-after it was all said and done, I have to believe that it was God working in his heart. He told me tonight that he and Abbey and Livvy were going to go to hell because they hadn't been baptized. I was trying to explain to him that whole age of accountability thing in as simple terms as I could, and that we couldn't presume to know how God operates in that regard. He didn't seem to believe me or really grasp what I was saying.

Fast forward about 10 minutes...

Being over-dramatic, as always, while the tornado sirens were going off, I told Kris over the phone that we were going to die. I really need to stop saying things like that in front of my kids, especially Kaleb. I'm just being a drama queen and over-exaggerating, and sometimes I forget that Kaleb is sensitive to those types of things. I looked back at Kaleb shortly after that comment and he had his head bowed and his hands folded. He was praying. I asked him if he was asking Jesus to come into his heart, based off of our previous conversation.

He advised me that he was not. He was asking God not to let us die! Boy did I feel horrible in that moment! So I apologized to Kaleb for saying that and told him I was just being dramatic. He seemed to accept this. We kept talking and went back to the topic of baptism. I asked him many different questions to see if he really understood why people got baptized and what it really meant. What resulted was a truly great conversation. I think it is finally clicking with him.

Throughout the course of our discussion, I could see light bulbs coming on in his mind. After we had talked about this for a while, he told me he had an idea. He began to talk about stars and how the Christian life was like a hotel. Bear with me...it makes sense! He was talking about stars in terms of hotels that have 3 or 4 stars. The more stars, the better the hotel. Can you see where this is going yet? He told me that just one star was like when you learn about God, before you are baptized. Then when you get baptized, it's like you have 2 stars. And the more you grow and learn and become more Christlike, the more stars you get. It was really sweet listening to him talk about this, because there was such confidence and excitement AND UNDERSTANDING in his voice and eyes.

So when Kris got back we talked to him about it all and Kris and I feel like he is finally ready to be baptized, if that is something he really wants to do. This was the first time he has mentioned being baptized outside of settings where we have taken communion or he has seen his friends be baptized. When we got home this evening, even though it was past his bedtime, Kaleb asked if he could draw a picture really quickly. I decided to tell him yes, and I am glad I did. Here is the picture he drew:

As you can see, he has 2 stars colored in already. Step 3 for him is baptism (we decided this in our earlier conversation because you can know about God, and then you can try to follow Him before you are baptized). I love that little boy!!! I told him we would have to call Mammaw and Pappaw to see if they could make it out to see him be baptized like they did for Katherine last year. It was about 9pm (10pm where they are) and he excitedly asked "Can we call them now?" I told him it would really be best to wait until tomorrow. But he is ecstatic and it is awesome to see such joy in his eyes over a desire to be baptized. What more could a mother ask for?

A new thought...

So, while I don't expect it to gain in popularity enough to be a stand alone meme, I am starting something on Fridays that I am going to call Friday Funnies. If other people want to participate great! But for now, my goal is to start jotting down everything funny or quirky that my kids say through the course of the week. Sometimes I am home and on the computer and can type it quickly before my memory fades (after 5 seconds); other times I am grabbing my phone and making a note so that I can add it to this post. Granted, my kids may only be amusing to me or to those that know them, but I love hearing the things that kids say. So if you want to join in, feel free! If enough people are interested in participating, we'll make it official and turn it into a Friday meme. If not, well, at least I will be able to document all the cute things they say!

Abbey (age 7) was telling us about a dental floss show they saw at school on Monday and she suddenly (quite excited and proud) exclaimed:

"I got to get all of the bacteria off of the tongue. The tooth wizard didn't get anything off the tongue!"

Abbey also asked me on Monday night:

"Mommy when I grow up to be a Godly singer are you going to come to my concerts?"

Of course I told her I wouldn't miss it!

Speaking of singing, Abbey told me not too long ago that I sing so good (her words) that I should:

"...take a singing class. A Spanish singing class!"

So funny! I know all of three songs in Spanish and taught them to the kids--in case you're wondering where that came from.

Upon seeing the full moon on Tuesday evening, Olivia (age 4) declared:

"Mommy we get a whole moon today!"

I feel as if I should preface this one. Years ago, Kris and I stayed the night at a Days Inn near where we actually live now. It was a horrible experience. The hotel was filthy and there were questionable disgusting things in the whirlpool tub. After only being there an hour, complaining to the man on duty and getting nowhere, we left and stayed somewhere else. We had to fight them to even get HALF of our money back. We got stuck paying half of the bill even though we didn't stay so Days Inn worldwide are dead to us. It was so gross! Last week sometime Livvy told us she wanted to stay at that hotel. So we had explained to her that the hotel was gross and we would never, EVER stay there again.

So, randomly on the way home the other night Olivia said:

"We're almost home."

I asked: "How do you know?"

Her response?

"Because I see the dirty hotel!"

Seeing these and listening to my youngest ones, I wish that I had written more of this stuff down when my oldest two were younger. I missed so much when they were little! It doesn't help that when they were little I had a total of three infants/toddlers to care for all at once...

They do say funny things now from time to time, but it's just not the same. Now we get into more serious conversations, which I actually love, but documenting cute, off-the-wall things is a lot different than recounting a conversation I was forced to have with my 9 year old about sex and pregnancy, you know?

SPECIAL THANKS TO HB OVER AT MY MARRIAGE IS MY JOB FOR HELPING ME GET THE LINKY TOOLS "THING" RUNNING!! Feel free to now add your Friday Funnies post and link up here!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Katherine's latest project

My kids are such smart, good kids. Katherine and Kaleb in particular are incredibly creative and talented artistically. When Katherine showed me her finished project (due tomorrow that she finished just hours ago!!) on the planet Jupiter, I was impressed. She's 9 years old and I'm just so proud of her ideas the overall outcome of her project.

Above: This part was so cute and clever I think. "Let's go to Jupiter! I'll give you facts about it while we're counting down!! C'mon!

Yeah, I'm a proud mama!

Truly Honored

I am in blog-induced shock right now.

I never thought that 4 years after beginning my blog journey that I would be receiving an award. Really! Let me just explain how naive I am was (as a blogger). I had NO idea there were awards. In fact, when I first saw one after the Ultimate Blog Party 2010 I was downright confused. I kept coming across blogs where the authors had received various awards. The more blogs I read, the more I realized that this was a fairly common occurrence. I remember when I realized what it was all about thinking "That's pretty cool! But it will never be me." I'll admit it-I was a little envious of all these bloggers receiving various awards. But ultimately, as my blog has and will forever be about ME (the world DOES revolve around me doesn't it?) and expressing myself, awards aren't something I am seeking or writing for. THAT BEING SAID, I am THRILLED that someone felt that I my little blog was worthy of anything! It was such a great surprise and really made my day!

So Tylaine at JUST ME, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! What a blessing it was to me to receive this award. You have been one of my favorite readers with your sweet comments and encouragement and I am glad that I stumbled upon your blog! It's real, down-to-earth and I think I like it so much because you remind me of me. :-) I did mention my delusion that the world revolves around me right?

Now, on to the award!

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world.”

Of course, awards come with rules…
1. Put the logo on your blog and/or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award

So, without further delay, here are my choices for this award, along with my reasons for choosing them.

1. Braley Mama - Your kids are incredibly adorable and I love all the pictures and the way you simply capture your life with both words and photos. Plus we're twins and all so I have to like you!

2. Call Me Laura Jane - I love the way you write. Your son, while super cute is HUGE! My back hurts just looking at him! Your pictures and stories make me laugh. And your honesty when you struggle as a mother reminds me that I am not alone!

3. With Thankful Hearts - Your posts are encouraging to me as a woman of God and I look forward to continue to learn from you.

4. I Am Gluten Free - Because I am attempting to live a life yeast-free (or as I recently admitted it is *mostly* yeast-free as you can see here), I love the recipes on here and the format of the blog. While I haven't had a chance to make any of these great recipes yet, I have a LOT of recipes saved so that I can try them!

5. Bailey's Little Bites - This blog is written by a friend I go to church with who is designing her own felt food for children. It's all just so adorable and a great, SAFE product for your little ones! I actually have a giveaway going on where you can win $10 to her Etsy store. You can learn more about that here: Bailey's Little Bites GIVEAWAY.

6. Walk a Mile - I love this blog for many reason but I am most inspired by the Random Acts of Kindess (ROAK) that you are participating in. What a great way to share the love of Christ with someone or just show people that not everyone out there is a selfish jerk!

7. Hallee The Homemaker - You have some great giveaways and I learned today through your 'vlog' how to fold a fitted sheet. I am 31 years old and this is the first time folding a fitted sheet has made sense to me. **Mom, I apologize if you showed me this and I never learned!**

8. Kludgy Mom - When I read your post A Call For The End To Buying Other Kids Birthday Presents, I just thought it was hilarious and reminded me of how sarcastically I think about certain things. I promptly made my husband read it and then shared it on Facebook! And I must LOVE it if I posted it on Facebook!

9. Letter To Little Ones - I LOVE your Friday Confessionals! You make me smile.

10. Yeast Free Living - I am not sure if you participate in these things within the blogging community, but when I first went 'yeast-free' I found your blog and read it religiously! You have great advice and recipes for anyone trying to rid their body of Candida and so you make my list because you inspire me to keep trying.

11. Glamazon Mormon Mom - I LOVE this blog! Your Friday Confessional is incredibly fun and your own confessions are just hilarious! You are real and honest in your other posts and I just love that.

12. Mommy Moment - This isn't just about being a mommy. There are some amazing tutorials here on how to add enhancements to a blog and I am so glad I found your blog.

There are others I would have liked to have given this award to, so if you aren't on this list, it's really just because I have discovered about 50 new blogs in the last month and I had a really hard time picking 12!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To wash or not to wash?

I think that there might be something wrong with me. I fear that I might be turning into quite the hippie these days. First the attempts to give up foods containing yeast or contributing to yeast growth, then the attempts (starting tonight) to make my own chemical-free, scented lotion. I swore I would NEVER be one of *those* people!! You know, those weirdos. Those freaks. Those "I worship Mother Nature and am creepy" people. Not me. No WAY!!!

Yet here I sit, after having spent at least 2 hours throughout the course of this day, researching a more natural approach to hair care. I'm scaring myself really. I can feel myself changing, giving in to some of these alternative ideas. These pre-1900 ways. So what's the deal you ask?

Here's the deal.

No 'poo.

I absolutely HATE the way that sounds and that is the only time I will refer to this in that way. We're going to call it something else. Something a little more tasteful and less pun-ny (new word I just made up-feel free to steal it and use it at will). I'm open to suggestions on what this 'project' should be named.

As I am new to reading other people's blogs (prior to the UBP 2010 I wrote my own, for myself and read a couple blogs written by close friends), this whole idea of NOT using shampoo and conditioner was completely new to me. And absolutely ridiculous. <--Real word, and probably my most OVERUSED word! It's really rather ridiculous how ridiculously often I use the word ridiculous. See how ridiculous annoying that is?

I'm embracing change. I'm taking a leap and giving this weird no shampoo thing a try. Who's with me? I bet some of you reading this are like "Oh yeah, that's been around for years." Well, it is all brand new to me. I have never heard of not using shampoo!! That's absurd. For as long as I can remember I've used shampoo and conditioner. It's just what you're supposed to do. But ever since I had baby #4, my hair has been unruly and changed. It went from full and straight and dare I say pretty...to frizzy, CURLY (???) and an outright pain. I've been saddened recently whenever I try to style my hair because it just doesn't lay or cooperate like it used to. I was told it was my hormones and getting older. Well, this is just not acceptable. Now to know that I could make a simple MONEY-SAVING change AND see some great results? It's worth a shot!!

Honestly I can't even remember how I first learned about this. I think I read a blog, that referenced another blogger, who pointed me finally to yet another blog that talked about this odd hair care technique. There were a few responses to these blog posts from people who didn't have success with their transition away from shampoo and eventually went back to what was comfortable. But overall, there seemed to be so many positive results that I can't help but think I need to try it. I decided to post something on my Facebook status about the 'no shampoo' method and wound up with a ton of comments-and from those I decided that it was my duty as a good friend and Facebook user to show my friends what this 'movement' is all about. For better or for worse, I am going to try it. Some people have indicated that it may take at least 6 weeks to see results (i.e. healthier hair), so from this day on I commit to 6 weeks minimum on this journey. So, from now until June 8th, I will be embracing this concept and will chronicle my experiences right here.

And because I know people love pictures to go along with their posts, here are some pre-hippie pictures of my hair. Oh...and if it looks like the top of my hair is a different color, that's because it is. I decided a few months ago because my husband put me on a budget and I didn't have any money to spend on coloring to stop having my hair "done". I decided to grow my hair out to its natural color and just embrace my 31-year-old graying head. Feel free to zoom in and accuse me of having no grays, but believe ME, they are there!! I think I have at least 2-3 for each kid, so while it isn't an overwhelming amount yet (that day is fast approaching), it's definitely noticeable--just maybe not in the picture.

Listed below are a few blogs/articles I came across today when I was obsessing about researching this crazy unique lifestyle.

Life Less Plastic


You may also want to read:

My Dirty Hair Days-Update 1

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Date Night

Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, Kris and I were able to go out on a date tonight. I'd like to say that we have just really been wanting and planning a night away. I'd like to say that we have saved up money so that we could just go and have a fun night on the town. Completely unrelated, I'd also like to say I can eat whatever I want and not gain a single pound, but I wouldn't want to disappoint my readers with lies.


We had a coupon for $21 to Ameristar a local establishment that was going to expire on Thursday. Coupons for under $10 hardly seem worth the trip and time, considering we also have to find a babysitter. HOWEVER...can you really blame us for not wanting to throw away $21??

Fact #2:

We had a free movie ticket that my frugal husband we just couldn't let go to waste.

Fact #3:

I will NEVER be able to eat anything I want without the fear of gaining weight. My body just refuses to cooperate!

We decided to give "Date Night" a chance. Besides the fact that we had been wanting to see this movie and friends told us it was good, it seemed an appropriate movie for our own date night.

I'm annoyed that this video is cut off on my blog. Here is the link if you want to see the actual trailer.

I have mixed feelings about the movie. There was some bad language throughout the movie but what really upset me was a very long scene in a strip club. It wasn't sexual, not really. It wasn't even incredibly seductive or indecent per say. But any amount of inappropriate dress or sexual scenes just makes me downright angry. It doesn't make the movies better. At least not for me. It just makes me mad. That scene aside, however, I actually really loved the movie. I am 99% convinced that I have never seen a more accurate portrayal of what marriage looks like after kids. While watching this movie, I felt as if someone had been watching the interaction between Kris and I over the last 10 years!

The opening scene was very close to what the weekends are like in our home. The parents are lying in bed, asleep. One kid comes in begging to be fed breakfast (that's our Olivia), while another kid comes in jumping up and down on the parents in the bed (that's pretty much ANY kid of ours). You hear the father (Steve Carrell) whisper to the mother (Tina Fey) "Don't move." As in, "if they don't see you move maybe they'll go away!" And as the kids leave the room, the parents look at the clock and it isn't even 5am! You've no doubt known mornings like that too!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Riblets anyone?


I had my second visit with a new doctor today. He's a licensed chiropractor and master acupuncturist. When I met with him on Thursday I was impressed, to say the least. For the first time in a year and a half I was filled with hope that I could finally be free from the neck pain that has dragged me down for too long. He said he knew exactly what was wrong with me and exactly how to treat it! He took some plain film x-rays and asked me to bring him a copy of my MRI. He assured me that he KNEW my pain was real and that I didn't have to live the rest of my life in pain. He told me about this decompression machine they have and use, and have had great success with, specifically with Degenerative Disc Disease.

I left the office Thursday close to excited at the prospect of finding real relief from my pain. Over the weekend the pain was almost unbearable; I managed to make it through though and went to my 11am appointment today hopeful that I would get some relief from the ultrasound therapy they had done on Thursday. I did feel slightly better after the ultrasound, but I still have a lot of stiffness and tension in my neck.

Today after the 'therapy' as they called it, I went down to talk to the doctor and go over my MRI and x-rays he had taken on Thursday. One of the first statements the chiropractor made to me was that I had a lot of things wrong! I'm thinking "No kidding!" But then again, we weren't talking about my mental health now were we? ;-)

As I sat down, the chiropractor told me that he wanted to show me something. He put the x-rays up on the wall and pointed to both sides of my neck. It would seem that I actually have 26 ribs, where MOST people only have 24. There are two extra ribs, one on each side of my neck. They are small...maybe about the size of a nickel each. The doctor jokingly called them 'riblets' (bringing to mind those delicious little morsels at Applebees) in an effort to explain to me that they were not a cause for concern, since they were small and likely full-grown already.

Dr. Hubbard (for that is my wonderful chiropractor's name) explained that these extra ribs weren't causing me pain and would not hurt me at all.

Side note, as you are beginning to see, I have a problem...I like to use parentheses. Perhaps it's better to say I like to 'overuse' them. OK, back to the topic at hand...

He told me that the 'spare ribs' (ha ha...) sit right around where the bottom of a helmet would lay. So, if I were a hockey or football player, or participated in another sport where helmets were required, my risk of becoming paralyzed would be great. He said that young football players who get hit hard in the head or knocked down and become paralyzed most likely have those extra ribs. When they are hit just right (say with a helmet pressing down on the ribs), they press against the spine and can cause irreversible damage. He explained that it was important for me to know this, since I am a carrier for this genetic anomaly and it is possible for my children to inherit it. But fortunately for me, the extra ribs are not contributing to my neck pain.

He also showed me my MRI (gee it would have been nice if one of the other 5 doctors had done this) and the spot where my spine is indented. The two discs that are bulging are pressing against my nerve and this is what is causing the pain. My spine has become indented because the discs are bulging and this has forced my body to overcompensate and put extra strain on my neck and spine.

If my body responds to the decompression treatment and therapy, we will move forward. If it does not, this may mean that what the MRI showed back in August has changed significantly and a new MRI will need to be performed. I am praying though that this treatment works. If the MRI shows significant changes, such as a herniated disc, it is likely that surgery would be the only option for treatment. And once you have discs removed, you lose flexibility in the neck and it will just create more disc problems. So I am hoping that we can reverse the deterioration, heal the discs and I can finally be free of this pain. It is the most hope I have had in quite some time. I am very thankful that I found this new chiropractor, and better still, he is located only 5 minutes away from my office.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with Dr. Hubbard. He made me feel I was important and that my pain mattered. He made me believe that he truly wanted me to feel better and would do whatever he could to ensure that I did. So, if you are looking for a chiropractor in the St. Louis area, I cannot praise this man more.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why Women Stay

I don't have all the answers. It's very easy to say how you would react to a situation if you were in it. However, when faced with a difficult decision, I think that sometimes we end up reacting differently than we anticipated.

My heart is aching tonight for women who are in abusive relationships. And I believe that abuse can take many forms. It could be physical abuse, but relationships are also impacted significantly by drug or alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, or pornography addiction. All of these things can destroy relationships. When one of the above 'issues' arise in a relationship, it's easy to sit back and say that we (as women) would never stand for it. I don't mean to generalize and imply that women are the only ones impacted by these issues. I am simply writing this from a woman's perspective and viewing the issue in light of being a woman myself.

When a woman is abused (and let me assure you that I am NOT in an abusive relationship), outsiders judge the woman and question why she would continually go back to a man who is abusive. To those of you out there who are strong, confident women, I think it's great if you are able to immediately withdraw yourself from an abusive situation. But I think that some people are too quick to say "She should get out of that as quickly as possible." But what some women don't (and may never) understand is that not all women are the same. We don't all think alike. We don't all handle conflict the same. We don't all react the exact same way in every situation.

There are some women out there (myself included) who battle low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and a fear of being alone. And unfortunately, while it may not make sense, people like that tend to stay in abusive relationships. There are many reasons, even if some of them don't make sense to most people.

#1. We are afraid that if we leave or try to 'escape', we will be alone and never find someone to love us. We are afraid that we will never be able to stand on our own feet, or raise our families on our own. Is this logical? No. Is it a real fear? You bet it is! We have a very unhealthy view of ourselves and our worth and oftentimes we feel like we 'deserve' what we get.

#2. We are sadly, unrealistically hopeful that the person causing the hurt will change. We want to believe that people can change. And I do believe that they can, but only with the help of God. And so we stay and we hope and we pray that they will change.

#3. Our self-worth is directly tied to the men we love. If we can't make our relationships work, it is a direct reflection of who we are and the value we have. If we sever ties, we admit that we are unworthy of love. Again, I know that it is flawed thinking, but it is indeed how we process things.

There are other reasons. What makes me qualified to say these things when I have insisted above that I am not in an abusive relationship? Because I understand how I would react IF I were in this type of relationship. And I know that I am not alone in it.

Do I want to be abused? NO. Of course not. But if I gave 10 years of my life to someone that I loved more than my own life, it would not be easy to just run away at the first signs of abuse. Abuse isn't just a cut and dry thing. Maybe it should be. Maybe for some women it is. But for other women, it isn't a sure escape route from a marriage or relationship. There are other factors to consider. Money. Ability to provide for family emotionally, not just financially. Fear. Fear is a big factor here. So many different fears - what people will think, how we will be perceived, how the abuser will react. In our warped minds, it makes more sense to stay with an abuser than to get out.

Is it fair to our children? No. I've heard so many people say "What about the children? What is this teaching the children?" These are very valid points. But unfortunately, they are not the only questions. It is unfair for someone on the outside looking in to say how an abused woman should react in a situation, especially when there are children involved. I do not believe for a second that an abused mother stays in a relationship with no regard for what it will do to her children. A mother (abused or not) wants nothing more than to provide a safe and loving environment for her children. And some women may feel that it is safer and healthier for the children to stay with the abuser than to rip their lives apart with divorce. Is it the right answer? I don't know. It isn't my place to say. No situation where abuse is involved is ideal. But it isn't OK for someone who doesn't know the person or the situation to look in and say that the abused woman is wrong for making a decision to stay or go back. Do I think it is safe? No. Do I think it is healthy for a woman to stay in an abusive relationship? No. Do I think it is safe mentally or emotionally for the children to witness an abusive relationship? Of course not.

I am not even sure where I am heading with this. I was moved by a story of abuse this evening and read comments saying "How could she stay with him?" and "How could she put her children back into that environment?" And my heart aches for that woman. Because I truly believe that she is not being selfish and thinking of no one but herself. I am thankful that I am not in an abusive relationship. But I am not blind enough that I don't recognize that if I were in that same situation I very likely would be that crazy woman who chooses to stay. I'd like to think that if direct physical abuse were involved that I would take my kids and separate myself from the abuser. But I know myself. I know how unfortunately my self-worth is tied closely to my marriage and not to God where it belongs. And I know that if someone hurt me and were repentant, I would struggle to push them out of my life.

The reality is that women caught in these horrible relationships need prayer and support, regardless of what they choose. Because they may not even realize WHY they are going back. They are alone and frightened and feeling helpless. And they want to believe that people can change. And they have such deep love for the person harming them that they choose to stay instead of throwing it all away or starting over.

So, while I am terrified you'll stone me hesitant to do this...what are your thoughts? Try not to be too mean...let's keep it family-friendly please!

Bailey's Little Bites GIVEAWAY

I'm going to do something on here that I have never done before. I'm going to host a giveaway! I'm not a blogger who always has giveaways. In fact, I've never had one. I'm not a blogger who tries to make money off of my blog. It is likely that I never will. However, I know a good thing when I see it, and want to share a great product with you, my loyal readers.

My friend Tara began making felt food for her daughter Bailey last year. It is the cutest play food I have ever seen! It makes me wish I had a little one young enough to really enjoy it. Because I do not, I am introducing all of you to Bailey's Little Bites.

Because I have never done a giveaway before, I know nothing about it at all. But this seems like a good time to start. So, one lucky winner will receive $10 towards the purchase of any Bailey's Little Bites order!

To enter, go to Bailey's Little Bites ETSY page, then leave me a comment telling me which item(s) you love!

You can earn extra entries by completing any of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each one you complete, as well as your email address so I can contact the winner):

1. Follow Bailey's Little Bites blog.
2. Follow Bailey's Little Bites on Twitter.
3. Become a fan of Bailey's Little Bites on Facebook.
4. Blog about this giveaway.
5. Grab Bailey's Little Bites button from my sidebar and add it to your page.

Giveaway will end on May 2nd, 2010.

This giveaway benefits me in no way, shape or form. I have not been asked to review this product nor am I receiving any compensation for this post. I just love this felt food and want others to be able to share it with their children or grandchildren.

What other food items would you like to see added to this collection?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gimp and blog buttons

Now I am really becoming sophisticated. Between what my husband has taught me using Gimp and some great tutorials I found on Mommy Moment, I now have a blog button that I am thrilled with!! Check it out:

Pretty cool huh? I think that is all the technical learning I will want for a while!! But all in all, I am very pleased with how it turned out. MUCH better than the first one I attempted...AND it matches my blog!


I have now designed a button for my other blog! What do you think?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Personal space...what's that?

As you may have read earlier, I have 'issues' with being touched or hugged. The other night I stopped by the library to pick up some movies I had requested. I was standing at the counter, waiting patiently to check my movies out when this old man approached on my left. Instead of waiting in line behind me like a civilized human being everyone else, he came up right next to me, WAY too close, and just stood there with books in his hands, ready to check out. He reeked of smoke and bad breath, and he obviously had no concept of personal space! And he just stood there, creeping me out waiting. He was quite literally RIGHT. BESIDE. ME. As if this wasn't bad enough, a small child approached on my right and also stood there next to me. If I had tried to move in any direction, I would have brushed up against one or both of them. Do these people not know what a line is? As if this wasn't bad enough, ANOTHER old man approached and stood just behind me to my right. Again...not in a line. I've never seen such a chaotic, messy line. Not even among the preschoolers in Olivia's class!

It's that time again...

...Friday Follow.

Friday Follow

Today I thought I would write some random 'fun facts' all about me! Because this world blog revolves around yours truly!

1. I don't like to be touched. How did I wind up with four kids you ask? I'll tell you what I tell every other well-meaning idiot person who seems to be perplexed by this statement. It's different with my husband! But even with him (and others in general), I do not like to be hugged. I can't stand to have someone lightly rub their hand or fingers against my arm, neck, back, leg. The only time I don't tense up with regards to hugging is when I initiate it. Imagine my horror when we joined our church and were told to go to the back so everyone could come out and welcome us! There was much handshaking and hugging going on and much anxiety on my part. I made it through, but I may think twice before joining another church anytime soon!

2. I have a very hard time staying focused at work on Fridays. Hopefully my boss husband doesn't read this for a few days!

3. I taught myself how to quilt when I was 20 years old. It is one of my favorite hobbies, though with my neck problems I don't get back to it very often. Someday I will finally finish Abbey's quilt that I've been working on for a year and a half! Here are some pictures of my handiwork:

Abbey's 'unfinished' ballerina quilt (I am now halfway done with the top-stitching):

Katherine's Tinkerbell quilt

Quilt I made for my youngest Olivia (and her laying on it when she was an adorable little baby who is now incredibly spoiled four years old):

Very Hungry Catepillar quilt I made for a friend's new baby:

4. In addition to making quilts, my friend Brandi (for whom I made the above quilt) told me about these cute little tag blankets and I think they are adorable! I love to make them and have sold quite a few of them. Great for teething babies...the material is soft flannel and the ribbons have different textures on them.

5. While I like the idea of opening up my own bakery some day, shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen scare me out of giving it serious thought. Well, let's face it...it isn't those shows so much as it is him:

6. I am terrified of her, in so many ways, for so many reasons:

7. I have very little patience for whining, tattling, fake crying (like kids pretending to be babies or pretending they are hurt), and coughing. If you have a cold, it's best to avoid me throughout the duration of it. Just ask my constantly sick very patient husband.

8. I love my feet. I believe that they are one of my best features. This is my foot; my sister is a Henna artist, hence the beautiful design on my foot.

9. I canont stand to hear people clipping their nails, crinkling water bottles, jingling change, or singing off key/singing the wrong words to songs. I am reminded of what my brothers would say when we were growing up and singing along to songs. "Who sings that?" Once we told them who sang it they would say "Well let them sing it then."

10. As long as you don't cough, whine, tattle, pretend cry like a baby, clip your nails, jingle change, sing off key, or crinkle a bottle near me, we will get along just fine!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things I do fast...

I entered an essay contest today to win a new phone. The topic of the essay was something you can do fast. I think my chances of winning are slim, though I think they will have to give me points for creativity! Ready to hear what I told them I do fast?

Make babies.

Real. Live. Human. Babies.

I make them. Fast.

Without having twins or triplets, I somehow managed to make 3 babies and birth them ALL in just 2 years and 5 days. So, as you can see, I am actually quite experienced at this fast-family-making method! Though I wouldn't recommend it. Being pregnant 3 summers in a row with little time to breathe in between each one was difficult, to say the least.

I really, REALLY want to win this phone. Especially since Kris won't let me buy it for at least another 8 months! Oh, and if I do win, Sprint will be elevated from "I tolerate you" to "I love you!" A free 4G phone with Google Android would make me forget about all the bad experiences I have had. :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A little relief

For the last year and a half I have had neck pain. I have two degenerated discs in my neck and most of the time I can tolerate the pain. It's never gone-it's always lurking, ready to attack when I least expect it. I have mentioned this recently in a couple of different posts and how it has 'flared' up over the last week. About 6-8 months ago, the pain was so bad I had Kris take me to the ER. They put an I.V. in and gave me Morphine, which did NOTHING. At all. It was awful. I'm crying because the pain is so intense and frustrated that even Morphine wouldn't take the pain away. They switched over to Dolotin and finally I felt true relief for the first time in a year. Mind you, it didn't last long...but those few hours I felt better than I had in a long time.

Throughout the last year and a half I have been to physical therapy (more times than I can remember), seen a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, a pain management doctor and a chiropractor. None of them could figure out what was causing the pain (the neuro guys didn't seem to think the pain was from the degenerated discs??). The pain management guy was willing to TRY to treat me, but cautioned that if I started pain management at 30 years old it would be far less effective when I was 50 and really needed it. And I left all of that feeling as if I was doomed to a life of pain.

Most days it is bearable. However, there are some days that it is the only thing I can think about. It interferes with my job, my family life, every aspect of my life really. That has been the case this past week. I found some relief on Monday and had hopes that the weekend recurrence of intense pain was finally ending. But I was wrong. Yesterday the pain worsened until today I was in tears all day at work. The pain wasn't quite as bad as the first time Kris took me to the ER, but it was pretty darn close. So, we made the decision to go back to the ER tonight.

Here is where it got interesting. Now, everyone knows that you can't just get in and out of the emergency room. It's just not possible. I do not know how those places operate, but I know that it isn't at a fast pace. Which is really odd, because they always seem to imply that they want you out so they have the bed available for someone else...but then it seems to take forever to get a doctor to see you and then forever to get discharged once you are treated.

Tonight was no exception and probably one of the slowest ER visits ever! We waited in the main waiting room for about an hour. They finally called me back into a room. A nurse came in after just a few minutes and told me I had to give them a urine sample so they could make sure that I wasn't pregnant. After the nurse took said specimen, she told me that someone would be in the room shortly.

Two hours later, after we are quickly becoming convinced that they have forgotten about me, an intern or nurse came in and said "Well, you're going home!" First of all...I could have really used a Xanax right around this time. I'm WHAT??? How can you send someone home when a doctor hasn't even been in to see them??? We questioned the guy and he was like "Hey you know the same amount as me" or something to that effect. We asked him if a doctor was going to come in and he didn't even tell us yes or no. He was just very vague and said he just does what they tell him. So I am now quickly approaching panic mode as he walks out of the room. Fortunately, Pastor Jeff (our pastor...in case that needed explaining) was there at the time and we all had a good laugh about it all. A short time later the same man came back in and said that he got confused and it was the person next to me that was going home. I became concerned that this man was missing some of his brain cells...he left the room saying he likes to stick people with needles. I prayed that if any needles came my way, he would not be anywhere near me!

Finally after over 3 hours of waiting, a doctor came in. I felt hopeful. They knew I was there and now they would give me something to make the pain stop. He sits down and says "What can I do for you?" I told him what was wrong and he just kind of looked at me expectantly...like I was supposed to tell him how to treat me! I will give him credit though. He sat in the room and talked to us for about 20 minutes. Basically he told me that everything the doctors had done over the last year and a half made sense and was the right way to approach the pain. And he really had me worried that he wasn't going to give me any medicine at all. He kept saying how he couldn't fix the problem and while it wouldn't be bad to have another MRI, they don't do MRI's in the emergency room. He also told us about epidural blocks, which they are also unable to do. This conversation continued until I was almost in tears thinking I had wasted the last 3 hours in a place that wasn't even going to help me.

At the end of the conversation, he agreed to send me home with some Vicodin and a muscle relaxer. He mentioned something about a shot too, though I wasn't sure if he was actually going to give me one. He basically told me that regardless he suspected I would leave the hospital still in pain. Gee thanks doctor...

About an hour later, a nurse came in with a needle. I was really scared that the crazy nurse from earlier was going to come back in and give me the shot but fortunately there was a new bubbly, very friendly nurse that would be administering the shot. The shot went in the rear; I can't remember the name of the shot, but it started with a T. After about 10 minutes, I could tell a difference in the intensity of the pain. I had more range of motion and while my neck still hurt, it was more like the normal day-to-day pain I have learned to live with. I left a short while later with a prescription for the other two medications, which I will fill tomorrow. We got home around 11pm and while I am still fairly uncomfortable (worse if I bend my neck), I feel a lot better than I did. Which is what I wanted. I don't have high hopes that I will now be pain-free. But I do have an appointment with a new chiropractor tomorrow morning. I found someone near work that does acupuncture as well as work specifically with people with degenerated discs. So hopefully they can help me too.

Oh, and something worth mentioning: I STILL DON'T KNOW IF I AM PREGNANT OR NOT!! ;-) Kidding mom and dad...I'm NOT. But if they said they were going to check to see if I was pregnant the least they could have done was tell me the results!

Speaking of 'pain in the neck' is anyone else getting way too many spam comments on their blog?? Is there any way (besides moderating) to control those?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homework-This is why I don't homeschool

Here are some pictures of my baby from last night's asthma episode:

Let's move on to HOMEWORK and why I could never homeschool:

Reason #1
I have NO patience!

Reason #2
There's that whole full-time job thing.

Reason #3

I have NO idea how to even do second and third grade work, let alone teach my kids how to do it! And let's not even start talking about Math or Science.

Katherine had a project where she had to study the phases of the moon. I had no idea there were phases of the moon. Don't get me wrong...now that I think about it, it makes sense. But I didn't know how many there were, let alone what they were called. So, I was helping my 9 year old look up the most recent phases of the moon and she is the one explaining to me what they look like. I had to Google 'phases of the moon' to really figure out what her project was all about and what she was supposed to be doing.

Now, on to my 7 year old's homework. I am still not sure I understand his homework. And yet, as he and I were trying to figure it out, Katherine is looking over my shoulder explaining it to him. Apparently he was supposed to color in the dark part of the earth?? What? And then, he was supposed to match the location of the person to the time of day. I kinda get the midnight and morning. The other two though...I just can't wrap my head around it.

So there you have it. Maybe I'm the only person out there who can't decipher 2nd grade homework!

Seeing as how I have mentioned my other three kids above, in all fairness to Abbey I thought I would at least share something about her too. And with that funny girl, there is ALWAYS something to share. My kids like my cooking. Most people do...which of course makes me feel great. Why wouldn't it? Abbey told me tonight that I should work at a restaurant because she loves my cooking. She then went on to pay me perhaps the greatest compliment one can hope to receive. She told me that my cooking was better than Steak 'n Shake fries!!! Trust me, you might not enjoy Steak 'n Shake fries, but that is the highest compliment one of my kids can give me with regards to my cooking!

Veggie Tales are good for the heart

I have always loved Veggie Tales. Even before I had kids. When I was in high school, my friends and I would sit around watching Veggie Tales, because we were cool like that. That being said, in honor of Top Ten Tuesday I decided to focus my top ten on my favorite Veggie Tales silly songs, complete with videos. I've done all the work for you so if you haven't experienced Veggie Tales, turn the volume up, sit back, and enjoy!

10 - Monkey

9 - The Hairbrush Song

8 - Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

7 -The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps

6 - My Baby Elf/The Elf Song

5 - The Dance of the Cucumber

4 - I Love My Lips

3 - Endangered Love

2 - Do the Moo Shoo

1 - Oh Santa!

Post It Note Tuesday

Here is what I have to say today, in the form of post its:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Idiots...a RANT

There are parts about my job, or rather companies that I work with, that just infuriate me. I just don't understand why you would be in business with human beings if you didn't want to actually WORK for them. And how can a company have a word like "Thorough" in their title if they can't complete anything you ask them to do in a thorough manner? ***Name has been changed to a synonym so as to protect myself the company involved.*** How hard is it to do what I have very specifically spelled out for you at least 3 times to do?? And if I ask you for my claim number, and I tell you that it is six digits and you reply back telling me that my claim number is only 5 digits, and you do so in a very hateful manner, you are just ensuring that I will not continue to do business with you! I know how many numbers are in my claim number!! Perhaps next time you could just look at the assignment sheet that clearly shows the entire number and just email me back with that number, not the number you THINK is right. Though apparently the particular company that has frustrated me today (and last week, and the week before) doesn't seem to care whether they work with us or not...but they need to at least FINISH what they started. I am not rude or sarcastic to the vendors I interact with, let alone my client! It's just bad business. I do not understand how some companies continue to be successful when they have such poor customer service skills.

On a less angry note, here is my Mommy and Me Monday picture:

Me and my oldest, Katherine, age 9

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The best pain reliever: WATER?

I just realized as I am sitting here that I haven't had any water at all today. I've been reading that if you have chronic pain (this is true for headaches/migraines too), it can worsen if you aren't drinking enough water. As I think back, since Friday, I haven't been consuming nearly as much water as I should be, let alone the amount that I HAD been. I am not sure why I didn't drink as much on Friday at work. I keep a large 32oz hospital cup at my desk and am usually diligent about INTENTIONALLY drinking it-I'd say on a typical day I drink at least 96oz. Yesterday and today...well, there isn't really any excuse. I just haven't thought about it. I wonder if the intensity of the pain is due to a lack of water. Why couldn't I remember this two days ago??

I've been busy cleaning and cooking today in an effort to distract myself from the pain, which hasn't lessened at all. But on the bright side, my house looks a LOT better than it did! The clean clothes that have been decorating our living room have all been sprayed with Downey Wrinkle Releaser and are now hanging or put away. I HATE ironing. In fact, I refuse to iron, unless I'm working on a quilt. After hearing friends talk about the Downey Wrinkle Releaser, I kept thinking "I need to get some of that." I kept forgetting. Well, finally a couple of months ago, I remembered and picked some up. That stuff is great!! So, our clothes that have been sitting clean in baskets for days are now wrinkle-free. Now my kids won't look like they just rolled out of bed when they go to school!! At least, not because of their clothes!

You know, I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who get contacted to try products and review them. Why would they give me a product to use when I'll review it for free? :-)

Does anyone else out there have a child who gets hurt (even if it is very minor, especially if it is minor!) that acts like their arm has just been cut off? Kaleb is that way, and it drives me crazy! I have a really hard time conjuring up sympathy when he is rolling around on the ground and shrieking like a little girl screaming. Katherine has been acting out physically lately whenever she is upset. I'm tired of it. She is 9 years old and she knows better! Apparently Kaleb was throwing grass/gumball seedlings up in the air and they were going down the back of Katherine's shirt. Kaleb insists he wasn't intentionally putting them down her shirt, though I have trouble believing he is being 100% truthful. But in order to retaliate, Katherine took her plastic jump rope and began hitting him with it. He has a large welt on his arm! But I'll tell you what...it is so annoying how dramatic Kaleb is when he gets hurt. I don't even want to care about his injury while he is writhing in exaggerated pain on the floor.

Tonight my mother-in-law is coming over after church to watch LOST. We're two episodes behind and I am determined to watch the finale 'live'. I don't want to get on Facebook the next day and see everybody's statuses that will inevitably appear without knowing what happened. That's the downside of watching our shows online. I always know who has won The Biggest Loser before I have a chance to watch the finale.

In the time I started to write this and the time that I finished it (about 20 minutes at most), I finished two 25 ounce water bottles. And I am not making this up...while my neck still hurts really bad, some of the stiffness has actually lessened. So, if you are experiencing headaches, back or neck pain, try drinking more water and see if it makes a difference. It doesn't seem right or make any sense. It doesn't seem likely even...but I really think there is some truth in that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I'm in a funk today. I'm not sure why. I'm going to blame it on the sugar I consumed earlier today at the kids' school carnival. I'm tired and just feeling...blah...though I'm not really sure if you can constitute blah as a feeling. Do you know what I mean though? That casual 'I don't care about anything' attitude...it came on quickly and I have been down for the count the rest of the day. It doesn't help that my neck is killing me and I can't find any relief for it. I think the frustration of living in constant pain is taking its toll on me. I'm contemplating Chinese acupuncture. At this point, I'll try anything. The neurologist told me that he wasn't sure if the degenerated discs in my neck were the cause of the pain and they never could really figure out why it hurt...and so I guess they gave up. The last time I saw the neurologist he wanted to put me on Amitriptyline. He said that it is used to treat depression but that it can also be used to treat chronic pain. Call me crazy (please don't!) but it just doesn't seem like a good idea to take another anti-depressant to control pain when I am already taking one to control depression. Beyond that, I find it hard to believe that an anti-depressant will take my pain away. It's not all in my head...there is real, physical pain and an anti-depressant isn't going to magically take it all away. If Dolotin administered through an IV in the ER didn't completely relieve the pain, a pill not meant just for pain relief is not going to help. I'm really down and frustrated right now. I am so tired of living in pain. Most days it isn't debilitating. This weekend however it has been intense almost to the point of unbearable, though fortunately not enough so to warrant a trip to the ER.

I've been playing with Gimp the last couple of days. It is a free program that allows you to do...well...I have no idea what the possibilities are. I just know that it is free and it is difficult to use! ;-) I have managed to do a couple of things in it now though. Unfortunately, I can't remember how to do it again! So, without further delay, this is my own 'button' I designed using Gimp. I don't know if this will be the final product. But seeing everyone else with buttons on their blogs made me a little jealous! Let me know what you think, good or bad. As I said, it's not necessarily a final product. Oh and I don't know if you noticed or not, but I updated my blog title-it needed to be more concise, yet still carry the same meaning. I'm pleased with it. OK, seriously (I got a little distracted)...here it is:

So I need to know:

1. Is it too much on the eyes?
2. Do you like the font?
3. Is my first attempt completely horrible? ;-)

Now that I am looking at it again, hours later, I just realized it won't 'match' my current blog background. So I am not set on this color scheme, but I do really like the font, so don't hate too much on that part in particular.

OK...ready to voice your opinion? GO!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The "Ladies"

Livvy was sitting with me during the movie tonight and she looked over at me and started looking at and touching my...um...breast, boob, insert word of choice here. And before I go any further, I'd just like to point out that this is sadly not the first conversation we've had about "these". My tiny, inquisitive four-year-old likes to ask too many questions about nipples as well. She seems to be fascinated by them...she'll grow out of that right?

So, she's pushing down on my shirt and a dialog ensues...

Olivia: "Mommy it looks big right there."

Me: "That's because it is big."

Lifting up her shirt and staring at her nipples: "I have tiny ones. These little tiny ones on the kids that means they're kids. On the mommies and daddies they are big."

Then in typical Livvy fashion, she abruptly changed the subject and became very "Elf-like".

"I like to smile. I think you lost a tooth. I think I lost 4 toothes..." and on and on and on she goes...

I asked her jokingly the other night "Do you ever shut up?" Her reply? "No." Surprise, surprise...

Wrapping up the week

Reflections on this past week

1. I have LOVED participating in the UBP 2010.

Ultimate Blog Party 2010
My only complaint? I had to work all week and couldn't just sit around reading 24/7, which I totally would have done! I had already mentioned two of my new favorite blogs earlier in the week, but they are worthy of re-mentioning. I'm pretty sure I just made that word up. Here are three of my newest favorites:

Reviews & Reflections

Adding Zest to your Nest

Not Your Average Teen

2. I need a cool button like those listed above.

Who's going to share with me how to make one of those? Can I make my own or am I going to have to pay beg someone to do it for me? Maybe I should just have my husband figure it out for me. He's so much more nerdy tech-savvy than I am.

3. My neck is NEVER going to stop hurting.

I need House to diagnose what is really wrong with it since my old doctor, a new neurologist, a physical therapist and a chiropractor can't seem to figure it out. We're going on a year and a half now...some days are better than others, but no day is good. No day is pain-free. I've adjusted my posture, added a keyboard tray, got a new bed and pillows, and I stretch, stretch, stretch...all to no avail.

4. Giving up one girl for another boy makes for an interesting evening.

Katherine has gone to spend the night with Grandma. Tomorrow is the spring carnival at their school and Kat was going to help her make posters and signs. Last minute my friend called and asked if her son could come over for a few hours so that she could go to a school function for the parents. So, as if I wasn't crazy enough, I said "Why don't you just let him spend the night with Kaleb?" Now we have 2 girls and 2 boys. It's an interesting dynamic. And LOUD (it isn't)! Really though, it's not too bad. Tyler is a good, (a.k.a QUIET) kid and Kaleb doesn't get to play with other boys very often. It's a good opportunity for both of them; Kaleb since he is usually surrounded by girls and Tyler because he is an only child (with the exception of a much older brother who is grown and out of the house). So I guess technically he isn't an only child, but he doesn't have any other younger siblings in the house.

5. Family movie night will go smoother once Olivia is older.

My older kids are at an age where the Disney cartoons just aren't interesting enough. They want to watch the 'real' movies. OK, I say "they". It's really just Katherine and Kaleb. Abbey will watch whatever is on. But Olivia is just too young still to tolerate 'real' movies. We usually let her go play on the computer so the rest of us can watch the movie without her incessant chattering. But that just really seems to detract from the idea of FAMILY movie night. I know in a couple of years it will be better...if I could just find a way to stitch Livvy's lips shut on Friday nights we'd be set!

6. Working out should be done on a consistent, regular basis.

We went almost two weeks without going to the YMCA. We finally went back Thursday night. The elliptical is still an enemy. I managed 10 minutes at a 3 resistance (hey don't laugh-I usually keep it at 1!) before I had to switch over to the bike. I really wish that I could tolerate the elliptical for longer. Some days, after we have actually been going consistently, I can make it to 15 minutes. I'd LOVE to get to a point where I can go for 30 minutes straight on the ellilptical without my willpower knee giving out.

7. I have NO idea what "meme" is.

I've seen this on a number of blogs and have been too lazy to look it up. Seriously people...does that stand for something?"

8. Summer = shaving = sad Jamie

I hate shaving. Why do we have to have two legs and why do they have to be so long? And why I silently tolerate the arm pit shaving, only because it takes just seconds. But the legs? It's like shaving 1000 arm pits and I have very little patience for that (or pretty much anything else). And yet I still do it...because I love my husband and I know he appreciates it. Though for some reason...he doesn't seem to return the favor with his face. Honey I know you'll read this eventually, so now that I have sold you out...I will tell my readers that you have made great effort this last week to shave on a regular basis and I really appreciate it! And just to give you a heads up, I think I'm going to base my shaving schedule off of yours. You shave, I shave. ;-)

9. I earned a really cute pink and black apron!!

And I'm going to make about $140, for doing very little actually! Being the shy hater of public speaking that I was in high school and college, I never thought I would fall in love with entertaining people and cooking for them!! But I did. And I'm in my element doing it...and though this is difficult for me to admit (because of the whole low self-esteem thing), I've come to realize and accept that I'm actually very good at it. I know I am being extremely vague here, so for those of you who don't really know what I am talking about, if you really want to know, leave your email in the comments and I will send you a message. There are strict advertising rules and so I don't want to do anything that would go against policy here.

10. I think that my knee is FINALLY getting better.

I have noticed this week that my knee hasn't ached as much as it has in past weeks. I'm 3 1/2 months post-surgery, so according to the statistics, it SHOULD be back to full strength by now. However, I think it is really hanging on right around 75%. I don't know if the break from working out helped it (that doesn't seem likely) or if it is just finally healing. I'm hoping that it is finally on the mend and I will soon be able to walk, sit and stand without pain. At least in my knee. Because I know that the aforementioned (look at me using a big word!) neck pain isn't going anywhere! Too bad you can't get 14 letters in Scrabble...I'll bet that word would score well...

What about you?

How did your week go? Anything interesting, frustrating or funny happen? As you can see, my week was extremely boring. Just another day in the life of The Bishops!