Nighttime Workout

Dear Princess,

I love our snuggle and cuddle time.  Holding you close, hugging, loving, tickling, giggling, talking…these are special times I will always cherish.  You are a beautiful, loving, intelligent girl, growing smarter every day.

sleeping princess

Your brilliance astounds me.  Who thought that you could combine sleeping with exercise?  Sleeping with you provides me with a workout.  As I struggle to push you back to your side of the bed, I can feel my muscles work.  When you were younger, it didn’t take much to reclaim my space.  However, now that you are six years old, your bigger body requires me to use more force.  And if that weren’t enough, now you provide resistance to really challenge me as you struggle to maintain your monopoly over the bed.  Whether I am dislodging your foot from my throat or removing your knee from my ribs, I am building my muscles.  With the way you make me keep my body tensed up, I should have a flat tummy and buns of steel in just a few nights.

Although this Sleepercise regimen of yours is a wonderful concept, there is room for improvement.  First, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for punching you in the face.  It wasn’t out of frustration and anger toward you, my trainer.  I was simply turning over and stretching out my arm, not expecting your face to be RIGHT THERE.  Hopefully the bruising will subside before you return to school.  Second, while combining sleep and exercise sounds like a great idea, there is one, tiny problem.  I do the exercise and you do the sleeping.  My body requires sleep, too.  Unfortunately, after a night of sharing a bed with you, I find myself grumpy and tired in the morning, and throughout the day.  Popping mini-Snickers bars in my mouth all day for the sugar rush seems counter-productive to the previous night’s workout.  However, once we can tweak the program to get past these issues, I’m sure I will be fit in no time!

In the meanwhile, in order for me to get a good night’s sleep so I can be a good, well-rested mommy the next day, I think maybe we should limit the time we share a bed.  I love you very much.  I know sleeping arrangements are a bit confusing while we are visiting Grandpa and Grandma.  I admire your ingenuity and creativity in developing this new sleep/exercise program and I thank you for trying it out on me.  But tomorrow night, I think you should sleep with your sister.

Love always,


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When You Gotta Go…Go!

Warning:  this blog post is full of crap.  Well, it’s about being full of crap.  If this talk offends you or grosses you out, you might want to quit reading now.  Come back in a day or two and I will have something less wasteful to talk about.toilet small

This is actually a serious subject:  constipation.  More specifically, teen constipation.  Recently, my friend’s daughter, Katie (oh yeah, I changed her name to prevent her from being mortified and horrified by the sensitive nature of this subject) went to the ER with severe stomach pain.  After an examination and x-ray, it was determined that she was severely constipated.  She was given a laxative to help clean her out and sent home to wait for the inevitable.

Only, it didn’t happen.  There were some loose stools, but not nearly what needed to happen.  She had some bleeding from the straining, probably from fissures or hemorrhoids.  It go to the point that it was so painful to try that she didn’t want to go.

It was a horrible waiting game, full of misery and pain and doctors.  The pediatrician referred her to a specialist who tested her for bacteria.  Negative.  Katie had an enema.  No luck.  Drinking lots and lots of fluid.  Nothing much. Finally, 2-3 days after drinking a mixture of Miralax (laxative) and Gatorade, Katie had success!   Lots and lots of success!  All day long success.  Along with that came more tummy aches, probably from all the movement and cramping going on inside.

So why am I sharing this poor girl’s unfortunate story?  Katie’s pediatrician said she was constipated because she wasn’t going when her body was telling her to.  She was holding it in.  Katie readily admitted that she refused to poop at school.  Even though she needed to go, she wouldn’t let herself poop in the school restrooms.  According to the pediatrician, this is common among girls.  Not only do poor diet choices (common in teens) lead to constipation, but some girls just refuse to use public restrooms.  I had never heard of this before, but I wanted to share Katie’s story to encourage others, especially pre-teen and teen girls, to not fight the urge and go when your body tells you.  If not, it can lead to big problems.  Katie ended up having two x-rays, an emergency room visit, three trips to her pediatrician, a visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist, two sets of lab work, an enema, a couple of different kinds of laxatives, and lots of tears and pain.  Because of her situation, she missed 4 days of school and her parents missed work. Not only is all of that a pain in the gut, but a pain in the pocket-book, too.

I have tried carefully to maintain a serious tone to this serious topic butt it was hard!.  The pun-creating area of my brain is getting constipated and I need to let it all out.  Talking about constipation is an uncomfortable subject.  We just need to open up and not be ashamed.  I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass, but please, show your concern by encouraging your loved ones to poop!

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by


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A New Military Strategy

Legos and Joseph

My youngest son, Mr. Dude, loves Legos, as did his older brother, and most boys at some point in their lives. My girls also enjoyed them, but not quite to the extent as the boys. In this house, it seems to be a guy thing. The boys could spend hours with a bunch of Legos. Not necessarily making a huge construction, but just doing simple machines/vehicles/buildings/robots and using their imaginations to play, then take it apart and start all over again. I love it when Mr. Dude brings me one of his creations and goes into an in-depth description of what it is and what it does. His stories are far more interesting and entertaining than his Lego architectural abilities. Legos are a wonderful, creative tool, and for that, I am thankful.


Legos have an evil side. What, you may ask? How can an innocent, little piece of plastic be evil? OK, so maybe ‘evil’ is the wrong word. Dangerous. Dangerous is a more accurate description. I’m not talking about the obscure chance that a Lego can put your eye out, but something much more serious.

Legos have the ability to transform from innocent little blocks into small, tiny, thorny objects capable of inducing piercing, sharp, shooting pain of paralyzing capabilities when stepped on with bare feet. No one knows exactly how this happens, but many have experienced this phenomenon. I, too, have fallen victim to this agony on more than one occasion. Physical descriptions of these pain-producing protrusions vary greatly as they are seldom seen.  Most occurrences happen late at night in the dark. There are some witnesses (of unreliable credence) who claim the Legos have fangs or talons, and are capable of spewing out a litany of obscenities when stepped on. I have also heard of video evidence, but it is of extremely poor quality and experts say it is most likely not a Lego but merely a puffer fish out of water. And the obscenities, of course, are from the mouths of the steppers, not that which is stepped upon.

I honestly believe that if our military can harness the awesome, crippling defense mechanism of the Lego, we could all feel safer.  Who knows?  Maybe the government is already working on it.

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Fun Flashback Friday

This morning I heard “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on the radio.  Mr. Dude was in the room with me.  Every time Cyndi Lauper sang “girls just wanna have fun,” he chimed in, “and boys!”  He was cracking me up!

I decided to post the video today. It’s a happy, fun, carefree song that has become an anthem for girls. But every time you hear the lyrics today, think of my sweet 7-year-old boy and remember that boys want to have fun, too!

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Season of Change

Jonathan's permit


See that paper my son is holding? That paper will change his life. That paper is his driving learner’s permit. After nearly a month of drivers education, and several attempts to get his permit (we ran into trouble with not having current identification and the DMV’s office hours) he got it. He many now legally drive with my husband or I. On real roads. With other cars. Other moving cars. No more practicing in the K-mart or high school parking lot. It is time to take the driving lessons to the streets.

Many kids these days don’t need to be taught how to drive. For example, take farm kids. They have been driving tractors since they were three. Or golf cart kids. It seems to be a big thing lately to have a golf cart if you have enough land and these kids race around and become expert drivers by the time they are ten. Quads, go-karts, Gators…nope, none of those in our family. The only driving experience my son has had is his bike.

With a deep breath and moral support from the dog, I took the Oldest to a state park for his first real drive. The state park was a good option because the roads were decent and there was little traffic and few pedestrians. The boy sat in the driver’s seat and I sat in the passenger’s seat with the dog on my lap. They say that pets can help reduce stress, and I think that’s true. Mr. K sat patiently on my lap while I continuously stroked his back from head to tail. It’s a wonder he didn’t develop a bald spot. I’m not saying that my son’s driving stressed me out, I’m just saying…well…there is room for improvement. I prefer staying on the road and he needs to work on his turns a bit. Only one oncoming vehicle had to swerve out-of-the-way, so I think that’s good. I managed to keep my calm and offer suggestion and corrections in a helpful, nurturing tone (I think). In defense of my child, I must point out that he was driving our big, 12-passenger van, which is not known for its maneuverability.

After logging an hour of driving time, it was time for me to take the wheel again to get us home through the busy, Saturday traffic. He has several months to go before he can get his real driver’s license and many hours of driving practice ahead of him. I am confident that he will do well on his exam when the time comes.

It’s a new season of life for him as well as for me. Some parents lament that their children are suddenly old enough to drive. Others are eager to have another driver in the house to help run errands. For me, it’s a bit of both. It will be great to have help picking up kids from school and letting him drive to his own activities.  Yet after he gets his driver’s license, the next big milestone is high school graduation then off to college and I’m not ready for that. But for now, we will take it one day at a time and practice those turns and parking and road rules. Each day he will become more comfortable and more confident with his driving abilities, and I will become prouder of the young man he is.

Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful son!

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Happy Fall!

fall picture
Happy first day of Autumn!

Happy apple time!

Happy pumpkin time!

Happy harvest time!

Happy sweatshirt time!

Happy pretty leaves time!

Happy football time!

Happy bonfires!

Happy I-don’t-have-to-shave-my-legs-as-often time!

Happy Fall!

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Sunday Celebration!

This was another one of THOSE weeks.  Very busy, very stressful.  It was starting to pull me down.  I was letting all the “stuff” in my life overwhelm me and I was struggling a bit.  I spent a little time in front of the tablernacle and just let it go. I gave it all to Jesus, and (no big surprise) He was big enough to take it.

The song I chose for today’s Sunday Celebration! is a good reminder to keep your eyes focused on Christ.  May I present “Strangely Dim” by Francesca Battistelli.

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“What’s Your Blog About?”

I was recently at a blogging conference and the most common question (naturally) was, “What’s your blog about?”  Sometimes I get confused about this blog and what it is supposed to be and what I want it to be.  Well, this definitely isn’t a business blog.  I don’t have an obvious niche, like travel, fitness, or fashion.  I don’t attempt to give out advice or counsel.  I guess I would be classified as a “Mommy Blogger” because, well, most of my posts are about my family and home.  Just a Mommy Blogger, not a Super Mommy Blogger.

I’m not one of those bloggers.  You know what I mean.  Super Mommy who does everything and does it well.  “I homeschool my 13 children, except for the 14-year old who is in college.  Last week I taught the 8 month old and the dog how to use the toilet.  My husband and I built our own home from the trees we cut down on our property and hand-planed.  I garden, can, dry food, bake bread, grind my own flour, and I am a master winemaker.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, household cleaner, furniture polish, furniture, soap, and toilet paper.  I am an extreme couponer and rebater.  Our meals are planned, prepared, and frozen six months in advance.  My hobbies include scrapbooking, quilting, archery, recycling, rope-making, back-packing through Europe, and rebuilding passenger airliners.  I also make scarves out of dryer lint.  I donate blood daily and send care packages to the troops overseas every week.  I am the Scoutmaster for 2 Cub Scout troops and lead a 4H club.  In my spare time, I help under-privileged animals by hand-making clothing for naked mole rats.  And I work full-time.”

Yeah…that’s not me.  I just talk about my plain, regular life.  My life.  Sometimes I might share a recipe or project, or inspire my readers in some way.  My blog may be humorous, poignant, or gross at times, but it is what it is.  It represents me.  Faith, family, home…I’m working on it!  Hopefully, you find it worth your time to read.


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This is Gross

NOTE:   The contents of today’s blog post is kind of gross and disgusting.  If you think you may be grossed out or offended by talk of vomit, don’t continue reading.  If your curiosity is piqued, and you want to read an anecdote that many people, especially parents, can related to, please continue.  And I won’t be offended if you laugh at my expense.


At 1 A.M.  My body woke me up with an urge.  “That’s what happens when 5 babies have used me as a trampoline!” taunted my bladder.  As I roused myself out of bed, I noticed a light coming in under the door from the hallway.  Someone else was up.

As I made my way into the hallway, I noticed the kitchen light was on, although I didn’t hear any noise.  I planned to investigate, but my first stop was the bathroom because I really had to go.  To my surprise, I found Mr. Dude, my seven-year old, asleep on the bathroom floor.  After hurriedly doing my business, I woke him up to see what was wrong.

“I threw up,” he said.  Poor kid!  I asked him how he was feeling, did he think he was going to throw up again, did anything hurt, etc.  No, and no sign of fever, either.  That was good.

“Did you make it to the toilet in time?”  I asked while I scanned the floor looking for vomit.

“No.  I puked in the kitchen.  I was going to get a drink.”

Oh.  That explained the kitchen light.

I tucked Mr. Dude back in bed and found a small trash can to use as a Barf Bucket next to his bed…just in case.  Then I made my way to the kitchen, bracing myself for what I would find.

First, let me explain something.  I don’t do well with vomit.  Not at all.  I get near it and I start gagging and heaving.  I know that isn’t an uncommon reaction.  Who wants to be around barf?  But I very, very seldom vomit.  In the twenty plus years my husband has known me, I have only thrown up once, and that was when I had the flu.  Before that, I threw up once in college from a suspected case of mild food poisoning.  You would need to go back to the mid-1970’s to find the rest of my puke-history.  Despite my personal non-regurgitation tendency, I do have a very strong gag reflex, and I swear, one of these days I’m gonna blow.

My husband usually takes pity on my and cleans up and takes care of the kids in these situations, but he was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up.  Besides, I’m a big girl.  I’m a mom.  I can do this.  That became my mantra:  I’m a mom, I can do this.

Like the Little Engine That Could, I shuffled toward the kitchen, chanting to myself, “I’m a mom…I can do this…”  I was bound and determine to successfully complete this task alone, without waking my husband, and without gagging and heaving.  “I am mature.  I can handle this.”  I continued to coach myself as I made my way to the kitchen, mentally preparing for what I would find.

And I found it.  Mr. Dude must have only taken two steps into the kitchen before it all came out.  It was all right there.  After about five minutes of just staring at the mess, coaching myself to deal with it, I knew I couldn’t delay it any longer.  It was time to take action.

Paper towels.  I needed paper towels.  My eyes searched the kitchen for the ever-wandering roll of paper towels.  Found it…on the OTHER SIDE of the mess.  After muttering a few choice words to myself, I found a piece of construction paper on the table and put it on the floor to act as and island in the middle of Lake Vomit.  I carefully crossed to the other side, reaching the paper towel and letting out a little cheer for this small victory.  This mess was going to require a LOT of paper towels, and soon the roll was empty.  Crap.  I needed to cross back over to get to the basement to get another roll.  I utilized my construction paper-stepping stone once again, and soon had a new roll of paper towel in hand.  I proceeded to put a layer of paper towels over the mess, hoping to minimize my gut reaction.  However, it didn’t work.

As soon as I bent down to start wiping up the vomit, I started to heave.  I ran to the bathroom, gasping and gagging, trying to keep it together.  Again, I thought about waking my husband, but quickly dismissed that.  I WAS GOING TO DO THIS!  I was going to conquer my Puke Reaction and clean up after my son.  This was a form of motherly love and I was going to follow through, even if it meant adding to the puke pile myself.  After another self pep talk in the bathroom mirror.  I stood upright, straightened my nighty and marched back to the task that awaited me, determined to follow through.

And I did it!  I wiped up that vomit (with a nice thick layer of paper towels, lest some actually leak through and come in contact with me) without any more drama.  I then got out the bleach cleaner and sprayed the area, killing any nasty germs that might have the audacity to think they could infect anyone else in this house.  “HA HA!”  I thought in my best inner-superhero voice.  “Take that!  And that!  DIE YOU SCUM!!!!”

After thoroughly washing my hands and putting away the paper towel and cleaner, it was time to head back to bed.  I checked on Mr. Dude, who was sleeping soundly, and gave him a kiss.  I started toward my room, but I felt like I was forgetting something.  Aha!  I headed to the bathroom put my feet in the tub and gave them a wash.  Ahhh…much better!  After what seemed like two hours (although it was only 30 minutes) I returned to my bed, proud of my accomplishment and happy to have at least one clean spot in my kitchen.

Before I end, I thought I would share a few thoughts that went through my head during this whole episode:

  • I’m glad this wasn’t very colorful.
  • Thankfully the dog didn’t follow my or he would have “helped” with the clean-up.  (Apparently vomit is a delicacy for dogs.)
  • Whew!  There’s not a lot of liquid.  That would be bad for the laminate floor.
  • Well, evidently he had carrots today!  (A big plus for my picky eater.)
  • At least it’s not on the carpet.
  • It’s a good thing tomorrow isn’t gym day because sissy’s shoes were in the “drop zone”.
  • I am very thankful Mr. Dude is feeling better.  This appears to be a once-and-done thing.
  • Boy, this would make a good, but gross blog post.


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Sunday Celebration!

I try to teach my children how blessed they are. Sometimes we all need a reminder.

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