Friday, July 27, 2012

Laundry Gone Wild

Who would have thought that I could post a whole blog on the mishaps of our laundry?
Well, surprise and here it is.

When we moved in to our new place, we had to change our dryers and of course I got sucked into the Memorial Day appliance deals.  In short, we bought a new washer to match the new dryer.
I got a top loader because it had greater capacity than the front loaders, and I have never been 
terribly drawn to the front loaders anyways.  
(Sounds like more maintenance to me, but anyways.)

The only problem is that a woman of short stature, like myself, can't reach the bottom of the dang tub without a step stool.  It is a ridiculous sight, I tell ya.
Oh but it is so worth it.  I can dump a whole laundry basket in at once and have room left over.

Now for the funny stuff...
One of our little lovelies decided that it would be really nice to rub her sister's absolute favorite 
doll on her bare bottom.
Yes, just to be mean.

I was in a rush and threw the whole doll in the washing machine on our way out the door.
Fast forward to later, and this is what I found...

Anyone else recognize this white fluff that coated each sheet and piece of clothing in the laundry?

Hint:  It comes from this...
Yes, I threw the baby doll in the washer with the diaper still on.
Then it exploded.

The picture isn't very clear, but I was covered with it as well.

It was even trapped in the bleach dispenser.

Don't worry! It was nothing that 
one roll of paper towels,
one shop vac,
one rewashing cycle,
and one husband who was NOT amused
couldn't fix.

At least it wasn't a real diaper filled with something else.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Forever Family Party

We were so blessed to celebrate our Forever Family with so 
many of our friends and family.
The theme of our dessert party was "Sweet Love."

 I may share the recipes of our treats in a later post, but some of the fan favorites included cake batter blondies, white chocolate marshmallows & jello cookies.
I can't forget Gma's amazing brownies and just look at the elegant Key Lime Tort that our neighbor made.

 The only thing that disappoints me is that we didn't take many pictures.
This picture is the only one of my kids, and two aren't in it.
There are almost none of our wonderful guests.
I was too busy having fun to think about snapping pictures.

 We also offered our guests the opportunity to bring donations of toys, books, and toiletries to benefit children in foster care.
Look at how generous our family and friends are.
Seriously, the pictures don't do it justice.

I am so happy to celebrate with so many loved ones.
We have felt very supported along the way, and that day was no exception.
Thank you to everyone who baked, helped, prayed, sent well wishes, brought donations and gifts,
had fun with us,
 and shared in our excitement all along the way.

This Forever Family is forever grateful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little Photo Moments

 I have titled this one, "When Porter is away, the girls will Mommy's tub."
I love how this simple thing made all four girls happy.
Even my "big girl."

We finally started to clean up and organize the family office and this is
what I found the other day.  
While I folded laundry, Leah and Porter ran their own little preschool.
Notice the use of technology to teach letters and sounds...Dad's iPad.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Like a Good Neighbor...

We've been married 12 years and we just moved into our fourth house...and hopefully our last house.
 Let me tell you, moving ain't fun my friends.  
However, we have gotten really lucky in the neighbor department each time. 

      This week, PT had football camp and a neighbor and I carpooled, which was a lifesaver. 
 Today, I picked up her son and his hair was wet. I asked him why and he told me he had just taken a shower. PT asked why he showered right before football and he smiled and said, "My mom made me because I face-planted into a spoonful of peanut butter." He was quick to add that the spoon poked him in the eye, which "really hurt." I saw his mom and she validated his story. She said that he had peanut butter smeared in a line down his face and shirt. Being a good friend, she acted quickly and rushed him off to the shower before he came in contact with my son who has severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. 
Way to go Liz! This got me thinking about our other great neighbors. 

 Here's just a few examples that came to mind... our first house, our neighbors let us borrow their kitchen table when we hosted our 1st Thanksgiving as newlyweds. The hubs and I carried that thing all the way across the street to our house. I still wonder why we didn't just get a card table. But don't worry, I returned the favor when they asked for my help to pull a wad of paper towels out of their dog's butt! So gross, wasn't it Stephanie? our house in Lexington, my sanity was preserved by my neighbors when I had two little ones under the age of 2, was missing our friends and family back home, and my husband was working endless hours. I would join them outside EVERY evening just to have adult conversation while our kids played. Although we only stayed in Lexington for a year, we are still great friends and we'd do anything for each other. 
 Right, Dana?? our last house, our kids had great friends on the street. I can't tell you how many times I needed an egg (usually late at night for baking for the next day), extra hands at the bus stop, or help to get a kid on or off of the bus. Thanks Kim! And I can't forget the neighbor that brought a pair of gym shoes to the bus stop for Leah (with about 4 minutes advance notice) when she left her gym shoes in a friend's car. Oh, and Allison came through on the day we closed on our new house when Leah called from school saying that there was no cafeteria service due to field day. As we went into our closing, I called Allison and she rushed some food up to her, just in time. Thanks again, Al.

...and at our new house, we tried to unpack the first few boxes and set up beds with all 5 kids underfoot. Sounds easy, right? Our new neighbors brought us the largest spaghetti bake I have EVER seen, desserts (peanut free), salad, garlic bread, a houseplant, and a card with all of their names and phone numbers. Soon after that came a knock on the door. Leslie and Karen offered to watch ALL of our kids play with their slip-n-slide while we got unpacked. Oh and they added that they would put sunscreen on all of them and if we didn't know where their suits were, they'd find one for them to borrow. FYI, I think a happy little tear streamed down my face at that moment.  The kids were thrilled and we have felt so welcome, ever since. I've also enjoyed dinner with some women from the neighborhood and our kids are having a good time playing with new friends. Oh and I couldn't forget about Karen saving the day when I couldn't find our gardening gloves and happened to be using my oven mitts to pull weeds. Can't beat that kind of help. 

I feel really lucky to have good neighbors that become good friends.
And don't be jealous my non-neighbor friends, I love each of you to pieces too.
Thanks for all of the help and fun to all of our friends.

Do you all like your neighbors?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One of Those Days

I am having one of those days. You know, one of those days when you shout, "WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS 5 KID THING???" Well clearly it is my husband's, in case you were wondering. Anyways... I thought that I would try to focus on a few lighter moments we have had around here. Like tonight when I finally said, "i do not want to keep fighting about this. Why do we keep odoing this?" Josie replied in her signature whine, "Because we just want to get what we want." My inside voice said, "Don't we all you little turd!" I also want to assure all of you that are worried about poor Porter, for having 4 sisters. This boy is not to be pitied! He is ruining my daughters. Julia recently loudly complained, "Mom, I hurt my nuts." I loved correcting that one. Also, Maryn saw his "cup" sitting on his dresser and wanted him to tell her what it was for. She also has learned some great statements from him..."Put your hands up." and "Stab, stab, stab!" In his defense, he was helping her to learn to use her fork with her weak hand and he kept encouraging her to stab the food and the idea grew from there. At this very moment, my children are sleeping. I finally ate dinner, and the hubs and I are watching a few minutes of TV together. Life is good and hopefully tomorrow is better.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gimme S'more!

I had to make something last minute for a potluck at work.
The theme was summer foods.
I scrolled past a picture on Pinterest a few days ago of what looked like s'mores.
I didn't pin it, but it popped into mind when I thought of summer foods.
The best part is that I had all of the ingredients already.

First I spread marshmallow fluff onto graham crackers.
FYI, the Honey Maid Squares were awesome!
They were already the perfect size.

Then I melted milk chocolate chips in the microwave.
By the way, I love me some Kroger chocolate chips.
(Peanut and treenut free.)

I dipped the graham-fluff sandwiches in the melted chocolate,
and Voila!

I added some sprinkles for pizazz.
I think that the kids approve.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We vacationed with my husband's family this year.
All 20 of us stayed in a fantastic beach house in Whalehead, NC.
It is in the Outer Banks area.
Here's some of my favorite photos.

 Vacation with five little kids is not exactly relaxing, but we had fun together.
We saw a few wild horses on the beach, 
had pony rides on a horse named "Porter,"
 climbed 214 steps to the top of a lighthouse and only lost one shoe down the spiral staircase 
(which was retrieved),
played with cousins non-stop,
had a luau,
swam everyday,
and had a friendly family football game complete with cheerleaders.

To end the vacation on an exciting note, poor Josie got car sick on the way home 
with about 10-11 hours still to go.
3 a row.
Each time, missing the bag that I was trying to help her hold open.
...on the bag, on herself, on my hands, on the car seat!
I stopped and got her and the car cleaned up, sprayed some Febreeze, and we got back on the road.
A few minutes later, Maryn chimed in, "Mommy, I was to barf in a bag like Josie."
It still cracks me up hearing her little voice say it so sincerely.
On a more serious note,
I sat there on one of the first days, and got choked up.
This was our first vacation with Julia.
With all of our children.
Hopefully, this was the first of many vacations as a family.
We were all just spending time together with no boxes to unpack and no one to 
report to when we got home.

I miss it already.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pinteresting Thoughts

If you are a new reader, you must be alerted.  
My need for word plays and puns is out of control.
My kids call them groaners.
I can't help myself.
I have a humor-tumor and it is our children.

With that being said, I wanted to share with you what I came up with the other night.
I was on a roll and the poor hubs couldn't stop me.

It all started like this...

When you have a new house, how else should one spend her time?
Cleaning, unpacking, etc.?  No.
On Pinterest, of course, pinning all the projects that will most likely never get accomplished.
So the other night I called over the mister and asked him to "look at what I have pinned, really quickly."
Poor guy could barely keep his gaze toward the computer as I went on and on.
In my irritation, I stated that our relationship needed a little Pintimacy every now and then.
Get it?

Later, I went onto to say that I could decorate the next school dance for my kids based 
on ideas I have seen on Pinterest.  It would be called the Pin-Ball.

I also want a board where I pin things that I am just considering.
I would label it, "Pin-cil this in."
Then once I've tried it and want to keep it, I move it to a more permanent board.
I just kept going yet saw the agony in my love's eyes, so I decided to end the 
pin-demonium and set him free.

Sorry to bring you all into the mess as well.  
I must be PUN-ished.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Madness

Today was a good day.  
I actually got a few things accomplished around here.
We even spent the afternoon outside without bursting into flames due to the heat.
I captured a few of our wacky moments in pictures.
 PT's eyes are so sensitive to the sunlight and his sunglasses broke. Bad news.
 This is him wearing mine.  Isn't he cool?

I still don't know where half of my stuff is in the new house.  As you see here, I am very inventive.  No garden gloves, no problem.  I can pull weeds in my oven mitts. A good neighbor took pity on me and gave me a pair of her garden gloves.

I put together this balance bike for the little girls today.  You can tell how small it is when a 9 year old is sitting on it.  (FYI- Purchased for $20 at Costco a while back.)
 Dinner was yummy.  Can't you tell from the looks of Julia's shirt?
She covered herself with blue marker and sealed it in by bathing herself in the juice from her watermelon.

Oh, I almost forgot...
We were excited to get the girls' new birth certificates in the mail today!!
However, my name is wrong.
The joke is on us.
I am sure getting that fixed will be a piece of cake.
Yeah, right.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 6, 2012


We had our adoption on a Tuesday and sold our home and moved into another one Friday. 
 It was a bit of a whirlwind.  
I have to admit that I felt so blessed, but I remained a little guarded.
I knew that I was already the girls' "Mom" in every way that mattered, 
and no paperwork would change that, but what if something went wrong?  What if the judge was sick?  What if someone didn't do the paperwork correctly?

In a foster to adopt situation, the uncertainty, the "slim chance" that things could change, the wait, and the reminder that you are not the legal parent every time you have to ask for permission to take your daughters somewhere or give them a medication, can become taxing sometimes.  

Our adoption day was a beautiful reminder of our commitment to each of our children.  
It was a choice. 
 A blessing.  
A long awaited new beginning where we would be able to say with certainty that
 we would ALWAYS be a family.

Moms work so hard.  We are often labeled...working mom, stay-at-home mom, foster mom, step-mom,...

Now, I have never been prouder to be JUST

Now I am proud to introduce our crew...including names and faces.

Leah, age 9

Porter (a.k.a. PT), age 8

Josie, age 5

Julia, age 3

Maryn, age 2

We celebrated our Forever Family at Build-A-Bear, with the help of a good friend.

This is our whole family, including the handsome hubby.

Thank you to all of the friends and family who have supported us along the way in building our family.  
We are so grateful. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Why I Have to Blog Again

Wow!  I've been on a four month break from blogging. 
Why?  While I love blogging, there just wasn't much room in our life for it.  A lot has been going on and I can't wait to fill you in.  
So why am I blogging again now?
Well let's see.


10.  My kids have said and done some hilarious stuff and if I don't write it down, my sorry excuse for a memory will surely fail me.
9.  We tossed around the idea of putting our house on the market back in March, which quickly led to... actually putting it on the market, selling it in 21 days, purchasing a new home 2 days later, and moving 5 kids and a dog during the busy end of the school year.
8.  This move was not a smooth one and I feel as though it is the least I could do to share with it with you.  Here's a teaser...mover falls down steps while another one vomits in the moving truck.  More to come later.
7.  Honestly, I just enjoy it and I need it back.
6.  I never actually meant to stop blogging!  Life just got so busy and something had to give. A few free minutes were easier spent pinning something on Pinterest...mindless fun.
5.  We will be slowly decorating the new house using some of the above mentioned "pins."  Hopefully there will be some before and after pictures to share.
4.  I am actually going to a blogging conference soon, which I planned about a year ago.  I hear it helps to actually be blogging to best understand blogging.
3.  We went on vacation with a total of 21 family members and survived (and they survived us). More good material.
2.  WE ADOPTED OUR GIRLS!!!! It is so exciting to us and I might even get to post a picture...with faces.  Stay tuned.

And the top reason I have to blog again is...
1.  My 9 year old daughter started her own blog.  I love that she loves to read and to write and I have to keep up with that. She actually thinks that her mom blogging is pretty cool.  Love that kid.   Please check out her blog, The Big Sis Must Insist.  (We are still working out some kinks.)