Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday 7/31/2008

1. Computers, technology, etc...

2. Grapefruit

3. Clean Pantrys

4. Steeler Football

5. Swan Creek

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Your boss is the chief executive of fantasy land!

Several Pieces of Legislation that I Could Really Get Behind:

1. Mandatory and State-Sponsored Facial Hair Removal For Woman

I'm not talking about eyebrow waxing. I'm talking about women with beards. They are out there and we really should do something about it. I would be willing to have a little more taken out of my check(Chris' check, actually) to beautify women with facial hair. It's really not fair to them. It's almost a disability. I think we should do something about this.

2. Naming A Child A Stupid Name is Punishable By Law

I was going to wait on this and leave it for a Weekly Top Five by I am just so disgusted by stupid names for kids lately that I can't wait til Monday. Here's my top five list:

Top Five Really Horrible Names for Children that I Have Actually Heard Of

1. Kroten...sounds like either a martian or something that goes on your salad.

2. Ky...this kid not making it through high-school.

3. in vacuum.

4. Female...rhymes with Tamale

5. Spooky Apple...I'm really not kidding.

You can't just put letters together and call it a name. It's not right!! This needs to be legislated because obviously when people are left to their own devices they end up naming their kids after lubricant. It needs to be stopped.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

He's gonna eat the goat?

Offering a snack to my children is like the scene from Jurassic Park when they lower the cow into the Velociraptor pen. The raptors ravage the cow and all that remains is a bit of a broken cow harness in shreds. For us it goes something like this: leave a box of Cheez-Its on the counter, leave the room, return to find the box in pieces on the floor and a few Cheez-It crumbs remaining. The Vos' ravage snacks like raptors on a cow.

This problem has been plaguing my mind for a while. What do I do about snack control in our home? Not only is it expensive but it's unhealthy for them to just eat whatever they want, whenever they want it. As I have pondered, I think I have struck on an excellent solution. Give me your feedback and let me know if you think it will work.

I propose purchasing 7 snacks a week. It would be stuff like a box of Cheez-Its, pretzels, granola bars, yogurt, etc. These snacks would not include fruit or vegetables. It is 7 snacks that I know they like but doesn't include stuff like chips or cookies. Each kid gets a labeled bin and in the bin I will put their measured part of the snack. Baggie of pretzels, granola bar, etc... goes in the bin. They get 7 and that is their total of snacks for the week. They can eat them all on Monday or they can eat one a day or they can save them all for Thursday...whatever. However, after their snacks are gone they have to eat either carrots, apples or occasionally grapes or a banana. What do you think? Think this will work?

Also I am having a perplexing cereal problem. They eat it like crazy! What if I give them each one box and tell them it has to last 2 weeks. If they eat all their cereal early, they have to eat granola from the food storage.

What do you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

You are the last true family man.

On Saturday, we had a luxurious day of having Chris home with us for the entire day. It was wonderful! He spent several hours at the temple in the morning and then cheered on the boys at football practice. After that, we spent the whole afternoon at the pool and had sooo much fun. When we were entirely waterlogged, we decided to take a night out by ourselves sponsored by Grammy and a $25 off coupon to Andiamo. I had the yummy veal which I love so much and have not had in a really long time. It was great to relax and talk. I loved the entire day!!

We worship at the altar of Lucy!


I want out of here!

Seriously, get away!

I hate this!

My boys!

Anna and Little Pink Riding Hood

Weekly Top Five 7/28/2008

Top Five Things I Wish Were Humanly Possible

1. Some kind of planner/alarm in my head so I don't forget stuff

2. That men would know exactly what it feels like to go through 40 weeks of pregnancy, labor and delivery

3. I could pause live TV...oh wait...

4. I could clean up like Mary Poppins

5. I could telepathically tell my sister stuff without speaking

Friday, July 25, 2008


3 Joys: Sweet Corn, Children, Good Books

3 Fears: Children will leave the church, Being abandoned, Someone will discover my messy basement

3 Goals: To be a better visiting teacher, To get my preschool videos done, To get to 70

3 Obsessions: Smoothies, Alias, WOW

Random fact about me: If I could get rid of my telephone, I would.

If you've read this and keep a blog, consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday 7/24/2008

1. Emily's coming home today!

2. Swimming pools

3. A weekend with no Toledo trips

4. Having Anna back

5. Smoothies

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An Ideal Woman

She thinks of Andrea Yates often. She can remember the day that she heard about the murders on the news. Andrea Yates, mother of five, drowned each of her small children in a bathtub. She shuddered that day. Monster, not mother.

Seven years later, she still shudders at the thought of Andrea Yates’ actions. Innocent children killed by their own mother. The person they love more than anyone harming them. The last few moments of their young lives…she cannot bear to think of them.

Seven years later, she understands Andrea Yates. Andrea Yates thought she was a bad mother. Andrea Yates thought her children would be better off without her. She understands these feelings. She feels the same thing. Her children would be better off without her.

She could never harm her children. She could never harm herself. All she could offer was to leave. That’s all she could do.

She would leave a note. It would tell them that she loves them. She loves them so much that’s why she left. She wants a better life for them than she can possibly give them. She wants them to grow up so happy and well –adjusted and not sad and depressed like her. She can already see them judging her and comparing her to other woman and recognizing that their mom has flaws. She knows that it will only get worse as they get older. She knows that she will start to lose her shine in their eyes. She knows that eventually they will hate her.

Her note will tell them that she wants them to get rid of all the pictures of her. She wants them to never talk about her. She wants them to forget her. She wants them to find another woman. A better woman. A woman who gets up at 5:30 every morning and makes them breakfast and orchestrates family scripture study before they leave the house. A woman who puts the cups and the plates and the bowls away in the cupboards in an organized way. A woman who never leaves dishes in the sink. A woman who doesn’t have a laundry mountain in the basement. A woman who doesn’t step on toys or papers in the basement. A woman with shelves in the basement with containers with pictures on them of what should be in the container and those items are actually in the container all the time. A woman who says every night at 7:30, lets clean up our messes from the day. A woman who never goes to bed with a mess. A woman who never leaves a stinky towel out for her husband in the morning. A woman who makes sure her children go to bed in beds with clean smelling sheets and fresh jammies every night. A woman who never says just a minute. A woman who never wastes time. A woman who never forgets anything. A woman who never gossips and always serves. A woman who is skinny and never overeats. A woman who never lays her head on her pillow without writing in her journal. A woman who packs healthy lunches for her children every day. A woman who writes everything in her planner and checks off each item every day. A woman who’s prayer is never a “spasmodic cry at the time of crisis.” A woman who reads a book to each of her children every night before they go to bed. A woman who never leaves trash out for the dog to get into. A woman who would never get pregnant when finances are precarious. A woman who’s garage is perfectly organized with a place for everything. A woman who has her children’s extra clothes organized in totes labeled—Boy 6-12 mos and Boy, winter 4T.

She can picture this woman. She can see her in her place doing the job infinitely better than she ever could. Her eyes burn at the image of her children bringing this woman flowers in the spring and giving this woman hugs every night. She shakes her head and blocks the image.

She plans her departure. She will need a little money. She will need a place to go. She will need a job. It gives her a headache to think about all these things. She doesn’t know what to do but she knows she has to get away. She is ruining them.

There is a chance for her to go away for a day and a night. Just one. She thinks this will be a trial for her. To see how hard it will be to be away from them. To see how much better they do for one day without her. This will be a good opportunity for her. This will prove that leaving could only be better for them.

She packs her bag. She packs her pillow. She packs a blanket. She thinks of her children. She thinks of missing them. She cannot bear the thought of it. She reminds herself how much better they would be. She tries to smile and think of them as adults with children of their own with their perfect happy wonderful lives.

She is gone for a day and a night. She keeps herself busy with books and puzzles and the task at hand. She eats and drinks. She watches tv. Every moment she tries not to think of them. But she does think of them. Her heart aches as she thinks of what they are doing and how are they and are they ok.

She recognizes she could never bear to leave them. She feels so selfish. If she truly loves them, won’t she give them the very best? Won’t she leave so they can have the very best? She feels at odds with herself.

She goes home in the early morning hours. She walks through the door. No one is awake. The house is perfectly quiet. She sits on the couch. She listens. She waits. She hears a stirring. A child awakens and sleepily moves her way down the stairs and to the couch. The child tucks herself under her arm and says you are home, I missed you. The child nuzzles her and snuggles to be closer. The woman chokes back a sob. I missed you too. She sits and listens. She hears another child. Momma. Momma. Momma. The small voice is calling for her. She goes to the child and lifts him from his crib. He pats her hair and kisses her. He snuggles in for a hug. He cannot say that he missed her but she knows that he did. She takes him and sits with him on the couch. Slowly, the other children stir and come to her as if she were a magnet. She visualizes herself as the sun and they are drawn to her as planets in an orbit around her being. Each of them utter the words of missing her. Of loving her. Each of them nuzzle close to her straining for her caress on their faces and hair. Each of them need her.

She feels light. She feels warm. They need her. They don’t need someone. They need HER. She is giving them the best she can give. She is not perfect but she is perfect for them. She has nurtured in them a love and a relationship that can transcend her weaknesses. Leaving them would be cowardly. It would not be better for them. It would ruin their lives.

Seven years later, she thinks of Andrea Yates and her moment of desperation. Andrea Yates was sick and sad and needed help. She needs help too and she is strong enough to ask for the help she needs. Asking for help doesn’t make her weak. It makes her stronger.

Slowly, the image of the woman to take her place fades. She is not that woman. She is who she needs to be. She is an ideal woman.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Her recommendations for a campsite were totally unsuitable. There were no outlets. And there was dirt, and bugs, and... and it rains there.

I dropped off Emily for her first Young Womens Camp. The camp is being held in Battle Creek and the facility looks really great for a camp. There are nice big cabins and a huge lake. I really hope that she has fun. She got all packed up last night and was really excited about everything. Then she came to me a little later with teary eyes saying that she didn't want to go anymore. She said she had a stomach ache when she thought about being away from home. :( Chris gave her a blessing and she felt a little better. When she said goodbye to the boys this morning, she was crying again. On the way to camp, she was fine, laughing and talking with the other girls but once we got there she held on to me. She kept saying, don't leave yet, don't leave yet. I helped her get settled in her bunk and held her for a little while she cried and then she let go and said I could go, that she would be okay. It was really hard for me to leave but I know that she will have a really fun time. I hope she makes a friend while she is there because she isn't very close with any of the girls in our ward. I know she would have much more fun if she has a pal to chum around with. I didn't tell her that I hated going to girls camp and cried and wanted to go home and after my 2nd year, I never went back. I hope she has a better experience than I did.

I miss her already and can't believe that she is old enough to be away from home for the first time. It will just be a few short years until she is going to college and a mission and getting married. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! What scary thoughts!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Random Journal Entry

Random Journal Entry from my Mom's Journal

July 20, 1988

Dear Journal,

Today it rained almost all day. It started about 11am and didn't quit until about 7pm. It was just a nice slow soaking rain. I sure hope this helps the corps and I know it will help the low water levels in the rivers and lakes. Hopefully the Mississippi River will rise a little and the barges will get moving soon. This drought has caused me to realize the importance of getting food storage and water storage together.

Right now on the Democratic National Convention is being aired on TV. The delegates are getting ready to cast their votes. The candidates of note are Mike Dukakis and Jesse Jackson. This is the first time a black candidate has ever run for president. Dukakis right now has won the nomination and has picked Lloyd Bentsen for his running mate. Jesse Jackson is a very powerful speaker, but I really don't think he has the credentials to be president. I'm not sure whether Mike Dukakis does either. George Bush is running for the Republican Party and I think he's sort of wishy washy. I'll have to do some studying before I can vote. It's exciting to see the nations electoral process at work. I'm glad I live in a country where we enjoy so many freedoms. Although I'm worried because the people are becoming more an more corrupt. It says in the Book of Mormon that if people become unrighteous they will be swept from the land. I 'm afraid this people might just be getting close to destruction.

Last night Eliza Washburn spent the night with Jennifer. She is a very sweet girl and it is always nice to have her here. But I was told by Carolyn, Eliza's mother, that hey may have to move to Troy, MI. That would be terrible. Since Berk Washburn is our ward Bishop it would be devastating for all the ward. I hope things will change so they won't have to move. Jennifer would lose her best friend, plush she has a crush on Eliza's brother, Ephraim. I think she would be the hardest hit.

Today was black day in another way. We found out that we don't have any Medical Insurance. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I received a bill from the UMIMA office and they talked with the Insurance carrier and found out that the company failed to pay their premiums. That is a hard blow. Blair's going to talk to Dick Hansen. Otherwise Blair will quit and work for himself because the only reason he stays there as long as he has is because of the medical coverage. We figured we wouldn't get it anywhere else. It just hurts so much.

Tomorrow I am going to go visiting teaching over to Donna Wardens home. Judy Smith is going to go with me. Kay Ice is gone to North Carolina to visit her mom.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Remember Me?

Have you seen this little tag going around on blogs? I've left comments on a few, so now I've got to do #2 on the list. So let's play:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

3. If you can't say anything nice, don't comment. If you do, I'll delete it OR point out what a jerk you are!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday 7/17/2008

1. Wall*E

2. The Harry Potter poster that Calvin gave me.

3. Finding my black binder.

4. Anna's home today!!

5. Alisha Kimball

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekly Top Five 7/14/2008

Top Five Favorite Movie Characters

1. Forrest Gump

2. James Bond

3. Andy Dufresne

4. Elle Woods

5. Truman Burbank

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Well sure we're friends aren't we?

Tonight I got to go out to dinner with my friend Jodi. Seriously it is the best therapy that I ever have gotten. Nothing is like talking to a friend who understands you and sympathizes and loves you even though you are crazy. We went to PF Changs and ate our way through Lettuce Wraps and Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and The Great Wall of Chocolate Cake. It was so good! I'm so glad I got to do this today.

After I got home, Emily told me that at dinner the kids came up with a list of over 70 things that I do for them that they are thankful for. What a great homecoming!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thankful THursday 7/10/2008

1. Kate Bullard

2. Alias

3. People who read my blog even tho it's been really lame lately

4. Midwives

5. Hand-Me-Downs

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekly Top Five 7/7/08

Top Five Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

1. Peach

2. Raspberry Cheese Louise

3. Blueberry Cheesecake

4. Blue Moon

5. Strawberry

Saturday, July 5, 2008

We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July!! And Happy Birthday to Spencer!! I think it is so cool that his birthday is July 4th. It almost wasn't. He was born at 11:36pm. I remember the nurse and midwife telling me to "PUSH!! Don't you want an Independence Day baby?" I pushed harder then to get my Independence baby and I was successful. Spencer is such a silly, sweet, cute, lovable boy and I just can't get enough of him. He is always grateful and has the best intentions. Spencer was born two days after my dad died and when I think of him (Spencer) I always feel blessed and comforted. During the funeral and all the stuff going on with losing my dad, I would hold my sweet baby and gently caress his tiny face and fingers and feel a solace that got me through a very difficult time. Spencer still offers me that comfort today by giving the best hugs and kisses and by trying hard to be so obedient and do the best he can to be a good boy. Spencer loves to learn new things at school and at church. His idol right now is his Primary teacher, Sis. Barfuss. Whenever anyone is doing something wrong at home, Spencer is quick to say "You aren't choosing the right. Sis. Barfuss says to choose the right." He is a good conscience for all of us.

Anna, Emily, Mom and Baby Spencer.

The Fourth of July is one of my very favorite holidays and I think this year's Fourth of July was my very favorite of all. We started our celebration on Thursday night at the Plymouth Township Fireworks Display at Plymouth Township Park. I love love love fireworks and was glad I didn't have to drive far to see them. We sat by the lake/pond at the park and watched a really nice display. The only thing missing was the music. The best fireworks I have ever seen are in Toledo where they do them over the water and put them to music. It is totally awesome! Lucy loved the fireworks and was so cute wrapped in her blanket watching. Cameron hated them! He didn't cry but he turned his face so he couldn't see them and repeated over and over, "Home, Mama. Home, Mama." Poor kid! This morning we got up at 6:15 so we could be at the Plymouth parade by 7:00. It is such a fun parade. My favorite part is clapping for the veterans as they go by. I always cry, partly because it reminds me of my dad who was a Vietnam Vet, and partly because I am so thankful for the service these men rendered for me. My least favorite part is this stupid guy that stands on a float and sings and thinks he is Frank Sinatra. He is ANNOYING! I think the Plymouth parade is great. I was going to take lots of pictures but unfortunately I forgot to put my flash card back in the camera and didn't realize it until I was already up there. Oh well. After the parade, we went home for a mini-nap and then we headed to Grammy and Grandpa's for swimming and Spencer's party. Anna, Tony, Marta and Lucy came and also Jeff, Jamie, Tyler and Morgan. We had fun swimming together, eating(the food was so yummy!), opening presents and having cake. After everyone left, we stayed and did some sparklers by the pool. It was great having Chris with us all day. He has been working so much lately and having him around for a whole day is such a gift. I loved it. Our celebration of the Fourth was perfect and I wouldn't have changed a thing!

Spencer and Morgan playing in the pool.

Cameron drinking Hawaiian Punch.

Where we pee at Grammy's house.

Cam and Lucy having fun.

I'm Five! I'm Five!

Grandpa and Morgan.

Happy Birthday, Dear Spencer!!

Morgan and Spencer

Morgan, Spencer, Tyler and Calvin

Birthday squeeze from Uncle Jeff.

Fun Sparklers!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

He's coming home in a body bag!

I've had a very interesting and busy 48 hours. Sunday, Anna needed to go to the hospital for some more tests. Chris and I drove her over to Ann Arbor and waited and waited and waited and waited in the stupid emergency room. Chris finally went home at 3:00 AM because he had appointments in Ohio the next day and needed to get some sleep. I stayed and kept waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. I slept in a chair with the curtain wadded up behind my head for a few minutes. Then my legs start to get restless. It is the worst! I couldn't sit or stand so guess what I did? The most disgusting, revolting, horrible thing I could have possibly done. I laid down on the HOSPITAL FLOOR with a blanket as a pillow. I could almost feel the germs hopping on and having a party on me. It was sweet relief for my legs though! Anna was discharged around 7:30AM with some new drugs and the prospect of less pain. I was glad for her. She has really been through a lot lately.

I got home and took a shower with lye and burned the clothes I was wearing and then laid down to go to sleep. Chris called and thought it would be fun for us to go to his appointment with him and had it been to any other location, I probably would have passed as I was completely exhausted. However, it was to one of my favorite spots on earth and he promised I could catch some sleep in the car. So everyone loaded up and headed out on gas from the Marygrove gas card to Kelley's Island, Ohio. It was lauded to the children as our one day summer vacation.

Kelley's Island is located off the coast of Marblehead, Ohio, in Lake Erie. I was first acquainted with the charms of KI by a high school friend who invited me to stay at her family's cottage there for a week. It was such a fun and relaxing place to visit. There is really nothing "exciting" there. There's a beach, a campground, trails, forests, shops, mini-golf, restaurants(but no chains) and a state park. It's a great place to take a walk, to read a book for a day, to play on the beach, to rent bikes and ride around, to have a fire and roast marshmallows. I remember the times spent there with my friend and her family as quiet, relaxing and so fun. My senior year, that same friend and several other friends and I stayed at the cottage by ourselves. I thought it was so cool to be on our supervision...for the whole time. We did the same relaxing stuff and had a blast. I took Chris there for a little mini-vacation several years ago and we stayed in a quaint bed and breakfast on the island and had such a fun time. There is an airport on the island that Chris especially enjoyed.

So, when Chris said he had a sales call on Kelley's Island, even though I was exhausted, I was excited to go. We drove to Marblehead and took the ferry over to the island. It is a car ferry and the kids were sure our van was going to sink it. Much to their relief, we made it across. Chris started at his appointment and I took the kids to find the quarry that is in the middle of the island. I knew it was a little hike and there was a trail however, after we were going for a while, the trail ended. We traversed what appeared to be the bottom of another old quarry. It was really rocky and there were large pools of water in some areas. We found the other quarry full of water and then had to climb about 12 feet up some rocks. In crocs. With a 2 year old. Not my finest parenting decision-making moment. Everyone made it up but then we were faced with woods and no trail. So we headed through. I am glad to be blessed with a really good sense of direction because I knew we were headed toward our car even though the kids didn't think so and Emily was sure she was getting Lyme Disease and Cameron (bless his heart) was getting quite scrapped up from being dragged through the forest by all of us. We made it to the end of the forest with our pockets full of shells, rocks and more rocks. By this time Chris had called and was done with his appointment so we picked him up. We took the kids to walk on the beach. The water was too cold for swimming. We took them to the glacial grooves. We drove around the island, saw the airport, Emily got herself a souvenir and then we were back on the ferry towards Marblehead. We stopped and ate on the way home at our favorite Toledo restaurant, Tony Packo's. We figured we were allowed a bit of a splurge since we hadn't had to pay for gas and, after all, this was our vacation.

On the way home, Spencer declared that this was the best day of his life. All the children agreed that this was a really great vacation. Chris and I could not be more proud of our children who don't need to go to Disney World (no matter how much I really want to take them) or anything spectacular to gave a great day on vacation. They were so excited to be together and doing something as a family. I reflected on the words from church leaders at the recent Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting and was pleased that we are making special moments, even if they are small and simple, for our children to feel close as a family and remember forever.

Kids on the beach

Cam wanted to get in a swim so badly.

Weekly Top Five 6/30/08

Top Five Favorite Cold Cereals

1. Crispix

2. Cookie Crisp

3. Life

4. Special K Red Berries

5. Clusters
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