Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This and That

I want to say "Thank You" to my readers . . . Thank you for the lovely comments these past posts about my children. I am humbled to know I am in the trenches with wonderful, loving Godly Moms! Thank you so much for letting me know you are out there or have been there a time or two yourselves!

Home school has been going well since Ryan began "getting" fractions. He is also working hard to get his lessons done instead of trying to convince me the lessons are done. I was very proud of him today. He has been working hard on his State Notebook for History. I told him we should take a field trip to our state capital sometime soon. I choose not to "plan" it on a for sure date as plans never seem to go as scheduled!

Our Katelyn's 19th Birthday is on Saturday . . . it is so hard to believe she is going to be 19 years old. I have asked this question before . . . Where has time gone???

Emma's skin seems to be reacting well to her medicine for the yeast infection. However, getting the medicine down her is a real challenge! I have tried hiding the meds in food, but she always seems to sniff it and knows it is there or tastes it and spits it out.

The kids are busy playing wii . . . Katelyn, Ryan and Cody. So much for a bit of quiet! lol

Tonight I have some book reading to catch up on . . . laundry is running ~~~ the beds were all stripped today. I am thankful to have had some free time this afternoon to exercise . . . 2.6 miles in!

This afternoon I have a few things to share that made me smile . . .

a lovely handmade paper doily snowman
made by my kindergarten kid Cody

our Harlem Globetrotters Shutterfly book!
Oh the Memories!

Monday, January 30, 2012


As I have written many times before . . . Parenting is hard, hard, hard! This past week . . . this morning . . . this afternoon . . . this evening . . . nothing has changed my opinion . . . Parenting continues to be hard.

Why??? I know that is what you are wondering and maybe even asking. Why do you say Parenting is hard, hard, hard? 

Well, regardless of gender and/or number of children . . . children are simply children. They are not just a shorter version of adults . . . Children were given to us to love, hug, teach, disciple and when the time comes . . . we as parents discipline our children too.

Parenting is not for the weak or lazy . . . God never intended it to be!

So what have my little cherubs been up too?
  • Since school has returned from Christmas vacation, Cameron has determined once again that it is o.k. to take things that don't belong to him and then proceed to lie about it. His excuse is always . . . because I wanted it. Of course, this is totally unacceptable for any reason.
  • Ryan decided to dismiss some of his History lessons during home school . . . Mom of course checks his work each day . . . although Ryan didn't lie about the incomplete lesson, he did try to get out of doing it. Ryan is learning from experience . . . if he doesn't complete each of his lessons in their entirety . . . school gets much longer as we do the entire lesson again . . . together.
  • This morning EJ tried to forge my name on a take home naughty note from Friday. Not only did he lie to me about having a note on Friday, he tried to pass of his rendition of my signature to his teacher. Of course, Mr. C saw it immediately . . . especially when it was written in pencil and misspelled. A prompt visit to see the Principal should detour any recurrence . . . besides writing sentences . . . "I will not be dishonest" many times won't hurt.
  • I was in the shower this morning . . . in the master bathroom, with the door closed. I was all lathered up when I thought I heard the door open. I turned just in time to see Cody trying to take my picture with his Nintendo. Although he didn't get the photo, I was very upset with him about TRYING to take a photo of me . . . in the shower. Upon inspection of the Nintendo in the house I discovered a photo of Randy taken while he was brushing his teeth after his shower . . . in his undies. Needless to say, the Nintendo is off limits for a while . . . and I did delete the undies photo.
As a Mom, I know my boys can get into a lot of trouble if I/we don't keep up with what they have in their little minds. There are days that are much worse than others . . . some days are exasperating. This morning during my quiet time, I was reading a post by Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 ministries . . . and it stopped me in my tracks! I absolutely love reading Lysa's blog and books . . . click HERE to read Lysa's post.

Three things stuck with me . . .
  1. Don't take too much credit for their good.
  2. Don't take too much credit for their bad.
  3. Don't try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.
My children are not perfect nor am I a perfect parent. It is through much prayer, teaching, instruction, mercy and grace from God above . . . our boys will turn out to be God Following Adults.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Today was a complete day of rest in our home . . . it has been so very long since we all could simply chill out, read, play, nap or do whatever we wanted. The entire day was AMAZING.

Can I let you in on a secret? Last evening Randy and I had a DOUBLE date with very good friends . . . Doug and Kristi! Can you even believe it? I couldn't believe it either! It was absolutely FABULOUS and we loved EVERY second!

Large families seem to always be busy . . . whenever we plan something, either something comes up, one of the kids get sick or we are too pooped to enjoy. Doug and Kristi have nine children and we have five . . . last night the oldest children watched the younger ones . . . (the older children are actually 17 years abd above) the younger kids were in very capable hands! We all headed out to dinner and enjoyed lovely conversation, laughs and sweet fellowship! Thank you so much for the invitation Doug and Kristi!!! We look forward to a night out in February too!

Little Beckett moved around a bit more today . . . I can tell she is very sore from being spayed, enduring four baby teeth extractions and two vaccines. We snuggle for quite a while today . . . we both enjoyed the snuggle fully.

Temps are a bit warmer than normal for January in our little corner of the world. We had snow the other night and loved the beautiful white . . . the weather has changed again and the snow is melting off and will be gone tomorrow.

Before I close this post, I want to show you a "little" something I happened across today . . .

This little car is electric and FOLDS . . . 
this little car is called a Hiriko and is two passenger . . . 
it will run for 62 miles between charges . . .
it has the ability to be tracked . . .
and the technology to only allow the car to achieve speeds within the speed limit.
This little car has no doors - the driver/passenger get in and out through the front opening canopy.
To see this little car in action, Fox news has a video . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Beautiful White, Teaching and a Date

This morning we woke to beautiful white . . . it snowed last night and left us a beautifully bright white morning!

The lake has a thin layer of ice . . . not nearly thick enough for ice skating or ice fishing.
Isn't it beautiful?

These pictures were taken from my kitchen window.
I love to look out at the beauty God has given us.

Standing at my kitchen sink . . . 

Yesterday lil' Beckett had surgery . . . she was spayed, had four baby teeth removed and received two shots. She is a bit "out of it" . . . I don't like seeing her this way . . . Bless her little heart. She should perk up in a day or two . . . I hope.

Emma went along to the vet . . . she has been "stinky" even after being groomed each week. A little visit with our favorite veterinarian Jenny found the problem. Emma has a bad yeast infection on her skin. Not sure of the cause. Jenny gave Emma a shot and also prescribed an anti-fungal and antibiotic for Emma along with medicated shampoo. She will be getting a bath today and then the shampoo will go with her to the groomer on Wednesday. She should be feeling better soon . . . and hopefully stink free!

Our first week with "Alice" was interesting . . . it is an odd feeling . . . imagine someone taking care of all of your house chores . . . a "job" you have taken care of for almost 30 years. In a way, it feels "wrong" to not be vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, tidying up, cleaning the house. Now, I am not saying that "Alice" isn't working out . . . in fact, just the opposite . . . she is amazing! Alice is VERY  thorough and stays busy all day. I went into the laundry room to tend to laundry . . . Alice came in a few minutes later and asked if she could take care of the laundry for me. I told her we could do it together . . . she smiled and we had a nice chat while folding two loads of laundry. Alice then told me that she would put it away . . . I had a load in my hand and she promptly took it and put it away. By this time, I am certain you are all wondering what in the world do I do all day.  I am sure you are imagining me sitting poolside sipping an ice tea and eating bon bons or something. NOT the case! In fact, the opposite is true . . . my day begins by getting three of the boys off to school . . . Katelyn drops them off each morning on her way to college. Generally by 8:00 Ryan has began his home school day . . . which means  hands on time for me. Ryan has normal studies . . . just like he was in a classroom at a school. Math, Spelling, Science, Language, History, Penmanship, Poetry, Reading . . . so 4 1/2 - 5 hours a day are busy with schooling. When Ryan doesn't require my assistance, I am at my computer taking care of office work for the business or home. I am fortunate that I can run my business office from home on days that I cannot be in the office. However, I am trying to get everything in order to head into the office each afternoon. I am always a telephone call away if I am at home instead of present in the office. Then there are the normal Mom things to keep me busy the remainder of the time along with running here or there for appointments, to pick up things or to visit.

Learning to make right choices continues in our home . . . the "I did it because I wanted to" or "I took it because I wanted it" doesn't fare well with this Mom and Dad. So, heavy duty teaching has been keeping Randy and I a bit busier these days. Two of our boys received take home notes because from school this past week and the third was in the Principal's office. Definitely not a good week for our boys. One of the boys refused to raise his hand before talking and/or was talking when he was supposed to be listening. Another of the boys wouldn't lay quiet at nap time and decided it was "goof off" time with a classmate. The other boy I wrote about the other day . . . so I won't go into what he did. Of course, those naughty notes coming home did not thrill Randy or I . . . one of the boys lied and said he had not gotten in trouble . . . an email for him teacher regarding his note not being signed and sent back alerted us. Randy and I are in sync with one another concerning the boys. We tend to "share" the teaching responsibilities and when one isn't working with the boys, the other one is. Of course, loss of privileges are BIG in our home . . . so today will probably be pretty calm and quiet in our home. Getting in trouble at school = no nintendo games, no television and extra chores. Hopefully, one day they will learn it simply isn't worth it to get into trouble at school.

This evening Randy and I have a date! We are thrilled and will be enjoying another couple that we love dearly! They are parents of NINE! The four of us will be "double dating" and can't wait! I will have to let you know of the fun we have in another post.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Parent the BOY

Parenting is hard . . . it doesn't matter who you are . . . if you are a parent, you know . . .





By now you are probably wondering . . .

which one of the boys have made waves . . .

Well, I would rather not say . . .

I will tell you . . .

the boy went to the Principal's office

Dad and Mom both received a telephone call

the boy talked to Mom on the telephone

Mom was not thrilled ~ the boy KNEW, without a doubt that Mom was not thrilled.

Dad went to the school . . .

the Principal's Office . . .

Daddy was NOT happy . . .

Daddy spoke to the Principal and then
escorted the boy to the car.

Daddy and the boy had a long talk . . .
hmmm, I should rephrase that . . .
Daddy gave a long speech to the boy . . .
the reasons the choice he made was the wrong one and not accepted.

Then, the boy and this Mama had a chat . . .
our chat was a bit different . . .
we spent some quality time exercising . . .
together. I was on the elliptical . . .
Cameron on the treadmill . . .
he wasn't thrilled, but he listened.
This Mama had a lot to say . . .
The boy wasn't thrilled.
This Mama wasn't concerned that the boy wasn't thrilled.

We parents are each responsible for kids . . .

we are responsible to teach our kids . . .

even when they don't want to hear it!

Weirdness on Our Home Front

Sorry for the no post yesterday . . .  life kind of got in the way.

Life continues to be busy . . .

being a wife, mom, professional, teacher, organizational guru, photographer, Shutterfly book maker, nurse, chauffeur, dog mama, lizard cage cleaner, laundress, house cleaner, record keeper, tax preparation, file clerk, entertainment coordinator and devotion leader . . . can really take a lot of time.

Around Christmas, Randy and I were at lunch, chatting about this and that when he brought up the subject of hiring someone to help with our home . . . full time. I was a bit leery and questioned him about exactly what he was thinking. A woman to come into our home each weekday to take care of the cleaning. We already had "Sue" to clean the main floor bi-monthly, but Randy wanted a full time "maid". 
I was a bit taken back by his suggestion and told him I would think about it. Honestly, I figured he would change his mind and the subject of a full time "maid" would be forgotten about.

Fast forward to January . . . mid January.

Randy brought up the subject of a maid once again and he really wanted to give it a try.

So . . . I agreed.

Fast forward once again to this past Monday . . .
Randy introduced me to a woman ~ she had a lovely smile and for my post I will simply call her "Alice". 

Fitting, don't you think?

Alice arrived Tuesday morning ready for her first day at our home.
I had put together a notebook of daily chores and divided our home into areas to be cleaned each day.
Alice  had taken the notebook home on Monday so she could read over and plan her day.
Tuesday Morning Alice told me that she didn't understand a lot of the notebook ~ Alice speaks and read fluent Spanish but had a bit of trouble with English . . . her daughter tried to help her, but Alice felt better with me showing her how I did things, which was fine with me.
Tuesday went well, but was a bit strange . . .
I am certainly not accustomed to having someone taking care of our entire home.

Wednesday . . . Alice arrived like clockwork. She arrived with a smile and was ready for her day. The kids greeted her with smiles and were getting ready to head out the door for school. Alice was very helpful . . . she found one of the baggies containing lunch money and asked who it belonged to. EJ dropped it . . . surprise, surprise . . . that boy loses things all the time.
Hopefully he will grow out of that soon!

Ryan and I began his school day . . .
we had plenty to tend to . . . Math, Science, History, Language, Poetry, Reading, Penmanship and Spelling. Once Ryan began his reading lesson I went to the laundry room to start laundry.  Alice soon joined me and asked me how I went about our laundry. After a few "this is how" instructions I went back to schooling, the laundry was running and Alice began the days "to do" list . . . the kitchen, pantry and eating area. Alice is very thorough and cleaned from top to bottom . . . including windows.
The buzzer on the dryer sounded, so I went into the laundry room and began folding clothes. Much to my surprise, Alice joined me and asked to help me. We folded and seperated our laundry together and then I grabbed a stack of Cody's clothing and headed upstairs. Alice was right behind me. I put away Cody's clothes and went into Cameron and EJ's room to help Alice with their clothing when she took the clothing in my arms . . . she told me that she would put away their clothing . . .
she would figure out where they belonged.

WOW! I have to tell you . . . I am in a bit of shock . . . I am not quite certain how to react.
I certainly appreciate all of the superb help around the house.
I am thankful that the house chores are accomplished while I am tending to Ryan's schooling, office work, head into the office, taking care of this or that or running errands.

I have a busy day tomorrow . . .
plenty to take care of.

The weekend is coming and I intend for our family to enjoy every minute of it . . .
we will NOT be cleaning!


This afternoon, I helped Ryan clean Apollo's aquarium.
Apollo is doing quite well . . . although little Artemis died last Friday.
Randy thought Artemis was a bit unhealthy when we brought her home . . .
she wasn't real active and didn't look around like she was aware of her surroundings.
Artemis quit eating on Thursday and died Friday morning while I was holding her.

Apollo is growing and shedding some skin ~
strange to see, but also very interesting.

Apollo loves to hang out with Ryan . . . he also loves to eat crickets.
Apollo is a good Bearded Dragon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

MATH . . . Can anyone say EWW?

Tonight as I write, I sit and listen to my hubs explaining fractions to our nine year old son. Yes, the newly home schooling one. He has struggled with fractions for a while. Tonight Randy is sitting beside him at the breakfast bar going over the fractions . . . and over . . . and over . . . and over . . . and ~ well, you get the picture.

As I listen, I am reminded of my Dad sitting with me teaching me multiplication . . . it wasn't a pretty sight! I am not a math whiz . . . not even close. My Dad (and Mom) endured hours and hours and hours of multiplication tables . . . verbal. Did I mention that I have never liked math? Multiplication doesn't bother me any more and I am constantly working with numbers. Fractions were never my friend . . . enough said.

Hurray and YEAH are coming from the breakfast bar . . . good things are happening over there! Woo Hoo!

We had a very busy day with school . . . 7 hours . . . two more than usual. Tomorrow will be easier.

I am ready for some down time . . .

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Morning News and Globetrotter Pics

Good Morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful sleep! I did! 

The clouds are dreary in my little area of the world . . .
misty . . .
rain is on its way.

Today we will tackle things around the house . . .
shouldn't be to bad.

Tomorrow we begin a new chapter in our lives . . .

Randy has hired someone to clean our entire house.
She will come each day and tackle daily chores and then focus on a section of our home - different every day. Monday - all bathrooms; Tuesday - all bedrooms; Wednesday - the kitchen, pantry, eating area; Thursday - laundry room, mud room and basement common areas; Friday - Family room, piano room, library, foyer and stairs.

Many of you are probably wondering "Why do you need help with this?"

Well . . . our house takes a lot of work to keep everything done . . .
just a glimpse:

five bathrooms - three full and two half baths

five bedrooms - 4 kid rooms and one master suite

We LIVE in our home - thoroughly!

I home school our nine year old Ryan - it takes between 4 1/2 and 5 hours per day.

Randy and I own and operate our own business . . .
my job can be done at home or work and requires my attention daily.

I am a Mom to FIVE ~ one beautiful daughter and FOUR lively little boys.

We need a little down time to be able to enjoy our family AND have a little "down time" for ourselves.

So, I sadly told our bi-monthly main floor house cleaning lady that we no longer needed her to come. We absolutely love Sue . . . 
and now we embark on a new adventure!


I promised more Globetrotter photos, so here they are:

 Crazy Trotter Antics

 Hasseling the ref

Tiny is 7' 8" tall and wears a size 20 tennis shoe 



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Photo Session with Lil' G

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to photograph my cousin's little guy Garrett.
He recently turned 1 year old and is simply adorable!
I had a great time clicking away . . .
Garrett is quite the busy little guy . . .
no posing for him unless he wants to . . .
which he did several times for me!
I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lil' G and his Mama!

Here are some of the photos:

 Such a sweet lil' guy!

 Love his sweet cheeks!

 Lil' G with his newborn book.

 I love this look . . . timeless

Mr. Blue Eyes 

Lil' G with his hat from Grandma 

 oh yes he did! lol

Garrett . . .  beautiful lil' one!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday ~ What was Your Day Like?

Finally . . . the weekend is here! Whew has this been a long week!!! I can't even remember Monday by this point. Do you ever have days like that?

Needless to say, I didn't get the second batch of Globetrotter pictures processed and posted . . . my day simply took over.

This morning was pretty much like any other day . . .

  • Randy's alarm sounded a little after 6:00 a.m. and he rolled out of bed.
  • He got up and ready then took Beckett to the main floor and to her potty patch
  • Off to work he went
  • My alarm sounded about 6:40 a.m. and although I REALLY didn't want to get up . . . I drug myself out of bed
  • Woke up the boys . . . Went into their rooms and woke the boys again . . . Went into their rooms to tell them the MUST get out of bed, get dressed, make their bed, brush their hair and teeth and head to the main floor for breakfast.
  • Katelyn arrived in the kitchen from her room about 7:30 a.m.
  • Dogs needed outside to potty - it was frigid!
  • Breakfast and lunches made 
  • Katelyn has the boys load up and takes three of them to school
  • Ryan finishes up his breakfast and begins school . . . Math is the first subject of the day 8:15 a.m.
  • Coffee for me as I listen to his video streaming Math class
  • a call into my Mom . . . love our morning chats
  • finish my call and check Ryan's papers
  • Ryan begins his history class
  • I check emails, facebook and my blogs
  • By 10:00 a.m. I balance our checkbook and other accounts
  • Pay bills
  • Ryan has finished up a few more classes and has two to go so I head upstairs to take a shower ~ Katelyn takes over the teacher role while I get myself ready for the remainder of the day.
  • Ryan finishes up his school day and we head out about 12:45 p.m. ~ his homeschooling averages between 4 1/2 to 5 hours a day depending upon if there are teaching lessons or tests.
  • I had a few things to tend to at the bank, so we headed there.
  • Katelyn had some banking to do as well.
  • Ryan chose to enjoy the cookies - our bank has cookies on Friday
  • Once our banking was complete, we headed into the office around 2:00 p.m.
  • Office stuff was completed and I picked up the work to do at home . . . we were ready to head out a little after 3:00 p.m.
  • Katelyn had a client she needed to consult with about one of her drawings, so we stopped in so she could tend to that.
  • Randy picked the boys up at school.
  • We all met at one of our local restaurants about 4:00 p.m.
  • Dinner was yummy and everyone enjoyed
  • Back home by 5:15 p.m.
  • Exhaustion was setting in for me, as well as burning eyes, headache, burning throat . . .you know . . . the yuckies
  • The kids hung out
  • I read a bit more information about Bearded Dragons and fell asleep for about 1/2 hour or so
  • Katelyn and I watched two recorded shows on the dvr
  • The kids headed to bed
  • Coffee was made, I took some cold medicine
  • Now I am sitting and writing this post . . . 10:49 p.m.
Our days have been busy like the above all week! Tomorrow morning . . . no alarm! 

Central Illinois is getting snow tonight . . . the temperature is bitter cold . . . 18 degrees but feels like 7 at this moment. Chicago is getting pummeled with snow . . . we are expecting an inch or less.

Well, the cold meds have kicked in . . . I am ready to head to bed . . . hopefully to sleep well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


These past two days have been exhausting . . . but AWESOME!

Yesterday I had a long list of things to accomplish . . . 
I am pleased to say I almost accomplished it all!

Last evening our family headed off to a family night out . . .
we went to see . . .

The Harlem Globetrotters!

Of course, my boys had no clue who the Harlem Globetrotters are . . .
unless you consider those episodes on Scooby Doo that featured the Globetrotters!

When the Scooby/Globetrotters got together on cartoons, the Trotters were actually the first "generation" of Globetrotters.

Here are some of our photos from last evening . . . part 2 tomorrow . . .

This photo was taken of our family with three of the Harlem Globetrotters at 1/2 time.
from left to right row one: Katelyn, Randy - (Daddy), EJ, Ryan, Cameron, Cody and Julie (me)
back row: Harlem Globetrotters Jet, Firefly and Spider

This photo appeared on the front page of the Peoria Journal Star ~ January 19, 2012 edition

Not sure what Katelyn was looking at . . . Ryan was chowing on Nachos

before showtime . . . the boys are in their Trotter jerseys and ready for the game.
left to right: Ryan, Cody, EJ and Cameron

Cameron, Randy (Daddy) EJ and Cody's eye

Globie, two of the Globie helpers and the human table.

Globie was going to jump on the human table.

sorry for the blurr . . . these guys were moving all over the place
1/2 Globie and Globie

The Globetrotters had just come out from the tunnel.
Check out the tallest guy . . . his name is TINY  . . . 
Tiny Sturgess is 7' 8" tall 
Tiny is the Globetrotter ever and the official Guinness World Record holder as the World's Tallest Professional Basketball Player.
He wears a size 20 shoe!

more pictures tomorrow!

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Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, Ourlives-unscripted.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved!

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