Monday, January 28, 2008

Soon, very soon

Hello Bri Fans! How's it going? Are you as happy to be here as I am? Well, let's get this show on the road!

I first want to apologize for not posting in the last few days. Things have been a little crazy around here and I just wasn't feeling up to posting. My great friends have kept me going throughout this week and John will be home anyday now!

Speaking of that, I probably won't be posting all that much for awhile. I'll be taking a little hiatus to spend time with my husband. He will be home until mid February so expect me to return around then with a ton of things to say. I am hoping we have just an amazing time while he is here. I think we are taking a trip to Orlando one day, maybe SeaWorld. It's kind of a tradition. We have gone every year since 2005! We are getting family pictures done sometime while he is home too. Can't wait! We haven't had those done since December 06. Sara was just an itty bitty cranky baby. We should be able to see all the kids' personalities this year.

The house is almost finished being cleaned. I've got to finish my bedroom, the bathroom needs cleaned, walls need wiped down, and the computer desk needs cleaned off. Then just the normal stuff needs done as well like cleaning up after the kids and doing laundry. It's such a never ending battle with 5 kids. Oh, and let's not forget I STILL haven't wrapped John's Christmas presents, ugh. And stocking stuffers for the kids (we waited on some Christmas stuff but I just want it to be done and over with already).

I suppose instead of sitting here talking about what I SHOULD/COULD be doing I should actually go and do it. I just wanted to forewarn you that I may not have any time to post for a few weeks. I'm sure you all understand though.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friends in Low Places

You always seem to take your friends for granted when you are feeling great. You know they are there for you but never fully believe it until you actually need them. You can say how much you love them and how great of a friend they are but you can never truly now until you have hit rock bottom.

I have hit rock bottom. These last two days have been the worst of my life (or at least they rank up there really high). I have been an emotional mess. My head is reeling with a million different emotions all balled into one. I am angry, hurt, regretful, depressed, scared, anxious, impatient and ashamed.

I don't know how I got to this point. I don't even want to think about why. I just know that I am here and that I have learned what it really means to have people who are there for you. People who care for you unconditionally.

I have the most amazing friends. Friends I could tell my deepest, darkest secrets to and they would listen and not judge. They would make me feel better even if they think I'm the worst person in the world. Telling me their own problems that they have overcome to make me feel not so low. Hugging me, crying with me... just being there when needed.

It is so amazing to have such true friends. I know somewhere inside they are in shock over the scene that has unfolded in the last couple of days but no matter they are still willing to look me in the eye and tell me that it will all be alright.

Having friends even at my lowest makes me feel like I can get through this. I can survive and we will overcome. We will do this together.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Thoughts Exactly

This was an essay written by Craig R. Smith that is floating around the World Wide Web with Jay Leno's name on it. When I read it, I just knew I had to post it on my blog because I couldn't have said it better if I tried. So, without further ado, Mr. Craig R. Smith... take it away...

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The same magazine that employs Michael (Qurans in the toilets at Gitmo) Isikoff. Here I promised myself this week I would be nice and I start off in this way. Oh what a mean man I am.

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did … insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:

''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''

I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the ''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.

I hope you enjoyed the essay and that you take the words to heart. Stop complaining and start enjoying the freedoms that volunteers like my husband are working so hard to protect. I end with an actual quote from Jay Leno from September 2005 when everyone was still distraught over the fallout from Hurricane Katrina...

"As you know Hurricane Rita is heading toward Florida, Texas and Louisiana. Another hurricane! It's like the ninth hurricane this season. Maybe this is not a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stuck as a Duck and not even Drunk

And before you ask... no, I do not have a picture.

My sister is busy working off some of the money she owes me. $5 a diaper change, $5 per kid per bath, etc etc. So just put Adam to bed and put the baby gate up so Kadie couldn't go bother him. She put it up off the floor so that it was too high for Miss Kaydence to climb over but she is smarter than that. Kadie decided she would go under it. As swift as a cat she went right under the baby gate.

April lowered it just enough so she couldn't get under it, or so she thought. Again, Kadie proved her wrong and slithered right under as if she were a squishy ball of baby. Jacob followed suit. He was just as much of a contortionist getting under the gate.

I thought it looked like fun and wanted to see how far I could go under. I barely got my head under it without ripping my ear off. Trying to impress my kids, I kept going. I got my shoulders and my arms through and it happened. I was stuck. My chest was too big to go through. I tried pushing the baby gate up just a little so the kids would think I was supermom for getting under the gate since they didn't think it was possible. The gate wouldn't budge and neither would I.

Jacob and Kadie grabbed ahold of my hands and started to pull. OWWWWW! That hurt! Why did I let them do that? I don't have a clue. Since that wasn't working they thought it would be worth a try to push me back out the way I came. I think I now have laminate burn on my left cheek. That hurt too.

I managed to maneuver myself back out and I tried AGAIN! Can we say, dumbass? Yup, all just to make my kids laugh. And you thought I only did crazy things when I was drunk, ha!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Movie Review Monday

Just because this sounded like a good idea for a Monday... especially since I watched 3 movies this weekend. So here ya go. They may not be new movies but this is what I watched!

Synopsis: Set in 1962, this colorful adaptation of the Tony-winning musical (spawned by director John Waters' cult classic of the same name) follows ambitious teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), who tries to integrate a racially divided Baltimore one watusi at a time. The film's star-studded cast includes John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, James Marsden and Amanda Bynes.

My thoughts: My 7 year old wanted to see this movie because it has Zac Efron and Amanda Bynes in it. I wanted to see it because it looked upbeat and fun. If you could base a movie on it's preview then this one would not disappoint. The entire cast lit up the screen and made my daughter and I want to dance along. The movie could be compared to a CD on TV, pretty much nonstop music so not the movie to watch if you have a headache coming on. John Travolta was just amazing. I give major props to any man that can wear a fat suit and dance in heels better than I could. I also loved the message that this movie portrayed (seems to be a common theme in the movies I watched this weekend). It shouldn't matter what color your skin is... all that matters is if you have the talent. Such a feel good movie. I will definitely be buying this to add to our movie collection.

Glory Road
Synopsis: Glory Road tells the true story of Don Haskins (Josh Lucas), a high school basketball coach who, in 1962, took the reins of the Texas Western Miners, an underdog NCAA Division One team. Haskins's insistence on recruiting the best players available to him, regardless of the color of their skin, revolutionized the sport ... and changed the course of history. Director James Gartner's inspiring drama triumphs both on and off the court.

My thoughts: Great movie! Josh Lucas was excellent. I am not a basketball fan by any stretch of the imagination but this movie kept my attention throughout the entire 118 minutes. Set at a time of racial segregation on the basketball court, this movie based on a real life basketball coach shows us the trials and tribulations that were faced when bringing whites and blacks together on and off the court. Don Haskins only cared about winning and in the process he made a change for the future of basketball. I am so glad I didn't send this movie back before watching it. You won't regret seeing this amazing man take his team to victory, in more ways than one.

License to Wed
Synopsis: Newly engaged Ben Murphy (John Krasinski) and Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) encounter a roadblock to their trip down the aisle when her unusual pastor, Father Frank (Robin Williams), insists they go through a tough and quirky prenup course before he'll marry them. Since Sadie dreams of having a traditional wedding at her family church, the two agree to the marital boot camp -- but find it puts their relationship through some unexpected challenges.

My thoughts: This movie did not live up to it's full potential. I went to see this movie in theaters and took my youngest two children with me. Both of whom decided to not sit through the movie. I probably would have been disappointed in the fact I spent the insane amount of money on a movie ticket had I actually made it through the whole movie in the theater. My 15 year old cousin enjoyed it and said there were some really funny parts. Sadie & Ben are a young couple engaged to be married in three weeks due to the overzealous Father Frank giving them the option of 2 years or 3 weeks for their wedding date. They would also have to complete a marriage course in three weeks to prove they were ready to be married. Tests included learning good communication skills with a blindfolded Sadie driving a car by listening to directions from Ben in the back seat to taking home electronic twin babies. This part had to be the funniest part of the movie. Had it not been for the sweet, romantic ending to the movie I probably wouldn't have liked this movie. Ben redeems himself and the movie all in about 5 minutes at the end of the movie. I recommend that you do not buy this movie until you have rented it or borrowed it from a friend.

Sweet Remembrance

The phone rings. She was expecting his call.



"Hey you! What's up?"

"I need you to do me a favor."

Wondering what she could possibly do for a guy that lives a thousand miles away... "Umm. OK."

"Close your eyes."


"Are they closed?"


"I don't believe you."

How could he not believe her, she has never lied to him before... "Yes! I wouldn't lie to you. I'm lying here in bed... my eyes are closed!"

"Ok. Imagine you are in a time machine." He mimics eerie music, something straight from the twilight zone. "It is now yesterday."

She has a big smile on her face. Loves playing along with his little game, yet has no idea what is going on. "Ok."

"You get back in your time machine." He mimics more music. "Now imagine it is six days ago. You are sitting there and your phone rings." {ring ring} You answer and I say, 'Happy Birthday.'"

Trying not to fall off the bed from laughter... "Oh my god, you are such a dork! But that was the sweetest thing ever! Thank you!"


I started Yoga Booty Ballet today. I'm not really a yoga person but these are actually fun.

I was supposed to begin with the introduction and then move on to basics. However, since the mystery disappearance of the infamous dvd player remote I had to move on to more advanced routines.

I decided to try the Hip Hop Abs DVD. My sister was laughing at me sitting in an easy pose (or whatever the hell it's called). She even took pictures of me while my eyes were closed and at one point farted in my face. You see what I have to deal with... no wonder people never exercise. I pushed her out of the way and went about my workout.

At first, I was really embarrassed. I would have been embarrassed even if I was the only one in the room. And I'm not sure I could have brought myself to do it if my husband was here. Yes, I'm a wierdo. It took atleast half the workout for me to really get the hang of it but once I did, I decided I LOVED it!

I felt silly doing some of the moves because, let's face it, I'm not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination. I don't really have the coordination for that. I did have a great time doing it though. I plan to do the Hip Hop Abs every other day. On the opposite day I will do the Cardio Caberet DVD. I thought I could try it out after the Hip Hop Abs but I was too tired.

I can see myself having a lot of fun with both of them and I can't wait to see the results!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

10 - 12 Days and Counting

I cannot believe that in less than two weeks my husband will be home. And he has agreed to give me the first Saturday off! I get to go out with friends all by myself! No kids... no husband... I might have to take my sister but still. I get peace for atleast a couple hours!

It seems so surreal that he will be home so soon. This deployment has just flown by. It is so strange to think that if he had come home when originally planned that he would already have gone back. It's just CRAZY!!!

Besides him being home so soon... his parents will be here just a couple days after that! I have so much to do and so little time. How the heck am I supposed to get this house cleaned when the kids are messing up right behind me?! AHHHHH!!!

I know John isn't coming home to see the house but still. And there is no way I can leave it the way it is when I know his parents are coming. I just wish I was more of a clean freak and that there were more hours in the day. Good thing my sister is here cause she is a clean freak. She has been such a great help!

I suppose I should be doing something more productive than writing a blog but you know I couldn't let down my fans seeing as I've written everyday this week! Yay! GO ME!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Many Adventures of Flat Daddy

***This is a blog that I wrote on MySpace back in August that I thought I would repost over here. Enjoy!***

Well I finally got up the nerve to cut out our flat daddy and if you haven't seen him yet, check out "The Many Adventures of Flat Daddy" photo album at

Adventure 1 - July 25th 2007 Dinner at Applebee's
We took Daddy to Applebee's for dinner. Lexi carried him in. We could hear people giggling and saying "whoa" or "oh my god" but no one made any rude comments and I wasn't embarrassed. Lexi was so excited, she even wanted dad to sit next to her. He sat in the booth with us... our waitress didn't say anything about it. I heard some people come in and when they saw it I heard "Whoa I thought that was a real person." and some more giggling. One woman even came up to me and told me how cool it was. She wanted to get one for herself and asked where I got it. We left shortly after and I made sure to buckle daddy into the front seat. Good thing too because I had to slam on my breaks at one point, he might have gone through the window

Adventure 2 - July 27th 2007 Driving to Toledo
It was time to go to Toledo and I wanted to take Daddy with us. He got to sit in the front seat and be my driving buddy. I had some people looking at him at the rest stop and he freaked me out when I walked out of McDonald's cause I thought someone was in the front seat. One woman asked about him and we chatted for a bit. Some people just laughed and a couple times I saw people do a double take. It was pretty funny. I took a couple pictures of him in the car. He seemed to be having a good time.

Adventure 3 - July 28th 2007 Bob Evans for Lunch
My sister was embarrassed. She didn't want him to go with us. She said he freaked her out... what does that say about how she feels about him in real life? Hmmmm. Jacob carried daddy in on his back. That didn't last very long because he got him caught in the door on the way in... poor daddy got all bent up. April thought that was pretty funny... it is after the fact but not then. Lexi then held him while we were waiting for our table and people just kinda looked at it funny. I didn't care. Kadie then wanted to carry him and it was so cute. I heard one guy say "Wow that guy has some short legs" LoL April was still really embarrassed and I told her she could sit next to him I didn't though, I put him at the end of the table with the kids but she could see him from where she was sitting. She's crazy, so I switched seats with her. He enjoyed his lunch of a wildfire chicken salad (is that what its called?) and an ice tea. (I didn't really get him food people LoL)

Adventure 4 - July 28th 2007 Visiting Michigan Fans
We went to visit my mom and stepdad. I had left John in the car and when my sister showed up she told me I should bring him in. I went and got him and my stepdad just loved it. Thought it was the coolest thing. John sat on the couch to watch some tv with Don and I took a picture. Of course the Michigan fan had to give bunny ears to the Ohio State fan... and then they dressed Adam in a Michigan hat... good thing daddy was only cardboard, he would not have been happy.

Adventure 5 - July 30th 2007 Toledo Zoo
We went back to the zoo on Monday (we were just there Sunday) and we took daddy with us. I made him into a back pack so we could easily carry him around. The kids took turns and I heard people laughing and commenting. Oh, this was the day the guy made the 'short legs' comment. I love it when the kids carry him around. They soon got tired of it so I put him on my back. I heard people talking about it but no one really asked me anything. One kid asked his mom about it and she said he must be overseas. Not long after I put it on the strap broke (because it was so windy) so I could no longer carry daddy. He got to sit on the stroller with the babies and got to see the sea lions and polar bears with us. He guarded the stroller while the kids and I rode the train. He did a good job, everything was still there. After that the kids wanted to buy a hat so we did... the lady there asked me lots of questions, she was really nice. She loved the idea too. We decided to take dad back to the car because it was too hard to carry him now with the strap broken. Jacob carried him under his arm and it was so cute. Be sure to check out that picture.

Adventure 6 - August 4th 2007 Family Reunion
It was the day of my family reunion. I wasn't sure if I was going to bring daddy with us or not. I wanted to but I wasn't sure how I would take him and all the kids. My sister, of course, didn't want me to but my aunt said I should. So I did. He sat in the trunk this time and looked out the window. I had lots of help getting stuff out of the van so I could take daddy with us. He sat on the stroller and I heard everyone laughing. It didn't bother me one bit. I know how my family is and I was not the least bit surprised. I heard my grandma laughing the loudest, she is so funny. I had a couple people ask if I was crazy (not seriously though) and ask if I was really that lonely. No, I'm not that lonely but its for the kids so they can see their daddy. Sara and Adam don't really know him and to constantly have him around will be good for them so they wont be scared of him when he gets back. My cousin Nikki joked that he slept in the bed with me... I joked that he is the perfect husband, he looks good and doesn't talk LoL He sat around by the stroller just watching everything going on. This little girl kept trying to play with him... she wanted to carry him around with her so I had to protect him. Before heading out to Don Pablo's we had to get a family picture. He was right down in front. I have yet to see the picture, but as soon as I get a copy I will post it.

Adventure 7 - August 4th 2007 John's Birthday Celebration
I made plans with some people to go out for John's birthday on the 4th. I was supposed to have a babysitter but I didn't, so the night wasn't exactly how I pictured it. I had planned to buy a round of whiskey shots, make a toast, cry a little (LoL) and celebrate my husband's birthday even though he couldn't be here with us. Then I wanted to go to the Comedy Club... it didn't quite go like that. First of all, I didn't have a sitter so I had to take 3 our of 5 kids with me so I could only have one drink. I also only had 4 people go with me (not including the kids). I was hoping for a bigger turn out but I'm glad I got to hang out with Becky and Andrea, it was still a fun couple of hours. I wasn't feeling up to the whiskey shot and I didn't want to have too much to drink as I still had to drive and had kids with me. John came in with us and sat at the table. A couple people asked if he was coming home... it was sad to say that he isn't for awhile. I tried telling our server it was his birthday but I don't think he heard me. I was going to get him the sombrero and have them sing happy birthday to him but I didn't... that would have been funny.

*Well those were all the adventures he has been on so far. He spent the remainder of the trip in the trunk of the car (sorry honey). And at one point the stroller crushed him... I thought I would cry. He looks ok still, just a little banged up. I think I might have to order me another one because he needs to look good for Christmas pictures. I know I will be bringing him to Toledo for the holidays (if we go) but I also want to take him to get family pics with us when we get them done. And no I am not embarrassed, I don't think its stupid, or silly or anything like that... I think that my husband is fighting for our country and we miss him very much and it really does help the kids*

Here are some adventure updates from the holidays. Flat Daddy mostly sat in the front seat of the van so he would always be with us while running errands or taking the kids to school. Everyone that sees him just loves him and comments if they can.

Adventure 8 - December 21st 2007 - Driving to Toledo
Flat Daddy sat up front as he always does... safely buckled into the passenger seat. The airbag was automatically turned off because he doesn't quite weigh enough and we wouldn't want him to be hurt by it. We stopped at a rest area just outside of Tennessee because Jacob had to go really bad, and I had to too. When we were coming back out there was a family of 4 walking by the van. They were laughing and staring and thought it was the coolest thing. I love when Flat Daddy makes people smile. At a gas station stop in Tennessee a guy was watching me and the kids get out of the car. As we walked by him he asked, "Army?" I replied with a quick yah because I was trying to get into the gas station for a bathroom run and this guy kinda creeped me out. He then asks, "Is that the kids' dad?" WTH? Why would you ask something like that? Does it even really matter? I guess it could have been an innocent question like he was asking if it was my husband (because I wouldn't have thought twice about that but he didn't want to assume, ya know.). Anyways, I said yah and went about my business. We made another gas station stop in Kentucky. I took the kids in to the bathroom and got them some candy. On the way back out there was a van parked next to mine that I didn't think much of. I buckled the kids in and as I stepped out I heard a woman call to me. I turned to see what she wanted...

"That is really neat." she said, pointing to Flat Daddy.
"Where did you get it?"
"I got it on The first one is free for families of deployed soldiers or they are $50 each." As I said that it suddenly occurred to me that I FORGOT my brand new flat daddy at home. "Shoot! I just realized I forgot my new one that I needed for Christmas pictures. Crap! Oh well, better this one than none."
The lady gave me a sympathetic smile... or was she laughing at me... I can't really be sure. Then she thanked me as they drove off.

We arrived at the in laws around 10pm so I left Flat Daddy in the car to keep watch for anything suspicious. I only brought in the essentials so he had to make sure no one stole any presents from the car. He did such a good job!

Adventure 9 - December 24th 2007 - Christmas Eve Service
I had brought Flat Daddy into the house the day after arriving at my in laws and the kids wanted to bring him to church with us. My mother in law thought it was a great idea. He sat at the end of the pew next to Jacob & Lexi. He stayed seated the whole service, even when everyone else was standing. It could have something to do with his lack of legs... not sure though. He couldn't hold a candle either. We didn't want him to hurt himself, after all he is flammable. He also wasn't much of a singer. I could barely hear him at all. Everyone loved seeing him. Jacob was carrying him out and kept bending his head. It was only a matter of time before something serious happened. By the time we got home from church, Flat Daddy had a serious skull fracture. The top of his skull was barely holding on. We scheduled surgery for Friday.

Adventure 10 - December 28th 2007 - Christmas Gift Exchange
The day of surgery had arrived. Chief of Surgery Dr. Sonya Whitehead took Flat Daddy into her operating room aka the kitchen. She layed him on the counter while she went to get her tools. No scalpel or needles were needed. Just some glue and popsicle sticks. Flat Daddy had 4 splints across the back of his head and was in recovery with a stack of books making sure the splints were secure for 4 hours (1 hour per splint). He was released in time to make it to the family gift exchange in Defiance. Since David rode with us to Defiance, Flat Daddy had to sit in the trunk. Once arriving he took his seat, overseeing dinner, on top of the water dispenser. After dinner he was moved beside the Christmas tree while listening to the Christmas Story. We drew numbers for the gift exchange and Flat Daddy was number 10. Lexi was picking for him. When it came to Flat Daddy's turn we moved him in front of the tv where he could see everyone and everyone could see him. At first, Lexi stole Ratatouille from David but after learning that is what he got them for Christmas we made her give it back. She then opened up a rather large gift that left both my mother in law and I thinking... "Oh no, a big item, where will that go in the van on the way back to Georgia!?" LoL It was a big tub of popcorn! Luckily that was stolen and she stole something just for Daddy. She knew he would love it! To secure that item, I ended up stealing it from her and she stole another item. This time I was BEGGING her to put it back... she was supposed to be getting something for her dad. I didn't think he would want a big tube of bubblegum (and I didn't want them having it). That is what we ended up with though. It's all good. Flat Daddy enjoyed his family Christmas. At least I think he did... he had a big smile on his face!

The next day we took a couple Christmas pictures. I would post the one of the family but I have not gotten a copy from his parents yet. He also rode up front again on the way back to Georgia (and everything fit too!) but there are no stories worth sharing.

*Flat Daddy hasn't been on any other adventures lately. The real thing will be home soon and we cannot wait! I have recently gotten another piece of cardboard to mount the new flat daddy and I will do that after the real daddy goes back to Iraq. I plan to take him on more adventures and to post stories and pictures of those adventures.

Fun Photo Friday

Because there are times that I don't really have anything to add to my blog I thought I would start a weekly photo post.

This picture was taken on Monday January 14th 2008. It is a photo of Lexi with the Savannah Hooters Girls! She wanted to have her birthday dinner there and I wasn't going to argue, it was perfectly fine by me. Jacob even tried sneaking in the back of the picture and if he wouldn't have ducked down it would have been a perfect picture. It's still great though... and fun! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

May Day, May Day! We've Sprung a Leak!

It has been raining since yesterday. It rained pretty good all night last night. I didn't get to bed until almost 2am and had to be up at 630. I decided to sleep in... well, I didn't really have a choice. My body just wouldn't let me get up and I didn't put up a fight.

When I finally got up and went to use the bathroom I noticed the floor was soaken wet. I grabbed a towel to clean it up and sat down to do my business. It didn't take me long to figure out where it was coming from since I was getting dripped on from up above.

The skylight in my bathroom is leaking. That's nice. I layed out a towel to catch what it would but I'm sure the next trip in there it will be just as wet.

As if that weren't enough leakage for one morning... my blender decided it wasn't going to hold anything in. I was trying to make a healthy fruit smoothie for breakfast. I poured in the orange juice and was measuring out the yogurt when I noticed the huge puddle of oj surrounding my blender. GREAT! I should have known after the bathroom incident that my blender would not kaput on me. It had a slow leak before but if I was quick enough it didn't make too big of a mess but there was no amount of tightening that would fix this leak. When I tested it over the sink the water just poured out of the bottom, almost as if there wasn't even anything holding it in. CRAP! Guess it's time for a new blender. Now to decide which one I want.

And as if that weren't enough drama for the day... my kids decided to fight over a spoon. I'm surprised there was no bloodshed with all the pinching and punching and kicking and biting. All over a freakin' spoon that says Alexandra on it. Lexi got it for herself and Jacob wanted it. I tried delegating but it just spiraled out of control so I settled that with taking away their cereal. Lexi only got to eat her banana and Jacob went to school hungry because he refused to have anything but cereal. Hope lunch is good today.

OMG I swear it is leak city around here. I'm making dinner and I hear this drip, plop sound coming from somewhere near my refridgerator. I look all around and don't see where it is coming from. Jacob... being the genius that he is... opened up the fridge and sure enough there was water dripping from the freezer. WTH? This happened not too long ago so I turned the ice maker off and the leaking stopped. I thought the problem was solved as long as we didn't use the ice maker. I guess I was wrong. It is leaking again and the ice maker hasn't been on in weeks.

I emailed my landlord this morning about the skylight and the problem we have with our fence from back in March '06 and she is sending someone out tomorrow from Odd Jobs. I guess they can look at my fridge too. I wouldn't be surprised if they start referring to us as the Leakheads! (yah, I know, how corny was that? LoL)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


You'd think living in the south, the land of bugs and creatures, I'd be used to all sorts of them finding their way into my house. I'm not. I am a northern girl at heart and an indoor one deeper down. I don't do bugs, dirt, rodents, reptiles and all those other icky things that BELONG outside. My sister is even more southern-creature-aphobic than I am and she is visiting for the next few weeks.

Since she can't sit still, she thought that she would take some of the cardboard boxes out back to burn in the fire pit at a later date. As she was about to pick up some boxes she noticed a creature moving. I assumed it was a water bug, but she thought it was a mouse and started to freak. I went to inspect since I have become the official bug killer of the household and what I found was a gecko... a really fast gecko. And not the cute little guy from the Geico commercials. If it had been I probably wouldn't have screamed like a 3 yr old on Halloween when it ran up my pant leg.

Yup! I thought I trapped it in a box but he had other plans. He jumped right out and onto my leg. He quickly jumped off, which I'm sure had nothing to do with me jumping up and down and kicking my leg. Or the screaming could have done it too. He ran under the table. My sister quickly moved all the chairs and got down on all fours ready to spring into action. Mr. Gecko was facing me. My sister launched her surprise attack and caught him by his tail. He was shocked! Seriously! He just hung there in midair, not moving or anything. He must have been wallowing in depression from the thought of letting himself get caught. He clearly held the title for fastest gecko in the south. What would his buddies think of him now? Would his girlfriend leave him for being such a pansy?

My sister wanted to keep him. I'm not sure if she was kidding or not but she asked for a jar so she could take him home with her. I wonder if he would be considered an infant in lap on the airplane or if she would have to buy him a seat... hmmm. I told her I was not getting her a jar and she asked me to at least get her cellphone so she could take a picture of him. I was about to go get it when she said she would just get it herself and walked off with the gecko in tow.

I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when I heard my sister let out a yell and then all the kids start screaming. I only needed one guess to figure out what happened.

"Did you lose it?"
"Yes!!! His tail broke off!! It's still moving!!!!"

I go running because now I have a tailless gecko running through my house. Her and the kids were standing in the hallway where there was a pile of laundry waiting to be folded and that is where the gecko was presumed to be hiding.

"Look at his tail! It's moving!!!"
"Oh my god! Which way did he go?"
"That way." she said, pointing towards me, "He is probably in the clothes."

I just stood their watching while her and the kids start moving clothes to find the missing gecko. Jacob suggested that it was in Adam's pants but no one else thought it was possible. After looking through all the clothes and not finding it, my sister actually checked Adam's pants. It wasn't down the front of him so she pulled them down. And THERE IT WAS! On Adam's leg. He knew he had to get away from that crazy lady and thought the covered leg of a crazy 2 yr old would be safer. HA!

As April tried to grab him he jumped away from her. It took her a few tries to catch him since he was minus a tail now. Once she caught him though I made her take him right outside. I was laughing so hard I was crying. I'm sure he was crying too because if he thought his girlfriend might leave him for being caught in the first place, what would she think of a tailless mate? Poor gecko!

This picture does not do him any justice at all but the best I have. Maybe his girlfriend will have pity on him.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One of Those Days

I went to bed feeling pretty crappy. My stomach has been churning, I've been burping up what tastes like sour milk, and farting like a man that just ate a whole batch of deviled eggs. You think that's gross? How do you think I feel? I'm the one who has to feel the pain, taste the rancid burps and smell the most horrible smells. You should also feel bad for my sister and kids, cause they have to smell it too. Oops.

Pepto didn't help my upset stomach and Rolaids didn't help the acid I was burping up. The gas went away pretty quickly though, thank goodness! My appetite has been gone and now my head is pounding. I have no idea what is going on with me these last couple of days.

On top of feeling like crap... my kids have been acting like crap. They have been louder than usual. They have been fighting constantly. And if I have to tell them to get in bed one more time my head just might explode.

Why is it that they feel they need to be worse when Mom isn't feeling well? It's like there is some unwritten childhood rule that says, "All children are to behave atleast 75% worse when Mom is already having a bad day. A bad day includes, but is not limited to, the following: she did not get enough sleep the night before, she is feeling sick, she just had a new baby, she ran her head into the wall after finding daddy would be deployed for 15mths and leaving her with 5 kids, etc, etc, etc. Any child that does not behave worse on Mom's bad day will be forcefully fed liver and onions with a side of brussel sprouts."

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Sweetheart of a Husband

I wasn't home on Saturday to get my surprise birthday flowers that he sent me. I went to bed Sunday night thinking that I would call in the morning to see when I could expect them to be delivered. My sister ran to the store and my neighbor must have saw her pull in the driveway because she came over to deliver my present!!!

At first I was thinking, "Who the frick is ringing my doorbell at midnight!?" but then once I saw the package I was just in awe. The flowers were beautiful. A HUGE bouquet that must have cost a fortune! I even got a balloon, a bear and a box of chocolates! Not that I need the chocolates since Im starting my diet but it was the thought that counted.

My sweet husband that hasnt bought me flowers in FOREVER and has been deployed for the past 8 months was sweet enough to call on my birthday and send me the most beautiful birthday bouquet. The perfect gift would have been for him to be home but that's ok... I'll take what I can get.

Thank you baby for taking time from blowing shit up to remember my birthday and to send me such a sweet gift. I never would have thought you would do something like that since you haven't sent me anything, EVER! Thank you! I love you!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Day of Surprises

Yesterday was a pretty good day... despite the fact that I am now in my late twenties!!!! I feel like an old fart already... I couldn't even stay up but a half hour passed midnight. I was so freakin' tired. Oh well... it was a good day and a good night. Filled with lots of surprises.

The day started early. 7am to be exact. Sara, Adam & Jacob were all awake so I had to get up. I gave Sara a bottle of milk and let Adam & Jacob watch cartoons in the den while I went back to sleep with Kadie & Lexi in my bed. That didnt last much longer before Kadie & Lexi were up.

I had Lexi get everyone breakfast while I lazed around in my bed with Sara still in her pack n play. Sara was having a blast making her Tickle Me Elmo giggle and shake. I was surprised (surprise #1) that she could make it giggle so I looked up to see how she was going it. She was STANDING on it!!! I was laughing so hard. I said "Why are you standing on Elmo!?" and she bent down to pick him up then put him back down and step right back on him. She knew what she was doing, heehee! It was so adorable and totally something only one of MY children would do.

John called about 9am. He thought he woke me up but no such luck. I was just still lying in bed. He called to say Happy Birthday. He wasnt the first though but that's ok since he has a good excuse. I told him about Sara standing on her Elmo and about Lexi knowing how to fart with her armpit. He was so proud of both of them! A typical male response. He said he was freezing his butt off because they had gotten snow the day before... SNOW! The first time since 1963, Baghdad got snow! At least he got to see snow... Lexi would be so jealous. He asked what my plans were for the day... I was going to be going to Windy's soon to pick up my sister (surprise #2) and to celebrate my birthday. He seemed rather interested in when I would be leaving but I didnt think much of it... I mean, I got to talk to him for 28 minutes, about 20 minutes longer than usual. He was having fun picking on me. I told him Id be leaving around noonish to head to Windy's and he said, "sounds more like 5 or 6 to me." LoL We said our goodbyes and I got up to get the kids ready to go.

We left the house around 1130ish... had to prove John wrong after all. We headed to Wendy's and it took 15 minutes to get our lunch. Lexi ate 11 chicken nuggets and Jacob ate 10. Kadie ate maybe 2 nuggets and a couple fries... the rest ended up on the floor. Adam had some chicken nuggets but not sure how many he actually ate and Sara only had a cup of milk. Kadie was the first to crash, then Sara, then Adam, then Jacob... Lexi wrote in her diary most of the trip. John called again around 1215. I was surprised to hear from him AGAIN (surprise #3) and this time we talked for 43 minutes! I told him that if you add up the amount of time we have talked the entire time he has been gone then we would have talked more in this one day making it a great birthday already. He then called me a surprise spoiler! Not something I didnt already know but wasnt sure what I did this time. He informed me that I left before the delivery guy could bring my flowers, balloons, chocolates, and stuffed bear (surprise #4) and that he paid extra for same day shipping. Oops! I was so surprised that he actually sent me something. He has never sent me anything at all... ever! I just always find a way to spoil his surprises. He claims I must be psychic or something and joked that I was crazy. It was now my turn to pick on him. I told him I must be crazy... after all I married HIM! He said, "That wasnt crazy, that was dumb!" LoL He was a poor college student at the time... so yah, maybe a little dumb if you are thinking of it in that sense but you can't help who you love and since Im psychic I knew he would be making good money some day... so it all worked out.

We got to Windy's only after calling her 4 or 5 times to make sure I was going to the right way. Windy wasn't there yet so I hurried to get the kids in before April showed up to surprise the kids. It was a last minute decision for her to come so I decided not to tell the kids. The kids were in the bedroom when they finally got here. April hid in the kitchen when I called them out for their surprise. Lexi did her pretend fainting that she always does now and Jacob was super excited because he had just talked to Aunt April on the phone and wanted to know when we could go see her again. It was fun seeing them all excited.

Windy made me cheesecake for my birthday and then we headed to Outback for my birthday dinner. Yes, we ventured out with 9 kids to go out to dinner on a Saturday night and they were pleasantly well behaved IN the restaurant but not so well while we were waiting... who could blame them though. We were only supposed to wait 15 minutes because we called ahead but had been waiting for about 25 when I finally went in to see what was taking so long and to get a menu. I asked the first lady I saw when we could expect to be seated and she didnt know so she directed me to the hostess stand where a bus boy was standing who also didnt know. A hostess finally came over, as did a manager. I explained to them that we had 9 hungry kids and have been waiting much longer than we were quoted. The manager was very understanding and offered us a free appetizer to be at our table shortly after being seated... he anticipated about 10 more minutes. I asked for an ordered of cheese fries to hold us all over for a few... he offered two orders of wings and two orders of cheese fries... ON THE HOUSE (surprise #5)!!!! I couldnt believe he would give us so much food... but he did and it was FREE! We were seated just a short 10 minutes later and besides a two second tiff with Kadie not wanting to sit in a high chair, all was good. All us adults ordered steak and all the kids wanted mac n cheese. I was the only one that ordered a drink... I tried the Rum Berry Cooler and it was delicious! Dinner was also delicious and we had so many leftovers since we were almost full just from the appetizers. As we were eating, another waitress came over and at first I thought there was a problem. She was sent over by another customer wanting to know if we were military spouses. He probably thought we had to be... or just a tad crazy... for willing to come out to dinner with all those kids. The waitress reported back to the customer who was seated behind us in the corner and she came back to say that he wanted to pay for our entire meal (surprise #6). I could not believe there were people out there that really did this. You always hear about it from other people, or see it in the movies, but it's something you didnt really think would ever happen to you. Windy & I went over to thank the guy and found out he was retired Air Force and just wanted to thank us for our sacrifices and for our husbands' service. We never got to see what the bill total was but it had to be atleast quadruple their bill. I'm still in shock over the fact there are real people out there that do this.

After dinner we went back to Windy's and had a couple of drinks. April played the Wii while I watched Windy play with photoshop. We were all pretty tired so we crashed shortly after midnight. Just as I was getting in bed John called me for the THIRD time in less than 16 hrs (surprise #7). He wanted to see how my birthday was before he went out on a mission. How sweet is he?

It was a day I had been dreading. I was not looking forward to turning 27. It would mean I was in my late twenties and one more year closer to 30. Despite that it turned out to be a great 27th birthday filled with lots of wonderful surprises!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tooth Fairy Detail

My oldest has only been asking me for the last two years or so when she would get a loose tooth. She would constantly wiggle and pull and try to convince me that she had a loose tooth. Always in the end I would check and sure enough that tooth didnt budge one bit. That is until this last Saturday.

I was getting things ready for Adam & Sara's birthday party when out of the blue Lexi blurts out, "Mom! Im serious this time." Not really sure what she could be serious about I asked her what she was talking about. She told me her tooth was really loose. Seeing as we've been doing this same song and dance for almost two years now I wasn't getting excited for her as I already knew the outcome. I would check the tooth, she would say she was serious, I would say "No, I am serious... you DO NOT have a loose tooth." But low and behold, this time she was right. It wasnt even a little wiggly, it was ALOT wiggly.

I think I was just as excited as I was when she got her first tooth. That same tooth that she is now losing. I think I may have been so overjoyed at the fact she would stop asking me when she would have a loose tooth that I was blindsided by her next question...

"When will it come out?"

Did I really think I could stop being bombarded with questions I would never have the answers to? I really must be losing my mind if I thought that.

"Probably next week" (just to get her to stop asking and she did)

We checked her tooth everyday to see how wiggly it was. I had just looked at it earlier and I said, "It'll probably come out by the end of the week."

Apparently this did not work into her schedule of chasing her brother through the house and tattling on her sister because she took the tooth loosening into her own hands... literally. She came running to me about 45 minutes ago showing me her tiny little baby tooth that came out.

"Oh wow! It came out! How did that happen?"

"I pulled it out!"

I was afraid maybe she didnt get it all. It looked really odd but when I checked the hole in her gums it was clean and just a touch bloody. It wasnt gushing or anything but she looks so funny now. We took this pic just for dad!


And now I am on Tooth Fairy Detail tonight. I do not know if I have any cash on me... and what is the going rate for a first lost tooth anyways??? Do kids these days accept credit cards or IOUs or maybe even a gift card to Texas Roadhouse that mom has yet to use because she can't take 5 heathens out to dinner by herself???

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Christmas Tales & Wails

We spent the holidays with the in laws. I had a great and almost relaxing time. Most people would go insane staying with their in laws without their spouses for 8 days but I LOVED it.

We finally arrived after the longest trip to Ohio in history. I was tired, the kids were asking every 10 miles if we were there yet, my stomach was killing me (that's what I get for drinking two venti caramel macciatos in a row), and it started to rain. It was late Friday night so we just went straight to bed, only bringing in the essentials.

Saturday was a lounge around the house kinda day since the Christmas festivities would be starting on Sunday. I really wasn't in the Christmas spirit. Everything was all messed up without John there. Our usual traditions were nixed and it was kind of depressing. My sister came by to see the kids and take them out for a little while. They were really excited to see her.

Our first Christmas was with my dad. We went over for a lunch of deli meat and chips (and yummy pie). I opted for a hot ham and cheese sandwich. It was alright, I just wasn't in the mood for sandwiches. The kids got a few outfits and a few toys. Lexi loved her Troy necklace... after all, that is her boyfriend LoL Jacob's favorite was his Spongebob underwear. The worst gift was the inflatable boxing gloves. Seriously... what were they thinking??? So since they decided it would be a good idea to buy them for my already wild and crazy kids, I decided it would be a good idea to try them out while we were there. My sister and I got more use out of them than the kids did... they were so much fun that I decided to let the kids keep them instead of accidentally stabbing my fork into them.

We headed over to my mom's next. I was contemplating whether I should stop back at the in laws before heading to my mom's but I nixed that and just hung out with my dad & stepfamily for awhile. This would have been fine and dandy had I not realized after getting to my mom's that I forgot my grandpa's present back at John's parents' house. It ended up working out better than anticipated since we needed to borrow a card table from them and I got back just in time for everyone else to show up... late... as usual. The kids got a ton of clothes, a few toys, some blankets and some bath towels. I advised everyone not to get them too much since Id have to be lugging it all back to Georgia. I thought we were doing good until I went out to the car and saw two HUGE garbage bags full of stuff from my mom's house (my cousin and stepbrother gathered up our gifts and loaded them into the car for me). I was dumbstruck! That was A LOT of stuff to get from one Christmas. And it was only the beginning... there was still more to come. I took the kids back to my in laws that night so they could go to bed and I could play Texas Hold'em with my family. I couldn't get drunk like last year since I didn't have John to drive me home and carry me in the house but I still had a good time. I won a couple hands and my stepdad was making fun of me half the night for betting on pretty much nothing but it was still a lot of fun. The highlight at my mom's was when we presented her with a gift from us girls... a pair of boobs! Yup, that's right... she said she wanted boobs for Christmas so we got her some. It was this thing called a Diva Bra or something and it made her a cup size bigger. She was laughing so hard and she loves it! She wore it the first chance she got but I never got to see it.

The next night was Christmas Eve. We didn't do much during the day as the in laws had to work and we didn't do much that evening either since everyone was so worn out already. We went to the 7 o'clock church service and ordered some chinese to go afterwards. Definitely not our typical Christmas Eve dinner of ham or roast with all the trimmings. My brother in law and his fiance couldnt make it and with John being deployed there were three less people to celebrate with and we were already pushing present opening back to the following Saturday so we decided to skip the traditional meal as well. FlatDaddy went to church with us. He wasn't much of a singer and didn't stand for any of the hymns but he did get lots of praise and smiles from other church goers. The kids were carrying him in and out by his forehead which resulted in a cranial fracture. He was immediately put on bedrest with surgery scheduled for Friday. The rest of us ate our dinner and watched Madagascar... yah... not even a Christmas movie. Everyone fell asleep in the living room before having any chex mix or slush. It really wasn't the Christmas tradition that we all looked forward to. Next year will be 10 times better though!

Santa was coming to visit that night just so the kids had at least 1 present Christmas morning. His helper fell asleep with one of the kids and didn't wake up until 430am to put out the gifts. They were not wrapped or anything the next morning when the kids got up to see what they got. You should have seen their expressions... they were completely confused when they saw opened presents sitting in front of the tree. Jacob wasn't too happy about it but Santa's helper was exhausted and almost forgot to put the presents out at all... they should be grateful!

Our next holiday gathering was with my dad's side of the family. We usually get together at my aunt's house but she is now living with my grandpa so it was there instead. I cant remember the last time we had a holiday gathering there but if I had to guess it was probably when my grandma was still alive. We stayed for a couple of hours then headed out to the gathering with my mom's side of the family.

I hadn't planned on going to this Christmas but since they always have a good buffet of food I decided to skip dinner with the in laws and visit with my extended family. What a mistake that turned out to be. Dinner consisted of baked mac n cheese and potato soup. Ummm, not exactly what I was expecting. Other than having that for dinner I just walked around taking pictures and watched the boys play on the Wii. Glad I had more plans that night or I would have had a pretty crappy Christmas day. The kids enjoyed themselves though which is always a good thing.

I loaded the kids in the car and headed back to my in laws just as they were finishing up dinner. Apparently I have excellent timing because it gave me a chance to snag the last bit of corn pudding. Mmmmm. I always have a lot of fun with my in laws. I couldn't ask for a better second family than them. We chatted, took pictures, opened presents and the kids jumped on the young adults. The highlight of the night was when we asked Jacob if he knew who Tim was. He assured us he did... I knew who he was thinking of. When we told him it wasn't "Uncle" Scott but his little brother, he had this look of betrayal on his face. Such a priceless moment... you had to be there. I was going to put the kids in bed and catch a movie with my sister that evening but his family stayed around pretty late. The kids got Underdog and we got a chocolate pound cake, Packo dogs and sauce, and cookie mixes. I gave the cookies mixes to my mother in law because a. they were glass jars and b. they all had oatmeal in them and the kids and I don't do oatmeal cookies. Sorry, Aunt Kathy! Thanks though.

Wednesday and Thursday were free days. I did not have any plans for either day. I also do not really remember what we did those days. I will have to consult photos... be right back. Apparently I did not take any pictures on Wednesday so I will just say we lounged around the house. I'm sure I was checking my email and browsing the internet while the in laws worked and the kids played in the basement. I really know how to spend my vacation, don't I? LoL I really should have written this sooner because my brain is toast or mush or mushy toast. HA! Well what I do remember from Thursday is someone took Kadie and Jacob for awhile so while Sara was sleeping, the other two and I went outside to play. The grass was a little sloshy and it was just a tad cold (about 35*) but Lexi and Adam had fun running around. I took a few pictures until Adam fell in the mud... time to go in! I made the kids take off their shoes before walking in onto the white carpet... my mother in law would have kicked my ass if I let them get mud on that carpet! We decided to go out to dinner that night. We were supposed to go to Texas Roadhouse but they couldn't guarantee that the 10 of us would get to sit together or even near each other so we went to Don Pablo's instead. I called to make a reservation and we waited maybe 15 minutes when we got there. We ordered so much food, the bill was insane. Well it averaged about $10 per person including tip so really I guess it wasn't that bad and the food was GREAT and I got my Don Pablo's fix so it was all good.

Friday I had my sister bring me peking ribs for lunch. There is a place in the FoodTown just over the Michigan line that carries these. I cannot find them anywhere else so whenever I am in town my sister brings them to me. See... she does do nice things for me every once in awhile. My mom came and took the three oldest off my hands for awhile that afternoon as well. She took them to Children's Wonderland and they loved it! Gotta love having family wanting to take the kids. That is one of the main reasons I drive 30hrs round trip to go home. My in laws are a sanity saver and my family comes and takes the kids off my hands. Love it! That evening we went John's aunt's house for our annual gift exchange. David rode with me so I wouldn't get lost. He was reading his book and the kids kept asking "Are we there yet?" I jokingly told them that we would be there soon as long as Uncle David didn't let me get lost. Wouldn't you know it... we got lost! Apparently they did some construction and instead of there being a light where we needed to turn, there was an off ramp. No one thought they should mention this to us, so we drove right past it. We turned around at the next exit that was about 5 miles up the rode and drove back in the opposite direction another 15 miles by the time we got anyone on the phone that knew where we were going. We turned around again and finally found our way. After getting there we found out we could have taken the exit we got off at the first time all the way to their house. Of course!!! Dinner was good and Kadie really attached herself to Emily. I love when she finds new people to like because she is always so shy around people and wants to stick to me like white on rice. It gets very annoying. Emily and her stepsister read The Christmas Story and Tiffany was scouring the couch cushions for a little white pill that resembled the popcorn crumbs she kept coming up with. The gift exchange was rather interesting this year. John couldn't be there but FlatDaddy sat in his place. He was number 10 and Lexi picked for him. I was number 2... I opened up a small bag that contained a kitchen timer. There were quite a few people wanting to steal it from me but thought I might need it since it had a dual timer. I mean, I could use it to set two different times for when two kids are on time out at the same time. I assured them that they could steal it if they wanted... I didn't REALLY need it. Lexi decided to steal Ratatouille from Uncle David but I convinced her to put it back after David informed me he had already bought it for the kids for Christmas. She then opened up a big tub of popcorn. Later in the process a set of Ohio State party trays were opened. Lexi saw those and was totally jealous. So after someone stole my kitchen timer, I went and stole her popcorn so she could get the Ohio State stuff. Uncle Thom wanted so bad to steal it from her but we all convinced him that he couldn't steal it from the sweet, innocent daughter of a deployed soldier that only wanted to get them cause that is what her daddy would want. Someone then stole the popcorn from me. I secured our hold on the Ohio State trays by stealing them from Lexi. Yay! Those were now ours to take home. Lexi got to steal again and this time I wanted to kick her butt. We ended up with a giant tube of bubble gum, a toothbrush and some toothpaste. I tried getting her to put it back and pick something else but she wouldn't listen. Oh well... we left very happy and having enjoyed our time with family. That is what matters most anyways. We also didn't get lost going home, that is pretty important as well.

Saturday was our last day in Ohio and we still had one more Christmas. I was tired because Adam was up half the night screaming. I'm not sure what his deal was. I couldn't get him to calm down for anything. I was just hoping he wouldn't repeat it again this night. Chris and Eva made dinner since Mom had a wedding to go to at 4. We had a roast, potatoes, carrots and corn pudding. It was all so delicious and the BEST last meal I could ask for. After dinner we opened presents while drinking slush and eating chex mix. That is one of my most favorite Christmas traditions. The slush and chex mix part, not the presents part... although those are fun to get too. The kids got a PlaySkool Ion that they played until well after 11pm that night and lots of books and a couple outfits. I always love what my in laws get the kids. Not that I don't love what other people get them but some people don't know what to get the kids so they get them junk they wont ever play with or will just make a mess with and lose all the pieces to. My in laws definitely know what to stay away from. I got a few books (one of which I already read, one I already owned but haven't read, and two that I haven't even heard of but sound great), Grey's Anatomy season 3 and a Rachael Ray pan! I was so excited to get that pan and I knew that I was opening Grey's as soon as I saw the package. I'm not sure how I knew, I just did. Chris loved his gift from Kadie (cereal and cereal bowls) and Mom loved her sweater. I just hope it fits her, I need to call her and ask about it. Adam did very good opening presents. I have a picture of him opening his cup and he is so excited, it was adorable. Sara was getting the hang of it pretty well too. She knew she had to get the paper off but wasn't quite sure how to do it. My father in law didn't try to get Sara to walk but that girl sure is ready. If you hold her hands she will take off practically running, but she wont even stand on her own without holding something. I think she is just waiting for daddy... she will see him and take her first steps towards him. What a great coming home present that would be. So anyways... my mom came by so she could give me some shirts before we left and I got myself and the kids in bed shortly after 1130. About midnight Adam woke up screaming again. It was pure hell. After I took him out of the crib he did not want me to hold him or touch him or talk to him. He just threw a temper tantrum on the floor of the bedroom. I felt so bad because my in laws were sleeping just down the hall and Chris & Eva were right next door. I tried giving him a cup of milk... he didn't want that. I tried a cracker... he didn't want that. I tried holding him, rocking him, singing to him... everything I could think of... nothing worked. My mother in law came in after awhile to try to calm him down and he didn't want her. He wanted me and only me. Finally, with a stroke of luck, he wanted to go back to bed and slept the rest of the night. Boy was I tired the next day.

The van was all packed up except for the few things we needed the night before and that morning and there was still room in there. I was pleasantly surprised especially after getting all that stuff from my mom's house... I thought I might have to send some stuff back FedEx or strap my kids to the roof. If only that second option was a real possibility, HA! We left pretty much on schedule and the drive was uneventful. We made very few stops and arrived in Warner Robins (at my friend's house) after about a 12 1/2 hour drive. I didn't get very much sleep that night either but at least I only had to drive 3 hours to get back home from there.

We had cupcakes for Adam's birthday on Sunday morning before heading back home. Windy made them look like a dinosaur. They were so cute! After the kids made a huge mess all over the house with chocolate cupcakes we left the big kids with Rich and headed to my house with the babies. We helped Santa wrap all the kids' presents and set them up. It took us the whole hour and 45 min that we had until Rich got there with the kids. Rich took pictures while I just let the kids tear into their presents. It was total chaos. There was wrapping paper and toys spread everywhere. They were very happy with all their presents. Santa left a note saying he would be back when daddy got home.

The Christmas season still lives on until this stressed military family gets to finish up their holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Brain Farts

I swear, I go through these little spurts where I can write for days on end and then all of a sudden I have nothing but mush coming out of my ears.

Something will happen and I will think... "Ooh, I need to blog about that" then in the next instance the thought is gone and I can never remember exactly what was so great that I thought I needed to share it with the world... or atleast the few people that read this blog.

I've got nothing original to share... but keep an eye out for New Year's Resolutions, Christmas Tales, and The Many Adventures of Flat Daddy.