Monday, December 13, 2010

Hi? Hello? You still there?

Alas, I am alive! No I haven't been swallowed by the never ending mounds of laundry around here...

Or sucked into the drain while doing the dishes...



Or eaten alive by toys as I clean them up daily...



I have been taking care of this sick boy...with a severe case of croup that landed us in the hospital twice this weekend.


And the Princess has made a generous donation to Locks of Love...




Our main computer that I load my pictures to has decided it wants to move slower than a snail, which has caused me more stress than it's worth to download pictures. So all of these pics. today are brought to you by my fab. Droid phone:)

I do have some awesome pictures from our beach trip....which was the best year ever by the way. I will get them loaded and posted...as soon as I have the patience to wait for each pic. to download.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

33! A new year and I'm up for the challenge.



Today is my birthday! YAY 33...I know you're thinking "No way! You look so young!" But oh yes...today begins another year of my life. I'm excited for the unknown like I've never been before. Today begins a new chapter. An unopened gift full of 365 days of more life until the next big day.

This morning I woke up with the same old plan. I wasn't expecting much...just a day with a few FB messages from family and friends wishing me a happy birthday, 4 little boys that wouldn't even know it was my birthday unless someone told them, a daughter who would probably be reminded from FB, and husband who tries to pretend he didn't forget but who buys flowers before leaving work (he isn't home yet so maybe he didn't even get them this year)...he did get me a new Dyson a few weeks ago upon the death of our old vacuum (but the fact that a household cleaning tool is my present kind of sucks b/c it would be nice to get a real surprise one of these years but you can't teach an old dog new tricks I suppose).

But to my surprise by midday I had a whole new view on things. I'm tired of the self loathing and the "oh woh is me" mentality. I did get A LOT of FB messages today, my daughter remembered 3rd period at school and sent me a text, and then she and the 2 little boys helped make me a chocolate cake when she got home, and my big boys cleaned up and sang Happy Birthday to me. Anyway, about halfway through the day today I decided that this was the year. A new beginning! A year to let go of unnecessary anger, forget about the hurt and pain, and realize the bad things don't define me.

If there is anything that I've learned from the blogging world is that everyone has a "story". A past that paves the road to who they are. Well I have been holding on to my hurt and pain for too long. And this year I'm going to put a little fork in the road and change my path.

I'm ready to LIVE again! I'm ready to work toward those goals I've been putting on the back burner. I'm ready to turn my dreams into reality. I'm ready to keep a journal, put the pain and anger into words and rip it up and let it go, and write my goals and focus on those instead.

So this my friends is going to be a complete life changing year. Starting today I will find the Danielle that use to not only watch life but make it happen. I'm ready for this challenge! Stay tuned for big changes:)

Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, November 12, 2010

"UGH! Mom do I have to?"

How often do you hear that in your house? From eating vegetables to wearing certain clothes...from getting up for school to running errands...from cleaning the bathroom to taking out the trash...from doing homework to feeding the dogs...it's a constant phrase in my house.

Well this week was no exception. The weather has been absolutely beautiful here lately. So I decided last weekend to torture my children by making them take some family photos. They are used to me snapping pictures because it is a rare moment when my camera isn't handy. And they often say "Hey mom take my picture doing ...". But when I actually say "go comb your hair and put this on" I get a resounding "UGH MOOOOMMMMMMMMMM do I have toooooo?"

Well it was even more exciting when I informed my husband he would be join us. If there is one thing he hates it's definitely smiling for pictures. In fact out or the 200 pictures I managed to snap only a few that he was actually sort of smiling in. He made lots of weird faces...but mostly in the pictures where everyone else was actually looking at the camera all at once and looking cute...his mouth was open, eyes closed, mouth squished to the side, giving me bunny ears. Looks like I better find a better bribe for him next time. I was able to get a few that I really liked though...so here's a little preview.



There are many more and I'm excited that I will be able to put some on this year's Christmas card. I can take the little bit of complaining for this great success. (I took most of the shots, but the family ones were done by a friend of the Princesses that is in her photography club at school.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Random Ramblings on a Monday

*Love the time change....did not change th clocks upstairs therefore after showers and baths last night the boys hustled off to bed thinking it was 8:00...when truly it was 7:00....for that I am grateful!
*In great debate with myself about returning back to the classroom.
*I am ready to get out of the house each day!
*I need an update to my sweat pants and t-shirt wardrobe...I think that effects my mood so much.
*My kids are the best! I got great compliments this weekend at a birthday party about how well behaved they were.
*less than 2 weeks until we leave for the beach...and I am more than ready...broke, but READY!
*The van needs new tires and an oil change before we leave.
*Laundry is overflowing.
*I miss running each day.
*I do not like getting up at 5:00 to run, especially when the temp. is now 30 degrees or less in the morning...
*Needs to figure out how to run at night...I really need this for me.
*I also need a night time job to get caught up on things around here...hmmmm are there enough hours in the day.
*The unknown is quite scary.
*I'm letting go of who I was to embrace who I am.
*My kids are the best! Did I already mention that?
*I did not meet my Fatbet goal...but I did lose about 6 pounds and will probably put it back on over these winter comfort food months.
*With that said - I do LOVE my body b/c it allowed me to grow 5 awesome kids!
*I want to go back to school to get my masters.
*I've put my career on hold long enough and I'm ready to move forward.
*My princess told me this morning she wants another sibling. She loves our family and wants it to keep growing.
*I'm always up for another baby, but that would keep my career on hold even longer.
*I have awesome kids!
*Why do I have so much gray hair?
*I'm hungry.
*Ready to start my day of teaching!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dirty Jobs


You've seen the show...gross jobs that someone has to do, right? Well, I think they should add potty training to that list of "Dirty Jobs". I HATE potty training. Well, it's not that bad at home really, it's in public that I hate potty training the most.

Public restrooms are no fun regardless...especially with kids. First you rush in at the moment your child says, "Mommy potty". Oh crap! Where the heck is the bathroom in this place...The front? The back? Oh I'm hurrying honey. You beg and plead with your wee one who is literally holding himself and at this point yelling "Pee Mommy Pee Mommy...and POOP".

Oh great! Running faster to the restroom which of course is opposite from wherever you are in the store...and of course add a few extra children to the mix and remind them to keep up...don't touch...no we can't get that....hurry...come on!

Finally you arrive at the bathroom, praying there is no line, and run into a stall. Only this stall has pee all over the seat and you scream "Wait eww no don't touch". Next one, lock the door, proceed to take off all clothes b/c said child will not aim if his pants are on. Finally success and laughing "Haha Mommy, poop splash, ahahahha". Glad the whole bathroom knows he's pooping. And eww gross public toilet water splashing my cute little man's hiney. Bath time for sure tonight!

Then you need to go. So you dress your child and remind him to "stand over there" and "don't touch". Plead to stop unlocking the door. Now you have your foot propped up holding the door closed while child is screaming to "Move your foot Mommy!". You whisper, "Please leave the door locked, don't touch, can you put your hands in your pockets? Leave that alone. Hold on honey". And you tell the others who have finished to please stand outside your door. "Don't move I need to see your feet."

It's a chore really. By the time you're done your stress level is through the roof and you're trying to keep it together and be cheerful and proud of your child.

But ugh all I want to do it take a bath and bathe cuteness in a great heap of bubbles!

And who knows what went on in the other children's stall. Imagining the worst you scrub them all up with lots of soap and give them hand sanitizer after you get out.

No more drinks on this trip...please please please hold it until we get home.

I will admit I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe...I think God gets a good laugh everyday at the fact that he blessed me with 4 boys after 1 girl...boys are dirty and stinky and gross! Thank goodness they are super cute and so cuddly after a nice bath. Other wise this potty training thing might just throw me over the edge.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello? Fall? Are you there?

I've made pumpkin muffins. I'm enjoying Pumpkin Spice Lattes (and I LOVE that Coffee Mate has come back out w/ their flavor too so I'm not throwing down $5 everytime I'm hankering for one). We've gotten Macintosh apples from Trader Joe's (b/c those were my grandpa's favorite) and made homemade warm apples and applesauce. I've made several peach cobblers.

We've been to the pumpkin farm for our annual hay ride. We brought home some baby pumpkins. We have been on several scavenger hunts for fall foliage. We have brought home our loot of pine cones, acorns, baby pumpkins, and a variety of fall colored leaves to decorate our dining room.

I had great visions all summer of having some great afternoon runs after work. After a 10 hour day full of wonderful kiddies I would love to take a nice run before the craziness of my evening shift takes over. BUT IT'S TOO HOT!!!

I find myself still getting up before the roosters just so I can get 45 min. to an hour to myself before my day is consumed by meeting the needs of 10 other people. After I talk myself into stop hitting the snooze button a gajillion times I truly do love my morning walks/runs. But I would really love to get more sleep! So I have visions of running in the afternoon or early evening. I think it would give me a great break between work and hectic evenings. BUT IT"S TOO HOT!!!

Today, even after an afternoon of thunderstorms, it was 80 degrees. I know that should feel better than the 100 degree summer days. But I like to feel the coolness on my face...not the sweat.

There are cooler days in the forecast. So hopefully Fall is actually coming...hopefully before the freezing winter get here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wondering

Why I feel so overwhelmed all the time?

Why I'm so tired?

Why I can't seem to get it together lately?

Why I sweat the small things?

When I will have a minute to breath...and actually feel relaxed from it...

Where did this year go? How is it the end of October already?

How in the world there are only 2 months until Christmas?

How in the world we will get it together for Christmas this year?

How did we get here?

What I'm going to do about it?

Why I am in charge of so much...yet seem to have so little control?

Will it always be this overwhelming? Is it because we have so many kids? And why do I so badly want more?

So many questions, so little answers or solutions, and I'm really hoping a good night sleep will help things seem much better in morning.

Good news is baseball season is coming to an end. I put my foot down and said no to winter sports...after all we haven't had any time off since February. And maybe, just maybe, we can get a few things together and feel more relaxed before spring sports start back up. I'd really love to get to know my husband again:)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Show Us Your Life...Childrens Rooms



I'm linking up today to Kelly's Show Us Your Life Children's Rooms.

Jenna is the only one who gets her own room (lucky girl!) and it's the biggest of all of our rooms (again...lucky girl!). She has had it this way since she started middle school, so now that she is a Freshman she is looking for a change. So, I'm planning on a room change for Christmas:) I've got my eye set on several things that she has been pointing out. I'm excited, but not about the process...as we will be sanding her walls down b/c of all the painting the hubby did before.

Chris made her furniture (I picked it out of a Pottery Barn catalog) and he painted and designed the walls by himself. With a little help from Ashley and Jenna.



She has a corner desk and an armoire that cannot be seen in the picture. She loves the furniture, but is ready for new bedding and excitement.

Next up is the big boys room. Tyler and Kyle are both into sports so we have decorated with all of their favorite teams flags and sports bedding. Again, Chris build their beds. Both beds have great bookshelves and drawers underneath.



And now for the little boys room. Ryan and Chase have an animal themed room. Alligators, monkeys, zebras, and lions to name a few. Chase is our little monkey so it's very fitting. Daddy made their dresser, but has not had any time for bed making this go around. Unless somehow I can convince him to build while he's coaching 3 baseball teams I don't see it happening. So I am on the hunt for some bunk beds for these 2 boys.



All of the kids bedding came from Target. I know you can't see the crib bedding too well, but it almost matches the twin bed perfectly. I LOVE Target!

Now if they would stay this clean all the time:)
Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prayers and a heavy heart...

Tonight my heart is very heavy and very sad. Kyle's teacher and a former colleague of mine lost her daughter today. She was only 32 years old and has 3 young children...ages 4, 1, and 3 weeks. Tonight I am praying for Mrs. Moxley and her family and especially the husband and father.

She had preeclampsia when she was pregnant and they believe she had a stroke while at home. Very unexpected!

Don't take life for granted...it can change any second.

Please pray for this family and the children who lost their mother.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...and a few snacks too

I am LOVING my Women's Health Magazine that I recently ordered. It has kept me extremely motivated and has helped me find so many new recipes and workouts. So far I have 3 issues (because when I ordered them I got two issues for free) and I look to each of them often to boost my workouts. The Shred and C25K are going GREAT! Today I start week 4 of running and I'm a bit nervous b/c it has a straight 5 minute run and I'm hoping my mind will hold out...it's been talking smack lately and I might have to turn the I-Pod up to drown it out. You see back in March, for those who don't know, I did the Biggest Loser Challenge through my kids school. Well, I successfully lost 12 pounds during the 10 weeks. The challenge ended in May and so did my exercise. The kids were home for the summer, 2 boys were playing all-star baseball, and I just couldn't seem to get on any type of schedule for working out. And we ate out over the summer...A LOT! So, stating the obvious, I put those 12 pounds right back on.

I weighed myself back at the beginning of September and was surprised...well not really...but I guess I was praying for a miracle. So, slap in the face, I realized I had to get back to it b/c nothing was stopping that scale from continuing to go up.

Anyway, back to my mind talking smack, I have lost 5 pounds in the last two weeks and I want to be excited and pat myself on the back and say "You can do this. Again". But then my mind creeps in and says, "Duh you idiot it's 5 pounds that you had already lost. You still have 6 pounds just to get back to where you were and then lost the rest from there." So, it's hard to be excited when it's 5 pounds that shouldn't be there in the first place. But if I don't reward myself I'll give up again and so continues the Yo-Yo.

Ok, back to what this post was originally about anyway, FOOD! One thing I've learned from Women's Health is that women don't get enough healthy proteins...which is key to losing weight. We should be getting 115-150 grams of protein a day...that means we should be eating it with every meal.

Breakfast I have loved lately...
*Oatmeal, w/ all natural P'nut butter, apples sauteed w/ Smart Balance and Cinnamon
*Oatmeal but sub bananas instead of apples
*Kashi Go-Lean Berry Blend
*Omelets w/ spinach and sliced string cheese w/ variety of fresh fruits on the side
**I want to try oatmeal this week w/ pumpkin in it...the others are tasting like warm pies or oatmeal crisps, so I'm imagining pumpkin pie...mmmmm

Lunches...
*Tuna salad (made w/ Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo), on spelt asiago toast from Trader Joe's, string cheese, apples
*Roasted red pepper hummus w/ tons of sliced veggies and peppers
*All natural p'nut butter and all natural strawberry fruit spread on toasted Ezekiel, raw veggies, and fruit
*Turkey roll ups w/ bell peppers, Babybel, yogurt

Dinners...
*Grilled chicken, grilled zuch. and squash, rice pilaf
*Grilled Talapia, Quinoa (cooked in Thai Coconut Curry broth), sauteed tomatoes and onions
*Chicken Primavera
*Pork w/ mushroom gravy, sweet potatoes, cous cous
*Chicken curry, Basmati rice, and Naan, and sauteed fresh green beans

Snacks...
*Honeycrisp apples w/ raw almond butter and cinnamon
*string cheese and any fruit
*Fiber One yogurts and organic granola
*almonds and fruit
*oh and yummy Trader Joe's Meringue

Most of the recipes have come from Women's Health, Publix Apron's meals, and somethings I just throw together b/c they sound good:)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's something wrong in this country!

Well there seems to be a lot of things wrong in this country. But at the top of my list is my children's education. I'm so tired of them being "taught" for THE TEST. You know the one that comes at the end if the year and will in some cases determine if they pass or not. I'm a teacher people so I'm not speaking as an unknown. I know there is a test at the end of the year. I know how important it is for them to pass it. But can we have some sort of fun in the process?

For the last few weeks many papers have been coming home from the kids school with scores and such on how they are doing. Of course they are all scan tron sheets that are determining if my children are where they are supposed to be. Which is all fine and good...but do they really need to take these tests every week? I have had conferences with 2 of the kids teachers so far. And the whole conference was about how they placed on this assessment or that. Hello where are the book reports, science projects, some sort of fun...

I see a lot of worksheets and not a lot of original thought out planned assignments. This is the reason I wish we could afford to home school. There are so many other things my kids should be doing. I know teachers are on a time crunch and under a considerable amount of stress and constant scrutiny on how their students are placing on their assessments. But man I would love to see something FUN come home. I feel like I have to make up for the things they aren't getting in their public education. Like book reports, science experiments, and creating hands on projects for them. And hello I work 50 hours a week, am raising 5 kids, and running them to various extracurricular activities trying to keep them well rounded.

My 3rd grade and 5th grade sons have tested out of their math classes...meaning the scored over 95% on the pretest. Well in both of their classes they were one of only two that achieved this. So while the rest of the class is learning the material that they already know they were working on a higher level project w/ this one other student. My 3rd grader was getting bored so his teacher gave me a call this week and wanted to know if it would be alright if she sent him to another class for math. A higher level thinking class...well heck yeah! Anything to keep him excited about his learning. Hopefully that will help to be with more students that are on his level. But my 5th grader is becoming a bit lazy...which has always been an issue with him..if you don't notice he's not doing anything then he will continue to do nothing. I give him extra learning experiences at home and I hear "My teacher doesn't care. I don't have to do that". So I'm beginning to trick him into higher level thinking...but it sure does take a lot of time for me to be planning these undetected learning moments.

It's just frustrating b/c I want them to go to school and have fun and learn new things. I hate the thought of sitting and doing worksheets b/c the teachers are so busy grading and assessing where they are.

Our school is one of the best in the county and "tests" very well. But it sure would be nice for them to assess them on so many other levels than just test scores. But my children are testing out of the pretests...so what is a mother to do?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chugging Along


Each day is a new day...and for that I am extremely thankful. I accomplished all of my workouts last week, got all of the kids to their activties on time, and finished all laundry. Of course they have all decided they should continue wearing clothes so my laundry room is still a buzz with the whirring of the dryer and constant running water in the washer.

This weekend I picked up a new book..."The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. I am determined to give myself at least an hour a day to read as I have a night stand full of unfinished must reads.

Saturday my hubby and the boys set up the tent and had a camping party. Jenna and I spent the day shopping for her homecoming dress, and we went to lunch at Chipotle. After the boys settled in the tent w/ dad and their friends she and I got to enjoy a movie in the peace and quiet.

I'm looking forward to this weeks workouts, baseball games, and lots and lots of family time as Chris finally has a few days off! Woot Woot that's reason enough for a celebration.

And here's a preview of exciting things to come...