Thursday, March 25, 2010


Life happens. First one was sick, then two, then me. Yeah, life happens. I've learned when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, or a lemon cake. I'll take both, thank you very much. The past week and a half has been a buzz of activities, most with picture taking, some so busy (for me) that I had to keep my hands free to help out vs taking photos. In any case, there have been more smiles than tears, more laughter than fights, more early to bed nights to go with the early rising mornings. I'm excited about all the changes going on, both big and small here at home. Life is good when there's change, its all in how you roll with them that go for a bumpy or smooth ride.
So here are the changes going on here:
-Our garden, its gone from a weed infested patch to a rota-tilled space ready to bear fruit and vegetables this spring and summer.
-The boys have had a blast playing on the weekends w/ C and sometimes K, I've been having fun watching all the boys run around, and enjoy H's company when she comes over too.
-Packing and decluttering have begun in full force the past two weeks, thanks to our internet being on the fritz again. Freecyclers came andd took albums, books, knick knacks and toys. In return I got boxes from another, made packing easier to do since the meager ones we had were filled already.
-R and I reopened the conversation about adding to our family. We're now in the "if we're going to have another, it should be now vs later" since life is never going to stop, and the boys are in a good groove. Yes that means quite possibly we're going to start all over in diapers by the time E is potty trained; but and this is a big one, we know we can handle it. Its just a matter of whether or not it will happen. So we'll see what happens in the months ahead. I know someone will approach me and say "What the heck are you thinking?" or "Are you pregnant now?" and truthfully I have thought about this as much as I can, and while I'm not pregnant now, I've been thinking for so long (and haven't written/spoken about it too much-I really needed to make peace w/ myself that this is what R and I wanted, not because so-and-so is having another, or is finished, that sort of thing). So as has been the case three times prior of breathing and becoming pregnant, we'll see what happens now. We're on the same page regardless, its just a matter of if its meant to be.
-and G is officially ready for kindergarten. He was so excited to bring his paperwork to preschool (who was dropping it off for us), and show off that he's going to be at the big school next year. I'm so happy for my middle son. He's so enthusiastic about learning, and the real world, he is ready to learn at school. Here are pictures from the previous couple of weeks, in no particular order.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Sunday was a mellow day at home. We ran some errands in town, where I saw one of my friend's daughter selling girl scout cookies. We bought one box, and oooooh, that box didn't make it out of the parking lot-the five of us enjoyed the sweet treat :) We headed home and I took the boys to my friend H's house, where I helped her can, yes can, some food, and the boys played with play dough. We saw wild rabbits frolicking in the sun, and thoughts of spring came to mind. Heather and I are planning to can this summer, and we had a nice long talk about our plans for our gardens. It was a lot of fun, and a nice way to cap off a restful weekend.

When we came home, I made dinner for the crew, and then tried to make homemade popcorn. It didn't quite turn out as well as I hoped, not sure why-thinking I had too many kernels in the pan, but it was fun to try out. I think we'll try it again, but keep a closer eye on the progress of them.

Monday E and I went to playgroup. He had fun playing with his friends, and I hung out with the moms. The big event for me was that I went and paid for the first half of our carpet renovation. We're set to get the carpet sometime around Spring Break. Now we're picking out paint samples and getting bids from painters. I had one come out yesterday, and we reviewed the colors I already picked out on a recent trip to Lowes. I'm hopeful about his bid, which we'll get later this week. We still have a couple more people to interview, and licenses to check out, so we'll see how it pans out this week.

Tuesday I worked, part of which was having the oil changed on the car. I also went to a grocery store that was going out of business, and bought items that we could use here, and those I could donate to the food bank in town. It was odd to see a total of $80 drop to $40 w/o coupons, and even crazier how much food was bought with that amount of money. I have pictures down below of some of the stuff I bought, thanks to G helping me put it away. Errands were accomplished. R and I managed to have lunch (courtesy of work) by ourselves, and it was nice to get away. The boys and I went to H's house for dinner, and the boys had fun bouncing outside on the trampoline. It did the trick though, because when we came home, full of good food, the boys passed out-they were tired from all the bouncing around :)

On Wednesday, the younger boys and I stayed home because AT&T came out to fix our DSL line. It was something that needed to get done, and it finally happened. We made cookies for our afternoon playgroup to pass the time. G also played a stacking game with E with groceries I bought the day before, and that actually kept them entertained for a long time. Crazy how the simple things can keep them busy, while expensive ones are sometimes left to the side. Once M was out of school, we hopped over to C town for playgroup, and it was nice for the kids to run around.

Thursday, the boys and I took R to school, and we ventured out around V town. We had a few work shops, but then we took a break and went to Target. The boys ooohed and ahhed over the tball equipment, and it was fun to see what things caught their eye. There weren't any meltdowns, thank goodness, and we made it back in time to get R when his class was over.

Friday, I subbed at a middle school. I had lunch with one of my friend's who is a teacher there, and it was nice to talk about our plans for this summer. We have been friends since I moved to town five years ago, and we've managed to keep our friendship going throughout us growing our families and weird work/school/baby schedules. She welcomed me to go away in a couple of weeks to a scrapbook convention w/ her (thanks to hubby for saying he will gladly watch the boys so I can go :0) ) so it'll be fun.

Yesterday, R went to school to study, and I had H's son over to play for most the afternoon. It was a lot of fun, and the kids did everything from playing pretend to setting up the train set. I relaxed (as much as could be expected with four kids under six underfoot) and enjoyed the day. R came home and I made a tasty dinner. Another week to a close, and one more closer to spring.

***edited to add-for some reason I can't upload all my pics now, blogger is acting up, so I'll post the rest of the pics later :o)

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This week was a mixed week. I was sick towards the end of the weekend, so E and I missed our normal Monday morning playdate with friends. I know E knows something's missing when he says "friends, friends?" Its his way of saying are we going to our playgroup mom? A little rest was what I needed though, because the rest of the week kept me busy and on my toes. Eli pretended to be my dr., how sweet of him :)

Tuesday I subbed at a middle school, and gained a new appreciation for the teachers who work with youth. I also came home, ready to face my boys, and snuggle and appreciate their innocence. We had our Tuesday night playdate, and my friend brought over dinner for all us. I loved hanging out, and we browsed through a catalog of stamping stuff I had gotten from a friend.

Wednesday we missed out on Moms Club, because R had a follow up appointment for his ears. Praise G-d, his ears are back to normal. Whatever was going on a few months ago has cleared up-that's quite a relief considering we thought he was going to lose his hearing. On a somber note, on the way into Fresno, we saw over 50 police cars from all over our state en route to the memorial of the Fresno County Sheriff that was slain late last week. Adding to the somber mood, R's dr appointment was across the street from the church where the memorial was taking place. Seeing representatives from throughout the Department of Corrections pay their respects, at least with 100+ service vehicles, not to mention the outpouring of public support, it was a striking sight. It was sad and bittersweet, seeing how tightknit our community can become when tradedy strikes, and posed as a reminder for me on how our lives can change in an instant.

We took R to lunch (mystery shop) before dropping him off at school, and picking M at school, and then going to an afternoon playdate with friends. The boys had fun playing with swords, and the moms and I talked about our plans for Spring Break. This year is the first year that most of us had plans for break, so I think we're taking a week off from meeting during that time. It definitely is different though, because we all used to pick up and go and travel whenever the mood struck, because our lives were not dictated by work or school schedules. That said, I am looking forward to the week that M has off, in part because I have completely cleared my personal work calendar so we can all soak up the carefree time that is Spring Break. I have a few day trips planned, nothing extravegant, but it will be nice to break out of our normal routine.
E at lunch, loving his eggroll and chow mein

Day of shuttling between drop off, dr office, lunch, and drop off, pick up, pick up, gets to be a long day for the boys, but breaks in between with a playdate and having fun makes a world of difference

Thursday was a crazy day, filled with helping M's class, subbing in the afternoon, and completing mystery shops and audits before coming home. We then all took R to class, and waited in V town until his class was finished. The boys did remarkably well with all the driving we had to do, and were well behaved while we were out.

Friday was a long day, filled with mystery jobs and merchandising audits. R helped me w/ the boys so I could finish early, and it paid off. I was able to enjoy the evening, even though it ended early with all of us going to bed when the boys did.

When it was all said and done, I was ready for the weekend. R has asked me to slow down, he sees I'm getting tired, and somewhat burned out by all that is going on . While that is true, I'm finally seeing progess where it seemed like everything was at a standstill for so long, and that is energizing me. Last month I paid off the last payment of $733 for our hot water pipe re-route, meaning I've paid $3200 total since our November fiasco! I also paid off the $507 due for our mold clean up, and am now able to focus on paying for our pool equipment that was stolen last winter. We took care of our taxes at HR Block courtesy of a mystery shop last month, and besides getting our fees (and a fee for doing the shop) taken care of, we received a nice refund. The crazy thing for me is that we had changed our tax information last year, so I did not think we were getting any refund-just breaking even. This was a complete blesssing, because we're able to put money in savings, and use what I earn now to pay off what little debt we have left (the one outstanding credit card that was shredded, but put on the back burner since we had pay cuts). Being debt free (besides the house and car) by the time I turn 31 in August is definitely possible.

I see the strides we have taken, and despite all that we have faced (pay cuts, illness, unexpected home repairs) we are truly blessed for just being able to provide for ourselves. I took the boys to the food bank again last week for our monthly donation, and G asked me why we were doing it. I told him that even though we have enough to feed ourselves and pay our bills, not everyone does, and the food bank in town helps those who need help. He said they don't have enough food, and I said no, and that's why we give to help out. He looked at me, and said we should go to the store and get more for them-sweet boy, we do that every week when we do our shopping with coupons and at the grocery outlet and dollar store.

Now to enjoy the rest of the weekend, hopefully prepping the backyard for our garden and playing outside.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The boys enjoyed a brief respite from the rain outside, and discovered the joys of nature-worms! I've gotten over the gross factor, and have decided to let them have their fun, as long as they return the worms to their home before we go inside. Seeing stuff like this makes me look forward to gardening this summer, because I know I'll have volunteers ready to dig in the dirt with me.
One of our weekly traditions is to bake muffins or a snack on Wednesdays. This particular day it was E's turn to help stir the batter, and he dug right in.

More time to dig in the dirt!

Snack time with E!

Last week the boys were playing dress up, and E decided to wear a race car suit-this is the same one that I've had since Matthew's first birthday (Auntie S gave it to us). I've had each of the boys wear it, and E is finally big enough to wear it himself.
The blossoms are blooming in the fields near home, and its been beautiful. I wanted to capture some pictures before the rain and wind caused the tiny flowers to fall. I am always amazed each year how the trees bloom and later in the spring are producing fruit and other delights.

Oh my michievious boys, playing with the clean laundry. First M decided to bury his brother...

-Then G wanted his turn.....
And who could resist teaming up to carry baby E in the laundry too!

This month really flew by, for more reasons than one. I'm glad to see it go, for having to deal with the stress of R getting hurt in the middle of the month. It was a positive experience helping out in M's classroom, and I loved helping G with his projects for preschool. Its odd to think of there being less than 60 days left of school, when there is still so much going on. E is getting more talkative by the day, and I love seeing him interact with his brothers, and by himself. More often than not I'm suprised by how quickly the days are passing by, when just a year ago it seemed like time was going slow. Maybe that's because we have a school calendar to follow now? I'm looking forward to the new month, blossoms, and better weather, paying off debts once and for all, March is going to be a great month.