"Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket."
Author: Alan Beck


Monday, March 4, 2013

Another favorite thing...

If you know me well, you know that I'm a Pinterest junkie. Pinning items to my virtual board is how I fall asleep, how I wake every morning, and how I spend every second of free time I have. ('every second of free time I have'....haha.....now that's funny.)

Another well-known Amy-ism is my overwhelming desire to decorate for each and EVERY holiday I can. It's safe to say that finding pinterest has made my holiday-decorating addiction downright dangerous.

One of my all-time holiday favorites was the 'thankful tree' we made in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  During Christmastime, I found this way to display cards (on pinterest) and I loved the way it looked on the large mirror by our front door.   For Valentine's Day, my kiddos found their mailbox inspiration on pinterest (yes, I've introduced my male offspring to pinterest.), and we've also made some wicked leprechaun traps....with a little help (of course) from pinterest.

With Easter (one of my FAVORITE holidays) vastly approaching, I've been eager to break out the decor.  Easter is always a tricky holiday to decorate for.  Being so close to St. Patrick's day, I never know when to put the green away, and bring the bunnies and chicks out.  I've contemplated keeping them both out at the same time, but that just doesn't seem fair to either holiday, and it messes with my OCD brain.

Just talking about the logistics involved with decorating for two holidays at once is enough to make me feel the need to breathe into a paper bag.

As I slowly pull my chicks and bunnies out of storage (so as not to piss off St. Patrick), I'm realizing that chicks and bunnies are no longer cutting it for me.  Now that the boys are getting older, I want to make sure they understand that Easter is so much more than Cadbury eggs and Peeps.

SO.  MUCH.  MORE.

In times of despair such as these, I turn to pinterest for advice.  I was feeling the same lackluster feeling last year, and came across this and this, but never had the free time to make either of them.

Oh free time.  We have such a love/hate relationship.


This year, however, I am off to a running start.  Have a look at what I made today-

 
 

You like?  Thanks!  It's our crown of thorns, and it will sit on our kitchen table until Easter.  I'm hoping it will help the boys be mindful of the choices they make, and (in some form) remind them of the true meaning of Easter. 

Here's how it works:  each child has an 'assigned' color of thorns.  Red for Evan, green for Luke, blue for Jack, yellow for Logan, and orange for Wes (unless they fight over their assigned color, in which case, there will be some color switching.)  Every time we (the parents) take note of a boy going out of his way to do something nice for someone else (a true sacrifice!), we will allow the good deed do-er to remove one of his thorns from the crown.  Obviously, the goal is to have a thorn-free crown by Easter.

The crown was super easy to make.  (The hardest part was sorting and counting 150 toothpicks.)  I used a grapevine wreath from Michael's and wrapped it in burlap to help hold the toothpicks into place.  Then I stuck all 150 of those bad boys in and my true Easter decoration was ready in less than 15 minutes.  Easy peasy.

I've seen something similar to this on pinterest, but nothing this fabulous....right?

Here's to traditional Easter decor, sprinkled with a bit of sacrificium. 
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Favorite things...

Today is Presidents' Day, which means my boys are home from school. ANY day that my boys are home with me, is my favorite day. Today is also my brother's birthday. Not just ANY brother, but my favorite brother. 

This brother-


 

His skinny jeans always make me jealous.  They fit him like a glove and he never gets that 'saggy butt' look.  How he does it, I'll never know.  Happy 35th, Dec! 

SO, in honor of my favorite brother, and in honor of my favorite day (a day when my boys are home), I wanted to share one of my recent favorite things finds.

Behold, the Lunadoll.



I came across this wonderful site when instagram snooping a few months ago.  It was love at first Lunadoll sight.  I really like this one-

But I'm also madly in love with this one-
 
 
And also this little Luna-
There's just something about their imperfectness that makes them perfect in every way. They each have their own personality, which would make it fun to match Luna-to-Boy.  I showed the Luna's to the boys and like me, it was instant Luna love.  It took me awhile, but I figured out how to convert the site to English (click on the British flag) and also tried my hand at converting the price to USD.  Luna's hail from Sweden and are made by their creator, Malin. (I stalk Malin on instagram just to be the first to see when a new Luna is born.)  Unless my conversion from Swedish Krona to USD is way off, Lunadolls average around $55.00 each, making them out of our budget. Boy #2 has a birthday coming up and has his favorite Lunadoll on his birthday wish list. 
(I think I want it a tad more than he does.) 
 
I foresee a Luna heading home to Colorado in the near future. 
 
(I was in no way compensated for the Luna shout out today.  I just wanted to share their awesomeness with you.  I did, however, get permission from Malin to link to the Luna site and for use of the pictures.  Thanks, Malin!) 
 
Tomorrow, a new favorite.
 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Not So Fast....

4,380 days ago, my first boy was born. Had I known what a sweet, sweet boy he'd be, I would have had four more just like him.

(Wait a minute.)

He pulled a fast one on us today and woke up as this morning as a 12 year-old. Not cool at all, dude.  

Not cool.

Here's what he looked like just yesterday-

 
And here's what he looks like today-



Only 525,600 minutes until he turns 13. But who's counting?






Tuesday, February 12, 2013

If your husband travels to Arizona on business, life in your (seemingly) normal house will quickly take a turn for the worse.

You'll take a night off from cooking and will order pizza for the brood, including a gluten free pie for yourself. The 'pizza man' will be greeted as such and by the looks of his face, you can tell he doesn't appreciate his given nickname. Whatever. You think that 5 hungry boys shouting "pizza man, PIZZA MAN!" is cute. You smile, hand him his tip, and send the pizza man on his merry way.

Eating burnt gluten free pizza will make you think of wine, and you'll pour yourself a glass. Singed food all food goes down easier with wine.

The boys dive right in, and for a moment, all is well. Just when you begin to think that life with 5 boys (and a traveling husband) is too easy, you're proven wrong (faster than a freight train).

Your child who has had unexplained hives for 3 days begins to swell like a puffer fish. His skin turns bright red and tears ensue. He tells you his body 'feels like one giant bee sting' and before you know it, you're calling his Dr.

Calling his Dr. after hours will prompt the answering service to inform you that you will be "referred to Children's hospital for a fee of $8.00." You politely remind her that in the good old days, doctors took turns being 'on-call' and you'd like to speak to the 'on-call' doctor. QUICK LIKE. Her memory is miraculously refreshed and she allows you to leave a message for the 'on-call' Dr.

Waiting for the doctor to call you back will seem like hours and your child will grow puffier by the minute.

Forecasting a trip to the ER in the near future, you cork the wine bottle .  Corking the wine bottle while your husband is traveling is definitely not something you're comfortable with.

The phone will ring, and the unrecognizable number on the screen makes you leap to the counter with joy. What seemed like hours was only 17.3 minutes. The DR. listens to you rant, and asks that you double up on the steroids given 3 days ago. "The same steroids that make my child act like the exorcist?" you ask. "Yes ma'am." he replies. "Those steroids." It takes everything you've got, but you oblige and give your sweet boy the steroids. He won't be sweet for long.
Realizing you don't have much time before your child medicinally changes into the Hulk, you march the troops upstairs. Being the cool mom that you are, you invite them to sleep in your room. They think you're just doing it to be nice and they take you up on your offer. You know the real reason behind the master bedroom invite is to create more of an obstacle course for the boogie man. You know he's bound to come when your husband travels, and you'll be damned if you'll make it easy for him to get you.

Two hours s l o w l y go by and the troops are starting to head into dream land. Little puffer fish is starting to return to his normal size and color and is the first to fall asleep...before the medicine takes place. There is a God.

The events of the evening will cause your actions to become extremely uncharacteristic. For the first time in your life, you will turn off the TV before you fall asleep. You are exhausted, and will drift off after only a few minutes of feeling sorry for yourself.

118 seconds go by. And then it happens.

You'll abruptly be awakened by the sound of projectile vomit in action. You'll rush to the side of your oldest child who has puked on everything within a 6 foot radius of his body....including his brother.

Fast forward two hours....

It's now midnight and you'll find yourself knee-deep in vomit. Vomit on the carpet, vomit on the walls (yes, you read that right), vomit on you, and vomit on sleeping children who remain unaware that they have been so heinously violated.

Having a child THIS SICK will quickly shift you into zombie mode. You'll spend the rest of the night doing laundry, and rinsing out the puke bucket. Over and over again. Daylight will come (though not soon enough) and you will find yourself handing the dog a piece of toast and offering your children dog biscuits.  Trust me on this.

You'll open your cupboards and realize you are no where near equipped to handle such tragedy.  You send an SOS to your parents in the form of a grocery list that reads:

Tide
Bleach
Gatorade
Ginger Ale
Saltines
Paper towels
Rubber gloves
Lysol

Pharmacy prescription for Zofran

Like always, your parents are able to detect your desperate state and come to your rescue with everything requested on the list.

But they decline your invite to come inside. 

The next 24 hours can be explained through pictures like this-

 
And this-

                                                                    
                                                                     And this-


Your husband will come home just in time to assist with the remaining 3 children who fall ill.  (Child number 4 is holding out, and so far, has escaped the gruesome spell.)  Together, you will do loads of laundry, and bond while sporting matching cans of Lysol in your back pockets. 

After 5 days of microorganism fun, things will slowly return to normal. 

And just as they do, your husband will alert you to the fact that he's heading back to AZ in two weeks.

Over my damn body.


Monday, February 4, 2013

104

104.  That's the number of days since I've been here.  The dust is thick, and it may take some time to shift my writing ability to that of which has nothing to do with forced assignments, length requirements, or APA formatting, but I'm here to give it a shot.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

On my first day back in the saddle, I gave myself an easy assignment.  I think it's important to trot before attempting to gallop.  If anyone knows that, it's ME.

Here it is.  My welcome back to blogging post.  Yes, I just welcomed myself back.  It's my blog.  I can do that.

Top 10 reasons why I'm coming back to blogging-
                                                        (In random order)

10.- I just graduated from school and I'm eager to get back into writing about whatever the hell I want.  I'm so done with school that I may intentionally mispell (that was on purpose) words and use improper grammar just BECAUSE I CAN.  Try to grade me.  I dare you.

9.- I know you are dying to hear about how bad life is when your disposal breaks....or how much worse it can get when you turn on the water (in the midst of it being fixed) and you cause a major flood.  Oh yes, things like this make great writing material.

8.- The more I write, the better I feel.  And we all deserve to feel good.

7.- Since I'm no longer on Facebook, blogging will bring me back into the social media network, and I miss my network groupies.

6.- I woke up at 6:00 AM this morning and made the boys piping hot blueberry muffins with the biggest, juiciest, most ginormous (and organic!) blueberries on the planet and they rejected them.  Two of the boys even cried.  My blueberry muffins made my children sob.  I so need to share these things.

5.- I'm excited to write about whatever I feel like writing about.  (I'm repeating myself, aren't I?)

4.- Spring is on it's way, and it will be here early (thanks Punxsutawney Phil!).  That doesn't leave me a lot of time to get my garden on.  I'm eager to write about topics like swiss chard and kale.

3.- My oldest turns 12 next week.  That's dangerously close to 13.  That, my friends, leaves a lot to write about.

2.- I still dream about (every 27.2 seconds to be precise) moving to a farm.  Maybe the more I write about it, the faster it will come true? 

1.- I have 104 days of happenings that I'm yearning to share.

But only if you're ready to listen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walkabout

Where has the time gone, and why do I always feel as though I start my blog posts with this sentence? Fall break came and went,and I'm trying to adjust to life without a house full of rowdy boys. It's nice to have calm and quiet every now and then, but I miss my noisy gents.

A quiet house is a lonely one.

On Sunday, Derek and I took the youngsters on a walk to enjoy the warm sun and beautiful fall colors.  We spend a lot of time outdoors, but this particular outing will always remain at the top of my list.  We were missing one boy, who was busy working off his debt at Dee and Papa's.  It was strange not having him with us, and even more peculiar to be counting to four every time I did a headcount....which I do quite frequently.  Though we missed his presence, he jumped at the opportunity to duck out of yet another family hike.  The boy is growing up, and I am not a fan.

Our journey was filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered. One of the first, was a row of abandoned nests from the little mud swallows who have flown south in search of warmer temps. 

 
There were plenty of snake holes, trap door spider caves, and other miscellaneous
 crevasses to explore.
 
 
Look at this view.  I could stare at this picture all day.  In fact, I may.
 
 
We helped a few silk weeds escape their pods. 
They whispered 'thanks' as they blew away
 in the wind.
 
 
Another picture that I could stare at forever.
 
 
This was taken right before I made him step away from the cliff.  It may look as though he's right at the shore, but don't let it fool you.  He was teetering at a death-defying 12 feet above the water.  He was also in a trance and seemed to be mesmerized by his surroundings. 
Love this nature-lovin' boy of mine
 
 
Well done, kids.  You didn't cut our heads off this time.
 
 
A hike is not a hike until you find a hopper or two....or three or four.
 
 
Is it just me, or could you stand in this spot and quickly forget all your cares
and worries in the world?
 
 
This picture isn't nearly as beautiful as the actual scene in real life.  The glistening leaves that lined the path mimicked the yellow brick road.  I was disappointed to find that the wizard
was not at the end.  I'd like to ask him for a few things.
 
 
Some of us find walking sticks, while others say 'screw it' and take the whole damn branch.
 
 
(I took 97 pictures.)
 
 
It's all fun and games til someone steps on a cactus. 
 
 
He wouldn't tell me his wish, but I'd venture to guess it had something to do with a hot dog, a steak, or a slab of ribs.  The boy NEVER.  STOPS.  EATING.
 
 
Looks like this caterpillar was just as hungry.
 
 
Items not pictured are, a water snake, a pair of mallards, a hawk, one ginormous ant hill, and one 11 year old who is too cool for nature walks. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mommy blues.


If your son left this morning for 6th grade camp, you're probably feeling a little blue today.

Feeling blue, will make you crave chocolate.

You'll keep busy, while chaperoning your kindergartners field trip, which will help you forget about the fact that your 11 year old just left for two days, which will help you avoid overindulgence in chocolate.

UNTIL....

Your friend (and fellow field trip mom) tells you about the enticing no-bake cookies she made last night (it's all your fault, Charlene!)

Hearing about chocolaty no-bake cookies will make your mouth start to water, and your tummy begin to growl.

Driving home from the field trip, you'll turn the radio up EXTRA LOUD in an effort to drown the noises of your growling stomach. 

(it won't do much good)

Once home, you'll scour the cabinets for something sweet.  Reaching for a handful of candy corn (boring), you'll glance at the peanut butter jar. Seeing the peanut butter jar will remind you of the no-bake cookies your friend told you about.  In your mind, you'll run through the short list of ingredients she said they contained and hope that you have everything.

Crossing your fingers that you have what they call for, you'll google NO-BAKE COOKIES.

Googling NO-BAKE COOKIES will leave you with a bazillion different recipes.  You pick the one that looks the yummiest (sans gluten) and tweak it to your liking.  After tweaking, you'll begin to do the following:

Bring the following to a boil:

-1 3/4 cups sugar
-4 T. cocoa powder
-1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter

Once your mixture is boiling, you'll let it boil for exactly one minute, then mix in the following:

-1 t. vanilla
-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
-3 1/2 cups oats

You'll mix everything together, and drop these babies by the spoonful onto parchment (or waxed) paper.




You'll lick the pan clean.....really, you will.....and you'll let the rest set for an hour or so.  Then you'll try your best not to eat the entire batch before your kids get home.


Thinking of your kids will remind you that one of them won't be coming home for two days.  As you start to become blue, you'll remember the yummy chocolate treats you made.  As you begin to eat your third one, you'll decide that chocolate makes everything gloomy a teensy bit better.

The End.