Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I feel pretty...oh so pretty.

How cute are these kids? I know I'm their mother but I really don't think I'm being bias. They are probably the most attractive kids to ever walk the face of the earth. I have to say that because if I didn't it would be obvious that I was being too modest. LOL!! I guess this post is meant mainly for the grandparents and great-grandparents. Enjoy!

The Playground vs. My Bar of Soap

Whenever my kids use a bad word they get a bar of soap in their mouth. I used to use Johnson's baby soap but I've moved up to Ivory. For anyone reading this and thinking "Hey, I might start using soap in my kid's mouth!" let me warn you. With all the anti-bacterial soaps on the market you need to be careful what you choose. Choose one that says it is NOT harmful to ingest. Contrary to what Ralphie from Christmas Story thinks, I've never known anyone who has gone blind from soap in the mouth. I rarely use my bar of soap. At our house you get a soap bar in the mouth if you:

1. Say a bad word.

2. Talk back to a parent.

3. Talk bad about someone else. ( I know, there's not enough soap on the shelves right?)

Of course soap is the last resort after reminders and warnings that the soap is coming out. It usually only takes the final soap warning to put a stop to it. At our house bad words are: stupid, dumb, stupidhead, crap, and freakin. Being the good mother I am, I taught the kids the last two words myself. Yes, I need the bar of soap in my own mouth from time to time. Why the soap story? Last night Kendall and I were laying on my bed watching TV and they said a bad word on TV (of course). Here's our conversation.

Kendall "Oh, he said the B word (butt)"

Me: "Yes, that's a bad one"

Kendall "The F word is also a bad word"

Me: (trying to act like I'm not flipping out) "What's the F word Kendall?"

Kendall: "I don't know. But it's as bad as the SH word."
Me: "What's the SH word?"
Kendall: "I don't know. Don't you know?"

Me: "Yes."

Kendall: "Well, don't say it."
Me: "I won't. Who taught you about the F word and SH word?"

Kendall: "The kids at school. They don't know the bad words, but they sure know what they start with."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oww..my brain

This conversation took place at 3:35 central time.

Me: "Ohh Maddie, your hands are so cold. Have you been playing in the ice bucket."
Kendall: "What's an ice bucket?"
Me: "A bucket you keep ice in."
Kendall: "Oh, that makes sense." Long pause, "Except they should call it a pail."

Can't this child agree with anything I say? If I said snow was white she would say that "Actually mom (her favorite phrase), snow only appears white because of the color spectrum bouncing off of it and reflecting white." I promise she would say something weird like that. I think I answered less questions per day when I taught first grade (and got less lip service)!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Golden Rule

Kendall just walked into the kitchen and told me the golden rule was that we shouldn't kill each other. I said that was a good rule but it was not the golden rule. I explained that the golden rule was Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (for anybody who might need a refresher!). We talked about what that rule meant and how we could follow it. After my lesson Kendall said, "I think it would just be easier to follow the don't kill each other rule.". Amen sister!!

Where's the closest charm school?

More than once these past couple of weeks I have found myself chatting with mothers of boys about wrestling and acting crazy in the house. They all say the same things. "Boys are so different from girls. Mine are always so physical with each other." I think they haven't spent enough time at my house. My girls love to wrestle with each other. It is a daily occurrence. Sometimes I have to get in the middle and pull them off of each other. We've been stuck in the house due to weather quite a few days this week. It only makes the wrestling more intense and louder. I tried to capture it on video but when they saw I was taping they really backed off on the smack downs. Maybe that's the difference between boy and girl wrestling. They both do it but the boys do it for show and the girls don't want any proof that they do it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Maddie Boss

My 18 month old thinks she knows everything. She does not heed warnings or take directions well. I don't know where she gets it. (hee hee.). So when her big sister got a sit and spin for her birthday, Madison had to try it out; her own way. Here is the pictoral play by play.

Happy Birthday Grace.

Dear Gracie,

Your daddy and I are so excited you've made it to your 3rd birthday. You are so special to us. Your beautiful eyes and sweet smile light up the world. You've got your daddy wrapped around your little finger. When you're in trouble you flash that sweet grin and he's puddy in your hands. You make us laugh with your silliness until we're on the floor. You can crack up the whole room and barely crack a smile yourself the whole time. You have enough love in your little heart to turn around the worst day. You love your sisters like nobody else can. Although you argue with them sometimes; they know that you will always protect them and stand with them. The whole family is crazy in love with you and can't stop talking about your silly little antics. You may have had a rough start, but you're breezing through the toddler years with flying colors. So please forgive us if we shower you with hugs, kisses, and tickles. We just can't help ourselves. We can't wait to see what this year will bring.

Mom and Dad

Friday, December 4, 2009

Vegas, Turkey, and Toenuckles

That about sums up why I haven't been blogging the past couple of weeks. Byron and I went to Las Vegas to get away for a few days. We had a great time, saw lots of sites, ate lots of good food, and Byron even won a little $$ playing poker one afternoon. Then it was straight home the day before Thanksgiving to spend Thanksgiving with the family. We had a great time, experienced lots of hugs and kisses from the girls, and ate lots of good food. This is my first week home and I still haven't fully recovered from those two weeks. I love spending time with Byron. I forget that sometimes because we're so busy with our lives that we usually end up falling asleep not long after the girls go to bed. It doesn't leave much room for quality time. I miss out on the little things Byron does like read every sign on the road out loud, the clever comments he makes when we people watch, or how he uses strange words like toenuckles. Toenuckles is a real word and it's exactly what you think it is. He said one afternoon that he had a blister on his toenuckle. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself because he kept insisting it was a real word. After looking it up on the Internet (although I think his source was wikepedia, so take it with a grain of salt) he proved that toenuckle was a valid description. Feel free to try to work that into your daily vocabulary.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Third Time's a Charm

Just because my two first children didn't do something doesn't mean that the third one won't figure it out in short step. Some examples of how Maddie has been able to defy gravity (and me) in the past couple of weeks.

1. Opened the front door and walked half way across the front yard before I found her.

2. Took a header off the couch and landed directly on her head then bent back so I thought she had snapped her neck in two.

3. Dumped herself into the bathtub fully clothed when I stepped out for a minute. It wasn't even her bath time.

4. Jumped from the couch to the chair; and made it without falling.

5. Ate a bagel out of the trash.

6. Climbed on top of the dishwasher door and started tossing dishes out over her shoulder.

7. Took off her VERY dirty diaper during naptime.

I know some of you veteran moms are rolling your eyes because your kids have done these things and maybe ten times worse. I'm telling ya it's new for me though. That girl keeps me on my toes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I know, I know...

I haven't posted all week. I'm sure some family members (Don't worry Mom and Brenda, I won't say it's you) are probably pretty upset they've gone a whole week without seeing a picture of the grand kids. We have been super swamped the past couple of weeks. Luckily I almost always have my little point and shoot camera in tow no matter where we are. So even though I haven't had time to write this week, I have captured our lives on film. So here is a little picture montage of our past couple of weeks, complete with captions!

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Twleve Years and We Still Got It!

Well...we've still got it most days. Some days we don't got it. I'm proud to say that today is our 12th wedding anniversary. I'm so blessed to have Byron in my life. He's a wonderful husband, a great father and an awesome son and son-in-law. He makes me laugh and smile and feel all gooey inside (most of the time!). I love him and I'm so glad God choose him to be my little piece of heaven on earth. Check out our wedding pic. It looks like we were about 16 when we got married. Ha!! I thought we were so grown up back then. We were just babies.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

This picture is from 1994. It is Byron and I at my high school's Sadie Hawkins dance. I'm not sure if everyone knows what the Sadie Hawkins dance is so I'll give you a very short tutorial. I think in other places they are called the backwards dance or MORP. It's just basically a dance where everything is backwards. The girl asks the boy. You do the opposite of dressing up. It is all very informal type stuff. Back then it was very popular for couple to wear the same flannel shirt. I'm not sure why. All I can say is I think I have 4 Sadie Hawkins pictures and my date and I are wearing matching shirts in each one. Goofy, I know. But fun!

Friday Photo Flashback

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--Spooky Halloween Edition

Don't say that I didn't warn you about Grace from the start.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Goodbye Baby Tooth

Kendall just came rushing in from school and said she had an important announcement. She had a wiggly tooth. Sure enough, her bottom tooth is wiggling back and forth and will probably come out in a couple of days. Before becoming a parent, I wouldn't have thought twice about a kid losing their tooth. I taught 1st grade at one time and have seen plenty of teeth missing from kids mouths. I feel a little sad about Kendall losing her first tooth. Just another sign she's growing up I guess. The wiggly one is the very first tooth she ever got as a baby. I remember Byron and I being so excited when those teeth finally broke though. We must have sent a picture to everyone in the family of Kendall grinning with those two little baby teeth barely showing through. Now that same tooth is going to fall out of her head! So I have two questions for all you moms out there. 1. What is the going rate for the tooth fairy these days? and 2. What do you do with the teeth? I should probably say that teeth in general kind of gross me out. The worst thing to me is a pair of dentures. So, what do I do?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Just some quick pictures of the pumpkin patch from this weekend. I tried to think of something to write about but nothing came to mind. We went, we picked out pumpkins, we played around, we left. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. None of the kids did anything exceptionally funny. It was just a normal trip. I guess that's my story. The Halls went somewhere and everyone acted normal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From the Mouth of Babes

Kendall has had some whopper statements here lately and I thought some of you might get a kick out of me sharing.

I was trying to coax her to get x-rays at her upcoming dentist appt. Her reply was "Yeah, they tried that last time. It didn't go to well."

After getting her x-rays and seeing her adult teeth were coming in she said this when I asked her to wait on the sidewalk for me before going into the parking lot to get in the van. "Mom, I almost have adult teeth. I think I can get into the van without assistance."

While driving and passing some cows, "Mrs. Reitzel (her teacher) likes cows. We should pick one up for her real quick."

Came home from the park with dad where they must have had wooden swings instead of the sling kind. "Mom, those swings were HARD!! I think they must have been the kind from the olden days. Did they invent swings when you were little?"

Grace said something that we couldn't understand. I asked Kendall if she knew what Grace was saying. "Nope. I don't speak Grace language."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First Snow (on October 10th!!!)

That's right. The first snow. The kids were very excited. You could hear an audible groan from most adults in the area this morning. Seriously? Snow already!! On a positive note, it's all gone by now and it's not suppose to come back until......Monday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Review of the New Resturant in Town

Cut the music and get this dude out of my face.

This is for all you Wintersetians (did I just make up a word?) that read the blog. Byron, the girls, and I went to Grace's Cafe Bar yesterday and I am going to right a review for you. Not because of the food (it was so-so) or the ambiance (it was below so-so) but because of the entertainment. If you don't know where it's located, it is right next to the Mexican restaurant that used to be really good a year ago but now has brought in what Byron refers to as the "B" team and now they're not as great. Byron swears he went in there once and the salsa they served was frozen. Yuck. Anyhoo, back to Grace's. The first thing I was interested in was the sign on the side of the building. The hard hitting news worthy Madisonian had published a letter to the editor that was complaining about how their crappy sign was bringing down the whole town square and making the whole place look like a rat hole. Honestly, I could name 10 things in 5 seconds down on the square that look worse than that sign but I won't because it seems a little petty to complain about a sign. Now, Byron and I had not planned to take the girls there. We were walking and riding bikes downtown and decided on a whim to have an early dinner. When we past it we were not even sure it was a place where kids should be. It's cafeish, but it's pretty barish too. There was only one guy in the whole place though and we thought "How rowdy could it really get in there with just one guy at the bar and us sitting on the other side in a booth?" It was only about 5pm for goodness sakes. And it was Sunday! We went in and everything was going pretty normal. The man at the bar had talked to us for a few minutes but then we both parted ways when we ordered. They have a jukebox in there that is free. I took the girls over to show them how it worked. This guy at the bar had the music in him. This guy started dancing for the girls. Not inappropriately, but kind of dancing around the table to see if he could make the girls laugh. The music went off and I thought "Thank goodness. He can sit down now." Nope. He put on some more tunes and started up again. This time he took Maddie's hands and waved them around in the air while he danced behind her. Maddie was not amused. Then he tried to get the girls to come out of the booth and dance with him. They declined. Byron and I both tried to diffuse the situation a couple of times but he never fully got the hint. He would stop dancing for awhile but he would start up again. He kept saying "I'm 61 years old and I can dance!" He was not drunk. He was just happy to entertain us while we ate. After I decided he was no threat, I let the girls interact with him a little more. We certainly had a good laugh during dinner and afterwards on the way home. Our bill was $18.91 for five meals, free music, and a show. You really can't beat that!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

This picture was taken of Kendall a couple of years ago at VBS. What in the world did they do to her to get her smile? If you could classify that as a smile. She looks like the joker on Batman!
Friday Photo Flashback

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Cha Wish Your Sister was Cool like Mine...

Grace dancing and wearing one of Kendall's play dresses.
Maddie carrying Kendall's lunchbox.

If Maddie and Grace could articulate what they aspire to be their answer would be "my big sister Kendall." Those girls love to copy their big sister. Maddie follows Kendall everywhere she goes, including the bathroom. Except for Byron, the Halls are not big on shutting the bathroom door. I know its a bad habit. I have actually gone into the bathroom with company here and left the door open. So Kendall brings it on herself when I hear her tell Maddie and Grace, "I don't need an audience to do what I gotta do in here!" Shut the door child and your entourage won't be able to follow you in. Besides group bathroom sessions, Grace repeats everything Kendall says but acts like it was her own original thought. If Kendall asks for milk, Grace asks for milk. If Kendall has homework, Grace has some very important coloring to get done. Grace even puts on a backpack in the morning to watch Kendall get on the bus. Unfortunately, she usually isn't wearing pants and many times not even underwear. I don't see the reason to put on a backpack if your bare behind is shining under it for the whole neighborhood to see, but I don't have two year old logic. Even last night Kendall came into our room while it was storming and said she was scared. Grace was right behind her and said she was scared too. "Scared of what?", I said. "Momma, I scared. I scared like Tootie (what she calls Kendall). What I love though is Kendall takes it all in stride. She doesn't get frustrated when Grace repeats everything she says. She waits patiently when she gets home while Maddie runs up and down the hall a couple of times screaming in excitement. Don't get me wrong. Kendall has her moments when she puts them in a headlock and takes them down. They are sisters after all but I've got years of bickering to talk about. It's nice sometimes to remember all the sweet moments. It makes the body slams they give each other not so dramatic.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Only in the country. I hate when Byron parks the truck in the living room and I have to get those tire marks out of the carpet. FYI, that was a joke. This is not my house!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lord, Hear My Prayer

I can get pretty caught up in praying for my children. I would like to say that I ALWAYS pray for God's will in their life but that would be a lie. Sometimes I discover myself praying things like "let them excel in what they want to", "help them choose the right friends", "impress on them how important it is to be good and do their best". There is nothing wrong with these prayers but there was something I saw a few days ago that made me reevaluate how I view the lives of my girls.

I was in the grocery store parking lot with my two youngest. I was in the middle of loading them into the cart when I noticed a store employee walking out with someone. The employee looked angry. My first thought was someone just got fired and needed to be escorted out. He was walking so close to her that I thought he was trying to keep her from making a scene. She got into her car right across the isle from us. Then I saw her get her keys out and the employee yanked the keys out of her hands and threw them on the floorboard. Then he reached up and smacked her in the head. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. My brain had not caught up with my eyes. I'm still thinking this is an employer/employee relationship. Obviously it was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship (if you could call it that). Then he leaned in through the car to get right in her face. I heard her say "stop" and I saw her try to push him away. I started looking around to see if anyone else was noticing this. There was a man sitting directly across from the couple in his van. He had a much better vantage point than I but he just sat there staring. I tried to catch his eye and give him that "what should we do?" look but he was purposely not making eye contact with me. Then this man actually leaned inside the car with his arm around her neck and began choking her!!! Right there in the parking lot. He was trying to pretend (for her sake or mine, I don't know) that he was hugging her around the neck but she was gasping. FYI, when your partner is gasping and trying to push you away you're hugging too hard. Everything in my body, mind, and soul screamed for me to come to this woman's aid. I said a quick prayer for my kids' and my safety and pushed all three of us over to this woman's car. I said, "Ma'am, do you need help?" two or three times before they both finally heard me. Her so called boyfriend didn't even bother to turn around and look me in the face. (coward!!) He froze and she poked her head around his arm to say, "Thank you, but I'm fine." "Are you sure?", I said. "Yes". Of course she wasn't. She was crying and her boyfriend was a complete jerk and he was assaulting her! I stepped back and said, "Well, I just think I'll wait here until you friend goes back to work." That finally got him moving. He still didn't turn around and look at me, but he walked off without saying a word.

Back to my original thought. This poor girl seemed so helpless against the power her boyfriend had over her. I've never been in an abusive relationship but it's wrong for me to judge why she stays with her boyfriend. I hope she doesn't for long. This encounter made me rethink the things I want for my girls. I was overcome with a need to pray for my girls safety and the safety of all their little friends. To pray that they never have to find themselves in these situation. That if they do they'll be able to cry out to God and their families for help. To pray for all the little boys growing up with my daughters that they will never think that abusing anyone is okay. We don't start out that way. Something has happened in that young man's life to make him think that abusing a woman is okay. I don't excuse his behavior but I'm sure he comes by it from what he has learned. Being abused by someone you love was never God's plan. It breaks my heart that we keep seeing it over and over again. I encourage all of us to pray and search for the knowledge to keep this from happening to the ones we love.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

The back of this picture said 1989 but that is incorrect. Besides the obvious that I don't exactly look like a 6th grader in this picture I think there are some other pretty good clues. First, my dad looks like a Sonny and Cher backup singer. I'm also guessing that is you could reach into the picture and touch his shirt it would feel very furry. Second, my pants seem to be made out of vinyl. I'm guessing they started making pants out of vinyl in the 80s when everyone switched from records to cassette tapes. (which my dad still refers to CDs as "tapes"). Third, if you look very, VERY closely, I am wearing a Michael Jackson Thriller pin on my shirt. That coupled with my shag/bowl haircut should land us right around 1983-84.

Friday Photo Flashback

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good bye Summer!

With the first official day of fall starting yesterday, we must tell summer good-bye. I am saddened because I think summer was late to the party this year and never really got up and going. Don't stay gone too long summer. We'll look forward to your return soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Please Buy Me

Okay, I'm sorry I haven't posted this week. I'm super busy because we just put our house on the market!! Here's the info. That's right. I'm using my blog for my own financial gain. Shame, shame, shame on me. :-)

Winterset, IA Homes For Sale By Owner - Owners.com Real Estate

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Horse Whisperer

Yesterday we were taking our morning walk around the neighborhood. It would have been quite enjoyable if it wasn't for a certain two year old that decided to cry during the whole 2 miles. Grace had been up the night before and didn't get very much sleep. She is not a huge fan of riding in the stroller in the first place. I know that taking her on a walk was like poking a bear with a very short stick; but mommy needed to step out of the house! We don't really have what you would call neighbors anyway so I knew the only people she'd be bothering on our quiet country roads were the people accompanying her on her walk which only was Maddie and myself. What I did not expect was that one of our neighbor farmers had moved his cattle out of the field and replaced them with his horses. Over the whining I begin to hear "clop, clop, thump." I look to my right and there is a cluster of seven or eight horses galloping next to us. Then they started running in circles next to us and shaking their heads like they were agitated. "Hmm," I thought, "I wonder what's got those horses all worked up?" Well it didn't take long for me to figure out that horses don't like wailing two year olds hanging out at their ordinary quiet turf. Grace was causing a semi-stampede with her screeching coyote impressions. I said, "Grace, shhhhh!! Look what you're making the horses do. You're making them go crazy and run in circles." She responded to this by not crying for approximately 3.5 seconds and then resuming her normal high pitched shrieking level. Well out of sympathy for those poor horses (who finally high-tailed it to the other end of the pasture. Flight or fight anyone?) I took Grace back to the house and we cut our walk short.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My Grandma Beaven holding Madison last summer. Ahhhh....too cute.

Monday, August 31, 2009


That's right. Stay at least 50 yards away from me. I have some kind of terrible disease that is trying to eat me alive. Well, actually no. I like to pretend that I can diagnose myself. I actually developed a severe case of poison ivy on my face. I blame Byron (although he won't take the blame). I helped him outside in some tall weeds last weekend and I guess I must have caught it then. I had just spent a couple of days before that bragging to him that I had never had poison ivy in my life and I am one of the lucky few that is immune. Two days later my ears started itching and before I knew it my face was red, itchy, and my eye was swelling shut. Eeewwwww!! After the flesh eating bacteria (see, I'm still not convinced it's just poison ivy) theatened my eye sight I decided to head out to the doctor. She put me on an oral steroid which Byron has not stopped making jokes about since. She said I might be irritable, jumpy, sleepless, and have an increased appetite. I'm not exactly sure how I tell the juiced-up Alicia from the regular Alicia. I am happy to report that my swelling has gone down and I am starting to resemble the beautiful stunning woman I was a few days ago. The hardesst part? Not letting the kids touch my face. I didn't realize how much snuggly, kissy, smouchy face stuff goes on around this joint until I declared my face off limits. No wonder my make-up never stays where I put it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

Friday Photo Flashback

It's Friday! Time for Friday Photo Flashback. Thanks again to Alicia over at More Than Words for hosting. You can jump over to her blog by clicking the photo icon. Some savvy bloggers know how to put a direct link into their posts but I've never claimed to be savvy :-)

This is a picture taken of Byron and myself at Byron's graduation. Ahhh...young love. We were engaged at the time. I remember how proud I was of him. I still am!