Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas?

It has a question mark because I am not sure I can get away with that title a week after the holiday. 

Life has

Getting ready for Christmas is hectic.

Christmas is hectic.

Having family from out of town after Christmas makes life hectic.

I'm sure if you and I were having a face to face conversation, we could go round and round about who's life is more hectic.  Everyone's life is hectic during this time of year.

So, no apologies from me or excuses why I haven't posted. We'll just pick up where we left off, mkay?

About 2 weeks before Christmas, I was in a great Christmas mood. We were broke, didn't have all our shopping done, the house was trashed and I was behind in just about everything. But, my heart was merry. And bright. I knew it would all work out, it always does.

But, when the 24th came, I suddenly got depressed. I don't know if it was hormones. Or the fact we were still broke, didn't have our shopping done, the house was still trashed and I was still behind in everything. It just all of the sudden bothered me.

But, Christmas morning, I had recovered. Despite the fact Santa was unable to find the Ninja/Yoda/Power Ranger suit Jeven asked Santa for at the last minute.  And if you don't think I looked, think again.

We managed to surprise the kids with a couple of cool gifts.  A hamster for Josie (this is an entire blog post in itself), a video game for Jayce, a light saber (asked for at the last minute) for Jarrett and a remote control helicopter for Jeven, who upon opening it declared "Well, this sucks. I didn't ask for this" which made me laugh and broke my heart at the same time.  He's 4, an age where, really? Getting presents is the best thing ever and hiding his disappointment at not getting the Ninja/Yoda/Power Ranger suit was difficult. But, greed is the last thing we want our children to develop. So, a quick lecture of saying "Thank you" for the thought was needed then we proceeded with our festivities.

These last few weeks have held many actual blog-able things. Here's a long and probably boring quick run down with visual aids.

Jarrett and Josie Santa. 

Yes, that's only half of my children.

Here's the other half:

That would be Jeven, hiding behind "too old to sit on Santa's lap", Jayce

His 2nd monstrous goose egg of the week. We've considered a helmet. Seriously.    

We managed to surprise the kids with a Wii this year!  Instead of wrapping it up and handing it to them, we made a little scavenger hunt and they ran through the house following the clues.  The last one said something like "...look where dinner is made." Jayce, always looking for a beating laugh said "Great! Now we have to go to McDonalds". 

The Wii. In the oven. 

If I would have been on the ball, this would have been our Christmas card. 

I hope you all had a Merry, Merry Christmas, with no question mark! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birthday Interview

My oldest "baby" recently three weeks ago turned 12.

Twelve. That's pre-adolescent, in case you weren't aware.

That also makes me old. In case I wasn't aware. 

Although he is much too old and mature for baby-like interviews, I like to annoy him. So...without further ado here's Jayce's 12th birthday interview:

Mom:  You've been 12 for a little while now, how do you like it?

Jayce:  Good. I don't know, Mom. Why do I have to do this?

Mom: Because I said so. Now, what was your favorite part of your birthday?

Jayce:  Probably when I had my friends  over and we stayed up all night playing video games. 

Mom: Being a grown up is not that far in the future. What are your plans?  

Jayce: To not be homeless. 

Mom:  Okay...  

Jayce:  And, uh, to get out of the house as fast as possible. 

Mom:  You are the oldest of four children. What do you like the best? 

Jayce:  I can beat them up. 

Mom:  The least? 

Jayce:  That I get in trouble if I beat them up. 

Mom:  What was your favorite gift this birthday/Christmas?

Jayce:  The cash. Or the video game. Or the Wii was cool too. 

Mom:  Anything else you'd like the blog world to know?

Jayce:  No. Don't interview me again. Ever. 

There it is. Not very exciting but.... at least he stayed in the same room with me while I asked the questions. 

Jayce is a great young man. His father and I are very proud.  We look forward to seeing the fine young man he is sure to become.  


Monday, December 13, 2010

"Not Me" Monday

I've been wanting to post for so long, have posts in my head, just haven't made them appear on here. Yet. 
So, one way to get a post posted is to steal ideas from another blogger. Thanks Karey!

I did not let Jarrett eat a candy cane for breakfast this morning.

I did not throw away one of Josie's socks because she stepped in gum at Chuck E Cheese last night and I really didn't want to try and wash it.

I did not give the boys a shower last night and dried them off with a hand towel because we have no clean bath towels in the house. Anywhere. 

I did not mark an Art lesson complete for Jayce, even though he did not do the weaving project the lesson asked for.

I did not steal from the kids' treat bowl and put the treat in my husband's lunch this morning because I had nothing else to give him for lunch.

I did not open the movie cabinet and tell Jeven "watch any movie you want, as long as you leave me alone for about an hour ."

I did not purposefully leave the clean dishes in the dishwasher all weekend knowing that they would all get used eventually.

I do hope you all are having a great Monday!  (If that's even possible)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Decorating Gone Wrong

My oldest child's birthday is the 9th.  I swore, way back when he was just a wee lad, that we would not decorate for the Holidays until AFTER his birthday. You know, to give him his special "time" and all.

However, over the years, I have found that if we wait until after the 9th, things just sort of "explode" schedule wise and I end up not decorating until the late teens of the month. That just isn't enough time to enjoy the Christmas knick-knacks I have!

So, I asked Jayce if it would be ok if we put out the decorations BEFORE his birthday but waited to get the tree until after.  He thought that was acceptable.
Actually, his exact words were "I don't really care, Mom!  What's to eat?"

Our boxes of decorations are stored in the "attic". Our "attic" is actually a storage area overhead in the garage.  
Our garage is not insulated or air conditioned.  It gets very cold in the winter and very warm in the summer.

A snowflake candle stand.  All it's missing is the pretty, glittery, blue candle that fits perfectly on it.

Oh!  There it is! It seems to have shape-shifted during the summer months! 

That's ok!  I will use a child's black church sock to prop it up!  Good as new!

And, here is a picture of the sock donator.  Giving the funny candle rabbit ears.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Yeah, been gone for awhile.  I've put off posting because I have a lot of "negative" thoughts going on right now.  I'm afraid it will spill over to my blog.  And, although this is MY space to say what I want, I hate to be negative.  I have too much to be positive about.  But, unfortunately, the negative seems to be stronger, in this war going on in my brain.

So, I thought I'd do a little "Thankful list". 'Tis the season and all.

I hate doing dishes.  I am thankful for the food we have to eat, that dirties up those dishes. And the water that's constantly running to clean them. 

I am forever cleaning house.  I am thankful for the house we have.  For the roof that's over our heads. For the little people ( and the larger people that live here too) that mess it up. Every. Single. Minute. Of. Every. Single.Day.

I have so much going on, it's hard to think straight. I am thankful for my friends and family that want and need me. For the obligations that someone has trusted me enough to assign to me.

We are so financially challenged right now.  I am thankful that because we're poor, we can appreciate the little things. I don't  think a meal from McDonalds would be a thing to celebrate, if it wasn't such a treat these days.

My husband REALLY hates his job.  I am thankful he has a job to hate.  Seriously.

 I don't have enough time to blog.  I am thankful that when I finally take a 30 min. break from school and housework, that my blog is still here. And, although I haven't posted in quite some time, I haven't lost any followers. Not that followers are the reason I blog, but it's still nice.

My kids are fighting ALL. THE. TIME.  I am thankful I have 4 kids that are healthy enough to give each other a run for their money.  The fights can get physical and they are sometimes really quite the show.  Maybe future UFC Champions? 

I hate being a woman.  I am thankful I am a woman, or else I wouldn't have the kids that fight. ALL THE.TIME. I wouldn't be able to justify the rare treat of a bubble bath, with a good book.  I suppose if I was a man, I could still do that. But, it'd be weird.

That's it for now. 
I hope to be back soon with posts about how my "baby" boy is turning 12 and his voice is changing and I see a shadow above his upper lip. 
About how happy I am to be a stay at home mom. And, I'm sure my kids will do something worth posting about.  Chances are good. Even if it's about how they fight. ALL. THE. TIME.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Do You Know Your Children Are Growing Up?

When they stop taking naps.  Excuse me a moment while I weep. 

Bed time around here was getting to be no fun. Well, less fun than normal.  It was taking years hours for the kids to get to sleep. Numerous trips to the bathroom.  Hundreds of "Mommy!  My (insert random body parts) hurts". 

Nap time, it was the same story.  Taking too long to get to sleep, by the time the littles were asleep, it was too late in the afternoon, so I'd have to wake them.  

These days, we've been skipping the naps, and having "quiet time".  Watching a movie or reading quietly so mommy can get some much needed facebook  meditation time in.  

About 4 o'clock, you can start to see  we're all tired. Jeven falls asleep watching "The Ellen Degeneres Show"educational programming. Jarrett freaks out because he can't have ice cream 45 min. before dinner. And Josie...we'll just leave it at she probably still needs a nap every day.  

And then there's me. By 4 o'clock, my brain is so "full" of mothering-stuff, I can't think straight. Even though we're having "quiet time", I'm still required by law wanting to be a mother and be "involved" with the kids. 

No nap time has changed my life. I compare it to when my kids were FINALLY out of diapers.  It changed my life. No more poopy pants. No more spending oodles of money we don't have on diapers. 
But, on the other  hand, all that's being replaced with stopping at every restroom in every public place we've ever been. Sometimes more than once per visit. Teaching them to wipe their own tushies.  

No nap time means no more rearranging my schedule around when the kids have to take naps. We can now do errands ALL. DAY. If I chose too. Which, I am not insane (yet) so I have yet to make that choice. But, it does "free" me up. 
On the other hand, there's no time for myself. Unless I lock myself in my room and blog. Which I'm doing now. But, the pounding and whining "I'm hungry! I've only eaten everything in the house and I'm still hungry" is distracting. 

So. I will end with this:  I miss nap time. It's been part of my day to day life for 11 years. But, there is something to be said about curling up with a small child that is my own, on the couch and watching "How to Train Your Dragon" for the upteenth time this week.  

I'll take it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Real Estate

Josie:  Mom, why do rich people have so much stuff?

Me:  Cause they can afford it. If we were rich, you'd want lots of stuff too.

Jeven:  It wouldn't fit in our house!

Me:  If we were rich, we'd get a bigger house!

Jeven: Why don't we have a bigger house?

Me:  Because we're NOT rich.

Josie:  Jeven, houses cost lots and lots of money. Like, ten thousand dollars.

Jeven:  Well, me and Jarrett could give mom our pennies from our banks.

Josie:  No, houses cost dollars, not pennies. Mom?  When you buy a house, do you get the change back?

Awwww...the innocence of children. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010


 I love the randomness that is my children.  When things are tough, they can pull me right back to where I belong--where the little things don't matter and the big picture is a donkey.

Picture it.  Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010.  9:37 a.m. Our house. 
There is approx. 8 min. until we need to be leaving to make it to church on time.

Judd is just now getting into the shower.

Jayce, showered and dressed, is spraying enough AXE body spray to choke any healthy person.

Jarrett is running around with only his socks on  (black, of course).

Jeven is doing his best to dress himself.  Jeven, being Jeven, is not so successful.

Josie spills her entire bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Whoever said "don't cry over spilled milk" obviously never had to clean it up. 

I'm doing my best to live up to my Sunday School teacher persona and not cuss at everyone.

Jeven walks up to me and announces:  "I wish I could hug a donkey."

So do I ,Jeven.  So do I.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reasons Why I Haven't Been Blogging

  • I have 4 children. 2 in public school, 2 home schooled.  We use an online program, therefore the computer is occupied during the day. 
  • I also have a husband.  Who is going through a tough time right now.  So, when I'm not taking care of the bullet point above, I'm taking care of him. Which means no computer time in the evenings. 
  • I have been ill. Massive headache for several days, possibly sinus infection. On a positive note, having taken such awesome care of my husband for the last hundred years few days, he is now taking care of me!
  • I teach a preschool Sunday School class. Which means, every week, I write up a lesson, make an age appropriate craft and pray extra hard that Zane doesn't injure someone this week. Or tell me to F*#@ off.  
  • I've been babysitting more lately.  Good for the pocket book, bad for the stress. 

I do have some posts written. In my mind. Hopefully, I'll be able to make them a reality soon.
Thanks for sticking with me! (31 followers, a new record for me!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The One Where I Was Really Embarrassed.

Before I tell this story, if I know you in real life (IRL), you must never, ever bring this up.  So, like at Thanksgiving dinner, when we're all sitting around eating stuffing and pumpkin pie?  Don't even think about it.  You know who you are.  (In fact, if you don't think you'll be able to resist teasing me about it, just don't read this.)

My husband returned on Friday, after being gone for over a week.  After spending that many days with his 82 yr. old grandfather, hunting for deer, all he brought home was a tiny rock lizard and a desire to eat dinner at 4 in the afternoon. 

And a desire for other activities as well.  (wink wink)

Since I was in desperate need to get out of the house by myself  had a shopping list for Walmart all ready to go, my husband pulls me aside and says "Why don't you get some of that flavored stuff?" (wink wink) I said I was game and headed out the door.

I went to Walmart, put the few things in my cart--soap, light bulbs, bread and flavored "stuff". You know, all the essentials.  It was Friday afternoon, at Walmart. Do I need to go into detail about how long the lines to check out were?  Didn't think so.

I chose the express lane, where a (guessing here) 60ish yr.old lady was the cashier.  Where the man behind me didn't know the meaning of personal space and was in a bigger hurry than me.

Beep. There goes the light bulbs.
Beep. There goes the bread.
Beep. The soap.
Beep. There goes the....


And there's me.  Staring bug-eyed at this cashier lady.  Not only wasn't she aware they made such a thing as flavored lube, but she felt it was necessary to announce to everyone around that I was purchasing some. (and might I add, I am NOT the only one! It was the last one on the shelf!!)

To her credit, she quickly apologized  and threw it into the bag.  It was hard to say who was more embarrassed, her or me.

Probably me. Yes, at 35, even with 4 kids, I can be somewhat of a prude.  Although, not Friday night!!

(please, please, don't bring this up over the grand kids' next birthday party!) 

Thursday, October 7, 2010


On this hand:  You want me to babysit your 3 1/2 yr. old over night?  This week? The week my husband is out of town?  Are you out of your freaking mind?  Do you have any idea how tired I am??

On the other hand:  Seriously, it's not a big deal.  Of course I will. He will have fun, he will play with the boys and I will probably have more free time because of it.  I'm honored you'd ask.

On this hand:  OH!?  The one night has turned into 2 nights and 3 whole days?  Talk about taking advantage!

On the other hand:  Really, all things said, one extra kid doesn't make that  much of a difference.  Like I said before, he plays well with the other boys, they keep each other occupied.  And, he's used to being here, I will have no problems. You guys go, have a good time. 

On this hand:  You aren't leaving any food for him?  I am keeping him for 3 days, I have a very limited budget for food for my own family and you are not even leaving a loaf of bread?  Milk?  NOTHING??  Not even an insincere offer?

On the other hand:  How much does a 3 1/2 yr. old eat anyways?  Not enough to really matter, in the big scheme of things. My husband is gone, there is no way your little boy will even come close to making up my husband's share of the food.  Don't worry about it!  It's not that big of a deal to make another PB&J.

  Do you ever say "Yes" to something only because you don't have a good reason to say no?  Then, you complain, to whoever will listen, that these people did "this" to you. But, you're the one that said yes.  Because it's not a big deal?  But, yet it IS a big deal? 
But, then you feel stupid for complaining because you really DO love your friends and the little boy is REALLY not a problem.  And, you WANT to be the one that everyone wants for a babysitter.  You really DO want your house to be THE house that all the kids want to go to.  Anything like this ever happen to you?  Yeah. Happens all the time here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Am a Single Mom

At least this week. 

My hubby left last Thursday (that's 5 days ago, if you're counting) and will be gone quite possibly until Sunday (that's 5 more days, you math nerds). 
I'm no genius, but that seems like an awful lot of days with no back up around here. 

Honestly, I'm used to doing this parenting thing pretty much on my own.  For the most part.  The day to day stuff.
My husband works full time doing a very physical ( and anytime you work with the public, it's mental too )job.  His days off vary, the hours he gets home varies. 

Lately, he's been so over worked and over stressed, even when he's home, he's not "engaged" in the family.  By the time he's unwound, the kids are in bed.

I am really hoping his time away will help him "unstress" and come home ready to be part of the gang again. 

I miss him.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friends With Powers

Nothing beats having friends.  Good friends.  Friends that are so good, they will watch all 4 kids for you.  And, friends that are so good, they trust you to watch THEIR kids.

We have started a "date night" here.  One week, B&C watch our kids, the next, we watch theirs. It's been wonderful.
Sometimes, the hubby and I go grab a bite to eat. Sometimes, we sit at home, eat Ramen and watch re-runs of "King of Queens".  But, either way, we have some alone time.

When you have other people watch your kids, you basically open your self up. Make your parenting skills vulnerable to critique. To questioning. 
Luckily, we have good enough friends, they laugh. 

For instance:

B&C have been building a shed.  This particular night, they were working on painting the shed, while watching our kids + their two at the same time.  Fortunately, they have a huge back yard with a huge swing set.  So, it was "easy" to watch kids and paint at the same time. So to speak.

Jeven kept saying to B "Watch me do my tricks!!" to which B would say "In a minute. Hold on. I have to look at my painting."
Jeven would get impatient and again beg for her to watch him. 
B was trying her hardest to paint and watch Jeven at the same time but it just wasn't happening. 

Finally, Jeven was done waiting. He walked up to B and told her:
"Ya know? My mom can watch me without even looking at me.  Sometimes, she doesn't even turn around! You should try it!"

Jeven did his trick.
B announced:  "You're right!!  It DOES work".

I think B should have THANKED me for the best parenting trick ever. Not laughed at me. 

What are friends for?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Never Boring

Some of you have been around the Boring Stay at Homer house for a bit and recognize the irony in my screen name. 

Truly, it's never boring around here.

Homeschooling is going much better this year.  Partly because Jayce and Josie know what to expect  and partly (hugely) because 2 of the heathens boys are gone part of the time. 

However, there's still the "I don't wanna do it!" attitude the comes up with a certain "student". I won't use a name but here's a clue:

To be fair, both Jayce and Josie sometimes give me attitude about doing school. It's just that Josie is louder about it.  If you're new here, go read THIS to perhaps get a better understanding of what I'm talking about.

Yesterday was not a good day for Josie. 
To say she woke up on the wrong side of the bed would be an understatement.

But, I had her doing some school and I was a good candidate for Mother of the Year with all my patience when, (JAWS music here) she got. an. answer. wrong.  It all hit the proverbial fan from there. 
There was no getting her back and my award was quickly being handed off to Angelina Jolie.

So,to her room she went. 

Now, Jayce was free to do his Literature exam on the computer. 
What Jayce is trying extra hard this year to do, is pat himself on the back.  When he gets any answer correct, he likes to celebrate.  Usually by yelling out "I'm a natural genius!!".  First, your mother telling you where to find the answer and how to spell it, does not make you a natural genius.  But, he's doing school and trying to make the best of it. Who am I to burst his bubble?

This particular exam was multiple choice and it gives you a nice "DING" when you are correct. 

Jayce, feeling extra intelligent, decided the "DING" from the computer wasn't enough.  He felt a loud "BA-DING" from him would just be better. 

Remember, I still have Josie wailing in her room over the un-capitalized "F" in Uncle frank.

Here is the rundown:

Josie:  Cry, cry, scream, wail, sob
Jayce: BA-DING!!
Josie:  Jayce!! I hate you!! Stop!!
Jayce:  BA-DING!!
Josie:  JAYCE!! cry, cry, sob, wail
Jayce: BA-DA-DING!!! 
At this point, I'm trying to tell Jayce two things:
"Good job!!" and "Quit tormenting your sister" but I was laughing too hard to be coherent. 

Today is a new day. Josie has long stopped her fit (at least that particular one) but at lunch, Jayce decided to test the waters and gave a random "BA-DING". 

Let me just say, it was not well received. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What To Say?

Recently, it hasn't even been a week yet, a dear friend's brother died in a horrible motorcycle accident.  While home from Iraq.  He wasn't in the military but still.  You'd think being home would be safe. 

We are close enough to this person to want to help. In anyway possible.

The things is, what does that mean? What does one do to help in a situation like this? 
I've taken food to them. I've offered to take their kids for them, to give them some time.

The family is large and they are all together, mourning their loss. 

In my mind, there's a fine line between being caring and helpful and being annoying and intrusive.

I am not one of those people that wants lots of hugs and pity, when something horrible happens. On the other hand, I don't like it when a situation is ignored either.

In 2000, I suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks.  Many people were kind and loving and helpful.  Others didn't even say "I'm sorry" or anything.  To me, ignoring a bad situation is hurtful. Yet, saying something stupid (like "God just wanted your baby in Heaven (HELLO!! I wanted my baby too!!))  is just as hurtful. 
I learned from my particular experience, it's better to say "I'm sorry. I don't know what to say" than to say nothing at all.

So, that's what we've been doing.  A lot of praying, a lot of "Let me know if there's anything we can do" and a lot of  "We love you guys." 

It's just so awful that there's nothing else we can do. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back To School

Technically,we've been "back to school" for over a week now but today was the first day everyone was where they were suppose to be.

Jeven is going to preschool 2 mornings a week.

Jarrett is going to kindergarten 5 days a week (well, almost.  The amount of days off for the public school system is unbelievable!)

That leaves Josie and Jayce home with me! 

I am really hoping having the mornings to ourselves will help with the home schooling. My biggest challenge last year was finding things for the little boys to do. That didn't involve a t.v. and dvd player. 

My visions of everyone sitting at the table doing school together quickly went out the window.  It only takes approximately 3.4 seconds for a preschooler to color a purple triangle.  Leaving me no time to help Jayce with his prepositions.

So, again, my fingers are crossed for a little "smoother" ride this year. 

I was a little surprised at how emotional I was, those first days of school . Jarrett's first day at kindergarten. Jeven's first day today.

These are my babies!  I've always had a kid "in reserve". But, I look behind me and there's no more babies waiting to grow up.  No more babies waiting for their special "school" day. 

And, having the school secretary tell me that "Jarrett was so cute today when he was crying because he couldn't find his class!" didn't help things.  Why on earth would you think telling a mother that her child had a horribly traumatic experience without her to help him would be a good thing?  

As we say goodbye to summer and start new schedules and routines, I try to slow things down and just savor the good times.   I just wish Father Time would cooperate with me.

Jeven ready to play with the play-doh! (Get the heck outta here Mom!) 

Jarrett ready "to go already!!" (why is it takes a picture to realize how dirty your walls/doors are??)

Josie--grade 2!

Jayce--grade 6. (and oh, so thrilled to get his picture taken!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Know You've Been Married Awhile When... resort to scheduling certain events.

Take a look at what we have going on the 14th.

So, don't call or stop by here on the 14th. We will be busy. Apparently.

(FYI:  I babysit 2 little kiddos occasionaly with the first names Tanner and Anna.  It took one of Judd's younger, single friends looking at our calendar to make me aware of what we have on our calendar for the whole world to see.  Needless to say, this young man thinks Judd is either :
a) lucky he gets T&A at all
b) pathetic that he has to have it pre-planned weeks in advance. )

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I love my daughter.  I probably don't have to tell you that.

She's a beautiful, intelligent, funny, smart and sweet young lady.
She's 7 1/2. Going on 19.

It's just her and I against all these boys, in this house.

I have to be honest, that's the whole reason of this post.  She is the one that pushes my buttons the most. Exasperates me the most. Makes me want to scream while I'm pulling all my hair out and stabbing myself with a sharp stick the most.
And, it's not just recently. It's always been this way.

She wasn't a difficult baby, really.  Wasn't colicky or anything.  I do remember putting her to bed and she would scream for what I thought was an unusually long period of time. She was perhaps a little more difficult to please. But, at that time, I only had one baby to compare her to--Jayce.
Jayce was an easy baby, an easy toddler, an easy child.  Once was usually all it took as far as correction.  Being told not to do something and why, that was all Jayce needed.  I knew that was unusual, so when Josie came along, all the difficulties, I thought THOSE were normal.

Until she hit about 5. And things were STILL difficult.
At one point, her dad and I wondered if there was something else going on.  Some sort of "condition" that made learning and understanding difficult for Josie. We never pursued our theory with a doctor or therapist.  We didn't really have "evidence" other than she was sometimes frustrating.

These days, things are not much different.  She has days where she's eager to please, and others when she just wakes up spitting.

We've come to accept it's Josie. It's just the way she is.

Let me give you an example:

A day last week was just one of those days when Josie was being contrary, disobedient and sassy. 
I had handled it all to the best of my ability.  Patiently telling her it was not acceptable to act that way, putting her in time out and even spanking her.  (believe me, at 7, the last resort is spanking but we do do it)
Evening time rolled around, I let the little boys and Josie ride their bikes and scooters out in the cul-de-sac. We also borrowed the neighbor's puppy and had him on a leash.  The little boys were taking turns holding Fritz.  At one point, Josie stole Jarrett's scooter.  Jarrett asked for it back several times. I finally intervened and told Josie to give her brother back his scooter.

She then jumps off the scooter, throws it to the ground with a snotty "fine".
I announced that is was time for her to go in the house and go to bed.

You would have thought I announced Santa Claus wasn't real.
There she stood, in the middle of the street (basically) sobbing and whining for all the neighbors to see.

I finally gave the puppy to one of the boys, and walked Josie into the house. Told her to get dressed for bed and get into bed.
This was at approx. 7:30

After sobbing and asking over and over and over again to get up, she finally went to sleep.

At approx. 1:15 a.m.

That's 6 hours, in case you don't want to do the math.
And, while it may be somewhat abnormal to not just give up and go to sleep, it's not abnormal for Josie.

I'm not quite sure why I am posting this here, for all the world to see.
I certainly don't want to open myself up to criticism about how I should handle my daughter. And, I also know there's parents out there facing far more challenging situations with their own children.

I guess I just needed to voice that sometimes, I don't understand my child. And that frustrates ME.  I am her mother.  I should know how to handle her. I should be able to predict what she will do. And, I can, to some degree.

But, there are times when I put her to bed so relieved to be done for the day.  With her.

And the guilt eats me away and I try again the next day. To understand her and to love her. Of course, the loving her part isn't the challenge. Giving her the best of my parenting skills is the challenge.

I truly believe her stubbornness and her"challenges" today will be her blessings and best character qualities later. I believe God has a plan for my darling Josie.  I just need Him to be patient with me and give me the wisdom to parent her the way she needs NOW. To cultivate her strengths.

It would also be nice if He would take pity on me when she hits puberty.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Camping 2010

A couple weeks ago, we went on our first family camping trip!  Actually, it was our second but the first one only included 1/2 of our current children.  Jayce was 4 and puked the whole time and Josie was 6 months old and cried the whole time.  For some reason, we've waited another 7 yrs. before trying again.

I've written this post several times over the last few days, in my head.  I want to try and tell you EVERYTHING that happened but realize that may be boring.  Some of the fun and exciting things were certainly "You had to be there" moments. 

I came up with the idea of writing this post from each family member's point of view. I should say, their point of view through my eyes. So, their point of view from my point of view. Makes perfect sense. To me. 

I'll start (of course).                       
Growing up, I was very fortunate to have parents that took the time and effort to plan family trips. We went camping, we went to Disneyland numerous times, traveled to B.C to the aquariums and zoos.  We went places and did things together. Sometimes huge, special things. Sometimes simple picnics at the creek.  
Now, as I parent, I cannot believe I am the one in charge of planning the family outings.  Where do we go?  How do we get there?  How much do we plan to spend?  What do I pack?  If an emergency happens while we are traveling, what will we do?  

We (I) decided we'd go to the Wild Animal Park in Bandon then proceed to our camping destination.  Spend 2 nights camping, then come home.  

It all worked out splendidly!  I packed. I planned. I shopped for groceries.  I rock!  Well, except for the fact that I didn't pack enough blankets (TO GO CAMPING. AT THE COAST!  kinda a big deal) and I left my 11 yr. old to pack for himself.  But, the way I'm looking at it, if those were the worst things that happened, it's all good.

We didn't tell the kids we were going to the Animal Park until we pulled into the parking lot.  They had a great time!
Yes, that's a baby tiger!  By the time it was finally our turn with the baby kitty, the silly thing was pretty wound up.  A cute little kitten playing "tag" is one thing. But, a baby tiger, that's an entirely different story! But, he was a cutie and the kids loved him. 

Camping was fun!  But, I am realizing unless we go somewhere that provides room service, I will never get away from cooking and cleaning.  Seemed by the time I got done cooking breakfast and cleaning up camp, it was time to start lunch. Pretty much the same as at home.  Except I didn't have to worry about spills on the floor. 

My favorite part was going up the road a bit to a wildlife lookout.  We went up there several times a day, each day.  We saw seals, sea lions, and more than one whale. I could stay there all day and just watch.

Judd's point of view (POV):  I hate campgrounds. I hate people.  But, since my wife is a wimp and insisted, at least for this first time with the whole family, that we be somewhere with running water close by, I gave in and we camped at an Oregon State Campground. It had an interpretative center. What the hell is an interpretative center?!  And, there were people EVERYWHERE!  I hate people. Especially loud, drunk, stupid people. We got lucky though. The people next to us, and across from us didn't speak English. They were Asians. From Canada.  That didn't speak  Canadian.  And there were about 30 of them. They got together at night and sat around one campfire and played games. And sang songs. In their native language, whatever it was.  Surprisingly, it wasn't irritating, it was nice.  Especially when they were singing "How Great Thou Art". We couldn't understand the words but we knew what it was by the tune.

Sleeping in the tent with the whole family was interesting. Wish we would have had more blankets. 
Next time, we camp MY way.  THAT should be interesting. 
That ram kept, well, ramming me for more food.  I showed him who was boss and kept the ice cream cone.  

Jayce's POV :  Camping was awesome!  Except, my mom made me a list of stuff to pack and she wrote "sweats to sleep in" and I packed my break-away basketball pants.  They didn't keep me very warm. And, we didn't have very many blankets so I was pretty cold at night.  But, that's ok. I still had fun. We saw so many animals over the 3 days we were gone. Between the Park, the campground and the drive we saw lions, tiger and bears (my mom always says "Oh my") elk, kangaroos, sea lions, whales, chipmunks. I tried to catch a chipmunk but didn't. 
I had lots of fun, even though Josie is always so annoying. 
My mom cooked awesome food. Although, she didn't seem to like cooking it so much. 
This parrot was so cool!  He talked more than my sister!  He liked to play peek-a-boo.  See how he's posing for this picture?  Also, notice how it looks like I'm in a cage and the parrot is observing me?
I hope we get to go camping again. Although, when my mom and dad talk about it, there seems to be differing opinions about it. 

Josie's POV: I liked camping.   I also like changing my clothes 10 times a day and that doesn't go well with camping. By the end of the first day, I had no more clean clothes. My mom kept warning me about that but...I didn't listen. So, on the last day, on the way home, I had to wear my clothes that I slept in. I cried all the way home saying " I want to wear my brown pants!!" but my mom just ignored me. And kept saying "You are so tired!". But I wasn't. Well, maybe I was. Probably because I didn't sleep very well because we didn't have enough blankets. Who knows. 
I loved going to the beach!  I found a sea star but it was dead.  My mom said we couldn't keep it. We asked the Ranger about it and he said it's against the law. 
I also collected some shells at the beach.  When I showed them to my mom, she just laughed. She said something about "Pistachio shells".  I think those are a rare kind of sea creature. 
I do hope we go camping again, next time I want to sleep right next to Jayce!

Jarrett's POV:  I loved camping!  I never had to take a bath or even change my clothes! I wore the same clothes for 2 days in a row!!  We got to hold a baby tiger, he kinda bit me but it didn't hurt. He was just playing. 
Here I am talking to a llama. Or alpaca.  I don't know exactly what it is, it just came up behind me and nudged me!  I think he thought I had food. But, I didn't.  I had already thrown my cone on the ground and ran away when we fed the animals. I wasn't scared, there were just SO many animals, wanting the food. 
Sleeping in the tent was fun!  I was a little cold but my dad kept me covered up pretty good.  I hope we go camping again, I would love to see if I can get dirtier next time!  

Jeven's POV:  My mom told me weeks ago that we were going camping.  Which means we were going somewhere to put marshmallows on a stick and roast them. Imagine how surprised I was when we went to sleep in the tent!  I whispered "Mommy! What are we doing?"
She said "We're going to sleep now"
I said "In the tent!!" I couldn't believe it!!!
She said "Yes, Jeven!  This is camping!"
Now I know what camping is! 
We had three sizes of marshmallows--extra huge (my favorite!) large and mini.  They all are SO good!! 

I liked feeding the animals at the park, although it took me a while to get brave enough. 
I liked sleeping in the tent. I didn't get cold at all!  My mom says it's because I'm always so hot, I'm always so sweaty.  She said it finally came in handy. 

I loved getting dirty and eating everything in sight!  I hope we go camping again, really soon. Now that I know what it is!!  

I think camping was a hit!  And, something we can certainly do again.  I am pretty darn sure I can handle it. And that I will be reminded to pack enough blankets!  

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I cross my heart, stick a needle in my eye, promise, this is my last post in where I whine about some physical ailment. At least for this week.  (And if you know me and my hatred for needles, you'll know that that is one serious promise.)

Seems I got bit by some sort of bug.  Mostly likely a mosquito or flea. Nothing exciting like a spider or wolverine.
But, I seem to swell up more than "normal".  A simple bug bite for me, makes my skin react quite severely.  A bee sting is horrible.  When people ask "Are you allergic to bee stings?"  I never know quite how to answer.  Yes, I swell up horribly and itch like a dog with mange. No, I don't have problems breathing or with blurry vision.  I'm just a wuss when it comes to bug bites.

I don't know if you can tell, in this picture (Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your own arm? Your right arm? It's harder than you think.) but all that red is rock hard and warm.  It itches like crazy.  Right in the middle, there's where the nasty little bug bit me. 
No, it's not blood poisoning, there's nothing extra funky going on.  This is how I react with every. single. bug. bite. 
So annoying.  And, if I'm not careful and scratch it like I want to, it will leave a scar. 

I guess, when you're as sweet as I am, all the bugs just want a taste. ( :

Monday, August 23, 2010


Sometimes, I really, really hate being a woman. 

Yes, I'm thankful I got to bear children.  And breastfeed.  And, I guess I'm glad we act with emotion before logic.  And, I hate the thought of having to scratch myself in places that shouldn't be scratched in public, such as men do.

But, right now, I'm hating womanhood. 

Ya'll know what I'm talking about here. 

We just got back from a wonderful, family camping trip and I have lots of pictures to share and stories to tell. But, I can't gather up enough gumption to say anything witty.

Every month, it drags me deeper and deeper into such an emotional hell, I swear it's the worst it's ever been, every month.
I have no energy, I eat everything in sight, which is seriously detrimental to the weight loss I've accrued so far.  I have no patience left for my family or others that I love.

I basically turn into someone I hate, that I don't recognize. 

Then, the real fun begins.  My emotions start to get back under control, then physically, (TMI alert!!) I bleed so much, I can't leave the house, or literally, move much at all. 

I've talked to my doctor about a surgery, to get things under control but because we don't have an extra 8 grand laying around,(that's AFTER insurance!), we won't be doing that anytime soon. 

So, excuse while I bestow my anger and moodiness onto you. 
It will pass. I hope.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Post With All The Pictures

A little birdie emailed me today and reminded me, I haven't posted in awhile.  Ok. It wasn't a birdie, it was a kitty. And it was a message on my facebook wall, not an email. But, the cat was right. I haven't posted in some time.  No huge reason why. Just life.  With 4 kids.  And it's summer time ba-by!! 

So, here's a few pictures because I'm too lazy to type all that much.

The shed is coming along nicely!  My hubby has been working on this for quite some time--his time off and our budget have to match up but, I think he's doing awesome!  It will be so nice to be able to put stuff in here--I am thinking of a nice comfy couch, a lamp and some magazines and a padlock on the inside of the door, but I don't think that's what my husband has in mind.

This picture is blurry, I know, but I just couldn't get over this pizza sauce face!!  I thought about selling this paper towel on ebay, claiming it was the face of Jesus but... I don't believe Jesus talks through Little Caesar's 5 dollar specials.

It pays to sit and clip hundreds of coupons and look through ads.  Guess how much. Go on. Guess.  I'll wait.........

In case you can't decipher that, it's .63. As in 63 CENTS!!! 
The picture doesn't show the candy bar I threw in at the last minute, only to make my total not be negative.  MOST grocery stores won't give you money, go figure.  The candy bar did not make it into the picture, we won't even discuss why.

This week, my hubby is on vacation. We are planning on going camping and visiting a nearby wild animal park.   If you're interested, leave me a message and I can tell you how I cut our admission costs down from $62 to $30. 

Hope you all are having a great summer! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where ,Oh Where ,Has My Little Child Gone?

It may be time to declutter? 

You know it's time to organize better when your child blends in with the furniture! 
I serioulsy walked by this 4 times before I realized Jeven was on the shelf.

This is our home school bookcase. To the right of it, would be Jayce's dresser.  Why is Jayce's dresser in the dining room?  Well, I moved it out there when I was painting the boys' room.  The room that is half painted as we speak.  The room I started approx. 2 months ago.  Sigh....

I hope to have it finished soon.

In the mean time, we will have fun finding new places to hide!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Too Old For Vacations?

As my fill-in author  wrote, we went on a little mini-vacation last week. 

I, my kids, my mother and grandmother stayed in a condo-unit at the beach.  Next door, my aunt and uncle and their 5 kids and one grandchild.  My uncle is from Alaska, we don't get to see him and his family enough.  To say this was a treat, would be an understatement.

My husband stayed behind to do his husbandly duty (well. one of.) and work.  I really needed him to be off work on Saturday and he only gets one day off a week, besides Sunday. So, staying behind was the only solution.  He doesn't like the beach anyways biggie.  Although, I did miss him.  And his duties. (*wink wink*)

The beach was quite windy but luckily, the pool was quite warm.  And had just enough room that I could let the little boys put on their life jackets and let them swim pretty much on their own.  Of course, I got in the water with them and who doesn't love putting on a swim suit 50 4 times a day and trekking back and forth to and from the pool? 

We stayed for 2 nights, bringing us home Friday afternoon.  Bringing us home to a clean house (turns out, my husband isn't the slob that messes everything up. Who knew!) and my brother, visiting from Wyoming! 

I spent Friday evening picking on spending quality time with my brother, doing laundry and baking cupcakes. 

Saturday, we had my grandmother's 80th birthday party--hence all the out of town family. 
We set up, enjoyed ourselves and came home about 9ish Saturday night.

Sunday, more time with the brother, church and swimming in Grammie/Papa's pool.

Monday, said goodbye to brother.  Very hard this time. He's going through some tough crap right now.  TANGENT ALERT!!  I find it somewhat ironic,growing up, I picked on him horribly.  But, if someone else did the picking, I wanted to beat their butts.  It's pretty much the same way now. He's not perfect, I know that. He knows that.  But, yet, you mess with him?  I want to beat your butt. 

Also, on Monday, we took a "family" day and went to a fish hatchery about an hour out of town.  For you city folk, a fish hatchery is just like it sounds.  A place where they hatch fish to be released into the wild.  This particular hatchery has a mini-golf course, several habitats with different birds and a museum with a large fish tank and exhibit of animals native to this area.  All for free.  So, we packed a lunch and headed down the road.

Tuesday, we did nothing*. 

Wednesday, nothing.

Which brings us to Thursday.  Where we have done nothing.

Is it crazy that I am still recovering from my "wild weekend"?  Isn't it a tad pathetic? 

I remember, not so many years ago, staying up until 2-3 in the morning, getting up 3 hours later, going to class, going to work and then out again at night.  Rinse and repeat all week long.
Now, a relaxing couple days at the beach, an old lady's birthday party and hanging out with family wipes me out! 

I hate to think that I'm too old to do vacations. I think, actually, that it is that I don't get enough of them and my body goes into shock.  Therefore, the fatigue that I'm feeling is actually my body saying "What the heck was THAT?  Fun?  I don't know how to handle that!  I'm shutting down now!". 

So, I must train my body to take a vacation every once in awhile.  Hawaii anyone?  I could kill two birds with one stone on that trip.  Some of you know what I'm talking about here (it goes with the beating butts that are picking on my brother).

*As a mom, the term "nothing" really doesn't mean NOTHING, does it?  I did feed the children and attempt to keep up with the house.  We did go to the playground.  We did STUFF, just nothing significant. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That Snake Better Do His Own Laundry!

Jayce likes to go across the street, to the ditch/creek and collect snakes. He likes to bring them home but he's not allowed to bring them in the house. 
We have lizards and a cat right now.  We've had fish, hamsters, dogs, and various other animals.  But, I draw the line at snakes. And birds. 

But, boys will be boys and part of being a boy is playing with snakes?  So, he's allowed to bring them home, put them in some sort of container and then release them the next day or so.  All this takes place OUTSIDE.

The other night, my husband went to a friend's house and found a large gigantic snake in Wade's back yard.  He, being the ever thoughtful father, brought it home for Jayce. 

Jayce was super excited and would have been perfectly content sticking to our regularly scheduled "snake habitation" plan. But, being the ever thoughtful father, Judd thought we should put it in the empty aquarium in the garage.  Just for a day. Or two. 

Can you see where this is going? 

The next morning, I hear Jayce get up and go out to the garage.  I also hear him say "Daaadddd.  The snake is gone". 

I, being the ever patient and understanding mother, say "What the heck!!  What do you mean the snake is GONE!!  JUDD!!!" 

Judd goes out and sure enough, the snake is gone.  This is the following conversation:  (it was not nearly as calm as it will appear here)
Me:  Find that snake!!
Judd: It probably went out under the garage door.
Judd:  It was only a little garter snake.
Me: I don't care what kind it was, any snake that hides in the garage is a bad snake.
Judd:  Like I said, he probably went out of the garage.
Me:  What makes you think he's not in the house?
Judd:  There's nothing he wants in the house.
Me: How does he KNOW until he gets in the HOUSE!!!? 

That night, I made my husband go out and look for the snake again.  Made him look under the laundry piled up on the floor, in the washer. Basically, anywhere I'd have to be in the garage. 

I was nervous all night. I couldn't sleep with my arm or leg hanging out over the bed, in fear of the vicious snake.  Because we all know how snakes can leap up off the ground and bite your whole leg off.

We have not seen any sign of the snake.  But, as I'm catching up on laundry, I am ever fearful that he will be hiding under a pair of dirty socks. Or in my jeans pocket. 

But, a snake hiding in the garage is as good excuse as any to NOT do laundry, I say!
Not that I've ever need an excuse before but.... this time it's valid.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Filling In

Hello this is Jayce, Jackie's son. She can't type now because she is packing for our 2 day vacation to the beach!!Its going to be a blast,we're going to stay in a hotel that is  big and with a huge swimming pool but my sister is coming too so.........

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hair Be Gone

Josie has had long hair since,well, since she's had hair.  She hasn't had hair cuts other than trims.

With the hot weather, all the swimming and an unexplainable rash that seemed to be caused by wet hair hanging over her shoulders, I finally convinced her dad to let me get it cut.

Josie really wanted to donate to Locks of Love but you need to have a minimum of 10 inches.

So, she went from hair down to her bottom to this:

I think it looks really cute!

Older but cute.  In a surprising twist of events, I cried as the lady cut it.  I was remembering when she was a bald baby and those first locks of hair started coming in.  When she had *just* enough to put a tiny bow on her head.

Now, she's growing up and making decisions on her own, about her hair and other things as well.

I'm so proud.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Center of Attention

Coming up this weekend, we are throwing my wonderful Grandmother her 80th birthday party.  We are doing it in the community she has lived for..well..a long time. It's where I graduated from high school (with a huge class of 20) and my parents live until about 7 years ago. 
It's out in the country and not fancy but we're hoping it will still be nice.

I am in charge of the centerpieces.  For 10 card tables covered in red-white gingham table cloths. 

You know when you visualize something in your head but then when you actually put it into action, you second guess yourself?  Especially after you make the mistake and ask your husband what he thinks and then he makes the mistake and tells you?


So,now I'm asking you, blog friends.  Am I crazy?  Do these work? 

A) White with red ribbon

B) Red with white ribbon

C) On the left, we have red and white candies.
D) Mix it up and do some of each
E) "Are you crazy! None of them you idiot!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Morning After

Ever have one of those nights that you do something maybe you shouldn't have?  Then, suddenly remember the next morning?  And can't believe you did what you think you did?

Well. That's me this morning. But, sorry, my "naughty" something isn't quite as "naughty" as you'd think.*

It took us forever weeks to break Jeven's habit of asking for and drinking milk in bed, during the night.  Being the 4th child, and me being deprived of sleep after 4 children, I would give in to him. He'd get a glass of milk before bed, brush his teeth. Then, about 2 a.m. he'd ask for more milk.  And, wanting my precious sleep, I'd give it to him.  

At some point, I realized that he wasn't going to stop this habit on his own.  He'd be a 40 yr. old married man, asking his wife for milk.  And, he'd have no teeth because they'd all milk rot away.

So, we finally broke the habit.  It seriously took probably 2 wks.  The boy is STUBBORN.  

We've been having some really high temps. here, these last few days. All we have for a/c is window a/c units.  They do fine but our house never really cools down during the night.

It was no real surprise when Jeven woke me in the middle of the night, asking for a drink of water.

"Mom, I thirsty. Can I have some water?"

"Ummm. Ok"

I stumble to the kitchen with Jeven hot on my heels (literally, hot) both of us half asleep and walking a little funny.

Now, my children have gotten a tad spoiled.  We have a Brita water pitcher.  We don't hardly use the tap water for drinking.  It's actually fine but...after you've had Brita, you'll never go back.  

But, the pitcher was waaaayyy back in the fridge. Behind the Costco bottle of ketchup. Behind the economy sized box of yogurt.  Behind the 2 liter of pineapple flavored soda.  And, the generic Crystal Light pitcher was empty.

So.  You'd THINK I'd just fill his cup with tap water. Right?


I filled it with the pineapple flavored soda.

Usually, with the water, I put just enough to quench their thirst. The kids take a few sips then I dump the rest out.


I FILLED that cup. With pineapple flavored soda. For my 4 yr. old. In the middle of the night.
Jeven chugged. About half way through, I recall having 2nd thoughts and trying to take it away from him but...he just kept chugging.

Back to bed he goes. 

My first thought upon waking this morning was "What have I done!!!?? Soda??? In the middle of the night?  To JEVEN?!!"

I fully expect him to wake tonight and come to my side of the bed, asking "Mom, I'm thirsty. Can I have some highly sugared flavored soda of some kind?" 

Talk about regrets......

*Call me a prude or goody-goody but I've only had one hangover my entire life.  And, it wasn't when I was 20 something. Or in my teens. But, it was actually 3-4 years ago.  I'm not much of a drinker. Boring, but true.  And, honestly it doesn't bother me.  Addiction runs in both my family and my husband's. So, not a bad idea to stay away from the stuff.  The benefits to my children will be worth it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Scale Never Lies

It does like to mess with me, though.

I've recently lost some weight. Not a ton (well, of course not a ton. You haven't seen me on TLC yet have you?  "One Ton Woman Only Has Time To Write Once A Week In Her Blog"  Not quite.)
But, enough that it's made a difference in how I feel.  About 20 lbs! 

At least I think it's about 20 lbs.  My stupid scale messes with my head.
I weigh in the same time everyday, wearing the same outfit--my birthday suit. 
I step on :  122 (Not real weight, of course. Did you think I'd actually write my real weight?)
I step off. Then immediately back on:  120
Awesome! I lost 2 pounds in 2 seconds!  This weight loss thing is a piece of cake! Wait, cake?
Step back off, then on again:  125.  Oh man!  I knew I shouldn't have thought of cake!!

I do this several times until I get  a number at least 3 out of 5 times.

I have been making small goals along the way.  I've had a certain number I've been trying to reach for about a week now.  I've been .3 pounds away from it for 3 days. So frustrating!! 

Today, I saw that number!  For about 3.2 seconds. 

Stupid scale is just teasing me. Forcing me to work harder so I can see that number for more than a split second or two.

I even got desperate enough to go out and buy a swim suit.  I did own one but it was a maternity suit left over from approximately 3 kids ago.  We won't even discuss how it still mostly fits.
But, I needed a new suit. 
After an entire day of shopping (in may have taken longer than necessary because Papa had all of my kids. To say I hurried would be an untruth.) I found an old lady style that tries to look fashionable.  You know, the kind with a skirt? Yeah. S-E-X-Y. 
But, I'm not trying to impress anyone.  My husband has seen me naked a few times.  So, no reason to look good, even if I could. 

This last week, I've made it a priority to get to the pool and swim laps. With the old people (good thing I had an appropriate old lady suit, eh?)

If anyone ever tells you you can't get hot and sweaty swimming, they are liars. 

But, it's exercise that I enjoy (did I just say that sentence out loud?).

My scale is challenging me but for once, I will win! 
Wish me luck!