Monday, December 31, 2007

"friends that never met"

I just read the most encouraging thought, and wanted to share:

sometimes people that travel the same paths in life and have to overcome the same challenges and obstacles aren't really strangers......they are just friends that never met

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lisi Made "ink"

This is the photo that appeared in the local edition of the Des Moines Register this Christmas morning. Click here to read the full story about Attic Door Theatre Company, and Lisi Main as the 'life like doll' the elves designed for Christmas.
We are so proud of both of our actors!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thank You, Santa

This past week was the performance of Attic Door Theatre Company's Thank You, Santa.
Civic Center and Broadway watch out...her come the Main Girls!!!
I want to thank ALL of our family and friends who came out to support Isabella and Lisi. I think they had more people in the audience than any other actor!
Isabella remembered all of her lines and made her mark each time. Lisi was very believable as a 'life like doll'.
If you know of any budding young actors, I highly recommend this local theater group. We have attended performances in years past, but this is the first time our family participated. It was a GREAT experience, and you can count on future invitations!!

Mom's Group Christmas Party

The snow and ice almost stopped us from celebrating Christmas with Moms and preschoolers, but we prevailed by re-scheduling for the following week. And I am SO glad that we did!! Not only does this group of kids really enjoy being together, I really enjoy hangin' with their moms:)
Sam, Lisi & Cale getting ready to decorate cookies
Marcie not getting to Sam quite in time to stop him from licking the communal frosting spreader (hee,hee,hee)
Lisi taking a lesson from Sam in skipping the cookie and going straight for the frosting:)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Mike Huckabee Ad

Click here for Mike Huckabee's new television ad.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Thanks to the suggestion of a mom-friend of mine, she and I took our 3 girls to see the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular...and it was exactly that...SPECTACULAR!!!
I really had no desire to see the chorus-line dancing of the Rockettes....until I went to see the chorus line dancing of the Rockettes:)
And the show was so much more than that!
If you are in the Des Moines area, the show is still in town.
If you are outside of Des Moines, check to see if there is a show close to you.
It is definitely worth the price of admission!!
(And BTW, we had 'nose bleed' seats, and it was still amazing!)

Grandparent's Day @ Des Moines Christian

Grandparent's Day is now, officially, my favorite day to be at Des Moines Christian School. What a wonderful experience!!
The music teacher coordinated an amazing program that was performed by K-6th Graders, and families were welcomed with cookies, coffee and punch, and the children's classrooms were open to tour.
I think a really good time was had by all!!!
Lisi, Grammy, Papa, Isabella and GiGi
Lisi and Manndy in the audience before Isabella's performance
Lisi moved a few seats down to snuggle up with Grammy
Isabella (back row, 3rd from the left) singing a joyous song
sweet angel girls in Lisi's preschool classroom

Monday, December 17, 2007

Does Anyone Else Have A Problem With This???

The Register's caucus endorsements: McCain, Clinton

Isn't there just something inherently wrong with a newspaper endorsing a political candidate???

We (Heart) Huckabee

My girlfriend and I opted to get our Kindergarten girls out of school a couple of weeks ago for the opportunity for all of us to meet Mike Huckabee at a campaign open house. And I have to say is that it was a bigger deal than we even anticipated!
I only wish I knew who all the 'photogs' were snapping pix after pix of our 5 cute kids all wearing Mike Huckabee pins:)Isabella, Ellie and Owen
Mike Huckabee signing Ellie's pink diary.
He did the same for Isabella:)

Induction into Girl Scouts

Ellie and Isabella reciting the Girl Scout pledge
Isabella and her "Daisy" Girl Scout vest
Isabella's Girl Scout pins

Jim Bakker...who still gives money to this guy???

While we were at Tablerock Lake, MO for Thanksgiving, we took a little roadtrip over to "Morningside"~ Jim Bakker's new "place of refuge".
a community under construction

Oh Christmas Tree

While I was out stamping with girlfriends the Friday after Christmas, Mark took our sweet girls to pick out a Christmas tree. I was SO happy to come home to a flocked tree!
I was totally surprised, and totally happy.
It is one of my favorite memories of Mark's family when I was growing up. His Mom would sometimes have a flocked tree, and I thought it was amazing.
Even more amazing passing on that memory to my own family...
and as if that was not good enough, there was Christmas music playing in the family room, Lisi asleep under the tree...
and Isabella tucked in tight on the couch:)

First things first....

Lisi getting all of her things back...taking clothes from our room back to her own room
and putting everything away in her room

oh, so much to catch up on...

so I will do it in photos...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Star Bar

How have I gone this long without going to Star Bar on Ingersoll????
I don't know what I thought Star Bar would be like. Well, since EVERYONE has been talking about it since it opened, what, a couple of years ago???, I guess I thought that it would be to she-she for a Mom with 2 kids.

Last night Mark and I found ourselves on Ingersoll around dinnertime, and thought we would give it a try. Boy oh Boy has our FAMILY been missing out!!!

Neiman Ranch porkchop for Mark, grilled veggie and goat cheese panini for me, and a perfect kids menu: penne pasta with butter/ chicken fingers/ grilled cheese.

What a cool, comfortable, hip and yummy menu place!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

an e-mail of encouragement from my friend

Good morning sweet friend,

I'm catching back up on blogs (my own having been neglected since before Thanksgiving!) and just read your last two posts. What I want to say deserved its own email and was a little too long for a post. So here it is.

Are you wondering what happened to that picture you had in your head when you were first pregnant? That blissful slice of Americana that caught mother and young, perfectly behaved (dressed, mannered, etc.) child in unending moments of quiet play, sun streaming gently through the window to beam off her golden curls? To be truthful, I still mourn the loss of that picture, because even though both of my girls had their share of curls (if not golden), the QUIET and WELL-BEHAVED part of that scenario never quite played out like I had planned! All that aside, I do want to tell you not to despair.

Motherhood is nothing if not a tug-of-war. You're the little flag in the middle, trying to stay balanced between the "no's" and the "yes's"...between the "I'm too tired to stay firm and consistent" and the "if I 'spare the rod I'll spoil the child'"...between the desire to be their friend and the demand to be their mom. Know that there isn't a mom in the universe that has ever maintained that balanced place in the game all the time. Every one of us has hit the ground with a hard thud, face in the mud, dirt in our teeth. The problem is not in the fall, however. It only becomes a real problem when that mom, defeated, rolls up that rope, sticks it in her purse and camps out on whichever side she's fallen. She not only ends up unbalanced, but so do her kids. The best moms out there are the ones who get back up and keep trying to stand their ground, dabbling a little on both sides, certainly, but keeping their focus on staying balanced till the end.

Your friends are ARE a great mom. You are trying so hard to do things in a godly way and bring your kids up right, and you're doing a great job. Don't gauge yourself on Lisi's demanding personality (trust me on that one - I've been there!) or on Isabella's diet (she's not starving and if the doctor says she's growing and healthy, don't worry about it!). I will give you a couple of suggestions, however, that worked for me most of the time (you may already be doing this).

FOR ISABELLA: I found that if my kids were involved in the kitchen, in choosing the menu and helping prepare it, they ate a lot better. Get a kid's cookbook with very simple, yummy-sounding recipes and let her help you make it and serve it. She will be so proud of herself, she wouldn't think of not at least trying it!

FOR BOTH GIRLS: Instead of taking things away, try some positive reinforcement. Again, you may already be doing this, but if not, and Mark is not all that keen on discipline, this might be something he would be more apt to get involved in and you wouldn't be left feeling like the bad guy all the time. Get a poster board and make a big sticker chart...make a list of good behaviors that you're trying to teach and let them put a sticker on the day's square each time they do it. At the end of the week, if they have at least 5 stickers on each day (or whatever you deem appropriate), they will get a predetermined treat. You can also do this with M&M's in a jar, or coins that they can spend at the end of the week, or whatever you can come up with.

This is just food for thought, but it sounded like you might could use some fresh perspective. Remember that God is the only perfect parent...He gives us the standards to go by, and graciously fills in the spots we miss or mess up. Rest in Him and keep loving those kids the way you so marvelously do!

Love to you this day,

Monday, December 3, 2007

This is harder than I thought

Being a "yes Mom" is harder than I thought.
Our 2 sweet girls are not content when I give in to one thing. They want to find out if I will give in to two, three, four, or more!
And Isabella and Lisi never being satisfied leaves me running, running, running.
At some point I have to say "no", simply out of necessity because I cannot satisfy their every whim all of the time.
So should I be saying "no" before the 'crazy cycle' begins????
That is what I have always tried to do, but it has left me feeling like the "mean mom", and on my own.
Sorry that I am dumping on you in the blog-o-sphere. It is just what is on my mind right now.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Just for the record...

I cry "uncle" when it comes to disciplining Isabella and Lisi. I mean, I will still discipline, but not the way that I have in the past. Not in the way that you have seen on this blog. Lisi has all of her clothes back, and her books and artwork are soon to follow. Isabella has Eggos and syrup in the kitchen for breakfast. I totally cry "uncle". I am not happy about it, but I am hoping to have a happier family, and, hopefully, that will have an over-all positive effect.
And just for the record, Lisi's attitude has not had a 180 turn-around, and Isabella is not eating any better. This Momma is simply worn down and worn out. I have a great husband, but he is not so keen on discipline or consistency, and I cry "uncle" on trying to think that I can do it on my own.
So if you see my sweet girls being really naughty, know that this Mom will just kindly smile and look the other way...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ellie & Owen

Our friend Owen (age 2) came to spend the day with us, and then his sister Ellie (age 6) came home with Isabella to play, craft and have dinner. It was a wild day, but, oh!, so much FUN!!!I had promised the girls a craft to do, and they requested a nativity scene. You can only imagine my surprise and delight when I found a "foamy" manger, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and sheep!
Isabella and her nativity scene
There was no boo-boo for Owen....just he and Lisi getting into a stash of Band Aids!
don't they look so innocent???
ya, right!!

candid pix with G-5 and Marlee

We 3 Moms took the 6 Main cousins to have their pictures taken~ the last time we did that, I was pregnant with Lisi! There are some beautiful professional pictures that we have on order, but these are some fun candids that I shot while we were waiting.
When the woman who works there saw me taking these pix, she said, "I have never seen someone taking pictures at a photo studio. That is classic!"

Lisi, Marlee (age 9) and Isabella
(Marlee & G-5 are Missy's kids)
anyone for a tea party?
Marlee & G-5 (age 11)
(rather than calling Glenn Bigsby V "Little Glenn", Mark started calling him "G-5 Big Speed", and the name has stuck!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Deep Fried Organic Turkey

need I say anything more than....

Family Fun

I had all kinds of ideas of what this Thanksgiving holiday at Tablerock Lake would hold, and, really, none of those came to fruition. No Silver Dollar City, and no gingerbread house decorating contest. The weather was colder than expected, and the cousins made their own fun!
When I asked Lisi what was the most fun part of the week, she said, "taking a shower, and writing on the floor". Who knew??
Usually our girls take a bath, but at Tablerock the girls think it is great fun to be in the new, big shower. And as much as all of us grown kids want Bill to finally take up the cardboard off the floors, the kids thought it was great fun to draw, draw, draw!!!
Marlee & Bill burying G-5 in a pile of leaves
Isabella enjoying the fruits of Fall
G-5 found a fish skeleton on a nature hike with Grandpa Bill down at the lake shore
and our nature girl proudly found a skull....which is now proudly on display in our home mantle:)
Grandpa Bill has spent countless hours and dollars to remodel the house at Tablerock, and the floors are still covered in cardboard. Thankfully that provided hours of entertainment for the 6 grandkids who thought it was great fun to be able to draw on the floor!

Meeting Mrs Claus

We spent our last day in Southern Missouri at Branson Landing. When I went to Tablerock as a teenager with the Main family, this was 'small town' Branson. There is a part of me that misses that. But I do have to say, that Branson Landing is done right! It is right on the river, and is a large pedestrian mall, with a water show and lots of entertainment. Today we ran into Mrs Claus, and she assured us that Santa knew that our girls had been very good this year:)
(Clearly Santa does not read this blog re: Lisi)Lisi and Isabella with Mrs Claus
Isabella and Lisi with a giant Jelly Belly!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving

This IS my favorite holiday. I try to count my blessings every day, and I just love the idea of a day each year set aside for giving thanks. This year we are beginning a new family tradition~ we are driving down to Tablerock Lake with Mark's family and taking in the sites and sounds of Branson and Silver Dollar City. My friend, Jena, suggested it to us this summer when we were all vacationing at Tablerock. In a nutshell, this is the Bible belt, and it is not politically correct. We should have 5 days of celebrating JESUS being the "reason for the season". I cannot wait!!
For as long as I have known the Main family, they have had 'egg decorating contests' at Easter, and 'pumpkin carving contests' at Halloween, and in keeping with that tradition, I am bringing down the fixins for a 'gingerbread house decorating' contest. Definitely sit on the edge of your seat waiting for those pictures!!
Another plus for our family, is that there is limited Internet access for us at Tablerock. Isabella is already SO happy for that:) That said, this is my sign-off for the rest of the week...

Thanksgiving Party

Aaah, the many joys of being a homeroom Mom! Today was our first class party of the school year, and it was just FUN!! Sandy May and I are working together as the HomeRoom Mom's for Isabella and Adele's class, and we are finding that we have a host of other great moms to help us. One mom read a story about the true meaning of Thanksgiving, Sandy put together a "Thankful Tree" and had each child either write or draw what they are thankful for, and then glue their leaf to the tree. It was adorable! And then another mom brought all of the fixins for the kids to decorate "turkey cookies". And while all of that was going on, we had munchie snacks and juice boxes.
It makes me already excited for Grandparents Day and our class Christmas Party, too!!
Isabella gluing her 'thankful leaf' to the tree
and decorating her 'turkey cookie'
I popped next door to check on Ellie's class party, too. Her Mom, Amy, made these super cute turkey cookies for the kids in Ms Greiman's class.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Hope I Never Forget This Day

Today is a day that I hope I never forget. It was a great 'mom day'.
This morning all 3 of us girls woke up with a nasty cough, so I decided to let Isabella play hookie from Kindergarten. We hung out this morning, and then went to see Dr Hassel to let him work his chiropractic magic. Isabella is usually not keen on being adjusted, but she is so tired of being sick, I think she was simply willing to try anything:)
Then, on doctor's orders (hee,hee), we went to Campbell's Nutrition to taste test vitamin C tablets, and then to the bookstore where Isabella spent some of her birthday money on new hair clips with butterflys, and a beaded necklace with a cross on it. What a sweet girl she is:)
We had a light lunch at home, and then decided we were actually well enough to spend the rest of her birthday loot at Build A Bear. And that is where the real fun began!
We called Pastor Lori to meet us up there, and then we made our new friends "Snowy", a while polar bear for Isabella, and "Purply and Pretty", a purple hippo for Lisi. Pastor Lori had never been to BAB, so it was fun to have her help with the air bath, and choosing the perfect outfits, too:)
And then I totally broke the golden rule of playing hookie from school~ I took Isabella back to school at the end of the day so she could go to Girl Scouts:)
It was just another great day to be a Mom!