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!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Family Photo

Ponies, Presents and a Party

The Birthday Girl and her proud Momma
at school to celebrate her birthday with cupcakes
Taking a ride on Taffy
Now how cool is that for a TV/ Video game???
A special request birthday cake:
2 ponies and a golden retriever as cake toppers
American Girl was created for 6 year old girls
This is Nikki and her pony, Jackson,
complete with book, clothes and tack box
Happy 6th Birthday my sweet Isabella girl


Have you been to a RedBox??? Brilliant idea!!! For just $1/ night, you can rent movies from the lobby of many McDonald's, and return the movie to any other RedBox location...can you say...road trip???
Last night we rented Evan Almighty, and I also highly recommend that. Super cute family movie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Horseback Riding!!!

How am I going to top this when Isabella's next birthday rolls around??? My friend, Carey, agreed to let me bring Iz, Macy and Ellie, as well as Lisi, Ellie's brother Owen, and all 3 of us Moms, out to her place to enjoy an afternoon with her 12 horses.
Yes, you read that right, 12 horses!!!
I thought we were going out to see, pet and maybe feed horses, but much to my surprise, and delight!, she had 3 horses saddled up in her indoor arena!
We all had SO much fun!!!Isabella, Macy & Ellie
Ellie and Isabella riding on Ruby
Lisi and I on Shorty
Lisi, Isabella, Ellie, Owen, Macy and an 8,000 pound Gorilla
What a hoot!!

Macy & the Gorilla
Isabella and IOwen the Cowboy and Carey

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

another Lisi update

I have to say, people that I did not even know read this blog have asked about Lisi's privileges! Guess it strikes a common chord...even those without kids remember the days of having privileges revoked.
So here is the scoop: Lisi continues to have jammies, shoes (including pink crocs) and some art work in her room. YEAH!! She is desperate to get all of her clothes back, and each time she asks, I remind her that is a BIG privilege, and she needs to show me that she can handle it. And each day there is another meltdown. But for the most part, it is pretty much one good meltdown a day, I remind her she will not get her clothes back that day, and then we go on.
Today, however, she must have been really tired or something, but there were MAJOR meltdowns all day.
Like a total meltdown over the shirt I put out for her to wear.
And that was not even 8am!!
So she did lose the privilege of playing with friends at Mom's Group, which, as Jenn pointed out, is as much of a punishment for me as it is for her:(
But we made it through the day, and I am optimistic that she is back on track.
Point to all of this: There really is truth in the notion that kids act out because they have privileges beyond what they can handle. Scale back the privileges, and everything is a privilege, wait (and wait and wait and wait) for the behavior problems to subside, and then gradually add back the privileges as they show you they can handle them.
Woo Hoo to good advice!!!
PS: It is driving Isabella CRAZY that she does not know where Lisi's clothes are! She keeps asking me, and saying, "I promise I won't tell her".
For some reason, that in and of itself, is cracking me up.

Omaha Zoo

Last Friday we 3 Main Girls topped off an already amazing week by road-tripping to the Omaha Zoo with Pastor Lori, Becky, Jaden & Ethan. (And, may I add, God bless Becky for riding in the back with the 4 kids!) We met up with the Young's for lunch, and then went to the Zoo with Lindsay and Reese. Man do I miss them!! I even miss Reese calling me "Grandma".
Truly, we were all not even out of the Suburban when Reese hollered out their front window "Grandma!" Some things must never change:)
This was my first trip to Omaha, but it is not going to be the last! Can you believe I was born in St Louis, grew up in Des Moines, and had never been to Omaha??? I only got a quick taste of the city, but I know we would have fun there as a family.
How cool is this octopus???

This is my best attempt to get a picture of the 5 kids together.
Jaden, Isabella, Reese, Lisi and Ethan.

We 4 wild and wacky Moms!
Lindsay, Pastor Lori, Amy and Becky.

I Might Have To Give Cookin' Another Try

I just picked up a great cookbook/ magazine at the grocery store, and I am so excited about it, I just have to share!
It is called Taste of Home Slow Cooker Classics, and it is filled with some yummy sounding slow cooker recipes. Gotta love that!!
I picked it up at Dahl's @ 50th & EP True, for you local friends.
It looks like you can do a 1 year subscription for $10.00. This must be a 'special edition' because it was $9.99, but I am thinking that it is going to be money well spent!
Happy Family Meal Time!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quirkiness R Us!!

So my friend Jen posted a list this week about the "weird, interesting or otherwise oddball quirks" that she has, and encouraged others to come clean with their own..
*wet feet creep me out, and I especially cannot touch my wet hands to anyone's wet feet
*crowds and commotion unnerve me
*'to-do' lists calm my anxieties, and like Pastor Lori, if I do something that is not on my list, I add it to the list so that I can cross it off and revel in the satisfaction of accomplishment
*I love to pick scabs and peeling skin...mine own or someone else's...doesn't matter...creepy, I know
*I am so happy to say that I can now leave the house with my bed un-made!!!

Privileges Come, and Privileges Go

This is an update on Lisi, and her bedroom that was stripped clean a couple of weeks ago.
The initial impact was as significant as her initial reaction...there really wasn't one.
Talk about a Mom being beat down as low as she can go!
But I knew I had to stick with it. And in all honesty, with her room stripped clean, there has been no hounding her to clean her room:)
So here I am, on the eve of 2 weeks of Lisi having no privileges, and I am SO happy to report, that it has made a difference! She will probably never have Isabella's compliant personality, but she has been so much more fun to be with, and to parent.
About a week ago, Lisi had been really good for days, and I offered to give her back 1 privilege. Actually, I told her she had earned a privilege, and would she like her books back.
Much to my surprise, what she wanted back was her pink keep them in her room!
But before the clock struck midnight that same night, the pink crocs were back in hiding. That girl just does not know when to give it a rest!!
But she did get them back the following day, and the day after that she got to the privilege of keeping her jammies in her room back...and then taken away before the clock struck midnight.
As of tonight, Lisi has all shoes and jammies back in her room, as well as some artwork on the walls:)
And since she is soundly asleep, I think these privileges will last at least until the morning:)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Money Well Spent

Does spending $$$ within my own home 'count' as spending money???
Either way, the money I have spent with Isabella in the past 24 hours has been well worth it!
She has been begging to go to Build A Bear, and as much as I enjoy it myself, it is expensive, and we have alot of 'Beary special friends'.
In addition to begging to go to BAB, she has been nagging for 'just one more piece of candy' from Halloween.
So how does a MaMa fix 2 problems in 1 solution????
I bought back the Halloween candy!! And I joyfully bought it back to the tune of 25 cents/ piece. It seemed a little pricey when she was handing over those teeny-tiny Tootsie Rolls, and it took all I had not to laugh out loud when she opened up the Hershey bar, broke it into 12 little chocolate rectangles, and counted out 12 quarters for herself! But, hey, goal accomplished!!
AND, once she realized that she still did not have enough to buy a 'friend' at BAB (she made about $15.00 , though!) she offered to clean the playroom and do any other jobs around the house to earn more money!!!
We have never had an allowance for Isabella, but I am thinking that she is ready to handle the responsibilities and reap the rewards:)

Kudos to Favorite Cousin Heather!!!

Heather was the one who encouraged me to post the challenge I had put to myself to "not buy it" in the month of October, and she is the real winner this month!! By her own admission, although she allowed herself and her family nice dinners out, a trip to Vegas and gifts for others, what she spent on the non-essential 'stuff' this past month was less than $20.00. Way to go, Idaho!! And I personally want to give her a BIG kudos on not buying any magazines this month...if you know Heather, you know this was a test of her will power:) I did not do so well this past month. I thought about the challenge, but caved under the pressure of coupons in my mailbox. I know, I'm bad!! Maybe I will try again in February (Let's be real, too many killer sales in January to put that kind of pressure on myself!)