Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas preparations

That special time is upon us. Yes Christmas. The time of year when parents have to juggle the consumerism that our children are exposed to, teaching our children the true reason for Christmas and the growing number of people that expect gifts.

My daughter is having a smaller Christmas this year, ascent far as presents go. She is getting an mp3 player, speakers, a quilt, and a bookcase. I'm embroidering and sewing the quilt. My dh is building the bookcase. Heartfelt gifts made by her parents.

This year we are focusing on the Christmas story. I plan to read it a few times a week, combined with bible verses. I also am going to focus on giving to those less fortunate.

At school they are collecting gently used books to donate to a local charity that allows people to come and pick what they need. All they ask for is your hometown and the number of people you are shopping for. I'm going to challenge alexis to pick 5 books to donate.

I also want to donate some food to the local food pantry and take her with me.

I'm still looking for something we can do together to volunteer. I haven't quite figured out what we are going to do yet but I'll get there.

My family is large. I have 2 sisters, a brother and a brother in law. There are a total of 3 kids that aren't mine. Then of course my parents and Jaime's mom. Plus Alexis' biological cousins (4), their parents (who also happen to be my best friends). These are all presents. Plus we do an ornament exchange at the holiday party for work... This is adding up to a lot of presents.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Clean up clean up

Tonight's goal was to get the house clean. And in the hour and a half that I have been home I have cleaned and vacuumed the living room, cleaned, swept, and mopped the kitchen, and made biscuits and gravy for the husband for dinner. Yummo.

I'm not quite done yet. I still want to go start a load of laundry, take down all my halloween decorations, and clean the bathroom.

Am I crazy to be doing all of this on a week night? Probably. However Saturday I need to super clean my house as well as take the dd to her Clover Kids meeting. Plus at some point I need to go buy the staples needed for holiday baking (which is coming up sooner than we all would like).

It is a crazy time of year and it's just getting started people!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good Sportsmanship

A recent news story grabbed my attention. Perhaps it's because it is about my home town, perhaps because it's about sportsmanship, perhaps it's because my daughter is growing up and wants to be involved in sports. Whatever the reason, I have found things in this story that bother me.

A local news crew ran a story about my home school showing poor sportsmanship at a recent playoff game at a nearby town. The headline itself made it sound like the entire team and perhaps even some of the parents and fans showed poor sportsmanship. After reading the story and watching the video it became clear that a few team members (it never did specify how many) performed minor acts of vandalism according to the other school's superintendent. They urinated in the girls locker room on the girls things. A student also said that the players walked across the gym floor with their cleats on.

At first glance this is horrifying both as a parent and as a former student. What kind of a reputation to give our school! We don't know how to lose well, and if you can't lose well you can never win well.

I then heard from a teacher at this school that it was 3 boys. Out of a football team of close to 60. Also the gym floor was not scratched by the football team but by the school janitor.

Now this does not make the urinating on personal possessions any better. And their is some discord on how this should be handled.

One parent said the kids involved should have to work at the school until they have paid off the damage.

Another said the kids should have to clean the entire locker room with sponges and bleach water.

Another said that the entire football team and cheerleading squad should have to clean the locker room and gym, as well as pay back the cost for the entire gym floor to be redone.

My suggestion?

First and foremost no to the bleach water. Most locker rooms are completely enclosed and no one should have to smell the bleach. Also most locker rooms are painted and the bleach would eat the paint. Then I suppose they would be responsible for the cost of repainting the locker room. Sigh.

Secondly I firmly believe in let the punishment fit the crime (or misdeed, or wrongdoing or whatever term is more palatable for you). The crime in this case? Poor sportsmanship and vandalism, as well as a total disrespect for personal belongings (that didn't even belong to the players who beat the team).

Poor sportsmanship - I believe they should have to come up with a presentation about the importance of good sportsmanship, how to show good sportsmanship and what constitutes good sportsmanship vs frustration at a poor play. This should then be presented to the younger team members whether it is the JV team, freshman team or junior high team.

Vandalism - I believe they should have to do work around the school cleaning up acts of vandalism (because honestly the urine should have been cleaned up the next day when they realized it was there). It should be agreed on by both superintendents what number of hours is required to 'pay' for the act.

Disrespect - I believe the students involved should have to write letters to the school, the players, as well as the individuals whose belongings they urinated on apologizing for their poor choice.

And what if the team members that did this don't come forward? It is a team and so if the individuals don't want to own up to their poor decisions then the whole team should have to do all of these things. And someone on that team knows who did it, and the team will either report who did it, or they will use peer pressure to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

I also wish that parents wouldn't be so quick to judge other parents. One parent stated that good parents don't raise disrespectful kids. This is just not true. Peer pressure, showing off, as well as trying to fit in all play a part. My parents raised me to know right from wrong, good choices from bad. That didn't mean I always did the right choice or the good choice. But it was never my parents lack of guidance that caused me to make those choices. We need to remember as parents that while it is easy to blame the parents when a child does any wrong, we should not throw stones or cast judgements. All children make poor choices, even our own. And when that happens we take the time to teach from these poor choices. And it is not our place to judge, we will all be judged one day.

I hope that this bad situation has some good come out of it. Additional supervision, more emphasis on good sportsmanship in our schools, and maybe even a stronger school and community.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding a Church Home

As a newly married mama of a 5 year old, recently moved to the town, and having grown up with parents who don't believe that we need to go to church to praise God, I had no idea where to start looking to find a church home. I believed that while I praise God every moment of every day that I needed and my daughter needed the guidance a church provides.

I checked into several churches in town. They were not what I was looking for with my family that will grow over the next several years. However when my sister found Cornerstone she called me. "Sister" she said "I have found a church that is for OUR generation and is FAMILY oriented."

Now, to me, this seemed like a tall order to fill. Between my sister and my family our adults range from 25 to 32 and the children range from 7-3. But Cornerstone filled the order. They have Sunday service while the children age newborn to grade 2 are in Sunday School. The Sunday service is half singing. And not the traditional hymns. They are singing contemporary Christian songs. The words to the songs are up on projectors. They are playing guitars and drums. This is not your everyday church.

And on Wednesday while the kids are in their program, the parents have a parenting class providing guidance on raising children following the bible.

This does not feel like church to me. It is a church for the younger generation, for families with children, for busy families. It brings a sense of community to the large college town it is situated outside of. And you can guarantee that there are college kids sitting next to that mom of 2 high schoolers in front of the new mom across from the middle schoolers. They have us introduce ourselves to our neighbors on Sunday so that we are a church FAMILY.

When I went in search of a church home I never dreamed that in my backyard was a church that was such a perfect fit for not only me but my daughter and my sister and her family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The craziness I call Life

Where to start?

There are 96 days until Christmas. In this time I have 5 1\2 quilt squares to embroider, 2 quilts to put together, and a huge cross stitch to stitch. Holy cow. This mama needs to get busy. And dad? He needs to put together a bookshelf for Alexis.

Last night I was in a car accident with Alexis. We are fine, it just pisses me off that I need to replace my car now. As I'm searching I have found a few that I like. A Nissan Versa, a Kia Forte, a Dodge Caliber, a Ford Fiesta and a Ford Focus. Now my favorite thing about some of these is that they are hatchbacks. I love hatchbacks. We have to see what the bank says.

Work is great. I started out assisting the student dentists. Since then I have started working in sterilization, assisting one of the 2 staff dentists, screening the walk in patients, as well as assisting the students. I help train the student assistants. I do it all in the clinic and I have been there for less than a year. I have been out of school for less than a year. I love it!!

Married life is great. Life is not a dream but it is life. My husband doesn't always do everything I think he should, but in all fairness I don't always do everything he thinks I should.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another day, another night

I really have nothing to blog about other than the stupidity of people.

Most of the stupidity I have dealt with today is strictly dental related but still it sets my teeth on edge to deal with. Huh. That was kind of a pun.

I'm watching Alice in Wonderland.

Alexis is fast asleep.

I want to be fast asleep but Jaime is at work and I wanted to wait up for him but...I'm thinking that's not going to happen.

I love my life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crazy days of summer

Summer is on its last leg. At least as far as children are concerned.

My daughter has very few days left before school starts back up. She has orientation next Wednesday, and then school starts next Thursday. My baby is starting kindergarten. That in and of itself is crazy to me. It doesn't seem like it's been that long ago that she was born and just learning about everything. And now it's off to kindergarten...yup Mom is done thinking about that part.

And so my goal right now is to make a last blast of summer. The weather is perfect. I don't have to worry about it getting too hot. I don't deal well with heat.

We are talking about going to the zoo on Saturday. We also wanted to camp but with only one weekend left, well some of the fun things of summer are going to carry over into school time.

I would like to make smore's with Alexis sometime as well. I'm not comfortable with the grill myself however I'm thinking it will be a fun thing to do Sunday afternoon.

I want to make a trip to the park, and I would like to go to one that isn't at the school. LOL All summer we have gone to the playground at the school because that is the one that she has wanted to go to. However she will be playing at the playground at the school everyday starting in a week. And so I would like to take her somewhere else.

The other thing I want to do before school starts is sort her clothes. That is a crazy task to under take. But she has some things that I want her to only wear for play, and some things I would like her to only wear to school. I also want to set up our 'school days' routine. This may be a little more complicated because I don't know yet what she will have to work on. But I will make it work.

There isn't a lot going on in my life that doesn't revolve around that. Tell me, what do you do right before school starts in an attempt to make the transition easier?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Never Grow Up

So many people in my life growing up so fast. So many changes this year.

My little sister turns 18 on Friday. I remember her first day of school, her first day  of middle school, her first day of high school. Now it's almost time for the first day of college. She has gone through her first boyfriend, first kiss, first date, first heartache. She's had her first car, first job, first fight with her first best friend. She is about to make more memories, she has her goals set amongst the stars. And I have no doubts that she will reach her dreams and exceed everyone's expectations. That's what she does. I am so proud of that girl. And even though we have fought over the years the friendship that we are kindling will grow through out life.

I have to admit the thought of my sister going off to college in the state capital scares me. Not because I think she is stupid. Not because I think she doesn't know how to take care of herself. Simply because I know there are people who don't care who you are, what you know, anything else. They are predators and they can tell a pretty story in their attempt to make you stick close to them, to get whatever they want from you. Dickweeds. And I don't want my sister to fall prey. I don't want her to think that it can't happen to her and let her guard down. I pray that she will remember that her sister doesn't want her to not have any fun, just to be safe. I pray that I can find a way to warn her of the dangers that are very real, even in this corn field we call home, so she can keep herself safe. And I pray that I can keep the doors of communication open between ourselves so she will call me if she ever finds the need to have her big sister help her. And most of all I pray that she is willing to admit when she needs help.

My dd starts kindergarten in a little over a month. It's hard to believe its been 5 years since I brought her home. 5 years of tears, laughter, joy and trials. She is so smart, so strong, so brave. She knows all these things that are amazing to me And I love her. I am not ready to let her go off to school.  I want her to learn all the skills she will need for life, but I don't want to let someone else teach her those skills. I don't want to miss out on all those life moments. But I have to hand over the reins of teaching to some one else so I can earn the living we need. Even with dh working we aren't making enough to survive without me working. And so I don't have a choice. I can only hope that I can teach her at home patience, love, kindness, and the fruits of hard work.

I'm in an introspective mood tonight. It happens.

A crazy weekend

This has been one of those weekends that pass by in a blur, where you're rushing here and there, and then when its all over you stop and say wait...WHAT DID I DO? Because nothing got done.

But I have the primer to start painting my house. I'm gonna start in the bathroom tonight because it is a horrendous shade of fuschia that I will be more than happy to replace with white until my lovely new paint comes in. Also I will have 2 extra children running around under my feet and I think a small space will be a good place to start. That being said, my living room, which is huge and has stains every where and needed repainted about 10 years ago, is waiting until Wednesday when my daughter is at Awana's and mommy can focus on just painting it, as quickly as possible.

Sucky part of today is that my dh has to go to work. Mind you I'm blogging on my lunch break at work, but he normally has Mondays off and he works 3 to midnight so I was looking forward to going home to him. Instead I go home to 2 extra mini men (my nephews) who at least know how to make me giggle.

Anyway back to this weekend. Saturday I slept away half the day. This is not like me. I'm usually awake, staring at the ceiling, willing myself to fall back asleep at 8 on the weekends. Nope, not this weekend. Slept like a baby until 11. At which point I had to get out of bed. Nature called. At that point I had to go grocery shopping, pick up, make dinner for the stupid hour of 4 for my little sister who was stopping over on her lunch break from work, then clean up and I'm suddenly ready for bed.

Sunday I didn't sleep late. But I was waiting for my parents to get up so we could go hang out with them. By the time they were up and I got over there it was already getting hot, humid and muggy. I don't deal with the heat, not only not well but just not at all. And so they sent me home before it got too unbearable to drive in my un-air conditioned van. At home I got my dd's pool filled, and then started dinner at 3.

I was making manicotti and I had to make spaghetti sauce because my freezer was sadly empty of all sauce. Then I had to prep the manicotti and get it in the oven. When I start dinner at 3 it should not be almost 6 before I can eat.

Then my daughter who I love managed to kill her TV. Sigh. This made me very sad as all I wanted to do was relax on the couch with my husband. But first I had to go try to make her TV work. However it failed. And then mommy was upset because it was NOT in the budget to replace a TV, and dd was upset because now she can't watch her movie in her bedroom for down time (7-9 in theory). And dh just starts looking on craigslist calm as can be. Sigh.

Oh well. Now it's Monday and duty is calling me as we speak. I just want to go back to bed....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm starting a new tradition. Every Thursday I want to list at least 5 things from the week that I'm thankful for. They can be simple or complex, vague or specific. Just 5 things that I have in my life to be thankful for.

1. A clean house -- I came home from work today to find the house clean. The carpet had been vacuumed, the kitchen swept and mopped, the dishes washed, the toys put away. My dh had been busy before work. His goal - to give me a night with less to do so I could enjoy some down time. He is so wonderful. I still straightened a few things up, like my sewing table, put a few things away, miscellaneous things from the wedding, and worked on laundry (after a few attempts that resulted in wet clothing being left in laundry baskets, he has been banned from laundry), but overall it has been a relaxed restful evening.

2. A job I love -- This is so wonderful. I enjoy my job every day. I go to work knowing that that day will be different from the day before. The patients will provide new challenges and new successes. The procedures will provide a new way of performing my job. And the girls I work with are wonderful. It is 8 women working closely together to achieve a common goal. As I'm sure you can imagine, there are irritations, strife, and discord. But when the going gets tough, we band together as any good team will. I think it would be better with a male dentist to give us a sense of men against women, but we still band together. Plus I'm off my probationary period which means no more ridiculous standards I have to uphold that no one else has to.

3. Financial stability -- It is a wonderful feeling to know that the bills are paid before they are due and I have enough money to buy a few things to make our new home a little more homey.

4. Alexis -- I love my daughter. Every day she becomes a little bit different and I'm so proud of the girl she is becoming. Currently she has Awanas every Wednesday night. She loves it. She loves learning about God and the person God wants her to be. In the fall she starts tumbling because she doesn't care for tap. She wants to start girl scouts. She loves to read. She loves to write. She rides her bike like a champ. She is caring and motherly, always wanting to help the child who is sad or needs help. She is strong and sure, she knows who she is and what she likes and doesn't apologize for it. She is a blessing every day of the year.

5. My family -- My dh, my dd, my parents, my siblings. They are all such a central part of my life that I can hardly be thankful for anything less. You notice that, other than work, they are a part of everything I am thankful for. My parents have raised me to be the best I can be. My older sister is always there for me, any time day or night, and is always trying to help me be the best mom, wife, daughter, and sister that I can be. My younger sister reminds me to make the most of life and remember to stop and smell the flowers, and maybe make a daisy chain or put one in my hair while I'm at it. My brother, even if he's a pain part of the time, is loyal to a fault.

With so much to be thankful for is it any wonder I say I love my life?

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

My family has had a fun day filled with family and friends.

We got up this morning and went to my sisters house. We ate bbq pork, shredded turkey, hot dogs, potato salad, potato chips, baked beans, salad, berry (strawberry, raspberry and blueberry) shortcake and cherry pie.

The kids (13, 8, 6, 6, 5, 4, 2) played in the sandbox, the pool, had a water fun fight, a water balloon fight, chased each other around the yard and in general were wild.

The adults sat around a fire (not because it was cool or anything, but because who doesn't like a fire) and talked and laughed (and got sunburnt).

We watched all the dogs (Shasta, a chocolate lab, Sammi, a golden retriever, Mouse, a daushchund, and Reggie, a beagle) play together. We also watched all the kids play with the dogs and the farm cats.

In general we enjoyed each other's company, the ability to sit back and let the kids play with different playmates and\or a different surrounding, and the beautiful weather.

We try to do this once a month. It is a group consisting of my sister Jessica, her husband Shane, her daughters (Araya, 6, Nevaeh 4) and son (Carter, 2), our good fried Sam and TJ and their boys (Craige, 13, Mason, 8, and Quintyn, 6), my younger sister Katrina. Occasionally her friend Sam will come, sometimes my brother Frank, and his friend Jake. Today Sam and Jake came but Frank was staying at a friend's house. Last month it was at my new house over memorial day weekend, as a housewarming party. Yes I know that is May and this is July but with our wedding last month we were too busy to do the bbq.

We figured out the next few bbqs. The 23rd we are going to Sam and TJs house and Labor day weekend we are going to jessicas. If we get together in August we will come to my  house. It just depends on our schedules. With all our children and different schedules it's hard sometimes to get together, but when we do its nice to hang out, relax and enjoy some different company.

Now we are back home. We walked up to the babysitter's house because she invited us to sit in her yard to watch fireworks. They put on a decent fireworks show and we all had fun. Alexis was asleep within 5 minutes of laying her down. It was a fun day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Quilting Bug

That's right, another person has been bitten by the quilting bug. And the worst part? The fabric shopping.

I've always been a fabric junkie but without a sewing machine, not sure how to sew by hand, and no space to store it, I haven't bought any. I have just looked. I love fabric stores and fabric sections. I love looking at colors. I love looking at how patterns go together and can complement one another.

To understand how much I love putting two totally different patterns together and finding how they can work you would have to see my dd's fleece blanket.

This past Thanksgiving weekend I was hit by a deer. And I mean that literally. It jumped into the side of my van, breaking my passenger window, putting a heck of a dent into the my passenger door, and scaring me. Luckily my little one wasn't with me. However her fleece blanket that I had made for her when she was born was set on the passenger seat, where she had left it when she went into daycare. It was then covered in tiny pieces of shattered glass.

Now if anyone knows how you can get all of that out I'd be happy to know because I'm not sure there aren't still pieces of the glass dust on the seat of my van. However it wasn't a risk I was willing to take with my daughter's blanket that even at 4 1\2 (at the time) she wanted every night to sleep with, cuddled up with to watch cartoons with, snuggled into when it had been a long day, etc. And so it went into the dumpster without a second thought, just plenty of worries and heartache. Many had tried to replace this infant sized blanket with a more appropriate sized one, and yet none could take the place of this one that Mommy had made.

I told her that she could go with me to pick out new fabric and we would make a new blanket together. And the fabric she chose, well most wouldn't have put these two patterned fleeces together. One side is light purple with white heart outlines. The other side is fuschia with hearts, peace signs, etc in purple, orange and red. However I saw possibility. Both had purple, both had hearts. This is still not enough that I would have picked these 2 out to go together, except she was set that this is what she wanted.

This blanket still has not taken the place of the duckie blanket that was lost. There are still times when she is sick or tired that she cries and wants that blanket back. But it was the best that could be done.

And so, back to the point that was being made before I went off on a back story, quilting appeals to the part of me that likes to put patterns that don't necessarily go together together anyway, that likes to put colors and patterns together and make something beautiful. No one looks at the patterns and colors of a fabric and says those shouldn't go together. They look at the big picture, the whole quilt, and the beauty of it.

And so, while working on a sampler, I am also mentally choosing my future projects.

Like a attic window quilt for my daughter done with flowers and butterflies as the 'window' portion.

An advent calendar to become our new family's tradition.

A quilt for in the living room in the colors of our living room.

A runner for the kitchen table.

A wedding quilt for my dh and I, even if it is after our wedding.

Lap quilts for my nieces and nephews.

Yup I've been bitten and hard.

My dh's favorite part. I went through my part of the wardrobe and pulled out clothes I don't like, don't fit, or have holes and put them into my scrap fabric bucket. Anything thrifty is good with this family.

My favorite thing? He likes to do woodworking. I can think of a million projects for him to help me, to compliment my quilts, to keep him busy (and spending money) so I can stay busy (and buy more fabric).

It's been a good first week of marriage and it's only going to keep getting better. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Settling into married life

One of our wedding presents was a dry erase board. You have to understand I am a lister. I list what needs to be done, what I'd like to do, my meals, my snacks, what I need to take with me, what Alexis needs to take with her. I list everything because otherwise I will forget something.

So last night before I went to bed I made a to-do list for myself for today. I got up, read it over, smiled, and left.

I didn't even think about it while I was at work today but I got home and looked and what do I see? Checkmarks all the way down. I smiled.

What a wonderful way for my dh to surprise me. He completed my to-do list except laundry, which he helped with. And so I finished the laundry today. I also finished cleaning up the bedroom from moving in, cleaned the living room and made supper.

This has really made my day that he surprised me before I came home. And I told him thank you, and left a note on the dry erase board saying thank you with 2 to-do lists. A honey do list and my own to do list. LOL

I am a very lucky woman and a very happy new bride.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Planning

Monday - Chili dogs
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes
Wednesday - Spoonburgers
Thursday - Chicken, creamy rice
Friday - Spaghetti
Saturday - Baked potato oles
Sunday - Country fried pork chops

Wedding excitement

The wedding day has come and gone. Everything went wonderfully. I am going to upload some photos (there are over 400 already and thats only from 1 of 3 photographers). These are favorites of my dh and I.

My nieces, daughter (aka my flower girls) and I

My flower girls and ring bearer

Carter, my youngest ring bearer

Alexis and mommy

Alexis and mommy

Araya and Aunt Ashley

Nevaeh (my mischevious niece) and I

My baby sister (and Maid of Honor) and I

My big sister (and wedding coordinator) and I

Jaime loves this pose

So adorable

They were loved the flowers

Carter looks like he's about to start trouble

Carter running to Aunt Ashley (and ruining mom's shot hehehe)

My brother in law

We have this pose from when she was 5 on the same piano.

Mom and lil sis

my nephew Craige 

Me and my groom

Another one

My parents, my groom and his mom

My siblings and I

My brother wasn't hip on the idea of kissing me and there being proof lol

My niece

My best friend

Seriously, can we get this show on the road?

My other wedding coordinator (and my brother in laws mom). Also known as the miracle working life saver

Jaime, myself, Sam and TJ. This group is TROUBLE but we always have fun

This was kind of out of the blue but so cute

He didn't think he should have to be in pictures since he wasn't in the wedding. I set him straight lol

I don't know what we were laughing about

My Uncle Jim

My dad

My grandpa. He was being a butt and didn't want to be in any pictures

My brother and his friend, more affectionally known as my other brother

Yup I'll drag them around

And put them to work

This is my FAVORITE picture of us

Waiting for me

Best man and maid of honor

Ring bearer (he had to have daddy), groomsman and bridesmaid

Junior groomsman and jr bridesmaid. She wasn't happy to be walking with her step brother

All concentrating very hard on their job

Yes he knows he's cute

Daddy and I

Alexis telling us she loves both of us and blesses our marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Jaime Schulze

Alexis took her shoes off and left them. Posed? No. Adorable? Yes

Jaime and I hugging his grandparents

Mark was telling Jaime to always get the last word, and those words were "Yes Dear"

Love it!

Oh yeah, I got the certificate!

Our rings

My cake

I think someone was being goofy

Our first dance as husband and wife



What you can't see is the best man bucking around. So not cool.

the chicken dance

Shaking my butt in the hokey pokey

We took off the crinoline and the best man decided he should wear it

Dancing with the girls

Mom and dad

Jess and Shane

The wreath that my sisters mother in law fixed for the reception. (and yes thats my veil. The comb was digging into my scalp)

Mom and Alexis (with Araya running around with my bouquet she caught)

My groom with a good friend. Wearing the best man's hat. Hmmm. LOL