Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top 10 Parenting Tips

Kelly over at has asked us to share our best parenting advice on this week's "Show Us Your Life". So, here it is. My Top 10 Parenting Tips:

1. Let them be kids

Encourage your kids to play, and to act their age. They are only young once! I do feel that children should be expected to help out around the house by doing a small amount of chores. However, I DO NOT think they should be working their fingers to the bone every waking minute. Nor, should they be responsible for taking care of and raising their siblings. There will be time enough for that when they are older, and have families of their own. Don't try to make them grow up too fast. Let them just enjoy being a child.

2. Teach them manners

If you don't....who will? Teach them to say "please" and "thank you"and "excuse me". Teach them to chew with their mouth closed, be polite, not talk too loud or about inappropriate things in public, etc. You get the picture. Show them how to act in social settings, and give them opportunities to learn "on the job". Take them out in public so they can practice!

3. Give them a regular bedtime and don't let them sleep in your bed

This is for the parents benefit, as much as the children! At the end of a long, hard day, the last thing you need is a child who stays up all hours of the night. Parents need a break! You need time to just relax, or spend time with your spouse, without kids hanging on you all night. This also allows the kids to have the proper amount of rest that they need to function.

Now, not letting them sleep in your bed is a tough one. I was a nursing mother, and there were many nights where I just let the baby sleep in bed with me. We all got more sleep that way! But, I only did that for a short time, because we felt it was important to keep our bed "ours". If you start this habit, when do you stop? The child gets used to sleeping in bed with you, and it quickly becomes the "family" bed. If they never get used to it, you never have to break them of this habit! It is so important to be able to spend "couple" time together, and how can you do that if there is always someone else in your bed?

4. Be their parent and not their friend

You want your kids to like you, so this can be hard. They have enough friends, but only two parents. Make sure to discipline them, even if you don't want to. They must learn that their actions have consequences.

5. Allow them to do things/go places without you

It is tempting as a parent to want to shelter your kids, and keep them close to you at all times. It is scary to let them do things that might cause them injury or harm. Let them ride the zip line, go on that mission trip, do that thing that terrifies you. I'm sure you can think of many different things, just like I can. In the end, we just have to trust God to take care of them. We can't and won't always be there for them, but HE will.

Also, make sure that you allow them time away from you, especially when they are little. They need to learn that it is OK if you are not there all the time, that other people can take care of them. Make a regular date night with your spouse, and leave them with a babysitter. They will be fine, and you will be a better parent because of it.

6. If you have more than one child, don't compare them, and don't pick a favorite child

No one likes to feel like they are being compared to someone else, especially if they are not on the "winning" side. It is hard as a parent not to play that game, and I admit, I have been guilty in the past of saying things I wish I hadn't. Things like "Why can't you do such and such? Your six year old sister can!" That never ends well. I know that I don't like to be compared. NOT AT ALL. Let them be themselves. Each person is an individual, with their own strengths and weaknesses.

The Bible talks about what happens when a parent picks a favorite child and treats them differently. Remember Joseph? His brothers hated him, and actually sold him into slavery because of the special treatment his father gave him. Just don't do it. I have a little joke with my girls that each of them is my favorite. My favorite oldest, my favorite middle, and my favorite youngest daughter.

7. Don't allow them to show disrespect to you or others

If you think it is "cute" when they talk back to you when they are 2 or 3, they are going to think it is all right when they are older, and it is NOT so cute. Want an example? This is just one of many examples I could have shown you from this show. At the beginning, and then if you go to 2:53, you will see what I mean.

8. Don't let them be a bully

Teach them that it is NOT OK to hit others, belittle them, or abuse them. Even between siblings. Teach them to stick up for others, and to treat people the way they want to be treated.

9. Encourage them, but don't try to live your life over through them

Maybe little Susie doesn't want to play piano, but your dream was to be a concert pianist. Or, little Billy doesn't want to play sports, but you want him to be the captain of the football team. You had your chance. Maybe you didn't get to do all that you wanted as a child, or to be the star. It is not your child's responsibility to live your dreams. God designed them a certain way, with certain gifts and talents. You trying to change that is like planting an apple seed, and expecting an orange tree to grow. Let them live the life THEY want to. Find out what interests THEM, and encourage them to be the best they can be.

10. Teach them about God

Last but not least, teach them about God! Take them to church, pray with them, read the Bible and Bible stories to them. There is nothing more important that you could do for them, than to show them the way to Heaven. Nothing. This life is over in the blink of an eye. Then, there is eternity. Make sure they will be spending it with Jesus. Teach them how to live moral, upstanding lives. Teach them to be faithful, loyal, honest, and trustworthy. Teach them to live their lives in a way that pleases God. That is a lot of responsibility on us as parents. But, if God has blessed us with children, it is what He requires of us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Scream, You Scream Hodgepodge

1. July is National Ice Cream month...your favorite flavor? Soft served, hand dipped, or frozen yogurt...which do you prefer? And technically yogurt is not ice cream but its hot outside so I'll let that slide for today.

~Wow...this is a tough one! I love ice cream! I like soft served as long as it has toppings on it, like a sundae. I prefer hand dipped. No cone, as I cannot have anything with gluten :( I like any kind of ice cream with chocolate and nuts, or peanut butter. I like butter pecan, but I cheat and put hot fudge sauce on it.

2. When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?

~We travel as a family quite a bit,and I ALWAYS pack too much! In my opinion, it is better to be prepared, and bring too much, than need something and not have it. Need a band-aid? I'm your girl. What size do you want? Headache? I am a walking pharmacy. Spilled something on your shirt and need to change? No worries. You have several others to choose from.

3. What's your favorite cleaning product?

~I don't really have a favorite cleaning product, but I do have things I buy on a regular basis. One of those is, I only buy Tide laundry detergent. I like the way it cleans, and it is one of the few we can use due to allergies.

4. Which is the greater tragedy-an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free? Explain.

~Definitely an innocent person imprisoned. I would rather a guilty person go free, than an innocent person imprisoned. Life is so precious, and to spend your life locked away, when you have done nothing wrong, is such a tragedy. Even if a guilty person is set free, in the end, they will get their due justice. God tells us ...“vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?

~We have spent the last two winters in Florida, and we have driven there. One of the benefits of homeschooling is being able to just take off and go wherever, and whenever you want to :) We also drive to Maine to see my husband's family. I do not like long drives in the car, but since we need a vehicle while we are there, flying is not an option. The girls tend to get car-sick, so we pass out the Bonine (works like Dramamine, but it doesn't knock you out and make you feel all drugged) and always make sure to bring the "just in case" bowl. Oh, and paper towels. And wet wipes. I am no rookie.

6. tennis-golf-canoeing-biking...pick one.

~Biking. One of my favorite memories is when Hubs and I rented a tandem bike, and biked around Mackinac Island.

7. What sound drives you crazy?

~I really can't just pick one! Ha! A few of them are, people "chomping" their gum, nails on a chalkboard, when people talk/laugh WAY too loud, and anything that is super repetitive. I am easily annoyed. Just ask my family ;) I will only let my kids chew gum as long as I can't hear it being chewed!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

~My oldest daughter is away this week on a mission's trip, and the younger two are away at camp (more unanswered letters). That means....Hubs and I are ALONE!!!! I love my kids dearly, but it has been rather nice. I think that we all need a break from each other once in a while. Since we are a homeschooling family, we are together most of the time.

That can get pretty wearing. Being a part from each other, will hopefully make the girls appreciate each other, and us, a little more. And Hubs and I get the house all to ourselves ;) I do miss my girlies a lot though!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Leftovers

In our house, no one likes the ends of the bread. There they sit, alone, uneaten, at the bottom of the bread bag.

I buy a new loaf, and the old loaf is forgotten. The tastier, fresher bread always wins.

What do you do with your leftover bread? Do you make breadcrumbs? Croutons? Bread pudding? Maybe french toast or a nice breakfast casserole?

Here's what we do with ours.

For just the cost of a few pieces of old bread, we have an afternoon or evening of fun.

I have always loved feeding the birds. Now, I have children who do too.

We have a local park, where we can go to feed the birds. Sometimes when you go, they are too full, and you throw your bread in vain. Then, there are other times, when it seems like they haven't eaten in a while, and eagerly run up to you, almost close enough to touch.

Some are friendly, and almost seem like pets. I always want to just try to reach out and pet one. They look so soft!

The girls called this one "The Dinosaur" because of that odd shaped bump on the top of his head.

Look at the blue in his wings. Just beautiful!

Others, will hiss at you if you get too close. They still want the bread though. Take a look at his tongue!

Some of the birds are bullies, and will peck and chase any other smaller birds who try to eat "their" bread. Some, will wait their turn, and even let other birds eat before they do. They look out for each other. Hmmm....kind of like people.

It can be kind of scary to feed the birds who hiss at you, but still come up close because they are hungry.

After the bigger birds are gone, the tiny birds will come and clean up the leftovers.

I'm sure it would be more frugal to just make something we could eat with the leftover bread. certainly wouldn't be as much fun.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Accentuate The Positive

Today, I'm linking up with, "Show Us Your Life". She's talking about marriage advice, and asking us to give ours.

I have been married to Hubs for 17 years. Here we are on our wedding day, just two, fresh-faced kids, who had NO CLUE what we were doing. Ha! I was only 20, he was 23.

Through the years, we have had our share of ups and downs. Do we fight? Yep. But, we try to fight fair, and not keep grudges, or hold it over each other's heads forever.

Do we always get along? Nope. But, we try to give each other space when we need it. Sometimes, it can be hard to live with another person, no matter how "in love" you are.

I have promised him, that I will never purposely try to make him look bad in front of other people. That goes for in person, on Facebook, or my blog. When we are with other people, if we disagree about something, we don't argue in front of everyone. That shows respect for the other person. No one likes to be made fun of, or belittled in public.

One thing I have learned is if you are looking for the negative, you will surely find it! Johnny Mercer said it right in his lyrics to "Accentuate the Positive"

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene

I try to look for the positive, and try to remember just exactly why I married him in the first place.

We had a long distance relationship before we were married. At another time, I will write "Our Story" but we basically got to really know each other through letters. Back then, we didn't have email, Facebook, or Skype. We could talk to each other on the phone, but it was very expensive, and neither one of us made very much money. So, we wrote letters. Lots and lots of them! They have all been saved, and sometimes, I will re-read the sweet words that he wrote to me.

I remember the way that I felt, being so far away from him, and how much I longed to have the life I have right now. To be his wife. To have his children.

I try to do the little things that I know make him happy. That make him feel loved, and respected.

We enjoy spending time together, and have fun just being with each other. Whether we are on a fancy date, or just vegging out in front of the t.v.

Real life is nothing like the reality shows, "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette". Sure, we have times where we are madly in love. Hubs still gives me butterflies, and he ;)

But, we also have times when both of us are tired, the kids are getting on our last nerve, schedules are hectic, and our patience is wearing thin. This is life.

It helps to remember that NO marriage is perfect, and we won't ALWAYS be happy.

With God's help, we are keeping our vows. For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. As long as we both shall live.

For 17 years......and counting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exploding Hodgepodge

1. July 20th marks the anniversary of the first time man stood on the moon. Flash forward 42 years to July 8, 2011 which marked the start of the final Space Shuttle mission. Should we continue to explore space? Should nations devote more or fewer of their resources to exploring space? Would you want to go into space if the opportunity arose?

I really don't know how to answer this question. It is sad to me, that we have launched our final space mission. I guess I never thought the day would come. But, to say that it is, right now, the best use of our country's money, when so many people are unemployed, and without health care? I can't say that either. So, how about I just leave it as, I don't know!

I definitely would not want to ever go into space myself. That would require me to fly, which I hate. I do fly, but there is a lot of prayer and deep breathing involved. I don't like heights, nor do I enjoy being gone away from my family for long periods of time, which are two things that would be required of me to be in space. I admire others who have gone though, and I enjoy looking at the pictures they have taken.

2. What are three things in your freezer?

Butter Pecan ice cream, sweet potato fries, and hamburgers. Sounds like dinner to me :)

3. If you could see any band/artist perform live tonight who would it be? It has to be someone Beatles, Elvis, etc.

It would be Keith Urban. I ♥ him! It is on my "must do" list to see him in concert. Here he is, singing to me. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

4. Ice-cubed or crushed? Or are you one of those people who don't like ice?

I prefer my ice crushed, but I will take cubed, if crushed is not an option. I love ice! I have been known to put my Diet Coke in the freezer, until it forms ice crystals. YUM! I won't mention that there have been times I have forgotten it was in there, and then, do you know what happens to pop in the freezer?
Yeah....what a mess.

5. The owner of a small restaurant outside of Pittsburgh recently announced he was banning children under six, saying they regularly disrupted other customer's meals. You can read the story in more detail here but isn't this a perfect topic to discuss in our Wednesday Hodgepodge? Have at it friends...what are your thoughts?

I can see how that could be a good thing. When the girls were little, we just didn't go out to eat at fancy restaurants. There is only so much quiet time you can expect from small children! If it is one of the few times I go to a fancy restaurant, without my kids, and I have to sit next to a crying baby, or screaming toddler, it is a big disappointment. Usually, I am there to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. I didn't come there to hear that. I came to have a nice, quiet meal with adult conversation.

6. What was your first car? How did it come to be yours?

It was a 1982 Honda Civic, light blue. There was no power steering, and it was being worked on more than I ever drove it. It was bought with my own hard earned money. The last time I ever drove it, black smoke was billowing out of it, due to a blown head gasket. Alas, it would have cost more to fix it, than I had even paid for the car.
7. If I had a nickle for every time I _________________ I'd be rich.

I would have to say, for every time I heard the word "Mom!" This would be said in that whiny, shrill, "you must do something now" tone of voice that any mother knows all too well.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last night, I had a Stella and Dot Trunk Show at my house.

You can check out the jewelry online at if you are interested. Their jewelry has been featured in magazines such as "People's Style Watch", "All You", "O", "Redbook" and "Marie Claire". It was featured on the shows "Gossip Girl", and "The View."
Celebrities such as Penelope Cruz, Rachael Ray, Cheryl Burke, Guiliana Rancic, Maria Menounos, Tia Cerrere, and Marlee Matlin have been photographed wearing it, just to name a few. Even men like Maurice Green and Taylor Lautner! You know....Jacob.
If you want to place an order, you can do so online, just look up my name, Amiee Ogden, as your hostess. Any jewelry ordered, will be shipped directly to your home. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Twelve years ago, we decided to put it up. The wallpaper, that is.

We carefully picked it out of a big book and debated over which one would look the best in the family room.

Two walls with dark blue wallpaper, with tiny gold "lines". Two walls with border that had different colored diamonds, one of them, the same color blue as the wallpaper. I loved it.

Fast forward, and now, we have to take it down. Why did we ever put wallpaper up? Oh yeah, I loved it.

We steamed and scraped until we felt like our arms would fall off.

We even had lots of little helpers. Who begged to be able to scrape it off the walls.

Such a fun job to strip the wallpaper off! At first anyway.
Then, we got to the paste. The icky, gooey, sticky paste.

Paste coated the bottoms of our feet, making our shower later that night like a slip-n-slide.

The helpers are now tired of helping. It's not fun anymore.

Globs of wet wallpaper covered the floor. The floor I had just freshly steam cleaned. Not sure why I did that first.

Then, the moment comes, when all the wallpaper is gone, and the paint colors must be chosen. But, which ones?

Off to the store we went, to choose the paint colors. Hubs started getting frustrated with me. Let's just say that decision making of any kind is not my strong point. It takes me a sweet forever just to decide what to eat at a restaurant. That is just something temporary, unlike paint, which will be on the wall for a long time.

We finally have the two colors. Two colors which look beautiful in the store, on the teeny, tiny swatches. Cape Blue and Old Driftwood. Sounds soothing, right?

We got home, and started to paint the wall. WHAT?! This is so NOT the color that is on the swatch! I can't live with that color on my walls without wearing a pair of sunglasses!

The next day, I took my oldest daughter (a.k.a. the "Color Queen") with me to pick out different paint.

This time, I decided to stick with neutral tones. The oldest is not happy that, once again, it is a shade of "brown". I can't help it. I tried to branch out, and just look where it got me!

She told me that when SHE gets a house, every room is going to be painted in bright, vibrant colors. Red! Lime Green! Orange! Zebra stripes! My head hurts just thinking about it.

We got in the store, and once again, I tried to make a decision. So many different shades of brown. "Coco Rum", "Caramel Latte", "Hot Chocolate" anyone else getting hungry just reading this?

The people there are, of course, super helpful. When asked for her opinion, the lady at the counter informed me that, since she hasn't seen my couch, and she can't be sure of the lighting in my house, she can't possibly tell me which one would look better. Gee, thanks.

She told me that if I was unsure, I could buy a sample bottle and take it home. Sorry, lady. Sample bottles are for people who plan ahead, and don't just decide to re-paint their room on a whim. I just need the paint on the!

So, for a good hour, we agonized over which shade of brown would look nice in the family room. We decided on "Toffee Crunch" and "Brown Teepee".

The walls are now painted, and we think we picked a winner. Time to clean up all the mess.

And, steam clean the carpet....again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tie Dye The Night Away

As I have mentioned before, we live in a small town. Our small town has an annual 4H Fair. The kids are encouraged to enter in many different areas such as showing animals, and arts and crafts. There are other areas, I just don't remember what they are, and I am too lazy to look them up.

For the very first time, my girls have decided to enter the fair. No, they will not be showing animals. Even though we do have a small zoo inside of our house, as Hubs likes to remind me from time to time. What can I say. We love animals.

They have decided to enter the arts and crafts division. Should they win, Hubs will be able to quit his day job, as the older girls will each win three whole dollars per entry. Second place is $2, and third place is $1. Any lower than that, well, too bad, so sad for you. I think you get a ribbon just for entering, but not the big bucks.

Many of our friends enter the animal division, and one of the girls is entering a sheep she named, "Amiee". Yes, I have a sheep named after me! What an honor.

I am trying not to think about "Amiee" being led off to the slaughter at the end of the fair. Hmm....wonder if the neighborhood would mind if I bought a sheep, and kept it in the backyard. Not exactly zoned for farm animals...

Anyway, the girls had to decide ahead of time from a very long list of items, what they would like to do for the fair. The girls were rather ambitious, and each picked about twenty different items. Now that the fair is getting closer, I'm thinking that since they have hardly been home this summer, and when they have, they haven't been working on fair projects, that number is dwindling.

We got together with some of our friends to try and get a few of the projects accomplished as a group. One of the projects was to tie dye something. Since you have to actually present it at fair, it needs to be something decent, like a t-shirt. Feel free to tie dye your underpants, but you can't bring those to the fair, O.K.?

First, you have to make sure to put on gloves to protect your hands. Of course, the gloves are more fun to blow up like a balloon than to wear. Even the cat thinks so. You have to throw a little attitude in there. And grab your best friend.Then, you have to concentrate on getting the colors just right.

It was a rather messy project, so we made sure to do it outside. Thankfully, we were blessed with nice weather, and tie dyed to the sounds of "Amiee" bellowing for her dinner in the background. What can I say....I was hungry.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hodgepodge Excitement and Dread

1. How has your hometown changed since you were a kid? What has changed most about the neighborhood you grew up in?

The town I grew up in has become more diversified. There are many different cultures represented now. For the most part though, other than the trees that now line the center strip, and a greater variety of shops and restaurants, it still looks the same as it did when I lived there *mumble mumble* years ago. The same store that I used to walk to as a little girl, still sits on the corner. The house I lived in growing up is for sale now. I would love to walk through it and see how it has changed.

2. What song makes you laugh?

I love the comedian, Tim Hawkins. His humor is clean, but very funny. If there are any guys reading this post, take notes!

3. Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Read the books? Seen any/all of the movies? Will you be standing in line somewhere close to midnight later this week? For those of you playing along today who live outside the US or UK is Harry Potter a phenomenon in your part of the world?

No, I am not a fan.

4. If the truth hurts, will you tell a lie? Are we better off as a society in a world that allows no form of deception whatsoever?

I admit, I will tell a small lie if the truth will hurt. Have you ever seen the movie "The Invention of Lying?" If you haven't, I will try not to ruin the movie for you. There were many parts of the movie that bothered me, but the beginning was rather funny, when everyone told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It really makes you think of how often we "lie" to spare others feelings. I mean, do we really want to know that the outfit we have on makes us look fat? Or, that the new haircut, that we can do nothing about at this point, makes us look ugly? I have pretty thin skin, so please, lie to me :)

5. What is your favorite 'sauteed in garlic and butter' food? Or garlic and olive oil if that makes you feel better.


6. Attending any reunions this summer/year? High school? Family? Other? Do these events stir up excitement or dread?

No, I won't be attending any. Family reunions don't bother me. I look forward to those! I have many fond memories of our annual family reunions.

High school ones? Eeek! I have been to several of Hubs'. I did not go to the same school as he did, so I really didn't know very many people. It was neat to meet some of the people he used to hang out with. There is a feeling of dread that comes with it though. LOL

I attended five different high schools in four years (we moved a lot) so the class I graduated from, I only attended for one year. It was a large class, so I didn't know a whole lot of people. I did actually attend a reunion a few years back with the class that I went to school with all through elementary, middle, and part of high school. It was nice to see everyone again. I had not seen many of them since Freshman year.

7. Lilac, hydrangea, peony...pick one.

Definitely hydrangeas! They are one of my favorite flowers. I especially love the ones that have multi-colored blooms on them.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thought you might like to see a picture of my family :) I am truly blessed ♥

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Keep On Chuckin'

One afternoon, on a breezy day, I opened up my front door. Do you know what I saw?

He looked at me, and proceeded to chew on our porch.

Now, we have had trouble with the squirrels chewing on the porch. They only started it once we freshly stained it.

When the wood was dull, and there wasn't very much color to it, the squirrels left it alone.

But, as soon as I stained it a nice, cherry wood color, it was like I had put an "All You Can Eat" sign on the steps.

So, Hubs put more stain on it. The next day, the same spot was chewed again. Apparently, fresh stain is rather tasty. Who knew.

One of our friends told Hubs to put some hot sauce in the stain the next time. It seems that they find it a little less tasty if the stain has some "bite" to it. No pun intended.

Seemed to work for a little while. Then, it must have worn off, because they went back to snacking.
This is when Mr. Woodchuck showed up. To say I was startled would be putting it mildly.

More hot sauce and stain.

More chewing.

Mr. Woodchuck greeted Hubs one morning when he opened the door. Hubs just stood there, and MW (Mr. Woodchuck) went right back to chuckin' our wood.

Seems like all along the squirrels were not our only problem. We had never seen MW on the porch before. We had no idea he was using our porch to help sharpen his teeth.

This made me think about persistence. MW and the squirrels are persistent. No matter how hard we have tried to thwart their plans, they will not give up.

Reminds me that I shouldn't give up, just because things get hard, and fresh stain mixed with hot sauce is applied to my life.

What about you?

Are you willing to give up when things get hard? What are you trying to do that you feel like giving up on?

You fill in the blank.

I know what it means for me.

God never promised our lives would be easy. In fact, He told us that we WILL have trouble. Not might.....will.

The question is, what are you going to do when that trouble comes? Who are you going to turn to?

Family will disappoint us. Friends betray us. People just won't understand.

Only God has always promised to be there. No matter what.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

This scripture verse hangs on my oldest daughter's wall. She put it there. It means something to her.

It means something to me.

It reassures me that no matter where I am, or what I am going through, God is with me.

The words "strong" and "courageous" are not words I would use to describe myself. I tend to be more "weak" and "anxious".

This verse reminds me that with God's help, I can be strong and courageous. Even though that is not in my nature.

I don't have to be afraid or discouraged when I can't see the path clearly. God is with me, and He can.

Keep on chuckin'.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Today, I went shopping with my oldest daughter. We live in a small town, so unless we drive almost an hour to the mall, there are very few stores to shop at.

We were looking for dress clothes, so we went to one popular store in our town that sells dressier things.

While I like this store, I do have a few complaints. Why are all the shirts wide and short? Apparently, they assume everyone is wide...and short.

Now, I am definitely wider than I used to be pre-children. However, I am not any shorter.

Funny how that works huh?

I went in to the dressing room to try a few things on. Always a treat.

I think those mirrors add about ten pounds to you.

Now, if I was going to sell clothes, I would make sure the mirrors made people appear thinner. You could certainly sell more clothes that way.

Also, the lights are not very flattering. How about just a dim light? We all tend to look better that way.

I modeled a few things for my daughter. When I want to know the honest truth about how I look in something, I ask her. She will not hesitate to tell me exactly how it looks on me. She is better than any mirror.

Unlike Hubs, who will often say it looks "fine", just so we can leave the store. Shopping is not on his list of favorite things to do.

While there, we saw two very tired men, sitting on chairs, patiently waiting for their wives to finish trying on clothes. I think they may have even been holding purses.

Anyway, she wanted me to try on this one very flowery, fuchsia, silky shirt. She swore it would look great on me. I had my doubts.

She then proceeded to laugh at me, because it made me look like a whale. A very flowery whale. I don't see how that shirt would have looked good on anyone.

Why is it that things always look great on the hanger?

I tried on a very beautiful shirt with ruffles. It made me look like a flapper. With wide arm holes. What is with that? How big of an arm hole do they think we need anyway?

One very attractive swing coat, had enough material to be a tablecloth. Back on the rack you go.

I then tried on a shirt that she dubbed "The Animal Kingdom". She joked that it had all the patterns of the jungle on it. She told me that I absolutely should not even try it on.

It looked great on me. Even she thought so.

Too bad it wasn't the price I thought it was.

We had a great time, trying on clothes, and making fun of the way we looked in things. At times we were laughing so hard, I almost fell over.

Then, a thought occurred to me. The day had come. The day when I look forward to shopping with my girls.

It was not always this way. I remember times when I would just wait for Hubs to come home, so I could go shopping by myself, in peace.

This daughter in particular, was quite the handful to take shopping. She would hide between the clothes racks, making my heart race trying to find her.

She would roll around on the floor.

She would try to stand up on the seat in the grocery cart, every time my back was turned.

One time, she was having a tantrum so bad at the "W" store, that a manager came up to me and harshly asked me what was wrong with her.

Taking her to restaurants was equally fun. Several times we spent more time in the bathroom than at the table. I refused to leave until she could behave herself. I told her that people were there to enjoy a nice, quiet meal, and did not want to hear her screaming.

If you are one of those mothers, who are deep in the throws of toddler hood, and you think you will never enjoy shopping with your kids, let me reassure you. The day WILL come.

You will want your daughter to go shopping with you.

After all, she is a fun person to be around.

Not to mention, she has great taste in clothes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Forgot to put the pic on. Go here and read all of the other great answers to this weeks Hodgepodge!

Post Holiday Hodgepodge

1. What is the most useful book in your house?
The Bible, but I don't really need the book itself to read it anymore. In fact, I like to take a verse or two, and read them online, because it will show what it means in all the different translations.

2. What's worse-being too hot or too cold?
I don't like being either! LOL But, if I had to say which is worse, I would say too hot. You can always put more clothes on, but there are only so many you can take off ;)

3. Share something that made you smile this past weekend.
Seeing my friend's little boy so excited to ride in Hubs "hot rod". We took a picture of him sitting in it, and he is so tiny, you can't even see him in the picture! Ha!

4. How do you like your hamburgers? Or don't you?
I like my hamburgers well done, NO pink. With cheese, please. Hold the bun.

5. What's your summer beach read? If it's not summer in your part of the world then tell us what book you're
reading in front of the fire while sipping hot cocoa.
I read so many books, I can't keep track of them all! Currently, I am reading "Eric Liddell: Pure Gold" by David McCasland. It's a biography of the Olympic champion who inspired "Chariots Of Fire". I enjoy reading books about missionaries. He was a missionary to China, but also won a gold medal in the Paris Olympics in 1924.

6. How was your birthday celebrated when you were a kid?
We always had a party, with cake, ice cream, and presents. It was usually just family. My Mom always let
us choose a special "birthday dinner". I do this tradition with my own family too. They always look forward to getting to choose their own special meal.

7. What's something that is totally uncool that you love anyway?
I love listening to music from the 80's and 90's. A lot of the songs bring back memories.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My Mom is over today, and we were just talking about how it used to be when I was a little girl. She was telling me that she only spent $40 every two weeks on groceries for a family of 5. When I say "groceries" this includes everything. Toiletries, soap, dog food, etc. $20 per week. Times were tight. I knew we weren't the wealthiest of families, but back then, I didn't know how bad things really were. My Dad worked hard, but there was never a lot of money for extras. My Mom stayed home with us kids. I appreciate the sacrifices they made so she could stay home with us.

My Mom made all our food from scratch. We always had homemade cookies, because they were cheaper to make than store bought ones. I remember kids begging me to bring extra to school with my lunch, so they could have some. Their Moms didn't make homemade ones. They only got store bought ones.

We didn't have a lot of extras when I was a kid, but I had a good childhood, filled with the thing that mattered the

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How To Remove Sunscreen From Hair

We had a wonderful holiday weekend, filled with food, fellowship, and fun. And....sunscreen.

Sunscreen is a very important part of summertime fun. No one wants to be "that" mother who allows her children to get burnt to a crisp because they forgot to apply the sunscreen.

So, the kids went swimming, after properly applying water-proof sunscreen. We went home, where everyone got a shower. The next day, I noticed that daughter #2's hair looked a little greasy. She washed it several more times, but it still was looking like she hadn't gotten a bath in about a year.

Just on one spot of her head though. One very greasy spot.

I came to the conclusion that she somehow, must have gotten some sunscreen in her hair.

I Googled "how to remove sunscreen from hair".

How did we ever survive without Google? How did we tolerate not knowing something immediately? It's a life saver, I tell ya.

Someone recommended using a vinegar rinse. Another person said that hadn't worked out so well. Another suggestion was just to lather, rinse, repeat. Ummm.....did that. Still greasy.

Then, I came across a wise person on who suggested using good old Dawn dish soap, making sure not to get it in their eyes.

Now, I knew that Dawn was used to "degrease" things, and has even been used on animals that have come in contact with oil.

I had successfully removed a grease stain from Hubs dress pants with it.

Just never thought to use it as a shampoo.

I figured, why not? We might as well give it a try.

We washed her hair like we normally would, only instead of shampoo, we used the Dawn. Then, scrubbed thoroughly.

And, what do you know! Squeaky, clean, non-greasy hair!

Apparently, since it has a degreaser in it, it degreases hair too. I also read that you can use it to get rid of shampoo build-up, instead of those pricey clarifying shampoos.

I wish I had known about this when daughter #3 was a toddler. She had decided to play in the Vaseline, and was covered with it from head to toe. She even plugged the sink after she tried washing it off of her hands. She left the water running, and this caused a small flood in the bathroom, which leaked down into the basement ceiling.

Dawn sure would have come in handy then to help remove the globs of Vaseline that greased her hair. If I had only known about Google....

Sunday, July 3, 2011


We sang this song at church today. This happens to be one of my favorite songs, and every time we sing it, it makes me choke up a bit. Certain songs just speak to me, and this is one of them.

We started a new series at church about what it means to be "radical". When we think of the word radical, we think of someone who is crazy, or obsessed. But, do you know that the word comes from the Latin word "radicalis" which means, root; from it's root.

From it's root.

"Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him."

Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)

"May your root go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God."

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)

"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit."

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

I want to be like a tree planted by the water. I want my roots to reach deep. I don't want to be a wishy-washy Christian. I want to stand strong in times of trouble.

I want Christ in me to shine through.

I want Jesus to be my everything.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Color Purple

Today, my oldest daughter came back from Summer camp, and my middle daughter came back from camping with friends.

As I am sure you have just been losing sleep over all of the unanswered questions I posted about the camp letters, I thought I would answer them for you.

"How was your day?"
Which day? She was there for four days.

"Are you having fun?"
Yes, she did. I even signed the permission slip to allow her to go on the brand new zip line. My hand felt a bit shaky signing it, after reading about all the possible disasters that could come from her riding it. I figured, that if I allowed her to go to Cedar Point, and ride all of those death-defying roller coasters, what's a little zip line? I know they have to cover their rears by posting all of the potential dangerous possibilities (equipment could malfunction, she could run into someone or something, fall, break bones, or even.....*gasp* DIE) but do they know what that does to a Mama's heart when she signs those slips?

Moving right along....

"Did you make any new friends?"
Yes, she did. Mainly girls. They strongly discourage "purpling" between the girls and boys. What is purpling, you ask? Good question. I had no idea either. The girls are red/pink, and the boys are blue. If you put those colors together, what do you get? You got it....purple. They are not supposed to flirt with, or hang around with each other. My daughter assures me that it happens anyway, but hey, the camp at least tries.

While there, she also rode a horse. This is something she does every time, and yes, I have to sign a permission slip. Now, for this one, the potential danger actually seems more real. My dear Mother (I realize that the word mother is not supposed to be capitalized, but in my mind, she is so VERY special, it deserves a capital "M") was actually thrown off of a horse once (I believe she was around the age of 12 and was possibly at camp, but please don't quote me on this), and ended up looking UP at the horse from underneath it. Got that picture in your mind? too. Thankfully, other than a stubborn horse or two that refused to walk, and would rather eat the weeds, and shoved her into thorn bushes, we have not experienced any mishaps.

No one got the flu this time at camp, and that was very fortunate. Last year, when my middle daughter went to camp, they experienced a flu epidemic, and she came down with it on the very last day. Other children had to go home before her. She is a tough one. We had to pick her up in the main area, which was being used as a make-shift hospital of sorts. They had cots laid out, and children were on them, with garbage cans next to them. It was sad to see my little girl, just lying there, all sick.

My middle daughter (still haven't decided whether or not to use their "real" names, or make up some cool ones for them, so for now, this will have to do) also had a wonderful time camping with friends. Yes, even though I do not like camping, we have kind friends who take my kids along with them :) Last year, she almost had to go to the hospital because she had a severe allergic reaction to some sort of bug bite, and her arm had a baseball-sized lump on it (no joke). She also fell down some rocks, and severely gouged her knee. Good times. She still has a nasty scar from that. But, thankfully, this time she came home, and other than a few mosquito bites, is fine.

I am now washing the mountains of laundry that the two girls brought back with them. If you need me, I will be chained to the washing machine.