Friday, January 28, 2011

Not much to say

This has been a pretty uneventful week. There was only one day of school then a teacher work day, and 3 days off for snow. Thankfully, we have it pretty easy keeping ourselves busy with arts and crafts and games. The kids have been really great, even though Cooper is cutting her 2 year molars and has a sinus infection, and Wyatt is also cutting some teeth. The kids have made a snowman and done some more sledding, and there is chatter about more 'significant snow accumulation' the beginning of next week. Now that Courtney and Cooper have started (Courtney is done) with some antibiotics maybe we can all start to feel better soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just Dance!

We bought the kids 'Just Dance 2' for the Wii for Christmas. They have so much fun with it that we have made it part of our bed time routine. Usually Wyatt gets into it a little more, but he was sleepy tonight. I will try to get a better one up soon. The name of the song is 'Iko Iko' and it was featured in the movie 'Rain Man', it's one of those songs that you don't realize you know until you hear it. But my kids think the name of the song is 'Micheal Michael all the way'. They get to pick out what songs they dane to and they have their favorites, and this is up at the top of the list. It really is the simple things that make us truly happy.

Aunt Amber's and Grammy's birthdays

We went up to Winchester last night to help Aunt Amber celebrate her birthday. Since the birthday person (or 'happy birthday girl' as Cooper was calling her last night) gets to choose the menu for the traditional birthday dinner, we had Popeye's chicken. It was a great choice on Amber's part because all 3 little ones ate 'with no fighting' as we like to say.

Uncle Bubba, who is a wonderful chef but hates to bake, made a very delicious cake for everyone to enjoy. The kids played, the adults chatted and passed around Baby Zee. We took a picture of all the kids so that I could make a present for Grammy's 75th birthday which is next week. I also took a video of everybody singing Happy Birthday that Aunt Joanie is going to show Grammy on their lunch date next weekend.

The most heart warming part of the night to me came when I had Missy Zee laying in my lap. Wyatt walked right up to me, looked at the Baby, looked me in the face, and then it happened...! He layed his little head down (that's how he gives hugs) and started humming to her. Then he just walked away, but he kept coming back and 'loving on the Baby'. It didn't matter who was holding Zee, if you asked Wyatt "Where's the Baby?" he would go over and 'hug' her. It was so precious, every time he would do it, the whole room would "Awwwww".

To say that this weekend has been difficult on me would be an understatement, but I'll save that for later.

Happy birthday Amber and Grammy. We love you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I'm not the type of parent who will usually say "do xyz and I'll give you something special". I am the "do xyz, because I'm your mother and I told you to". I have to say it works about 90-95% of the time, and that's OK with me. Here's how we deal with Courtney's school work: it's all about the amount of effort she puts in, not the final grade. We start to get concerned when she either 'has no homework' or 'finished it in school' only to bring home C's and D's on test and quizzes. NOT COOL!

We told her (at the end of 7th grade) that because she had been on the Honor Roll for the entire year, that we would get her a new cell phone (when we renewed our contract in January 2011), and let her text if she stayed on the HR. Well, we got a math interim right before the winter break and all was well...except her math was a 75. That's a low C by the grading scale used around here. So we had a talk about asking for help, and studying more for tests and quizzes. And she did, she studied with Jeff, got help at school, but it looks like she will be getting a C (by only 2 points) for her semister grade. Needless to say, she was not happy.

So Jeff and I talked, and we came to an agreement. If she can get an 85% or better on her exam, she can still have the texting. I had to fight here on this one. When you really take a good look at the improvement for the first half of the grading period she had a 75. But if you sit and do the math (which we did) for the second half she got an 84%. Unfortunately, it didn't bring it up enough to get her on the HR, but I had to make the fight for her effort.

With the exam scarring the ever-loving-crap out of her, I knew we had to motivate her somehow without just saying "OK, well you didn't give it your all the whole time, didn't study for the exam, but here you go anyway have a new phone and text all your friends". Um, no way. So we told her, study this weekend get an 85% on the exam and we can reward the effort.

I have NEVER seen a kid have such a 180* turn around. She and Jeff spent about 3 hours working problems on Saturday, and I would say about a good 5 or 6 (broken up through out the day) on Sunday, and she knew it. I mean she KNEW it all! So with Monday being a holiday, we did some light reviewing, I'd say maybe an hour, and girl was ready! Then school got cancelled for ice, so she got another day. Jeff threw some problems at her, but she didn't even blink. Girl has this Algebra thing down cold.

Now if can only get her to take the stinking thing...I have never hoped for school to be open in my life, but I really hope she can go tomorrow before all this new found confidence disappears as magically as it found her.

No matter what the final grade, I cannot say that she could have given it any more effort. Unfortunately, we have to stick to our guns on the 85% thing. I do not see any reason why an 85% would be a problem for her...but I have to have a back up plan to reward the amount of effort that she has demonstrated for the last four days.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

PJ Day

Jilly had PJ day at school on Friday. And as usual, I had to treat the two girly monkeys like twins. And let's face it, with Wyatt refusing to wear socks, he has spent most of this really cold winter running errands around the town of Leesburg in his PJ's. Both Jilly and Cooper wanted me to wear my PJ's too, and I would have if it wasn't 27 degrees out. I know I would have frozen in my strapy tank top and shorts! We were able to get a few pictures, Enjoy!

Resume building...

To say that I am disappointed would be a very large understatement. Three times in the last month we have been told 'significant snow fall accumulations' and the most we ever saw was three inches. But the girls love being out in the snow playing. While I was trying to reclaim our house from Christmas (putting away the decor, taking down the tree, finding homes for all the new toys...) Jeff took Jilly and Cooper out to play in the maybe inch and a half of snow we got last Saturday on the 8th. But you have got to give him credit...he made it fun. We have a dog leash that splits towards the bottom so that you can walk two dogs with only one leash...but I'll bet the company did not know how perfectly it would work to turn a Daddy into a sled dog! Jeff spent close to two hours pulling the girls around in the front yard. Everybody was tickled, nobody wanted to come back in the house, and we are all waiting for more snow.

Now Jeff can add sled dog to his resume, along with human jungle gym, creepy-crawly smusher and the million other things that make him such a great Daddy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, new me

This holiday season flew by, just like it always does. There never seems to be enough time in any day to get everything done, but we manage. Trying to keep track of an increasingly social teenager, and 3 little monkeys who are in constant motion can be challenging. Add to that trying to nurture a marriage, running a business on my own, helping run another business, then there's the laundry and dishes and such...

My kids are my first priority, so much so that sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I am not just a Mom. With every New Year comes new challenges. One of my challenges is to try to balance my life better. My kids are still going to be my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night, and the biggest factor in any decision I make, but during the day I'm going to steal a few moments here and there to focus more on the things that make me 'not a mommy'. Another challenge for me is to live for me and my family (definition of 'my family'-those who live in this house) and stop trying to live up to other people's ridiculous expectations of what I should be. I have come to the conclusion that I am doing the best that I can in making the best decisions for me and my family, and if that is not enough for you, too bad, that's your problem and not mine.

Thankfully, both the businesses I am involved with I am very passionate about, and love deeply.

(Get ready, here come the shameless plugs...) To see what The Bug n Bean Store has been up to you will have to visit the website But don't fall in love with the site itself, we are currently undergoing construction and will have a brand new look shortly.

As for my personal venture you can go to to see some of my creations. Here is one project that I recently put together that you can take a sneak peek at.

I have four truly caring and compassionate kids that could not make me more proud. And a husband who could not be a better father in any way. The businesses I have chosen to be a part of give me a joy that I can't put in words. And the people I choose to have in my life are priceless. I am blessed!