Tuesday, November 3, 2009

McKenzie Turns 1

It's someone's 1st Birthday. Yep, can you believe it? A whole year has passed! She wasn't supposed to be here and we are enjoying EVERY SINGLE MOMENT! She is a true blessing.

Physically she is doing awesome! She has had a lot of surgeries this year and her attitude has always remained amazing. She smiles and giggles after her treatments. Even when she must be in pain, she is happy. She is even starting to speak, which is hard when you don't have a pallet. She goes in for her pallet surgery on November 11th. Please be praying because there is swine flu everywhere at the hospital she is going too, it's so bad that they may cancel the surgery. She truly is trying to speak though so we need to get it done so speaking with be easier for her. Her first words were mama and dada and her knew word "I love you". Shocking, and I didn't believe it, but I spent all evening on Friday with her and it's true! You can tell she is told that constantly. If you look at her and say "I love you". She looks right back and says "La Lu". So cute!!!
Thank you guys for your prayers and support this past year. We went through so much in such a short amount of time. You guys helped me so much and I appreciate it!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Invitation

Tonight I decided to sit down and share my thoughts surrounding our house fire. They aren't too put together, but after a crazy day, and a day of trying desperately to process my feelings, it's all I have. I really didn't want to do two posts of the same thing, so I wanted to invite those of you that loved us through that time period to visit our family blog. It's also an amazing little girls' 1st birthday on Friday and I will be doing some posts on her as well :)

If you are interested in the link, please email me at heatherschaos@gmail.com and I will send it to you.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I think Zach is going to be a scientist. He's always testing things, looking at them from other angles, trying to find new uses for things. For example, he was hanging out with me in the bathroom while I put make-up on when he found Tim's old contact case. It's one with lids that separate completely from the case itself, and he took them both off and started running water in the case where the contacts belong. He twirled it around over the sink, letting bits slosh out. He did this for awhile, wordlessly and with great concentration. Then he filled both containers again and, without hesitation, drank the water from one. At my exclamation, he spit it out, filled both sides again and put the lids back on.

Yesterday I went into the guest half-bath on the first floor, which is more like The Boys' bathroom than it is for guests, as they use it more than anyone else. On the shelf is one of those Renuzit cone-shaped air fresheners that is filled with the scented gel that slowly evaporates; this one is white peony scent (though the stuff is red). I noticed it was sitting on the edge of the sink, closed. "Who closed this?" I asked as The Boys looked on and I opened it back up. Out gushed water and the liquefied guts of the air freshener. "I did it," Zach piped up. "I wanted to see what would happen."

Of course you did.

I also found a 4 Him Christmas cassette tape, unraveled and tucked way back on the bottom of the entertainment center. After some investigation I found that Zach had pulled the tape out, then vacuumed it up. When that didn't work as he'd planned, he pulled it free from the vacuum cleaner and pulled more tape out-- just for good measure.

There's a bunch to be said of life with boys, and the first is that it's never dull!

BTW, I've now done my 2nd show as a Pampered Chef consultant and it's going pretty well. I have 2 more shows this week and 3 more scheduled for October so far. It's a nice change of pace for me and I'm enjoying making money for the first time in years (other than on eBay but that doesn't really count).

Have you taken a look at my reading list for the year? I'm very excited to be close to on-track for my 50 book yearly goal. I'm at 31 books so far and I've calculated I should be at 39, so I do have some catching up to do, but I think I'll make it! Yay! I should reward myself if I make it, huh? Any suggestions?

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Monday, September 14, 2009

So my commitment to blog at least every-other-day has flown out the window. Had you noticed?!

I do have an excuse for the weekend: I was at a church women's retreat. It was fun, especially because I got put in a room with the other 3 Americans that went and we all went to bed at 10pm while the rest of the ladies cackled and howled into the wee hours of the morning. We were up at 5:45 and by the time we were freshly showered and made up everyone else was yawning, waiting in long lines for one of the 4 showers. Ha! It's the only way someone like me survives these things: sleep and shower.

And now for the excuse that will keep me away from the computer till at least Wednesday: I've become a Pampered Chef consultant. Or, more accurately, I will be one after my first show tomorrow night. I Am Nervous!!! And it's not like I know this nice gal that's agreed to let me learn what I'm doing while she and her friends look on; she's the hairdresser I went to for the first time last month! Then on Saturday I have my second show, for a good friend who is helping me out while earning oodles and oodles of free and half-priced high-quality kitchen products. (How'd you like that plug for the biz?!) Then 2 more shows next week, and 2 more the week after... Hopefully the bookings continue and I figure out what I'm doing quickly.

Anyway, I'm in the last minute panic of trying to learn what all the products are called and what they do and why they're better than your average Walmart stuff. I also have to think up a snazzy presentation and make sure I have all the forms and do-dads I need. Oy. I'm off to the store right now to get name tags and pens, and maybe a food scale (cuz they use those here).

So while I'm temporarily away from the blog, keep me in mind. Say little prayers for me, for confidence and grace. I'll be back Wednesday with a summary of the nights successes and challenges.

;) Ciao!

~REESE (I accidentally erased my little name image, and I don't want to go through the necessary steps to reclaim it.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do It Again, Lord

Dear Lord,

We're still hoping we'll wake up. We're still hoping we'll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream.

But we won't, will we, Father? What we saw was not a dream. Planes did gouge towers. Flames did consume our fortress. People did perish. It was no dream and, dear Father, we are sad.

There is a ballet dancer who will no longer dance and a doctor who will no longer heal. A church has lost her priest, a classroom is minus a teacher. Cora ran a food pantry. Paige was a counselor and Dana, dearest Father, Dana was only three years old. (Who held her in those final moments?)

We are sad, Father. For as the innocent are buried, our innocence is buried as well. We thought we were safe. Perhaps we should have known better. But we didn't.

And so we come to you. We don't ask you for help; we beg you for it. We don't request it; we implore it. We know what you can do. We've read the accounts. We've pondered the stories and now we plead, Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord.

Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again.

And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

You changed Daniel from a captive into a king's counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.

Most of all, do again what you did at Calvary. What we saw here on that Tuesday, you saw there on that Friday. Innocence slaughtered. Goodness murdered. Mothers weeping. Evil dancing. Just as the ash fell on our children, the darkness fell on your Son. Just as our towers were shattered, the very Tower of Eternity was pierced.

And by dusk, heaven's sweetest song was silent, buried behind a rock.

But you did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After three days in a dark hole, you rolled the rock and rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us a September Easter.

We thank you, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Disaster has done what discussion could not. Doctrinal fences have fallen. Republicans are standing with Democrats. Skin colors have been covered by the ash of burning buildings. We thank you for these hours of unity.

And we thank you for these hours of prayer. The Enemy sought to bring us to our knees and succeeded. He had no idea, however, that we would kneel before you. And he has no idea what you can do.

Let your mercy be upon our President, Vice President, and their families. Grant to those who lead us wisdom beyond their years and experience. Have mercy upon the souls who have departed and the wounded who remain. Give us grace that we might forgive and faith that we might believe.

And look kindly upon your church. For two thousand years you've used her to heal a hurting world.

Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

Through Christ, Amen.

As written by Max Lucado for America Prays, a national prayer vigil held Saturday, September 14, 2001. Permission to copy not only granted but encouraged.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Summer

I'm back too :) Thanks so much for being so understanding about Reese and I needing to take a little bloggie break. We really needed it, but I did miss you.

I had an ah-ha moment (you know one of those moments where you get smacked in the face?) the beginning of June which sent me on a whole new direction for my summer. I went to a co-workers high school graduation and you know what I realized? Amanda only has four years left at home. Four years. Do you know how fast four years goes? In a blink of an eye, my baby will be going her own way. I was shocked that I hadn't realized it. The six months prior to June had been filled with total chaos with the fire and everything that entailed, moving back home and helping with my sister in any way possible. It was a whirlwind and I realized that I had not been enjoying my kids in the manner I was meant too.

Dan and I filled our summer with as much fun as possible. We did so much stuff, especially for us, as we tend to be homebodies. We camped several times, went on two vacations, picnics with family, walks in the park, playing in the park until late at night...the list really goes on. I have been ignoring the computer as much as possible, which at times feels like I am ignoring Reese and I hate that (and vow to do better). I have learned so much about my kids, have fallen madly in love with my husband and adore our family so much more then I did back in June.

Amanda is now a freshman, Mark has entered middle school and McKenna is a big second grader. There are definitely more moments where Amanda is learning who she is and at times that means testing us. It's so hard. She is so fun, loving and kind and then there are the teenage moments where I literally want to scream "who the heck are you???" but we get through them.

Saturday I had another ah-ha moment. I had the privilege of going to a David Cook concert. I love David Cook and couldn't believe I actually got to go to a concert. My friend that went with me also has a daughter who is a year older then Amanda and on the way there we were chatting about how hard it is to let our girls go and let them grow up. They are at an age where there is so much we can't do for them. They have to figure out their feelings, beliefs and values for themselves. Anyway, if you are familiar with David Cook, you may know the song "Come Back To Me". I love that song, but right when it started my friend looked over at me and said "this song is a dedication to our girls". Can I tell you I lost it right there, absolutely bawling lost it. I know as a parent of these teenagers, you have to let go in a sense. You can not lecture, be in their face or demand they believe as you do. Their lives become more of a conversation where you must listen and you must respect where they are coming from, it's much more give and take at this point. I can not throw out my beliefs without being willing to listen to hers. I have to trust that I've laid a good foundation and that she'll, in a sense, "come back to me".

If you are interested, here is a link to go see a video of him singing live.

Here is how I spent my summer, loving on these guys!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Rasing a Man

Another first day of school and all is well. What more could I ask for?

Today was Ian's first day of Reception (Kindergarten). The way it works here is the kid starts Nursery (Preschool) in the school year they turn four-years-old. Then when they start Reception, the ones who turned 4 later in the school year- like Ian did in June- they go half days until January. It gives them a few months to age a bit before jumping in full time. So though it was the first day, he knew most of the kids from Nursery last year, plus he has the same teacher Zach had last year so he feels like he already knows her, and it's only a few hours a day anyway.

Ian is a sort of enigma: clingy and attached to me like a last born should be, yet very independent and unruffled when it comes to leaving me in times like the first day of school. He's shy, yet bold. Whiny and brave. Try to detach him from my leg while I make dinner and you might as well catch the Loch Ness Monster and make hors d'ouerves out of him. But when I walked him to his classroom this morning- past the hordes of thrashing children screaming "Mum, don't leave me!"- he walked calmly to the board, found his name, dropped it in the box and waved a silent good-bye to me. He could have lived without the kiss I planted on his cheek and he didn't even notice that I stood on one side of the room and watched him looking lost and brave and confident for a few minutes.

I was very curious about his day, so I peppered him with questions on the walk home.

Me: "Ian, what did you do at school today?"

Ian, calm and happy as can be: "I don't know."

M: "Okay. What did Miss G say to you?"

I: "I don't know. I forgott-ed."

M: "Did you play games? What did you play?"

I: "I don't know."

M: "Who did you play with?"

I: "I don't know."

M: "Are there kids in your class from last year? Which ones?"

I: "I don't know. I forgott-ed."

Is this a man in the making or what?! I've got to teach him the art of conversation or he's going to make some unsuspecting girl who fell for his huge puppy dog eyes really, really miserable! I did get 2 answers out of him:

Me: "What did you eat for snack?"

Ian: "Apples."

Me: "Did you eat your snot?"

Ian: "Yes."

At least he was honest...

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lora has a giveaway going on over at her blog. Not much time, so QUICK! Click here!

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The Hiatus Ends!

It’s happened: the summer has passed and the fall is here. ‘Cause we all know that fall doesn’t start on September 21, or whatever, it starts when the kids go back to school. For this reason I was able to delay fall for a week; The Boys go back tomorrow, while the older kids started a week ago. Sadly, the weather runs on American school time. It was cold and windy most of last week. Then again, that’s England for you.

Since the hiatus was officially for the summer, I thought I’d come out of hiding. That’s the beauty of the blogosphere as opposed to real life: you can be absent and the dishes don’t stack up, the garbages don’t overflow, the food in the fridge doesn’t go bad, there’s no stack of mail under the mail slot. It’s a gorgeous thing. And I’ve enjoyed my laid-back summer.

So much so, in fact, that I’ve been dancing on the edge of making the final decision to quit blogging. I jumped into the blogosphere to escape my loneliness in Germany. It provided a creative outlet at a time when I lived in the middle of a farming village where no one spoke English, and I was half-an-hour from base. I was crazy with all the things I wanted to say rolling around in my head but no one but toddlers and field spiders to tell them to. I began throwing my thoughts into the eWorld and finding some peace. Now, when I feel verbally antsy I’m more likely to call my friend Javare’ than take to the laptop and create a post. I don’t need to blog like I once did.

But after much soul searching I’ve discovered that while I don’t need to blog, I want to. I love my internet friends and some of them have moved from simply commenters to Facebook friends and people I exchange the occasional email with. I have yet to actually meet someone I’ve only “met” online but I think I will someday. I always have room for more friends. And while I make friends and build relationships, I force myself to write. I used to write all the time, but once I hit my 30’s the brain juices dried up and my mind is literally blank when I attempt to come up with a topic for blogging. Hopefully, blogging will restore my mind to its pre-30’s state when words were my life and topics to write on were so plentiful I woke up at night with ideas. At the very least, I’d like to prevent myself from being totally brain-dead by 40. My goals are fairly small.

So that’s the goal and this is the commitment: I’ll blog for this school year at least. Beyond that, well, we’ll see. ‘Cause, really, with the ability to disappear without my picture ending up on the back of a milk carton, the possibilities are endless.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Thank you!

I need to interrupt our little hiatus to tell my blogging friends a great big


A year ago on Wednesday started our traumatic events leading up to the birth of our beautiful McKenzie. As you know, things did not start out well. You can see here where Reese knew we were headed into some tough times. I started to tell you a little about what was going on here and another update here. You guys have walked this road with us. You have been there through the many updates, the frantic birth, the surgeries and all the praise reports along the way.

Here we are a year later and we are enjoying every moment with McKenzie. She has been a fighter since the day you she decided to be born - six weeks early! I am so thankful for all she has accomplished and how far she has come. My sister is a star mom and takes care of McKenzie's every need. God has certainly answered prayers with regards to McKenzie. He has shown who is in control and that He will guide us.

So, thank you! I can't tell you how much our family has appreciated your prayers and support. I really want you to know that it has meant alot to me.

Here is our girl now. She has glasses now, although rarely wears them as she just pulls them off. She is such a happy girl and laughs and talks all the time. She is slightly behind other kids her age, but not by much. She really is doing so well!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled hiatus! Enjoy the rest of summer...school is right around the corner :(

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Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Hard To Be A Parent (Revisited)

As you can tell, I seem to have issues right now with posting. It's not that I don't want too, it's that I just can't think up anything great to say. Reese and I have had a couple of different blogs over the years and one of them has been saved so I decided to look over there and you know what, on that blog, it was mostly Reese as well. I must frequently have writer's block. As you can tell from my different posts, writing and grammar are definitely not my strong points.

I did find this post though. Reading this helps me remember why we blog. If I had not written it down, I would have forgotten this precious moment with my son. It was written the end of March, 2007.

Last night I sat on the bathroom floor with my soon to be 9 year old son, Mark, and watched as the tears poured down his face. He was crying because he can't remember his cousin anymore. James passed away when he was 19 months old due to a genetic disease called Menkes. Mark was 7 at the time. He says he just wishes he could remember something, but he can't. That's so hard. Mark adored James and spent so much time with him..but, he just can't remember.

He's finally asking questions...tough ones. Ones that I ask and have no answers for. We talked about all the wonderful lessons we learned and how we would not have ever learned those lessons if it weren't for James. We learned that every person, no matter what the disability, deserved love and acceptance. They have amazing personalities that shine through their eyes and their limited movements. We learned unconditional love. But, then you have to ask..why James..why did we have to learn those lessons at the sacrifice of James? Tough questions for an 9 year old, tough questions for a mom still muddling through some of those same issues.

It's hard being a parent. It's hard to watch your child suffer and question life issues. At the same time, it's wonderful to watch them learn about life and to find stability in a God that loves and saves them. One of the best lessons we learned is that God will not take away all of our tough times, but he will definitely walk through them with us. He sees the big picture. James is already with Him, and we will be eventually. Maybe in the end, that is all that matters.

There are also amazing fun times, times that I am thankful for and still wouldn't change but, again, not an easy thing to understand.Mark is a wonderful child. He's extremely sensitive and loving. I just have to keep praying that he will keep talking and expressing himself, that he won't bottle any of his feelings up. What a blessing it is to be his mom!

Recently I read somewhere that every trial we go through prepares us for what is going to happen next in life. I really don't think we would have felt ready for McKenzie if it hadn't been for James. There would have been a "trial" period of figuring out how to deal with a child with disabilities, one who looks different and may not be "normal". McKenzie was loved and accepted instantly. We already know the benefit of loving completely a child that may not be "normal". We didn't have to think about it or weigh the risks. We learned alot through James and are learning through McKenzie now. He paved the way for her into our family. He did so much in his little life and I'm thankful for every moment spent with him, every lesson learned, every angry grunt he gave me and most of all, I'm glad God chose us. Despite the pain, I'm glad I was his aunt and I'm equally glad to be McKenzie's.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Michelin Baby

Heather's husband Dan is always uploading funny pictures to his Facebook page. This one I had to repost because it made me laugh out loud!

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quotes That Have Spoken To Me Lately

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

~George Bernard Shaw

It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.

~Frederic D. Huntington, in Forum magazine, 1890

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pictures From My London Trip Yesterday

People all over the world will do anything for some cash, as this blue man deftly demonstrates. This is only one of many examples of people playing instruments for money. There was a hand-less man in the Tube station, strumming his guitar with a pick strapped to the end of his stub. Isn't there any other way for a one-handed man to make some dough?

This bloke became a dog for money. It must have been insanely hot under that blanket.

Kristine poses by the artful graffiti. This was under a footbridge, where a small skate park was. It actually looked pretty cool!

My friend Javare, posing with me in front of the London Eye. This is right by The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. A short walk away is Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square.

Happy Independence Day! Hope you all have a safe and fun weekend.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

A Ramble

I've been falling down on my job. I was supposed to post on Wednesday but after work I headed to Portland to take a photography class with a friend. I didn't get home til 11:30 at night. I had every intention of doing a post, but when I got home I found out the kids had let the laptop die and I just didn't feel like messing with it. Terrible excuse, I know. Other than that, things have just been typical summer crazy.

I've decided to just ramble tonight. I'm super excited for the 4th. Normally I really don't care, I'm not a big fireworks person but this year I've talked my whole family into going to a town nearby that has a good fireworks show. I can't wait to watch my nieces (ages 3 and 4) get their first real taste of fireworks. I'm sure they will be in awe. What about you guys? Do you have any plans? Do you have any 4th of July traditions?

McKenzie is all healed from her surgeries, and looks great. I can't get enough of this smile, and she freely gives them out!
We are starting to gear up for our camping trips. I can't wait! I am taking the kids camping on July 10th and Dan will join us on the 11th and we will stay until the 13th. We love to camp and it's such a great way for our family to reconnect. Dan works completely opposite schedules from the kids and I and even though we do get to see each other we don't spend good quality time together. Then we will be home for a couple of weeks and leave August 2nd for the beach. This will be the first time that we try camping at the beach but we've heard of a great place to go and I can't wait to give it a try.
I hope you all have an amazing fourth!! Have fun with your families!!

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Ever-Evolving Hair

Getting a hair cut and color can be awfully anticlimactic. I think and plan and think and plan, looking forward to that one hour where everything changes. And then, slowly the bleach is painted in and the rinsing happens and the cutting moves along at its slow and steady pace. After a hour-and-a-half, I look in the mirror and it's done; no fireworks, no rumbling announcements, just a quiet transition from one idea of myself to another. The only time it's a big event is when it doesn't turn out right, and then the event tends to be after the cut/color: the tears, the wailing, the hiding under the covers till I fall into a fitful, nightmare plagued sleep. (An exaggeration? Maybe!)

Since I was in Oregon and Heather helped me turn my black hair into a shocking orange mess with the assistance of bleach in a box covered with lies (black to platinum blonde in 90 minutes? Nope!), I've contemplated going back to my original blonde hair. When I asked my hairstylist Pauline about it, she said I couldn't take it from the current red ("ginger" it's called here) to light blonde successfully. She suggested "heavy highlights" for a couple of visits this summer, eventually switching over completely to blonde. The deed was done this morning.

What do you get when you mix blonde and red? Orange! But it's ok, I still like it. It's kind of funky, which is fine with me. I'm ok with processes.

Please keep in mind that it's been very hot here, about 90 degrees. That might not seem hot to you, but it's not normal here and without air conditioning and with a high humidity level it's miserable. I look like it's miserably hot!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Food For Thought: Why You Are Where You Are

Have you thought about why you are where you are? Unless you're living in direct disobedience to a specific call of The Lord, you haven't just randomly dropped down by accident in a town/city/base/state/country. You've been planted there by God's divine wisdom. The people you come into contact with aren't there by accident either, and neither are they in your path by coincidence. You were born for such a time as this.

For some of us, that's comforting only in the way that we know there is a larger purpose and plan behind the trials we are facing; for others of us that means we need to look hard and long at how we are spending the time God has allotted us where we are. Are you waking up every morning looking for the why in your "chance" meetings and dealings with people? Might there be more to it that what you have been willing to see up till this point?

Spend a moment at the foot of the throne of the Most High. Be humbled by His plan and the call He ordained for you before the dawn of time. Then stand up, walk out and be the light you were called to be.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Valuable Lesson

Dad has no clue how to dress Barbie.

This was definitely a "had to be there" moment. McKenna tied on Barbie's shirt way too tight and I couldn't undo it. She was sure her dad could and I warned her there was no way he would know how to take care of it. He sure took care of it his own way, he ripped it off and busted the straps. McKenna was almost in tears when she realized he had broke her Barbie shirt. Next thing you know she is telling him to put it back on her, so he ties it in a knot around her neck and there you have it. You can't really tell but it's kind of a halter type shirt and Dan just tied the the straps around her neck without putting the shirt all the way on, so it's just dangling around her neck. McKenna was NOT happy, not even a little bit.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fashion Show In My Back Yard

Is this the future trend among the young people?! It's highly favored among my youngest boys, as modeled here by Zac.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Mark's Thoughts

Today was my day to post. Reese and I are really trying to commit to keeping up with the blog because it is important to us. I had a really hard day at work. Things are just crazy. I asked my boss to figure out how to clone me so there could be an "at home" Heather and an "at work" Heather. I hate trying to find the balance and get it all done.

Here it is 9:30 p.m. and I had no idea what I was going to post about until Mark came in the room. He's such a funny kid. I had no intention of posting about Michael Jackson or his death. I have my own thoughts on it and it really doesn't matter what I think but one thing I didn't realize is how confusing Michael Jackson could be for our children. I mean, they didn't watch him "evolve".

Dan was watching part of MTV's tribute to MJ when Mark walks in and says "oh, is this about the boy Michael Jackson or the girl Michael Jackson?" Dan and I had no clue what he could be talking about so we tell him there is no girl MJ. He then says "What do you mean? He was once a black boy and turned into a white girl." Now, that's confusing, and looking at his pics I can see where Mark got that assumption.

They also showed MJ singing with Slash from Guns N Roses and Mark says "Hey, that's the guy from Guitar Hero" Dan told him that he was much more popular than Guitar Hero and Mark said "Why, because he has a funny hat, big hair and you can't see his face?" Uh, yeah Mark, that's why!

Truthfully, that conversation made me feel a little old. There is no way that Mark can understand at his age why MJ or Slash are popular because they are so different from the artists of today. It's kind of like when my mom had me listen to The Beatles and artists of her time. At 11, I just didn't get it...and, none were nearly as confusing as MJ.

I hope this doesn't come across disrespectful, because it's not my intent. Just a glimpse into my 11 year old's head.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Summer Reese Wears Dresses

There was a time in the not-so-distant past that the thought of wearing something that the majority of the population deemed ugly would have sent me into a panic. Not any more. With my 30's came a new-found confidence. Very little actually intimidates me as far as clothing is concerned. (Unless it's seriously immodest- I don't like to go there.)

I've wanted to find some dresses for the summer time; something flowing and airy, not too short (it gets awfully windy here), and low cost. I've dubbed this summer "The Summer That Reese Wears Dresses" but only had two that looked like they belonged outside a church. Today at the BX I decided to have a quick browse to try to expand my selection.

Since I've started a weird patchwork burn/suntan pattern on my shoulders and back, I decided to look for something strapless. Viola!

Sean's comment? "You're not going out in that are you?!"

Kristine's comments? "No comment." (Then she commented.) "You look like you're going to a luau." And: "I'm sitting here in the van. There's no way I'm going to be seen with you in that!."

Actually, as soon as I slipped it over my head in the fitting room I heard my friend Linda say (in her distinctive African-British accent), "I don't like it." She's very honest that way. She doesn't like the color of my hair either. But she loves me.

As for me:
  • Red hair? Bring it on!
  • Pigtails? Bring it on!
  • Wildly unpopular dress that drags the ground and is in a crazy design? Bring it on!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pizza Night

I don't cook. Most of you know that. In fact, I actually don't even enjoy eating, I mainly eat because obviously we have too. I really don't enjoy cooking. I have been really proud of myself because I have cooked dinner for the last two weeks straight, a true record for me.

For Dan's birthday my mom gave him a gift certificate and you know what that man did? He had me meet him for lunch and he spent all of his birthday money on me for kitchen stuff since I have been cooking. I bought a pizza pan (among other things) and last night I decided to give homemade pizza a try. I have always wanted to cook pizza at home but I have always been scared that I would ruin it and it would just be a waste of my time. I am pleased to announce that it turned out AMAZING and my family is now asking I do it every week.

Here was the kids' pepperoni pizza
Here was Dans

Here is mine (minus green stuff!)

I am seriously so pleased with myself. I'm sure those of you bakers are wondering what the big deal is, but to me this is huge and a way I can bless my family.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Useless Inventions

My oldest son was telling me about some useless inventions he and his friends had come up with (silent car alarms, solar powered nightlights), and it got me thinking about the truly useless inventions out there.

Like this: the contraption that keeps noodles from splatting your face while you slurp them.

Pure genius!

Click here for Time Online list the top 10 useless inventions. I'm digging the alarm equipped fork!

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