Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Patch visit (Robinson Family Farms)

On October 17th, it was a sunny Saturday (Google "sunny" if you have forgotten what that is) and we headed to Robinson Family Farms for an outing. We were hoping to go do free pumpkin patch activities at Outback Gardens, but we could not find our way there. As it turns out, apparently we missed the HUGE sign and pumpkins stacked on a stake by the sign because a truck passed us at the turn off obscuring our view and so forcing us to go to Robinson Family Farms that was further down the road where we had to pay (and if you want to do certain activities such as ride a pony around in a circle or launch pumpkins from a giant slingshot, there's an extra fee!) Admission along gets pretty pricy when you have 3 kids and both parents, but we had a fun day.
Shiloh's favorite activity was definately petting and holding the bunnies. Isaac's favorite was the hayride, which he did twice (once together with us and once by himself). Hannah's favorite was being able to bust a pumpkin at the pumpkin launch.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"When you look me in the eyes and tell me that you love me, everything's alright....I catch a glimpse of heaven when you look me in the eyes."

"I take you to be my husband, loving you now and as you grow and develop into all that God intends. I will love you when we are together and when we are apart; when our lives are at peace and when they are in turmoil; when I am proud of you and when I am disappointed in you; in times of rest and in times of work. I will honor your goals and dreams and help you to fulfill them. From the depth of my being, I will seek to be open and honest with you. I say these things believing that God is in the midst of them all. "
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that teared when speaking these vows to me.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that are as blue as the sea and make me feel safe.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that roll when I am an irrational woman.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that comfort my heart when I am sad.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that become red and irritated from his job tasks.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that watch Barney with our 2 year old.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that watch the weather radar around the clock.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that admire a chocolate dessert as much as mine!
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that close to rest after a day's work.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that God created and filled with love for me.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that I am blessed to look into today.
The eyes I look into each day are the eyes that I pray I can look into tomorrow & all of my days.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Triopia Homecoming 2009

September 26th was the homecoming dance for Triopia High School. Although Christopher is a senior, he didn't have any desire to go at all. Bethany, however, was looking forward to it along with her sophomore classmates. It truly is a shift off my "autopilot" mom mindset from caring for the younger kids to helping meet the needs of the teenagers. I guess as your kids grow, your abilities and thinking evolve along with them. Since, my mom mind has only had a chance to "evolve" up to age 8 with Isaac. I have to concentrate when it comes to helping parent the older kids. So, with some planning, some time on the internet looking for a dress and a lot of time driving in the car to appointments.....I was successful in helping Bethany have a memorable, lovely day/evening.

Shopping for the dress was a challenge. Being busy with school and poms allowed Bethany time only to do some online shipping and it seemed every dress she found on eBay that she wanted was in China and would have to be made and shipped. We didn't want to risk NOT getting a dress ontime, so those dresses really were not an option, which was a disappointing blow time after time for Bethany when she would excitedly show me a different dress she had found. Knowing how frustrated she was and the timeline we were on, I stayed up one night the week before homecoming going from web site to web site that I knew from wedding dress/bridesmaid dress shopping and would have affordable cocktail dresses. I found one.... a website with lovely, affordable cocktail dresses. I scrolled down thru the dresses and found a very pretty purple one. (Bethany had been shopping for a purple dress.) I put that dress in my "shopping cart" and saved it to show Bethany the next day after school. As it would happen, when she was looking at the dresses the next day, she chose the exact same dress that I had spotted for her even before I showed her I had picked that one to show her! There were other purple dresses on the site, but we happen to have selected the same dress....a very good and affirming feeling, I must say. Well, we ordered the dress and I upped the shipping to get it here sooner than standard shipping would allow. The dress came and needed some altering, which I sort of expected because Bethany's body frame is so petite (shortening of the shoulder straps and shortening the hem length slightly).
The morning of the 26th, it was pouring down it was a damp start as I took Bethany to a final tanning appointment and to her hair appointment at the local cosmetology school. Thank goodness by the time her hair appointment was finished 2 1/2 hours later, the rain had stopped. So, after a quick drive-thru lunch, we headed home where she did her nails (toes and finger) and make up and I made the alterations on her dress. After I helped her into her dress and she got a good look at herself in her mirror, with a beaming smile on her beautiful face she said, "Thank you for all the running around and all the help you gave me. It means so much." With that said and as I tearfully choked out my "you're very welcome", this step-mother treasured a gift of a special, precious moment up in my heart given to me by God and delivered directly to my soul by Bethany.

That afternoon, Jeff escorted Bethany to her friend's grandparents house for pictures with her friends, Adrienne, Brooke and Sydney. Later, Bethany and her friends went out to eat together at Lonzerotti's and on to Homecoming where Bethany had a great time and lots of fun dancing.

These are the cosmetology students who all worked on Bethany's hair at her appt.

Adrienne, Brooke, Sydney and Bethany
You're a tiger. Rooaaaarrrr!

Triopia's Angels?!

Best Friends: Sydney and Bethany

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello. It's been a long time. Just over a year, as a matter of fact since I blogged on here. There's really no one particular reason I stepped back from blogging......At first, once school began last year, I didn't have a lot to say. Then the holidays came and went, along with winter. Spring brought outside activities and T-ball and baseball schedules. I would like to say it was a busy summer....other than the kids' ballgames, though, we were home a lot. So, I guess I just let life and my own lack of motivation get in the way of blogging. I kinda had a revelation about myself......I don't always think before I talk. I have worked on this flaw....but to no avail. So, I guess I have a bit of fear that I may, also, type before I think. A late night fury of emotion on the computer may turn into someone suggesting I need a psychiatric evaluation. : ) I am a highly emotional, passionate person. I tend to share whatever emotion I am experiencing with those around me. I have heard the news that potential employers search blogs for information on applicants before considering them for a position in a company....this scared me a little bit, too. I had this vision of someday wanting to go back to work and finding a potential employer didn't hire me because of a late night posting on why I feel unmotivated, uninspired and downright lazy for days at a time. Those aren't exactly endearing qualities a employee should possess. Yet, here I am....back on the blog. I guess I have decided I need this outlet. Facebook has been a source for sharing photos and basic ideas for a while, but I still feel like I need a more personal place to share with you. So--here I am, world....potential employers and all. Somedays I will sound perfectly sane and others I will sound like a total wack-job....but I am a mother and homemaker who is not perfect at either of those jobs.....but I do have days where I have victories over small projects that have been waiting for me. And I always, always have beautiful, small faces, and a loving husband giving me a reason to try again each day. Welcome back. Thanks for coming on my journey with me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Here is 2 minutes of Shiloh playing peek-a-boo with Mommy in the living room. If you listen closely, you can hear the roar of Daddy snoring while he's sitting on the couch behind Shiloh.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The week of August 31st-September 5th.

Well, September is here and it's been a busy week. Sunday started with a family reunion in Griggsville, IL for Grandma Pearlie's side of the family (McDonald). The weather was beautiful and the food was good. We had several of our family go. My brother, Steve, and his wife Opal were visiting for the Labor Day weekend from Indiana. They drove Mom there, along with my oldest brother, Loyd, who drove down from Peoria, IL for the reunion. My brother, Wayne, and his wife Linda attended, as well as myself, Jeff and Shiloh. (Isaac and Hannah were with their dad for the weekend.) I posted a photo of our family that was there. Shiloh decided to keep grabbing my earring and pulling while we were posing for the picture....ouch! You can see her reaching for it in the picture.

Labor Day was hot and sunny, so I took advantage of that for a end of summer outing. I took Isaac and Hannah to a local water park in Jacksonville, IL for the afternoon. We picked up lunchables and sodas (pop, coke, pepsi, whatever you call it whereever you're from) and we had a fun time. This waterpark is free and is called the Play For All Park. It is designed to be 100 % handicapped accessible. The water part if all kinds of water spraying, water showering, water spitting, spinning and spurting toys the kids can run through, around, over and stand under. I attached a picture of Isaac standing under a bucket that fills with water and as it fills it dumps the water down on whoever is under it. The picture turned out so cool as the water looks like it it stopped in mid-air to pose for the photo. It sort of has a Matrix-slow motion-feel when you look at it. I have no idea how I timed taking the picture like that. I tried several attempts to get Hannah like that and it was impossible to take the photo at the same moment. Anyway, the waterpark also has a big toy that has wide ramp approaches to it, so anyone in a wheelchair or on crutches has plenty of room to climb and enjoy. The kids love running to the big toy and going down the slide when they are wet.......they get a much faster slide that way. On the way home Isaac made my day when he said, "Mom, this is the best day ever!" I was able to give them 100% of my attention as Shiloh stayed home with Jeff and Bethany. It was some great one-on-one time for Bethany, who is 14, to have spent with Shiloh. Jeff did some small projects both inside and outside the house and Bethany did great at taking care of her baby sister.

Tuesday was back to school for everyone (Momma says "Yeah, Baby!") Fall machine-pitch baseball started for Isaac. It was such an exciting game because Isaac's third hit of the game went past the 3rd baseman and shortstop, bounced and kept going all the way to the fence! He hit his first triple! I'm sure if he was a faster runner it would have been a home run, but he ran his best and was so excited. I was a proud mom cheering, whooping and whistling for him!

The rest of the week has gone by quickly. Mom, Shiloh and I spent some time together today (Friday) going to Springfield for her doctor's appointment. Tonight Jeff, Shiloh, Mom and I went to the Arenzville Burgoo. If you don't know what that is, well.........burgoo basically a meaty, vegetable soup cooked outside in 100 gallon kettles over fire. It is soooooo yummy. There are, of course, jokes about what all they secretly put in the soup, but I don't's too good to not eat. Burgoo is the soup, but it also the name of the event. You can eat burgoo, and you can go to The Burgoo. There are carnival rides, country music entertainment, flea market type venders, bingo, food venders and a great place to run into old friends and family you haven't seen in a while. We were sitting and eating and Loyd showed up. He drove down from Peoria for the weekend. Also, some friends of the McDannald family that live in Missouri, Larry Smith and his wife, were there. We enjoyed spending time visiting and catching up with them. We'll be going back to The Burgoo Saturday evening as Hannah will be doing her cheer dance and cheers demonstration that she learned at cheer camp in early August. Then we will take Hannah and Isaac for the carnival rides, cotton candy and all the rest of the fun we didn't partake of tonight. We rounded out our evening by dropping Shiloh and Grandma off at her house and going to the last 1/2 of the local high school football game (Go Triopia Trojans!) See, if you go after halftime, you don't have to pay admission........and you get to see the best part of the game. Triopia blew away the Pleasant Hill team 51-11. The field was so muddy from the rain that Hurricane Gustuv sent us the last two days that the guys were just covered in wet, muddy uniforms. The team equipment/uniform manager has his work cut out for him this weekend!

I know this is a pretty detailed description of my week, but this is what I stuff, daughter stuff and then more family stuff. God has blessed me with the opportunity to be at home so far for this first year of Shiloh's life. There have been so many places to be that I could NOT have possibly been at them all if I were still working outside the home. Mom has needed some extra help getting to doctor's appointments since January due to a nerve problem in her face, the kids have needed me more with getting used to a new baby sister and, unfortunately, the aftermath of all the hostility and issues that surround divorce. I am so bad at being a full-time housekeeper here at home, but I do my best work with the kids. Thank goodness they won't remember the pile of laundry overflowing out of the hamper, the bathroom mirror that needs cleaned or floor that needs swept and mopped. Thankfully, they will remember the smiles and hugs and me cheering at Isaac's games or whooping it up at Hannah's cheer camp demo (which I have already seen performed 3 times!), and the last day of summer at the waterpark....for "the best day ever."

God bless you as you go throughout the next week. Pray for us as we are all feeling the affects of Autumn allergy symptoms. I have been writing this through the haze of Sudafed. If something doesn't make sense....we'll blame the medication.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's about time I did this!

Well, here it is almost 10 months after giving birth to Shiloh and I decided to FINALLY join the world of bloggers. Yes, you people are pulling me kicking and screaming further into the technical age......I dunno. I still think this computer thing is just a fad. Maybe not.

So where do I start?.......First I'll explain the name of my blog ( Jeff has 3 sons, Mike-age 25, Adam-almost 21 and Chris-16 and he has 1 daughter, Bethany-age 14. I have 1 son-Isaac-almost 7 and 1 daughter, Hannah-age 5. Then together we have 1 daughter, Shiloh-10 months on 9/2/08. That makes, YES, 7 kids and 2 parents! Living at home we only have the 5 youngest ones.

What about pets? (You may be asking). Well, we didn't have any until.......about 2 1/2 weeks ago Jeff opened the front door to go to work and lying on our "Welcome" mat was a litter of 4 kittens about 6 wks old. Apparently the momma cat can read! She was ready to wean and figured we said "welcome" so she said "you're welcome" and off she went. They were still small enough to be able to be handled but hissed a lot. Now, though, they are very used to us and even Shiloh who likes to grab them by the fur. So now we have 4 kittens....named Sharpay, Gabriella (Hannah named these two.), Tiger and Fluffy.

So thats our great big wonderful family. Everyone is pretty active with school and other activities, so this stay-at-home mom doesn't get to stay at home all that much. I'm loving it though. When one of those tender or funny moments happen that I want to soak in, I remember in scripture how Mary, the mother of Jesus, "pondered these things and treasured them in her heart." I certainly have a heart full of treasured moments and plan to share them with you thoughout the days, weeks, months or however long you will stay here blogging with me.