The Super Star

This year has really been a great chance for Julius to come out of his shell a bit.  He has been actively performing in his school choir, the advanced choir, and was in the school’s musical production of “The Music Man.”  He has absolutely NO stage fright and isn’t afraid to get silly.  I am really proud of him!  Here are some photos from the play and his turn as an elf at the Christmas concert!


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He has always been very musical.  He can play guitar, drums, piano; he can sing; he can dance; he loves to write songs; and he loves to make people laugh.  I don’t know where he gets it from-I cannot sing (well, at least it doesn’t sound very well when I do it) and I don’t play a single instrument-and, wow, I’m not good being up in front of a crowd!  I’m just glad he does this and enjoys it; I would really  like to see him continue with it as he has such a gift for music.


Sweet Sixteen

Right after Thanksgiving my oldest boy turned 16!  Wow.  It’s so hard to believe that he will be graduating from high school and heading to college in the next two years!!  He is my sweet, wonderful guy; so funny, so charming…but he can also be a huge grump-like all teenagers, I guess!  I have a lot of fun with him, and I really enjoy being with him-I am quite lucky that he is still willing to spend time with me!!  We had a good day, enjoyed our Cinnabons, and watched him open his gifts.


Achieving Goodness

The other day my husband told me that I am a good mom. That got me to thinking, what, exactly, is a good mom? I know that a lot of people out there would disagree wholeheartedly with his statement-I have worked consistently throughout my kids’ lives, they all attended day care, I sometimes let them have cake for breakfast and cereal for dinner, they play video games and listen to punk rock music-but I do love them with every fiber of my being and try my hardest to provide them with a roof over their heads, good food for their bodies and occasionally that name brand item that they simply must have. But, is that enough?

I’ll be the first to tell you that my house is not the cleanest house on the block, I have days where I’ve been spread too thin and patience is nowhere to be found, and sometimes I’ve put the littles in front of a Disney movie to buy just five minutes to fold the laundry or sweep the floor. I don’t always take the time to play, sometimes I’m easily frustrated and there are days when I am literally counting the minutes until bedtime. Sometimes I close myself in my room in order to watch “adult” shoes like Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead with my husband just so I can feel human again. Many times at work I find myself humming the theme song from Blue’s Clue’s or Dora the Explorer, or telling stores of my “cute” kids for the hundredth time to my coworkers who just smile and nod; I KNOW they don’t care, but I’m a mom! It’s my duty to sing my children’s praises and share the joy that they bring to my life.

I’m not a perfect mom, but I do appreciate these little people that I am privileged enough to have in my life. I love them, warts and all, and I love that it’s my job to help mold them into strong, confident, productive beings. I take that job seriously, and it’s a HARD job! I once read an article tht questioned why people ever become parents-no pay, long hours, little to no positive reinforcement, high failure rate-and the final answer was that there is the potential for great rewards. Like a hamster in a wheel we keep going in the hope that someday we will get to see the fruits of our years of hard work. We deal with the terrible two’s, the teenage years, and the financial drain of college, all to see our children succeed, and at that point we succeed with them.

So. although I’d never call myself a good mom, I would say that I’m enough. I’m up for the task and I enjoy the work. I put my all into every day that I get to spend with them, even the days when I would give anything to crawl back under the covers and hide. These kids mean everything to me, and in the end, I would’t change anything about my life. I will always choose to be right here, right now, with them.


The Great Pumpkin Patch


This weekend we went to a local pumpkin farm with a corn maze. I had never been to one of these before, but it ended up being quite fun! The big boys didn’t make it-their social calendars were too full that day-but we went with the littles and some wonderful friends and Grandma. It was a beautiful fall day; sunny and crisp (but not cold) with a blue sky and fluffy white clouds, and the changing colors of the trees provided the perfect autumn backdrop. The kids had so much fun…now we need to carve some jack-o-lanterns for the porch!





Our “pumpkin rule” was that the kids had to be able to pick up the pumpkin or we couldn’t buy it!! Graham liked all of the pumpkins that were bigger than he is!! And he did TRY to pick them all up!!




There was so much to do…they had a straw pile for the kids to play in, a hay bale tunnel, a store, great food, a corn cannon… I highly recommend visiting a pumpkin patch this season if there is one in your area!












Pumpkin Bread

The cooler days of fall make me want to stay in the kitchen and bake.  And one of the things that I love to bake during the fall is Pumpkin Bread!  My kids love it, and it makes the house smell amazing…pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, all of these ingredients come together and just smell like FALL!  This bread is moist and cake-y and is just yummy!  It’s funny, because even when my kids were quite small they really loved this bread-one of the things we always joke about when I make it is how Mae was so overprotective of her food as a toddler, and once, when I made this bread her brothers teased her because she was eating it so slowly…they were threatening to take it away and eat it if she didn’t hurry up and eat it, so she grabs her bread, looks at them and says, “Get yo’ OWN punkin bread!!”  It was hilarious!

PUMPKIN BREAD (original recipe here)

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan 9x5x3 inches, with shortening.
  •  Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.
  •  Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Pinterest-ing Fun

I love fall-it is honestly my favorite season (I know that everyone says that!)-pumpkins, sweaters, Halloween; I swear so many good things happen this time of year!  In honor of this fabulous season, here are some equally fabulous ideas celebrating the season that I found on Pinterest.


10.  Decorating Pumpkins!!

9.   Fall in the garden!!

8.  Halloween Crafts!!



7.  Halloween Decorations!!




6.  Fall Layering.

5.  Halloween themed clothes!!




4.  Great pumpkin recipes!!



And don’t forget pumpkin rolls!!

3.  Warm comfort foods!!





2.   Cute fall outfits.



1.  Wonderwoman, Zombies and Batman, OH MY!!



‘Tis The Season

In my little family, back-to-school time coincides with the beginning of “Birthday Season” for us. First off, we begin with Mae on August 16. She turned 8 this year!!! She asked for Cinnabons instead of cake for her birthday; she is as smart as she is beautiful! We also took a little trip to Chuck E. Cheese and Coldstone to celebrate!!













Next up is Julius on September 9. He is now 14!! He picked out a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream cake, which was actually really good, even for those of us that don’t appreciate peanut butter. He and the boys took a trip to Indianapolis for his birthday and had a blast!




Graham is our October boy-he turned 5 on October 2. This has been a big year for him with his new school, but he is doing wonderfully!! We also had the opportunity to take him to “Touch a Truck” day at our local library-he got to sit in all kind of large trucks-a fire truck, an ambulance, a garbage truck, a tractor-and honk the horns and pretend like he was driving. It was a lot of fun!












We’ll get to Ollie’s in November-he’s going to be 16!!! Oy, this mama might not make it!! Besides birthdays we have been busy with soccer, school (including Graham’s unfortunate face-busting accident at school), and just hanging out!














Here in the Midwest it is 4-H season, and for me, coming from Utah and growing up in Arkansas, I have no idea what that means-other than that there’s a fair (with rides and greasy food!) in every county ALL MONTH LONG!!!! Sign me up for some elephant ears, corn dogs as long as your arm, cotton candy and ice cream…yum!!! Here are some photos of our recent visit…the two littles certainly had a blast!!!