Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Need A Friend!

Some days I go crazy because there is so much going on and so much to think about I feel like I need to talk to SOMEONE in order to work it all out in my mind....and no one is available. Well, except God. He's always available and he doesn't just offer me advice, he gives me the answer. His patience doesn't run out, he loves me more than anyone, and he KNOWS me better than I know myself.

So....why is he always the last one I turn to?

I like this devotional.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Healthy Kid Ideas

I am not a health nut. I like my sugar and real butter, I have a caffeine addiction, and I never take vitamins. I am, however, a dietitian that is kinda nerdy about food. I get excited about food that tastes good and is good for me. I think simple is best when it comes to a healthy diet...for me, anyway.

I have a few things that have worked for me to make things a little healthier around here and I thought I'd share- just in case it would work for someone else.

A water bottle for every member of the family. Fill 'em up at night, put in the refrigerator, and there is cold water for the next day. It cuts down on washing cups and you don't have to run and get something for them whenever you hear, "I'm thirsty!" They don't spill, and you can take them on the go. If they are not used to drinking water, give it time, they will acquire a taste for it.

Fruit bowl. Have a taste test with your kids and determine their favorite apples. Keep them in a bowl on the counter for a quick snack if needed.

Small, fun kid plates. Keeping the plate size small helps keep portion sizes small. I like to keep them on a low shelf so the kids can participate in setting the table.

Be adventurous together. Challenge each other to try new foods.

Use sliders buns. For hamburgers and sandwiches, use a smaller serving size of buns. I allow them to eat more than one, but they are less likely to overeat if they start out with a small size and are allowed the choice of seconds.

Talk, talk, talk. Talk about the food you eat, where it came from, how you prepare it, what food group it is, and how you like it. Value their opinion and possible suggestions.

Keep an open mind. Not all kids hate broccoli.

Use gimmicks. I don't go overboard, but I give them a whole carrot and tell them to eat like Bugs Bunny. With broccoli, eat the leaves off the trees. Tell them eating right will keep them strong and drinking water will make their skin look beautiful, or put goldfish crackers in tomato soup and have them go "fishing".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Few Things....

Last night I got my cheesecake fix. We ate tacos at home and went to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert. The wait was 45 minutes. My Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake was worth it. I won't need cheesecake for a while now.

I don't need Pepsi anymore....maybe Diet Pepsi every once and a while. I do still need coffee with creamer. I broke the Pepsi habit by not keeping it on hand at the house and having too many kids. We used to get in the car and drive to a drive-up vending machine to get it. It's just not worth it anymore. Dunkin Donuts coffee makes it too easy to have great coffee at home.

The other night I finished reading The Firstborn Advantage by Dr. Kevin Leman. Birth order is fascinating. I read the book because I wanted some insight as to how to channel my oldest child's leadership in a good way and not a bossy know-it-all big sister way. According to this book, out of the seven in my household 4 are firstborns. The most outspoken, though is the wannabe firstborn (me). Learning about why people act the way they do helps me to have me patience and now I feel more normal.

After the kids go to bed tonight I am going to confiscate all of their toys that are not put away. I'm not sure where I am going to put them all yet. I may have to clean out my closet first. The funny thing is, I have told them that I am going to....but they have not put anything away yet. I will probably throw away the most annoying ones, especially the McDonald's toys. Then they can earn back the ones they really want. I'll post updates about how this works. So here it goes....

Phase 1. Pack this mess up.

I think I'm gonna enjoy this.

When I get really frustrated, I can always find joy in my baby boy. Some day soon he will be like them, too. Doing things like not listening or not picking up their toys that force me to discipline (yes, it's my job, I know...but it's more fun when everyone just gets along) and get frustrated and start getting mad- and then they do something to just crack me up and I can't help but give them a big hug and laugh. Or when they just won't calm down at bedtime and all I want is for them to go to bed so I can have some peace and quiet- and then they finally go to sleep and they are so beautiful that way. That is the time I want to pick them up and give them big hugs and kisses.........but I don't since they will wake up and frustrate me again.

I can't wait till spring.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Healthy Release

Exercise * glass of water * Clementines * Laughter * Praise the Lord * funky dance music * the great outdoors * thankfulness * doodling * creating * silence *stretching * hugging * coloring * make up * friends * helping * crying * MASSAGE * pedi * whatever it is you are good at * talking

If I choose a healthy release, maybe my kids will, too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Have you ever had a conversation like this with someone?

(Man) "If my wife stays at home, I would expect the house to be clean all the time and home-cooked meals every meal."

(Me) Grrr.

Or this one:

(Man at my work) "Wendi, where have you been? on vacation or something?"

(Me thinking) "Did you not notice I was huge and pregnant about 6 weeks ago?"

(Me talking with a fake smile) "No, I've been taking care of my kids."

(Man at my work) "So you have been on vacation."

(Me) Ugh.

I've come to realize that there is no use defending it. If you haven't done it or are close to someone who does, you just don't know what it is like.

I've also learned that there is no use complaining about it. No one really wants to hear that.

But what do you do when it is constantly a 14 hour day with the kids and more work to do after that day after day? What do you do when your brain is mush, you just can't think anymore but you have to make supper because 5 children are expecting to be fed...and the dishes aren't even cleaned up from lunch?

Okay, time out. I'm not complaining, I'm getting to my point. I think. I realize that I could send a few of these kids off to school and I have put myself in this position. Believe me, I have gone over the pros and cons many times, and I believe this is what I should do, and want to do. I am going through a pessimistic phase that makes it all a little harder.

I'm back. We don't go on vacation much because of my husband's job. My vacations, however, are many little moments that I must hold on to in order to get through this. Whatever would I do if I didn't have such a wonderful husband? Our Saturday night dates in the living room get me through a week.

Girlfriends....that I don't see nearly enough. I have not made my life conducive to my outside friendships, and that I regret. However, when I do make it out there they bring me so much joy!

Sunsets. Everything must stop if I should happen to see one. Thankfully the girls are in as much awe of them as I am. Actually, clouds in general, the color of the sky. Rainbows.

A good song. Silence. Painting. Jesus. Hope. Bright blue shoes. Really good chocolate. Butterflies. Hugs. Ideas. Laughter.

I feel better now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Whiskey Sticks

We received a total of 1,000 Bendaroos for Christmas. They are kinda like Wiki Sticks, but Savannah calls them "Whiskey Sticks" instead. Don't worry, she doesn't know what Whiskey is.... yet.

I wanted everyone to make something tonight. I didn't think they would choose the hardest ones to make! Frustrating!!!!

But yet they were great. They stayed focused. The instructions say things like, "make a cylinder out of the blue building sticks" or "cut off 1/3 of a stick", which makes them learn while they have fun.

Brooke was the exception. She took all of the 800 left over Bendaroos and piled them up high to make a cake. She was so proud.

"Look Mommy! I make this cake all by mysewf. I didn't need any hewp!"

"Daddy is going to be so happy when he comes home!"

"Wook Max! Do you wike my cake?"

I like Bendaroos because:

They don't spill on the floor (easy to pick up)

Reusable, if you don't want to keep the cake on display

Fine motor

Problem solving


And learning, of course.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Paint Therapy

I must admit, I'm having a hard time right now. Post pregnancy hormones are not kind to me this time around. The mouse thing about sent me over the edge, as well as a few other things that are probably very minor to a normal person. Right now I'm really a crazy person though.

I am reading a book about birth order that I want to analyze fully when I am done with it, but I have learned a few things thus far. I think that I am a second born that started out carefree type B, but slowly took the role of the first born as I got older, which made me a hopeless perfectionist because I did not get the firstborn winner training early on. Anyway, I'm trying to go back to my roots. Or maybe I'm just going crazy. We'll see.

Art is always therapeutic for me. I was alone with the kids last night and thought they needed something to do other than put up with the crazy mama.

I put out a table cloth, paint, glitter and a few other craft supplies and left the room...except for to take a few pictures.

I told them they had to name their paintings.

Summer's is called "Beautiful Shapes"
Savannah's is called "I Love My Shapes".
Brooke's is called "Rutabaga".

And Ellie's is called "Dots Dots Are My Favorite".

It was a good time. Now I don't know what to do with them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Challenge

It is way too late but this has been on my mind all day and this is the first opportunity to write it down. Also, I had two large cups of coffee after the kids went to bed because that sounded good. Not so wise, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. I'll be having some more in the am.

I focus on worry quite a bit because it is a constant challenge for me. I've gotten better about handling it lately, mostly because I just don't have the time to deal with it. For me, worry is taking on problems that are not mine to take on, like a weed that creeps in my day and takes me away from the beautiful lilies and daisies and zinnias - the beautiful things that come from living in the faith that God will guide me.

A few years ago a wise woman in my church told me that she was fasting discouragement. The thought had never crossed my mind to fast an emotion! Discouragement was not the problem for me, however, it was worry. Do you know how what a relief it is when a thought of worry pops up in my mind I would just think, "I can't think about that now." and move on to something else.

I intentionally did this for a month and it changed my thinking from then on. Unfortunately, I do still worry, but it has not become the norm or accepted pattern for my thoughts.

One of my staples as far as books go is Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It talks about a paradigm shift. I think that this is needed at times when it comes to faith. We construct an idea of what faith should look like based on our own experiences. This is not always bad, most people have a legitimate experience that is worth analyzing. However, I think that as Christians we need to go back to what the Bible says and think beyond our experiences. This may surprisingly cause a paradigm shift to many people.

I do not need to worry, I mean, I should not worry about food or clothes. God has so much that he wants to give me at the perfect time.

I should not worry about what others think about me. I read a quote (author unknown) "What others think about you is none of your business." Hummm.

I should not worry about the end result. If I'm "called according to His purpose," It'll be good.

I should not worry about how other people's decisions will affect me. Ultimately it is God who takes care of me. I used to worry about the decisions my husband would make for me and my family. Naturally, we don't always see things the same way. I used to fight this, but when I truly submitted to him things changed drastically. My faith in him and my respect for him has grown exponentially.

One of my favorite movie quotes is from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. "The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants." It's funny, but the best way to turn the head is by keeping your mouth shut and praying. hard.

Eliminating these worries frees up so much time for positive work, relationships, and vacations. Most of my worries usually cause more problems as well, because I wasn't the one that was supposed to handle it.

So my challenge for anyone who struggles with this like I do is to fast your worries and replace them with promises from God's word, and to see what happens.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Usually I hate the snow. The cold, the putting on the snow gear and then taking it back off after only 10 minutes in the fridged conditions, driving, listening to everyone complain about driving in the snow....

I remember it snowing like this once back in maybe '83 or so??? We had so much fun! There was no way I could discourage playing in this snow. This was a real snow. Last night I drove around and I felt like I was in Colorado while surrounded by the big plowed piles of snow.

Then they hung them up because they wanted to surprise Daddy when he got home.

We learned about how snowflakes form. This was more for my sake than theirs. I don't think they comprehended, but now I know to explain it if the topic comes back up again. It starts by forming around tiny pieces of dust in the clouds......this made me think twice about making snow ice cream again. There are a lot of tiny pieces of dust in a big bowl of snow.

And one snow in particular had the most beautiful snow flakes! Think of how many snowflakes there are......just in our backyard.......and each one is so beautiful. I wish I had a better camera, but I took a few pictures anyway. Awesome!

We learned about symmetry, geometry, weather, problem solving, creation, got a little crafty, and played in the snow! And seriously, it can keep on snowing because this time I really enjoyed it. (And now that I am not working outside the house, I don't have to drive in it!)

Monday, January 4, 2010


I don't think I've ever kept a New Year's resolution.

But I'm good at lists.

Things I want to do in 2010:

1. Finally finish organizing the basement.

2. Sew a dress.

3. Go on a vacation.

4. Plant a terrarium.

5. Paint the living room.

6. Replace my carpet...hopefully with hard wood!

7. Send a book to publishers.

8. Ride the train to Grandma's house.

9. Go to St. Louis. (this is separate from a vacation)

10. Paint my butterfly picture.

11. Take a class- any class.

12. Start a recipe blog for our family recipes.

13. Finish my CEUs. Boring. But it has to be done.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Sook got a Legend's gift certificate from one of his many jobs. I could spend it a hundred ways. hummmm......

I guess it really wasn't my choice since it was his! :) He wanted to go out to eat. We took the whole family. Usually we go somewhere that is 1) cheap and 2) kid friendly. This time we didn't have to worry about cheap.

Our favorite restaraunt is Stix, which really isn't kid friendly..............unless we do HIBACHI!!!!

It was so much fun. The ususal:

Throwing eggs in the air, large flames, new years "fireworks", catching shrimp in our mouths, and a great and funny chef. The kids love it!

Ellie hid under the table the first time the flames went up high. After the shock, she laughed and talked to the chef.

They said their favorite restaraunt is Stix now.

"Better than Fritz's?" I ask.

"Well, NO!"- Fritz's is still the best, thank goodness! (since it is less than half the price:)

They behaved very well. Sometimes I like to take them by myself to First Watch to practice how to act in a restaurant...well, and to have the fresh fruit crepes....just in case we ever get a chance to eat in a NICE restaraunt. It paid off.

Hibachi and kids are great fun.