Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweet Little Lizzy

Lizzy is likely the sweetest most curtious and polite little girl I've ever met. I thought those things had to be taught to children. I've learned that some kids just come out like that. She always says "please" and "thank you." In fact, sometimes she says thank you a hundred times and ends up screaming it until you say "you're welcome." And she never leaves anyone behind. She waits on the last one to make sure they get where they need to be with encouragement. Any of you who have spent any time with her know these things about her. She is super sweet!

This morning Mat is home from working nearly 3 weeks straight for a huge event at WWOS. He was sleeping in trying to catch some of those Z's he missed. We were sitting in the kitchen/den just carrying on with our normal day, and the baby went missing. I searched everywhere for her, and I found her sitting on my high bed right beside her sleeping Daddy. She was just staring at him.

I don't know how long she'd been there, but when I found her, she started to giggle. And she patted her Daddy proudly. She loves her Dad, and she's missed him so much!...enough to go find him, climb up on our high bed, and just sit there waiting for him to wake up.

Pork Chop Saga Continued

I know that there are tons of your sitting on the edge of your seats (hahaha) waiting to hear what happened with Andrew finishing his dinner. I honestly wish this wasn't my story to share b/c I don't like how it ended. I'm honestly crushed by the ending, and I don't want any of you to hear the story and think bad things about Andrew. However, as parents, I'm sure we all have struggles like this so here goes...

Andrew finally made the choice to sit and finish his food by supper time. Lizzy and I were enjoying spinach filled omelets (nope - not the best thing for my high cholesterol but yummy none the less) while Andrew was washing each bite down with a huge swig of water...at 7pm. It was taking a very long time, but he was eating it. By 8, he had lost momentum, and by 8:15, I decided to throw in that we would all go get ice cream at the Twisty Treat when Andrew was done with his food...and he was 5 bites away. Mat got home, ate, and we were about to leave for ice cream when I shoved the last 2 bites in Andrew's mouth.

Andrew ran down the hall to put his shoes on, and while he was down there, he decided to spit the last 2 bites into the toilet and flush away the evidence. I went down the hall to hear the toilet running and to see a little boy sitting on the pot...with no food in his mouth. I asked if he spit his food in the toilet. He said no. I asked him to tell the truth. He said no. I asked why the toilet was making that sound if he didn't already flush his food down it. He said he was giving a courtesy flush (which is brilliant for a 5 year old to say I might add), and then...I asked him to be honest with me. I told him that I knew he flushed his food, and I'd still take him to get Twisty Treat if he would just tell me the truth. He then told me that he lied. He really did flush the food down the toilet.

Ugh. I was heartbroken. I understand why he lied. I just wish he hadn't. Man did my heart hurt...and at this point so did my very upset tummy. Fortunately, Mat had the brilliant idea to reheat more and make him eat it...after Andrew spent a very long time in his room thinking that he was going to get a "consequence" to his tush. He was excited to hear that the consequence was only to eat more pork (blew me away). He sat at the table for 30 more minutes, and he finally finished every single bit without spitting it out.

We talked about lying. We talked about always telling the truth no matter the situation. We shared some sweet times (as I was near death with an upset tummy at this point and completely freaking out that I had a kidney stone - which I don't, praise Jesus!) I think that we did the right thing by driving home the food AND lying issue. As bad as it hurt my heart, I'm kinda glad it happened that way, and I'm more glad that it's over today.

It's tough being a parent. It's tougher being a parent to a strong willed boy. I think many of my friends don't understand that. It sometimes seems like I'm the only one struggling with these strong willed very energetic boy things. I've learned through this experience that there are many other moms struggling to do the right thing as parents to mold these precious babies into strong men. I think all the hard work will pay off n the long run. They will make exceptional men one day! While it's tough now, I LOVE my job being a mom - especially Andrew & Elizabeth's mom!

Thanks to all the mom's out there that have encouraged me! I appreciate your prayers and support along the way.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Not a Short Order Cook...or a Doormat!

At my house, we have a rule. You have to eat what you're given or you have to eat it again for breakfast. Sometimes I let the rule slide if we all hate our suppers (but of course, I'm a fantastic cook so that rarely happens). In all seriousness, I will allow the rule to slide if there is extra polite behavior or I can see that an effort is really made to eat the meal.

Last night we had lemon pepper pork chops, stuffing, and broccoli. Andrew would NOT dare eat it, and the complaining was constant. After being warned that he would eat it for breakfast, he made the choice to go hungry.

First thing this morning I reheated the supper. He picket at it, tried to get his sister to eat it, smeared it on the table...whatever he could think of so he wouldn't have to eat it. The complaining was still constant. He didn't show an ounce of respect.

We went to swimming and the YMCA. Surely, I thought by this point the boy who normally has already eaten 5 huge meals by this point would eat his food now. Nodda.

We went to the park with friends - a first time ever play date with new friends. He completely lost control. He cried and screamed and complained. At this point, I was NOT going to back down. My sweet friend ate with embarrassment as we sat at what was supposed to be a picnic lunch and watched her family eat...all the while Andrew was carrying on about me starving him. Man, that's a way to make friends...starve your child and go on a picnic play date with a food depraved wining child. Sometime during the day he stopped crying and decided to play with his friend, but he was 'fragile' and super moody...another way not to make friends.

I need to say that my friend was a trooper about the situation. It's nice to hang out with REAL people. She let me do what I needed to do and didn't stand in judgment of my decision. We ended up having a nice visit even in the midst of chasing after our babies.

We got home, and Andrew still has not eaten his food. I am at a loss, but I still refuse to back down. People in China are starving, and my little guy needs to appreciate whatever he is given...even if it is a little rubbery after being reheated so many times!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

High Cholesterol

I found out this week that I have high cholesterol - SUPER HIGH cholesterol....like a french fry away from a heart attack high cholesterol. The doctor was very serious with me that I was in bad shape. She frightened me a little, and I left feeling shocked. I thought I was doing things right by eating a much healthier diet, exercising consistently and such. The doc believes it's genetic...and so my journey of further learning about how to "fix" my cholesterol problem begins.

I decided to up my exercising by walking every night (bc that's the only sane time to walk after the sun is mostly down in Fl) with the kids in tow.

The first night, we ended up dumpster diving. Well, really this is the story. We walked a long way, and along our walk there were two families who had put some seriously nice stuff out on the curb for the garbage pickup. We drove back after our walk to pick through the mess. We had our eye specifically on this one really nice children's table, but someone grabbed it up before I could get back. There are TONS of foreclosures in my neighborhood. They weren't kidding when they said the market is bad in Florida. Boy, I wish our Dacula house would sell. There is a HUGE house completely upgraded in the neighborhood for only $180 on a lake lot. We saw an owl sitting on top of this house on our walk - kinda creepy and way cool! We ended our walk with some time at one of the neighborhood playgrounds. On the way home, Andrew completely freaked out when a cat sneaked up beside him. He cried and carried on in his state of delirium (as it was like 9pm by that point). He claims that he thought it was a dog that was going to attack him. Kinda scared me too cause we've seen lots of dog attack victims on TV lately.

The second night, we decided to walk a good bit and then stop at another neighborhood playground. Even though we had fully applied bug spray, we were still attacked by some large vicious mosquitoes. It was completely dark on our way home, and I got a little creeped out thinking that someone was going to attack me and the kids....and I was still thinking about the dog attacks too or even worse an alligator attack (there are tons of lakes in my neighborhood).

So...today I decided to go a different route. I decided to go to Disney's Boardwalk and walk around the lake. Then we got there and I decided...well, Epcot is just right over the bridge so we ended up in Epcot where Andrew played Kim Possible (totally awesome scavenger hunt adventure if you have kids with you and a great way to see the countries too). We visited the Cool Zone where they have free Cokes from around the world. Andrew forgot how BAD Italian Coke is. He took a huge cup full and spewed it all over. I would have gotten mad at him, but if you've ever tasted it, you would understand the intense desire to get it out of your mouth as fast as possible. Poor little guy! We left Coke with tummy aches from too much sweet syrup. Our afternoon ended with a visit to the Boardwalk Bakery - for a healthy lunch and NO sweets for the lady with high cholesterol.

I hope to figure out a good exercise routine that the kids will be able to take part in as I work on my cholesterol. It'll be good for them to walk through this with me so they can learn how to have strong healthy bodies!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Some Things are Just Plain Funny

The kids have been having a blast playing cops and robbers today. I've enjoyed listening to them give out warnings. One guy got a warning for speeding b/c he had to rush home to go watch Popular Mechanics for Kids with his daughter. That just happens to be Andrew's favorite show ever so he wrote the guy a warning and sent him flying home so they could get started. Lizzy got so tired that she nearly begged for a nap so I put my littlest officer in bed.

My mom reminded me that I forgot to write about something that happened the other day. Lizzy has terrible trouble going #2. So when she does GO it's an event that we ALL hear about through her wretched screams. It's been like that since the day she was born. I have had to change up my ways of helping her out b/c her little body gets used to benefiber, fruit, juice, raisins, prunes, myrolax, and I have to change about every 2 weeks. With that said, I had to take Lizzy to her swimming lessons. We got there, and I always keep her diaper on until the last minute. It's a requirement that she wear a reusable cloth swimmie to the lessons - NO throw away ones allowed. So I saw that her teacher was ready for her and I went to pull off her diaper. It got stuck between her chubbly little legs so I had to tug very hard to get it off. I got it off and swiftly pulled up her swimmie that was already on her so no one could see her little petunia. As this is happening, I started hearing shrieking from the 2 young girls sitting beside us with their mom and dad. "POOPIE!" I look over, and the tugging I had going on to release the diaper from between Lizzy's little legs also caused a huge ball of poop to fly across the poolside concrete splatting nearly at the girls feet. I was completely oblivious until the girls started screaming about it.

At first, I was embarrassed. I apologized, cleaned it up with about 10 baby wipes (until the dirty sidewalk that is normally a dirt shade was sparkling white), and I rushed Lizzy into the bathroom to make sure her swimmie was clean before it was her turn in the water. I got REALLY tickled in the bathroom. Honestly, the people were up hauled. Had I been sitting there with Mat, we would have died laughing at the giant flying poop. These people gave me mean glares. I came out of the bathroom trying to hide my laughter, but I was laughing so hard I was shaking. I needed a good laugh, but it made the people more upset. All I can say is $%^& happens...apparently more with my family than most! You can't make this stuff up people, and it's constant around my house.

Oh, and in the pic, you can see our perfect new rug. The tile floor has been wreaking havoc on my children's little noggins as they fall off the sofa and slide on the slippery floor. I finally had enough when Lizzy was just standing there and slid so fast and hard that you could hear the loud "clock" of her noggin. She was so sad. I found an amazing deal at Kohl's with 55% off a $200 rug...and an additional $15 off coupon - of course, since I'm now the crazy coupon lady! It fits perfectly in the den, and it matches our furniture perfectly! I love it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Simple Wonderful Days

I have 2 funny stories to share with you today and then just some cute stuff.

Yesterday, we went shopping at Sam’s Club, and Lizzy picked out some pull-ups with Princesses on them. We got home, went back out and ran errands, and then put a pull-up on Lizzy. She was really excited, and we talked about not peeing on Cinderella. So far, she has gone potty in the potty about 3-4 times (losing count) b/c she doesn’t want to “peepee on Cindy-rella” (you should really call her to hear her say it herself). We’re on day 2 of the potty training, and so far, she loves getting M&M (although she is asking for money instead) as a reward. We’ll see how long this lasts 

Story #2: I made everyone’s favorite meal for dinner last night…dun dun du duh – Chicken de van. Lizzy was double fisting it into her mouth after giving a good go of it with the fork and giving up. Andrew had a huge first portion & asked for a second portion which he ate in 10 seconds flat. Mat & I were enjoying actually getting to eat together when Andrew ran to the trash can to toss his cookies. Seems he ate a bit too much of his favorite food…all the while still proclaiming that he LOVED chicken de van. Poor guy ;) He’s totally fine now, but he did over eat!

Today, we are enjoying a relaxing day at home. The kids are wreaking havoc in Lizzy’s room playing with all her “new found” toys that have been hiding in her closet. I’m loving it. The kids also both got new shoes after their oblivious mother realized they were both wearing shoes over a size too small. The new shoes all light up so occasionally we shut the door, close the blinds, turn off the lights, and the kids do a light shoe by stomping their shoes on the ground.

It’s days like these that I remember why I love my life!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Before we moved to Orlando, my parents gave us their piano. We immediately found a piano teacher who I have quickly found to be one of the most fascinating people I have ever met.

Today marked Andrew's one month anniversary of playing the piano. He has come a long way. The days of banging on the paino are long gone, and REAL music is happening already! He is a quick boy who has talented little fingers :) and a musical mind. I'm not surprised.

I am surprised at the struggle that happens each week. Practice time is pretty great...until Andrew can't figure out something on his own. His patience ends when something doesn't come easy to him. So this week, when the letters of the notes weren't written inside the notes our happy world of practicing became very challenging times of power struggles. Oh, he did practice...and he did his theory...but his mind was somewhere else.

I thought I was going to get my hand swatted by the piano teacher today. I told her that's what I thought, and she, in her every so sweet being, told me that I was doing great with Andrew AND that Andrew is doing great! She also had one of her boys read with Elizabeth while I listened in and was able to focus on Andrew's lesson.

Her boys were super excited to share some of their toys with Andrew after class. They had 3 roller coaster Kinex (or whatever those things are called) built, and they whisked Andrew off into their special room filled with Star Wars toys and Kinex as soon as his lesson was over. Andrew's eyes were as big as saucers when he saw all their amazing toys, and I had a hard time getting him to leave. The boys helped me get Andrew to leave, and we promised a play date...SOON.

The piano teacher is a homeschool mom. She loves Jesus, loves her children, and loves people in ways that most people never will understand. My prayer is that I can be like her, and I can raise my children to be 2 wonderful Godly young people! I wish you could meet her. She's a pretty fantastic lady!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wild Animals

I was just thinking on the way to church this morning that we haven't seen our bird or other animal friends as much as usual in our backyard mud pit. Literally, moments later as I was walking Lizzy to her SS class, a HUGE armadillo crossed my path and went into the bushes. I had never seen one in real life before or even one dead on the side of the road. The classes at church are all trailers attached by sidewalks much like you find at many public schools. I ran by the bushes to pass by the animal.

Right after church, we had to drive to WWOS to take something to Mat who has been working nearly around the clock. As I was driving on Disney property (behind the Grand Floridian), a GIANT horse sized deer ran very fast right at me and swirved to run behind my car. I have never seen a deer that big before, and I've never had one run directly at my car either. I was going slow, and I slowed to nearly a stop as I saw it running toward me. Wow...that deer could have done some serious damage!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Collisions of the Day

We live in a very quiet part of Orlando. So quiet that there are no gas stations. We do have a Publix, Walgreens & Papa Johns, but beyond that we have to drive at least 15 minutes to get to the next closest store.

Mat's been working a lot lately in preparation for the big summer competitions at WWOS. It's all good, but being ON 100% of the time has left me a bit frazzled. In fact, I almost ran out of gas...which around here is a BIG deal. Yesterday, I decided to get the kids all ready to go to the neighborhood pool when I remembered I needed gas. It's a hike to the gas station, but I was afraid that even if I just drove the mile to the pool, I wouldn't make it the 10 min up the road to the gas station. So we took a huge detour to get gas. I pulled into the parking lot of the strangest gas station ever and inches away just behind me there was a huge horrible accident. I pulled into a parking space to get gas (at the weird gas station you drive into parking spaces to fill up), and was nearly accosted by 3 guys who were commenting on me getting into the parking lot just in time! I'm sure I looked just like Andrew as my eyes were surely as big as saucers. Scary! And if I had been there a few seconds later, I would surely have got caught in the wreck traffic and ran out of gas on the highway in front of the gas station. God was watching out for us!

At the pool, Elizabeth HAD to be just like her big brother and dive into the pool over and over and over, and then she swam to me, back to the wall and then did the dive thing all over again. I finally had enough of catching her an hour later, but when we went to get out of the pool, Lizzy had a horrible 2 year old temper tantrum. It didn't help that there was the most dangerous "mommy play-date" going on at the pool, and children were running amuck, screaming, and shooting water guns at everyone. Several people just had enough of the idiot mom's who weren't watching their kids and left. Fortunately, we had made friends with a sweet family, and they helped me calm down by simply laughing. Laughter sometimes just makes everything a little better :)

Later that day, I had a collision with a frog on an evening stroll around the neighborhood with the family. Poor little frog was just jumping along the sidewalk and jumped right into my leg...and POOR ME. That slimy creature just freaked me out. I wiped the slime frog juice all over Andrew's shirt, and he thought it was hysterical. Mat was dying, and sweet Elizabeth was sympathetic and very worried. I nearly wet myself, and the rest of the way home, I was on the verge of wetting my pants....and we were over a mile away from home on foot! I was never so happy to get home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A New Day

Each day brings challenges. Some are new challenges, and some are old constant challenges. I've been thinking a lot about challenges lately as I've been through some doosies.

First, there was the mistake with the speeding ticket that could have landed me in jail. Then there was the whole breast cancer scare. Other days I am just beside myself with knowing how to be the mom my children need. Most often I find myself failing miserably. I have high expectations of myself, but sometimes those expectations are impossible.

Today (so far at least) I've felt like a successful mom who has been attentive to the needs of my children, and we've had a wonderful day. My children are both VERY strong willed and loud. They test me continually. I'm preparing to homeschool Andrew, and there are moments that I think what in the world am I doing? This morning, we had a successful "practice" morning. Andrew worked hard on site words, handwriting, and reading while Lizzy colored - everything! She drew with crayon all over my dry erase board, spilled apple sauce on the tile, got into the markers...she was all over the place. But I remained calm, and Andrew stayed focused. I guess that's how our real school days will look on an ongoing basis. I felt super successful though b/c Andrew actually learned some things this morning in spite of the distractions!

As I've been studying Andrew this summer, I've got all kinds of unorthodox lessons planned. I can't wait for the real deal to start so I can implement them. In the meantime, we are working hard on site words!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Andrew's Perspective

It's been a busy few weeks and SO much fun. The fam came down to visit our new home in Windermere. We had lots of fun and made many wonderful memories. I hope they don't stay away for long. In the meantime, I'm enjoying some quality time with it being just the 4 of us.

My kids keep me laughing. Last night, we had a dinner party with the family of a guy Mat works with. There were 2 girls in the fam, nearly the same age as our children. So Andrew found out that there were girls coming, and he showered and got on his best clothes in preparation for their arrival. The girls were very pretty and super sweet. At the end of the night, Lizzy was playing with her dolls (clear proof that she needs some little girl interaction), and Andrew was wishing the girls were his sisters.

Today, we went to church, ate lunch at a place called Pom Pom's (yummO), and went to get fitted for shoes - the shoes part didn't work out so well for me, but Mat got a nice new pair. On the way home, we stopped by Publix to get the paper (gotta get those coupons). In the parking lot (at the entrance to Publix on bikes), there was a man reading the riot act to his son. Mat and I commented that the boy likely did something dangerous to scare the father into giving the stern lecture, and Andrew hollers at the exact same time, "That's what kids do." Thought it was funny how we each had a different perspective of what was happening.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Fought the Law and the Law....


Last Thursday afternoon, I got a letter forwarded from our Dacula house to Florida saying that there was a "warrant for my arrest." Wow...that was out of the blue. I had absolutely NO clue what had happened nor what I possibly could have done to receive such a letter. There was a phone # on the letter to call recorders court so I did. After a 5 minute recording and a long wait for the next representative, I found out that the warrant was for failure to pay for or show up in court for a speeding ticket I never received. I couldn't handle it over the phone - only in person - which proved to be difficult considering I live 8 hours from Lawrenceville.

After panicking, praying, completely freaking out, hiding in the closet, and trying to relax about it, we did some checking into with the help of a police officer friend. He shared that I would likely have been arrested if I still lived in Georgia, and I could still be arrested in Florida.

So we sent my Mom to the courthouse, and they immediately went into a flurry as the ticket read "warning" where my signature should have been on the ticket that I never received. Considering I was speeding to avoid an accident, the officer didn't give me a ticket - just a verbal warning...a LONG time ago.

The solicitor said I could either pay the ticket or risk going to jail - and I WAS INNOCENT. We decided to take our chances and wait for them to go through all they needed to to gt a judge to free me from the fine. We got word today (through mucho complication) that a judge had indeed freed me from my charged. As a precaution, we sent Mom to the courthouse to get the signed copy from the judge.

I feel rather violated and stripped of my freedom. I was very panicky for a few days - this rule follower couldn't handle the stress of being "wanted." Plus we didn't have our Florida tags (and the GA ones expired yesterday) so I had to drive slowly watching over my shoulder at every turn.

I NEVER want to go through that again! I'm grateful that it is over AND that it ended in my favor without a record of going to jail!

My entire family is joking about it, and while I don't mind their jokes, it's still not very funny to me. This one may take a long time to be funny. In the meantime, I enjoying the feeling of having 100 pounds of pure stress lifted off my shoulders!