Our 7 Qtpies

August 28, 2009


Despite my lack of blog posts, I do actually have lots of things to blog about. Life with a T.O.T. is never boring. That is a T.O.T. you ask? Well, it is what we call Sam, Tornado of Terror. He whirls through the house leaving a wake of disaster behind him. Then he come back through and terrorizes us some more.

Here, I managed to get a snapshot of the T.O.T.

I know! Terrifying! I'm sorry to show you such a disturbing picture, but you must be made aware of the danger.

Just the other day there was a poopy pants that I needed to change, so the T.O.T. decided to hide from me while I was on the phone. A hidden T.O.T. is a danger, you know, but I forgot in the silence. Then I heard the toilet flushing several times and I knew there was a disaster happening. I envisioned a flooded bathroom, poop everywhere, clogged toilet, so I went running! What greeted me was a locked door.

"T.O.T., open the door, please."

"No! (insert evil laughing)"

"T.O.T. open the door, I need to get in."

"No! (insert more evil laughing)"

It goes on from there until I was banging on the door threatening bodily injury in a high pitched screech. Thankfully he had only been plunging the not-clogged toilet and hadn't done any real damage.

Also a few days ago, Donnie, my beloved, had come home from a long day of pulling a float in a parade and said to me "Honey, Peter threw a football into what we thought was an empty truck." I thought it was going to turn out that they hurt someone or something, but no, it was another T.O.T. sighting. "Then T.O.T. popped up and said 'Cookie!'" Well, wouldn't you know, I had gone shopping for an event and left the food safely in the truck so T.O.T. wouldn't get into it, but he broke into the truck and ate my cookies! You have got to be careful of these T.O.T.s.

They don't like to be busted, either. They get a bit of an attitude at times.

Donnie asked the T.O.T. "Did you pee your pants?" and he answered "No." but then he felt the back of his shorts and must have noticed he HAD peed because then we heard "Awwwwww!" in a disgusted voice.

Hope-Anne was being a great sister and teaching T.O.T. how to blow bubbles with bubble gum. He stuck it out on his tongue and blew............... it right into his lap. He got so frustrated that he said "Awwww! Danggit!" Yes! The T.O.T. even has some bad language!

Or worse than an attitude: Kaytlin was driving T.O.T. home from church on Sunday and he got mad that Mommy wasn't with him so he started screaming for mommy. When Kaytlin wouldn't produce mommy T.O.T. threw a toy truck and beaned her in the head! When she still wouldn't take him to mommy he started taking off his shoes to throw at her! When they got home he took off and hid behind the trash cans and cut his foot.

Ignoring a T.O.T. is not a good idea, they might climb right on top of your head and sit on it.

So, be warned of the Tornado of Terror, you might have one lurking in your house, too.

August 19, 2009

Birthday Party on the Wii?

It really isn't reasonably priced to throw a birthday party anymore. The pinata is $30 and then you still have to fill it with between $5-$20 worth of candy. You need to buy a pin the tail on the donkey game, get prizes, find things for relays, etc. It adds up to a pretty costly ordeal sometimes. I've given up.
The Wii game Birthday Party Bash is a fun way to get those games in a way that you can play them again and again with a minimum of cost! Yes, it is still pricey, but you still have it to play, unlike the smashed pinata.
Besides, what kid doesn't like video games?

I think the donkey is just too funny, swinging his hiney around, lol.
This way the computer tells who won, and there is no cheating. Nice, huh?
OH, and no PINS, lol.

The pinata game is so much less violent and way less messy! Dad doesn't have to worry about getting hit by the bat from an over enthusiastic kid, either. Fun times!
The kids love playing these party games over and over again, and I think it is a great investment. Although I probably won't actually use it for a birthday party.
Here's a quick snapshot of how it works:
• The birthday boy/girl chooses the party theme, anything from pirates to princesses. They even get to create their own virtual character, as well as characters for all of their guests!
• Up to 12 party guests can join in on playing the Wii games.
• Finally, when it's time to serve the cake, "Happy Birthday" will play karaoke-style while a virtual cake appears on screen.
Thank you Mom Central for sponsoring this post.

Little gem to keep your kids busy!

Not that our kids don't have enough toys the way it is, but I have to say, there is nothing like a new toy to keep kids occupied for a long time. A long drive for a vacation, etc, and you know you need something. (and something soft that can't bean you in the back of the head while driving is nice, too)
One2One Network sent me a Smooshie doll for the kids to try out. Smooshies are only available at JoAnn's Fabric stores, and I have to admit I was very surprised at the price. You can get the basic body for about $6 and the accessories are about $2 each! That is amazing!
The arms, legs, wings, hair, eyes, mouth, nose, etc, all come off and are interchangeable! That makes for hours of fun for little kids. Trinity loves her Smooshie with only one eye and some wings, Sam likes his with the features all mixes up crazily, of course. They are so soft and cuddly, too. Trinity is 5 years old, and she was quite thrilled with it, Sam is 2, and his interest didn't last as long. However, he did keep going back to it.
I think Smooshies make a great gift for young kids, and the price is just right!


This is a book that I feel is well worth reading. Knowing that you are following Jesus rather than "Christian" ideals can be tricky. I don't want to fall into that trap, but often do.

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—Modern evangelicalism has lost its balance. A lukewarm spirituality, somewhere between cold faith and hot pursuit, has taken hold and found many believers in the median between the wide path and the narrow road of the spiritual walk. The efforts of many have become more centered on how to cope with their own dysfunctional lives, and less concentrated on what it really means to follow Jesus. It’s something not quite Christian. It’s more like…Christianish.

In his new book, Christianish: What if We’re Not Really Following Jesus at All? (David C Cook, August 2009), author Mark Steele tells the story of his own personal journey from living in the “in-between” to a life that’s centered on Christ. “Somewhere along the road, I stopped being a ‘little Christ’ and instead began filling out the application that I had labeled ‘Christian.’ It was not a definition based on the actual namesake but, rather, on those who frequent the clubhouse. I allowed Jesus to seep into my church world—but not my relational world, my romance world, my business world, my creative world, my habits, my mouth. I had become Christianish.”

Christianish may feel like authentic faith. It may even look like the real deal. Yet it’s often easy to settle for the souvenir t-shirt—the appearance of a transformed heart—instead of taking the actual trip through true life-change. We find ourselves being contented with a personal faith that’s been polluted by culture and diluted by other people’s take on spirituality.

In Christianish, Mark revisits the words and life of Christ to find just what it means to be a Christian. Through stories and insights that are sometimes profound, often hilarious, and always honest, he delivers a compelling look at what authentic faith is all about. While carefully detailing the tell tale symptoms of being Christianish, Mark encourages readers to ditch the “ish” to become true Christ-followers.

“We have trained ourselves to cope well on a Christianish path: a path where we please the right godly people and don’t feel the guilt when our failings are seen by the world at large. But this is not the approach to Jesus that we were created to take. There is only one way for us to discover the right way to travel the right road. The way is not church. The way is not an ideology. The way is not Christian. The way is Jesus.”

Author Bio
Mark Steele is the president and executive creative of Steelehouse Productions, a group that creates art for business and ministry through the mediums of film, stage, and animation. He is also the author of Flashbang: How I Got Over Myself and Half-Life/Die Already and is a regular contributor to Collide Magazine and Relevant Magazine. Mark and his wife, Kaysie, reside in Oklahoma with their three greatest productions: Morgan, Jackson, and Charlie.

Christianish: What if We’re Not Really Following Jesus at All? by Mark Steele

Daniel X: Watch the Skies

When James Patterson first started Daniel X, it was to get young boys interested in reading. I am all for a book that will get my boys reading! I couldn't get Cody started on the book, so I broke down and started reading it out loud to him. I fell in love with Daniel X! It is sort of a Men in Black with teenaged boys. Very funny and off beat.
Then came the graphic novel. THAT got Cody hooked.

Next came Daniel X: Watch the Skies. I recently finished reading the book and it was immediately snatched by a young teen boy in the house.

In Watch the Skies, and alien called Number 5 is turning Earth into a reality TV series for aliens, but none of the earthly actors survive. Daniel has to stretch his abilities and his thinking powers in order to figure out what is REALLY going on, and to beat Number 5, who is much stronger than he is.
I thought this was a fun book with lots of creative scenarios sure to interest teen/pre-teen boys.

Thank you to Mother Talk for including me on this tour!

Rock of Ages

Are you an '80s fan?

New Line Records just hammered the in-store release of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of five-time Tony Award nominated "ROCK OF AGES." For those of you not in the know, Rock of Ages is the new Broadway musical starring American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis. Set in 1987 in a legendary Sunset Strip rock club, a small-town girl meets a big-city dreamer and they fall in love to the greatest metal songs of the 80's. The musical is an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and more.

I totally loved the '80s and the music back then. But not as much as my husband loved the music. He was/is a big fan of these songs. And this broadway musical was written to inspire manly men to be able to enjoy a musical and not feel less manly.

The songs are sung by the cast and sort of re-written, meshed together some to fit the story. I was a little confused at first, but then I got into it and it is a great CD. I'd love to go see the musical one day!

Here is the song list:
Just Like Paradise / Nothin' But A Good Time
Sister Christian
We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands
I Wanna Rock
We're Not Gonna Take It
Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Wanted Dead Or Alive
I Want To Know What Love Is
Cum On Feel The Noize / We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)
Harden My Heart / Shadows Of The Night
Here I Go Again
The Final Countdown
Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)
High Enough
I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Can't Fight This Feeling
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Oh Sherrie
The Search Is Over
Don't Stop Believin'

To see a video of the making of the soundtrack click here.
You can order a copy for yourself from for only $12.99!
This CD was given to me to review by One2One Network.

Minnesota Cuke and the search for Noah's Umbrella!

Veggie Tales is a huge hit at our house with the toddlers, preschoolers, middles schoolers, high schoolers and adults. Yes, every person in our house is a fan of Veggie Tales!

The latest release from Big Idea is Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella. Minnesota Cuke is on the search for Noah's Ark when he finds out about a mysterious umbrella- and a villain who wants to get it for himself! Will Minnesota have the confidence to face the challenges and keep searching, or will he give up?

Our whole family enjoyed the newest Big Idea release, especially the silly song. I love that the kids always learn a lesson in Veggie Tales videos, and this one on confidence was very good.
You can see a trailer HERE. There is a Minnesota Cuke contest, also.
Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella retails for $14.99. You can purchase the DVD directly from the Big Idea website, or in stores near you.
This post was written for Family Review Network as part of a program for Big Idea, who supplied the DVD for review.

August 16, 2009

Very, very eventful trip!

Camping was something else. Seriously.
I don't like camping. I like seeing our friends while camping, but all the rest of it I could live without. Forever.
We went with 5 other families, but only two of us are unlucky enough to have to tent camp. Fun times. Even though we apparently have the Taj Mahal of tents, it is still not cool. Our tent has 4 rooms, each room holds a queen size bed. We are tight, and usually have a second tent for the older boys, but everyone has to come check it out because it is so big. It is a really cool tent, I admit.

So, we pull up to the campgrounds about 7:30, not having had supper yet. So we get the grill going while we hurriedly start setting up the tent and screen tent. The tent is huge, but it is actually not to hard to put together with a few able bodies. But the screen tent is a pain, no directions and no logic to it. The rods are color coded, but still don't logically go together. So we had several families over trying to all put the poles together, rearranging, etc. Over a hot grill, lol.

We finally got it all up as it was getting dark, and Donnie had the boys go tighten up the rain tarps in the back of the tent. (they apparently did not hear that) We even managed to eat before it got too dark out. But that was about all the time we had before it was bed time. I only had 3 of my own children with us, but there were 5 kids. Kaytlin, Trinity and Sam, plus Kaytlin's boyfriend, Peter and our fake son, Brian.

After jammies, a last potty run and teeth brushing we settled the little two down while the big kids played games quietly outside. The little two screamed and screamed that they wanted to go home. After about an hour or so I got sick of it and snapped. OK, truly I snapped long before bedtime, I hate camping, remember? "If I give you two a treat, with you just shut UP???" They agreed, so I trudged out to the truck and got them a treat. One glow stick each. I figured it would occupy them for awhile and then they'd crash. Well, I was partly right. They were occupied. For a LONG time, and didn't crash quickly at all. Neither did I. Because glow sticks in a dark tent are like halogen lights when put in front of your face. You can't sleep through that. Not even kidding.

So, we finally get to sleep, and I made it through the night fairly unscathed and rested. Then comes morning. I got coffee, and Kaytlin made breakfast while Donnie went to town to get some Yard Guard so I would shut up about the mosquitoes that eat DEET for breakfast. (not kidding!)

We get things settled and walk off to start visiting with friends. I played cards with some friends while Donnie went fishing with the men, and the little kids played nicely and the teens went off somewhere else for board games. Then it started...........

The down pouring. Drenching, soaking, pouring rain. With thunder and lightening. And our tent windows were open. We booked it back to the tent, but had forgotten the dinosaur at the neighboring site so had to go find it fast, then back to the tent to close windows. (yes, it WAS that important to a 2 year old) Whew! Not much water got in the windows!

However, that was when we discovered the tent wasn't tightened in the back. Or stacked down. Mmmmhmmm. Poor Donnie was off doing that in the driving rain while the boys were off playing board games in someone else's nice dry camper.

Just as Donnie was getting dry the teens showed up for food. There was no cooking over a fire or grill from inside a tent, so we had to venture out for food. While out we also got a third air mattress for the boys. I wasn't sure the tent floor would stay dry for them to sleep on again.

Supper was a potluck in a nice, dry shelter with the whole group. After the yummy food we played games late into the night. Lots and lots of fun! That is the part I love, the fellowship. Plus, I finally beat Sarah at Yahtzee Free For All! Woohoo!

Back to the rainy tent to try to get the little ones down for the night. Thankfully we had a few videos and the laptop and they crashed. (we didn't have videos the first night, we caved and bought them) The big kids of the group took Peter and Brian snipe hunting. It was Brian's second time hunting Snipe and he was not pleased when he found out he had been snowed TWICE by their little game, lol. Oh, he was so mad! I laughed so hard I was crying! Peter thought it was funny, even though he was the butt of the joke, too. Brian admits it is a great joke, if he was on the other side of it, lol.

It really stormed Saturday night. The tent just couldn't take it much longer and we had some drips on us during the night, but thankfully not bad at all. But about sunup Donnie and I had to go to the bathroom, so we walked together early in the morning before the other campers were up for the day. On the way back my weekend took a turn for the better.

Donnie admitted to me that he HATES camping. He never wants to do it again. IF he ever does it again it will be in a hard side camper! OK, so you know the saying "Misery loves company?" Well, it is true! I was so delighted that he has never liked camping either that I was just giddy all morning! I even delighted in helping pack up!

But that is when the event took place.

Sam is our little runner, so we let him play in the truck cab while we were tearing down the tents. We were constantly walking by him and watching him. What could he do? The truck couldn't really go more than a couple of feet if he managed to get it out of gear. Well, Donnie was checking and caught him hanging on the rear view mirror and as he was telling him not to, the mirror came off and Sam dropped. When he didn't see any movement he opened the door and Sam was getting up, then came the scream and the spurting blood.

The mirror not only came down, it took part of the windshield with it. Yes, it broke off about half the thickness of the window with it! That punctured Sam's thigh and then fell and sliced the tip of his big toe. The toe was fine, but the thigh needed a stitch. On of our friends was there and went running next door to grab our friend who is an ER RN, and I screamed for Peter who is a lifeguard certified in First Aid, so he could grab his first aid kit. We got him all bandaged up and with the butterfly bandage hoped that it would stay together. But it didn't . We keep trying, but I think it is a lost cause, he's going to have a scar. But he won't mind, he's a boy.

Sound like fun?

August 14, 2009

One of my least favorite things to do.

And that is what I am doing this weekend. Can you guess?

Camping. I don't like bugs, spiders, ticks, grass, dust, mud, smoke, sleeping in tents, fresh air...... So there is not much about this coming weekend to get me excited. I am camping with friends, so I will enjoy visiting, but that is it.

Instead of sitting at home working on the computer, cleaning laundry and dishes and maybe watching a movie I get to pack, shop, cook, pack, wash clothes and towels, pack, make lists, forget important things like sunscreen, shop for the food Sam ate after I packed it, get there and help set things up, unpack, do things I don't enjoy, pack things back up come home and unpack and clean it all up.

All that instead of my normal Ladies Night Out. Mmmhmm. Not cool.

To be fair, Donnie agreed years ago that I wouldn't have to do the work of camping. He would do it all. However, he doesn't. I could make him, of course, but do you think he would pack underwear for the kids or me? Well, he would for me, but it would be thongs or something, lol. Would he get all the food or think of silverware? Would we all have blankets and pillows?

But he gets to set up the tent and things, do all the cooking and cleaning with the kids, and tear things down. I don't do that. I do pack up, because that means getting home sooner!

August 10, 2009

20 years

I went to my 20 year class reunion this past weekend. It was nice to see my friends and classmates again.

Some people hadn't changed a bit (very, very into themselves) and others were so different it was scary (like worried the guy was going to need to be committed). But mostly everyone grew up and were past high school attitudes.

I'm glad I went, I've missed the other reunions and wanted to see what everyone was up to. But I am also glad I went because something funny happened.

Donnie and I pulled up at my dad's house and Donnie asked me whose car was in the driveway that he didn't recognize. I said that must be the car my dad picked up for $75 and got a new battery for that now works great. Donnie wanted to offer my dad $100 for it, but I had already tried that, no go. So he said, hmmm, wonder if he'd sell his old truck. So, I walked in the house and said "Hey, Dad, I'll give you $100 for your old pickup." He literally scratched his chin and thought about it. "Do you have $100?" "Yes." "OK." Yes, he was going to let us buy it for $100! So we picked up the cash while at the reunion Saturday night and Donnie tried to give it to him in the morning, but he wouldn't take it. Donnie insisted he take something for the truck, so they ended up on $40, which pays for the muffler he put on the car. Don't I have a great dad?

Our Metro's engine is about dead, our Cavalier only works for a week at a time, our van is long gone, so we are down to our Escort and Kaytlin's car. We can't fit in a vehicle. The truck holds 6 people, so at least we are getting closer, lol. And with two vehicles again we can at least go places as a family. And Donnie finally has a truck. His dream. He can tow the boat and go fishing again!

August 07, 2009

What is it with 2 year olds?

I wish I could figure them out.
Sam was totally potty trained. Even at night. Then he started not getting through the night, and since he wasn't getting through the night, why bother during the day? So he's been totally regressed in that area for a while now. Ticks me off.
Today he pooped in his undies so we put him in a Pull up for a parade. You can't just get to a bathroom on the parade route, and we drive a borrow truck from a dealership to pull the float. We didn't need an accident in there.
The first parade I brought Sam to we had to do some teaching because there was no bathroom at the end of the route and he had to go BAD. So I had to teach him to pee outside. It wasn't a proud moment, dragging him behind a tree at a public building, but I finally convinced him he could pee outside.
So today he went to his second parade. Wouldn't you know it but he decided NOW he is potty trained. And that when you pull over after the parade you are SUPPOSED to go find the nearest tree and pee on it? Seriously. We pulled over and started unloading and he starts running for the trees in someone's yard taking his pants and pull ups off on the sidewalk! LOL He's naked on Main Street wanting to go pee!
We pulled him to the truck and had him pee by the tire while everyone stood around us looking away pretending nothing was happening, lol. It was quite comical.
But WHY? He was perfectly content to use his underpants the rest of the day. Weirdo.

August 06, 2009

38 IS Great!

I'll admit that yesterday started out poorly. Not a great birthday. Lots of not great things were going on, but I was looking forward to dinner and a movie with my husband last night. I was determined to not have a bad time. And I needed that determination. I am not one to ignore poor food or service at places I eat at. (OK, if it is free, fine, but not if I pay) We went to a new place to eat, on the recommendation of my doctor.

The first issue was with the menu. The waitress insisted that the menu was not right and I couldn't get a side with the meal, in spite of the menu saying it comes with a side unless there is an * by it. Whatever, I didn't want the rice anyway. The appetizer was delicious! Then came my soup order. I ordered broccoli cheese soup. What they brought me was pepper soup with some broccoli and cheese in it. Not even kidding. It was LOADED with cracked black pepper. Not just on top, the entire soup was filled with it.

I ended up getting my drink free because of it and a free pie for my birthday. I ordered Rhubarb custard pie, but they were out. Of course. That is the way my birthday is going, right? I ordered pie to go, but did the waitress think that meant we were ready to leave? Apparently not, since she never brought us our check.
I was not going to be in a bad mood.
We walked out of the restaurant and this is what greeted us:

Only in the Midwest are you going to walk of a restaurant and see silos across the street, lol.

I decided to make the day fun and take some goofy pics. Here is a pic of Donnie and I in the car.

Then us being goofy, this is staged, lol. Then we went to see The Ugly Truth. Well, it WAS funny. Very funny. But pretty inappropriate. Don't let your teens see that movie.

Then we headed home. We had a nice drive home, just talking and laughing. I was feeling much better.

As we pulled into our driveway I saw the kids in the kitchen. When the saw us, they very visibly started scrambling around. Then lights started going off throughout the house. Yes, something was definitely up, but what? I'm thinking at that point that they must have actually cleaned the house for me for once!

Then I got to the back door and got a little worried. Were they going to jump out and scream surprise? Did they have a surprise party planned? Naw, it was 11:30 at night. I told Donnie I better not hold my popcorn and pie in case they scared me. I was prepared, though.

So I thought.

I opened the door to the darkish kitchen, as I stepped inside I looked down and....

SCREAMED! I seriously screamed! My nasty, pitted, gouged out, gross old wooden floor was now a nice, beautiful, clean, gorgeous white linoleum!

I. Had. No. Idea.

They never let on at all. I have never been so taken by surprise before. They've never managed to pull of a complete surprise! I have been talking to Donnie about doing the floor for months. I even asked him to tell me the square footage so I could just go buy the tiles myself.

This means so much to me! And pulling off the surprise was a HUGE accomplishment and I loved every minute of it! They missed my screaming on the video, but there is about 8 minutes of me saying "Oh my gosh!" in a high pitched squeal, but I can't get it to upload to youtube or blogger. Sorry.

August 05, 2009

38 is great?

I'm not so excited about my birthday. I don't care about getting older, it really hasn't ever bothered me. And generally I like my birthday. I get special treatment, like foot rubs and choosing supper and sometimes going to a movie. The kids even try to be good on my birthday. (never do they give me what I ask for, though, which is a super clean house that I didn't have to clean)
However, what I wanted this year was to find two pink lines on a pregnancy test. I've known all week that it wasn't going to happen, what with the freakishly intense PMS going on over here. But instead of the two lines I got a visit from Aunt Flow.
Still, I shouldn't be so bummed. It is all the things weighing against me having another baby that is bumming me out. One fallopian tube, low sperm count from having had a vasectomy and reversal, starting pre-menopause and not ovulating every month.... it just doesn't look good. Sam is almost 3.
Thinking about how I would be in my second trimester already, past the morning sickness, bums me out, too.
I'm not going to age gracefully, I fear. LOL

Now, if I could just get some chocolate in me and shake this funk so I can enjoy my special dinner out and forcing Donnie to sit through a chick flick.