Our 7 Qtpies

December 31, 2009

The homecoming

Do you remember the Folgers commercials every year where the older brother comes home early in the morning and his little sister always greets him before everyone is awake, then they make coffee to wake everyone else up?
This year the little girl was all grown up. This makes me cry! I think of Drew coming home, and soon Devon will be leaving and coming home for the holidays. They come home and their little siblings are growing and growing. It just breaks my heart!

Drew and Sam have a special relationship. Drew calls Sam his Bubby and just loves him silly.
Drew was finally able to take a bus home 4 days after he planned to, so he missed Christmas, but he did manage to come home. I picked him up and we pulled in a little after midnight. Within 5 minutes of getting in the door, Donnie's mom called to be rushed to the ER. So Drew and I sat in the ER until 4 am. Drew had to leave early for a Christmas with his girlfriend's family, so Sam didn't know Drew was home.
When Drew came home in the afternoon he heard Sam in the other room. So before Drew had even taken his coat off he calls out "Is that my Bubby?"
Sam heard him and came running "Dew!"
And then they found each other:

Is he really here? Sam kept looking at Drew, hugging him, looking at him, hugging him. Finally he just laid there and soaked Drew in.

December 28, 2009

Our family Christmas

We celebrated Christmas day with just the Qtpies at our house. We were missing Drew for the first time at Christmas, since he was snowed in and no buses were moving where he lives. But we still had a good day. We woke up to a LOT of snow, with more on the way. The snow on our deck was up to the back board on Sam's basketball hoop!

We were really blessed to get to sleep in this year until 9 am! It is so nice sometimes that the kids do not get up early, lol. I got up and made some cinnamon rolls while Donnie started his version of the Christmas story, which had the big kids trying not to crack up. I was laughing in the kitchen, lol. After the story we got the slackers up and moving and they went for their stockings, ignoring the breakfast I slaved over.
One of the best stocking stuffers this year was a giant gummy bear.

The kids got lots of fun presents, and it was fun watching their faces when they were surprised at what they found. I think Kaytlin's was the best. She opened the box to find a pair of jeans and I asked her what was under those and she looked down in the box and found a pink camera and her face was just priceless! She was so mad at me because I got a camera for Christmas (early) and wouldn't let her touch it. She was thrilled to be able to have her own.
Donnie died his hair and beard black, which shocked me, but I absolutely LOVE his new look and hope he can stand the smell of hair dye on his face often to keep it up! Total hottie! I gave him the new Star Trek movie, and he didn't know I even managed to buy him a gift! (it wasn't $10 like the box shows, I used a shoe box I had, lol)

After lunch the kids went outside to play in the "storm of the century." It wasn't even cold enough for Cody to bother wearing a coat. Sam really enjoyed playing in the snow.

There were snow fights and snowmen built, lots of fun for everyone.

Crazy World Syndrome

On Wednesday, the last day of school before Christmas break, Devon came home and told us about a note he had received at school. It put us in a bit of a bind spiritually. Who wants to spend the holidays in fear? But who wants to ignore something that could be tragic?

Devon was called to the office before the last class of the day to pick up a note with his name on it. The note was stapled so only he could see what was inside. Someone had written his full name on the outside in very nice handwriting, Devon felt it must have been a teacher, not a student. Inside he found a drawing of a stick figure with spikey hair and a gun, a bunch of stick figures on the floor, and one stick figure in a desk with a bullet through the head. On the back of the paper was a snowmobile.

Devon showed it to the person at the school responsible for investigating these types of things before he went to the last class. She said it was very freaky. But she didn't take it or investigate at all. Devon showed it to a few kids in his class and it was unanimous that it was a very freaky note and he decided it needed to be turned in for investigation.

I called the school right away, and while I was on the phone asking how serious the threat seemed, a sheriff showed up at our house! I went to talk to him and he asked me if we were the Larsons, which we are not, and he confirmed the address, then asked if we rent from the Larsons, which we don't. He had some how ended up at our house, the correct address on his papers, for no reason legitimately. But I told him what happened and he called the town police for us, and they showed up within minutes.

The school did not even bother to call and tell us that this had happened, nor did they start investigating as far as we knew. The police gave Devon some advice about being aware of his surroundings at all times, etc. But they couldn't do anything because the school liaison was supposed to handle it, but he won't be back until school starts next week.

So, we went for 4 1/2 days with the assumption that Devon had been sent a death threat. We knew we needed to stay calm and not freak out, but we didn't want to ignore it, either. We trust God to keep us safe, but that doesn't stop a parent from wanting to make sure the steps are taken to protect your child.

Today we called the school and didn't really get anywhere at first. I told them I was not putting him back in school until they figured it out, but they were waiting for the teacher who got the note to get back from vacation in a few days, and for the liaison officer and the person who is in charge of these things to come back on Monday. Not soon enough for us. The trail could get very cold by then. So we told the principal that he needed to find that teacher and figure this out quickly. We were going to keep harassing the school until they did something, and I was willing to call the media if I needed to.

But less than an hour later we got a call from the principal. The teacher was found because he got into a bad accident the day he left and had been in the hospital, so he wasn't still out of town. Apparently, Devon and a girl in his psych class were doing an experiment and had asked a couple of classes to draw something they saw. The class that this note came from was one they had planned to ask, but Devon thought they didn't get to, but his partner apparently did it without telling him. The kid who drew it turned it in late, so those two things kept Devon from associating it with his experiment. Not to mention the fact that he wasn't looking for pictures of someone being shot in class. But he said that explained the snowmobile.

The principal said they would be talking to the kid about what he drew since it was so disturbing. But he felt that it was not a threat against Devon, especially since it was the teacher who sent it to Devon, not the kid.

It is a crazy world out there, and when something like this happens, you have to know it really could happen to your family. We are so relieved that it wasn't aimed at Devon, but are sad for the kid who drew that picture. I am very thankful that we didn't let fear ruin our holidays.

Christmas events

This has been a crazy week for us, of course. Drew was planning on coming home Christmas Eve, but the weather has been so bad in South Dakota that the buses stopped service and the state even closed down the interstate! So, here is it 4 days after he planned to leave that he finally got on a bus heading East. 4 wasted days of leave, later.

We had a great Christmas Day at home. The kids didn't wake up until around 9, and we had breakfast and a Christmas story, then stockings. The kids begged to do presents in the morning, and since Drew wasn't going to make it, we didn't wait. It was a lot of fun surprising the kids with what we gave them. After lunch the kids started making snowmen and having snowball fights. It was a snow storm, but it wasn't cold out. Cody didn't even wear long sleeves, much less a coat, outside.

On Saturday we traveled to my dad's house which is pretty far away. The TV's we bought for the car didn't work, and that made for a looooong trip. But we got our money back for them. The day at my dad's was a lot of fun. Good food, snowmobiling and laughter!

On Sunday we had a long, but weird and fun day. We did Christmas with Donnie's family at our house, and amazingly Donnie's mom got to leave her month-long hospital stay and come to the Christmas party! And she got out just in time to get here, too!

Now Drew is finally on his way here, so we'll have to have another Christmas celebration! Bummer, huh? LOL

I'll post pics and stories of each event as I have time. I have lots of things that I need to blog or want to blog, and you will see why I have been staying away from blogging daily.

December 23, 2009

Do you have the time?

Yesterday Sam and I were putting presents under the tree and Cody was getting ready for a swim meet. The girls were on the computer nearby.
Cody asked "What time is it?" (expecting Hope-Anne to answer)
Sam answered "It's Christmas!"

Not a creature was stirring, except me

I have frequent insomnia. I don't really have a way to deal with it, so I just have it. I don't want to take pills for the rest of my life. I gave up caffeine, that helps a little, but I still have nights that I am up until 2, or later. I found that drinking a flavored beer or wine cooler at night helps me not only to sleep earlier, but also helps me with pain I have when I am laying down so I don't need narcotics to sleep through the pain. But me having a drink every night seems to disturb everyone in the family, even though it isn't affecting my behavior. (they say it is because their parents just don't drink, lol) So, I don't do that anymore.
So, right now I have no narcotics for the pain (serious pain only when I am laying down, and you need to do that to sleep) and I have insomnia, so I don't get a lot of sleep.

Last night I was up really late, or early if you want to look at the time I went to bed, 6am. lol I was watching TV to keep myself from being totally miserable watching the walls in the dark. Do you know what commercials come on at 3am? Sleep aid commercials. The irony, right? LOL Smart advertising, really. Not that I will ever take sleep aids, I refuse. But for desperate people that need to get up early in the morning and go to work, genius marketing!

So I'm watching the Ambien commercial and what do they say?

Ambien side effects:
; dizziness; drowsiness (including daytime drowsiness); "drugged"
feeling; dry mouth; headache; nausea; nose or throat irritation; sluggishness; stomach upset.
Severe allergic reactions; abnormal thinking; behavior changes; chest pain; confusion; decreased coordination; difficulty swallowing or breathing; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; memory problems (eg, memory loss); mental or mood changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, depression); severe dizziness; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; vision changes.

I don't want to have chronic diarrhea and nausea, dizziness, abnormal thinking or SUICIDAL thoughts. Who would trade in lack of sleep for possibility of wanting to kill yourself? Even the mild effects are not worth it. Who wants to feel like they have the flu all the time?

So, I am going to just stay awake several nights a week. And now my facebook friends all know why I am posting on facebook at 2 am.

December 18, 2009

Another Green Works hit!

I was given the opportunity to try Green Works new laundry detergent and stain remover recently. I've always been a faithful Tide user because Kaytlin and Sam are both allergic to most detergents, but not Tide for some reason. Hope-Anne is allergic to dish soap, and Green Works is the ONLY dish soap she can use, so you know what we buy there. I was hoping to find an alternate laundry detergent.
We did! Neither of the kids had a reaction to Green Works detergent or stain remover! But did it clean? Yes, it worked great! Just as good as our normal detergent for cleaning the clothes, and the stain remover worked great. I am very picky about stain remover and rarely use it because the smell makes me feel sick. I didn't have any problem with the smell at all. Kaytlin has a white shirt that she needs to wear for Princess events when they don't wear formal wear, and she spilled grape juice all over the front. It was a bunch of spots, not a big spill. She didn't tell me when it happened so it had been sitting there for at least a week when I sprayed it with Green Works Stain Remover. I was amazed that most of it came out the first time. I sprayed again and everything came out except on spot. I was very pleased with it.
I am definitely sticking with the stain remover from here on out. I will compare prices to see if I will switch detergents. With the $3 coupon it will probably be less money.

Green Works Laundry Detergent ingredients:
Water, plant-based cleaning agents (methyl ester sulfonate, alkyl polyglucoside, cocodimethyl amine oxide), glycerine, water softener (sodium citrate), plant-derived soap (oleic acid), enzyme stabilizer (boric acid), natural enzymes, alkalinity builder (sodium hydroxide), fragrance with essential oils, salt, calcium chloride, biodegradable preservative, blue & yellow colorant. Contains no phosphate or bleach.
Green Works Stain Remover ingredients:
Water, plant-based cleaning agents (alkyl polyglucoside and alkyl glucoside), glycerin, water softeners, enzyme stabilizer, natural enzyme, alkalinity builder, essential oils, thickener (xanthum gum), calcium chloride, biodegradeable preservative, silicone antifoaming agent. Contains no phosphates or bleach.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Clorox Green Works and received a bottle of Green Works Natural Detergent and Stain Remover to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate."

December 16, 2009


Sam is just the funniest creature all wrapped up in a tiny body! He cracks me up ever day! Not that he isn't a T.O.T. (Tornado of Terror) on a daily basis, too, but the funny parts keep him alive.
Last night, Donnie, Sam and I were snuggled in bed all nice and toasty getting ready to fall asleep. Oh, who am I kidding? Donnie and Sam were wrestling, Donnie was Buck, short of Buckmeister, long for Buh, and Sam was Rudy, from Ice Age 3. Sam must have let out an SBD (silent, but Deadly, for those of you unfamiliar with fart lingo), because Donnie started accusing Sam of pooping his pants. I checked him and his pants were clean.
A little while later Sam farted again. It reeked! I rolled over hollering and covering my face. Sam was laughing.
Donnie "Sam, did you fart?"
Sam "You pooped!"
Donnie "No, you farted."
Sam "You pooped, Daddy."
So, Sam crawls over to the other side of Donnie and looks down his underwear, LOL!!!!

After things calmed down Sam offered to rub my back because I hurt it earlier picking him up. He was rubbing sweetly and came across a mole and asked if it was my belly button. I told him no, it was a mole and my belly button is not on my back, anyway. So he went searching for my belly button. After being groped in the dark, I finally gave in and let him see it.
He poked me and said "Dat you bewwy buttin? Butt in dere? Bewwy butt in dere." Um, no, I do NOT, in fact, have a butt in my belly button.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

I hesitated in reviewing this book, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing by Allison Bottke, because it is for the "Boomer" generation, and I am not quite that old yet. But the story sounded great, and I know that I have readers in the 40-60 age group, cough-mom-cough-Jeannie-cough. And the book really is good!
The book is about Susan, whose 50th birthday is looming ever closer. She runs a beauty salon on the strip on Las Vegas that is more like a disco throw-back. She is really into collecting Disco memorabilia.
Susan is a member of an online community known as Boomer Babes Rock, and she met a few good friends from around the country that are her main support. (I can totally relate!)
Susan gets a great business opportunity, while at the same time her husband presents a conflicting personal opportunity. Both make her face her past, and her marriage.
This is not your typical boy-meets-girl-and-they-fall-in-love story, they are already in love, it is about staying in love through times of conflict and facing and dealing with your past so you can move on.

About the book: Brought together in an online community known as Boomer Babes Rock, Susan, Patricia and Mary form a fast friendship, even though they live in different parts of the country and lead completely different lives. These vibrant, successful fiftysomethings share laughter, tears, and advice as they pop into one another’s’ lives via the Internet—and the airlines.

Susan owns and operates a hip hair salon on the Las Vegas strip, decorated with her collection of world-class disco memorabilia accumulated decades ago when she was one of the beautiful people on New York’s disco scene. She’s come a long way. Now happily married, Susan is known for her business savvy, her fabulous vintage ensembles, her faith, her big heart—and the impromptu disco dance numbers salon staff and clients join in when the spirit moves. If life is a dance, Susan’s mastered all the moves.

But an exciting business opportunity, a fiftieth birthday, and her husband’s impending retirement rock Susan’s world—now she’ll have to face down her past and reinvent her marriage if she wants to keep dancing.

Author Bio: Allison Bottke spent 17 years as a professional fund-raiser before her personal journey prompted her to create the best-selling God Allows U-Turns anthologies. Now a popular speaker and author of hip-lit fiction as well as nonfiction, Allison was one of the first plus-size models with the Wilhelmina agency. Today, she has created a place where fun, fashion, food, family, and faith merge to empower and inspire boomer women all around the world. That place is

I recieved a copy of this book for review from The B&B Media Group, I was not otherwise compensated for my opinions.

December 14, 2009

Oh my..

Donnie likes to complain that the house is decorated all feminine. So, maybe, just maybe, I should give him his room to decorate. What room is that, you ask? The bathroom, of course! haha! I could let him choose the shower curtains.

What would he choose? Vikings or Camouflage? I am certain it would be one of these if I let him have the control.

Personally I could happily make the switch from pretty to functional like this great curtain with mesh pockets to hold everybody's different shampoos and soaps.
Or, we could go all "homeschooler" and get this English language one. There are also shower curtains with French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese on them! Why?
I can see this one in a college dorm, though, the top 500 vocabulary words on the SAT.

Lets just redecorate the whole house!

When we bought our house we also inherited all the window coverings that were in it. That saved me money at the time, but now I am ready to change things up a bit. My neighbors can see in my dining room and living room curtains, so I have been searching for Pleated Curtains. I really like these. I need Burgundy for the dining room and a cream or beige for the living room. I could use a nice set in my bedroom, too. My windows are really narrow in there, so these may be a bit wide for that. I would love to find sage for my bedroom.

As long as I am looking at bedding.....

I found some great sports themed for the boys. I love the jean look of these NBA comforters. They are perfect for the boys.

Donnie, of course, would wonder why we'd need anything but the MN Vikings on their beds. He'd probably even love it if we did our bedroom purple and gold, lol. Not even kidding. I love the curains with this set, too.

Hmmm, maybe this instead!

Maybe instead of an electric blanket, I should just redecorate my bedroom! A third comforter may work just great at keeping me warm.

I found some great Chris Madden Comforters at I need a new look for my room and this set is 64% off right now.


It is sooooo cold here in the Midwest. It took awhile for winter to set in, but it has arrived and the cold temps are relentless!

I really hate being cold. Especially at night. I sleep with two comfortors on my bed, and it is still not warm enough for me. I think an electric blanket is in my future. I'm pretty sure Sam will hate it, he doesn't like being warm. Maybe he would finally move to his own room then!

I found this one in Kohls Bedding through Doesn't it look warm and fuzzy?

December 11, 2009

Disney on Ice, the most magical show on Earth!

As a Feld Family Activator I was given an opportunity to take my family to see Disney on Ice Presents Princess Classics last night. The winner of my giveaway for the 4 pack of tickets was Cindy, who entered 13 times! I have her kids with me in the pictures.
We turned this opportunity into a birthday party for Trinity, much to the delight of her friends, cousin and herself! I would never have been able to do this without Mom Central of the Feld Family Activator program.
Before the show started we went to a meet and great and got to meet Cinderella. The girls were just beside themselves!

After the picture Anna, the girl in the pink dress, came up to me and said "I have never met Cinderella before!"
Then we went to a nice dinner fit for a princess! The tables were fantastic! Each place had a giant princess coloring book and an Ariel cup for the girls to keep. To say they were thrilled is an understatement. And this was all before the show started! (the food was fantastic, too!)

We had wonderful VIP seats and were just 6 rows back from the ice. (until we moved closer to our friends at the intermission, then we were 4 rows back)
The show was just fantastic! It went way beyond my expectations. Disney went all out and everything was just perfect. The show was so intense and entertaining that we didn't even notice the props changing before our eyes! We'd be distracted with spotlights on the castle or some fancy firework type show and someone would slide a tree or a fireplace onto the ice. Just top notch!

My favorite part of everything was the Aladdin part. When Aboo is an elephant and he came out on the ice. It was just impressive! The legs moved, there were people in the costume, but it was so huge that someone could sit on top and needed a ladder to get down!

The Magic carpet ride was quite amazing, too!

The step sisters and step mother's costumes were just too neat!
The mice were adorable, too!
The girls just went nuts when Sebastian came out and sang Under the Sea. I think Arielle might be their favorite princess, lol.
Every detail of every princess story was just fascinating.

I loved the added touch of Mickey and Minnie narrating, and Goofy's appearance into the show.
Sam loved the show, too! A show fit for a Prince or Several (thousand) Princesses!

Fun times!
Thank you so much Mom Central and Feld Family Activator program for the most amazing opportunity to see Disney on Ice! It is an experience we will repeat in the future for sure!

You haven't missed your opportunity to see this show! For those of you in Minnesota, or close to the Twin Cities, you can still see the show Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13! If you go to and use the code MOM in the Mom Central code box you can get a 4 pack of tickets for $44, or $4 off a weekend ticket.
Check to see when Disney on Ice will be in your area. Your little princess will never forget the experience, and neither will you!