Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I'm waiting.  Patiently??  Not really.  But, I'm waiting.

When I had baby girls, lots of people said "Oh how sweet!  They will be the best of friends!"  (Or something along those lines.)  I only have one brother, so I had never experienced this sisterly friendship everyone spoke of so fondly.  Well, I am still waiting to experience it!!

Do my girls love each other?  Absolutely.  Do they like each other??  Not so much.  At least that's the way it seems.  Especially the two older ones.  They can barely be in the same room without some sort of argument or whining about each other.

Sure there is occasionally an unusual Saturday when they actually get along, but those are very few and far between.  When it does happen, I can almost hear the tick tock of the bomb that will almost certainly be exploding at any second.

I recognize that they have very different personalities and I know sibling rivalry is normal.  But this is not rivalry - this is war!  The only way I have found to keep them from fighting is to keep them separated.  However, most of the time that is simply impossible.  Plus, I don't want to keep them separated.  I want them to coexist peacefully within this Witherspoon family unit.  Is that too much to ask???  Too much to expect????

It's normal.  They will grow out of it.  They will be friends when they are older.  These are all reassurances I have heard and/or told myself lately.  I guess for now all I can do is take a deep breath and keep waiting (patiently or not), praying, and trying my best.

(For those who read these posts loyally - I apologize for the rant.  This is not what I intend for this blog to be.  I usually try to be more upbeat or even a little funny.  Today I am just frustrated beyond explanation.  Your suggestions and virtual moral support are appreciated!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It's that time of year again - time to go shopping for new spring clothes for the kids.  I took the two oldest ones out shopping this past weekend.  I took them separately - one at a time - because together would just be a disaster!  Spending one-on-one time with them reminded me how different they are from each other.  Here's a glimpse into our shopping adventures.

I took Megan out on Friday afternoon.    Megan is very easy to please.  She likes EVERYTHING she sees.  She goes through the store with her usual hyper energy and picks up everything.  "How 'bout this Mom?" "This is cute!" "What about this one?"  She is something akin to a bull in a china shop, but fortunately clothes aren't breakable.  However, it is rather exhausting.   The good news is that she is also very gullible.  I can easily convince her to like anything I like and to dislike anything I dislike as well (I hope it is still this easy when she is a teenager!).  I took her to two stores - Children's Place and JCPenney.  We came out with 1 church dress, 1 casual dress, 1 skort, and 3 outfits (shorts & top).  Easy Peasy!  We'll hit a couple more stores sometime soon and be finished!

I took Rachel out on Saturday and it was a very different story.  Rachel is the complete opposite.  She hates shopping, which means she already has a not-so-sunny disposition from the minute we begin.  She is super picky.  She likes what she likes and there is no persuading her differently.    Here is a summary of Rachel's clothing requirements:

  • First & foremost, clothes must be comfortable.  Comfort trumps fashion anytime.
  • She will not wear anything that is denim or made in a way similar to jeans (such as belt loops, button & zipper fly, etc.).
  • She does not like any kind of pattern - no plaid, no flowers, no polka dots.  Stripes are sometimes o.k., but must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • She LOVES skirts, but will not wear skorts.
  • The clothing gets bonus points if it comes in her favorite color - turquoise.
  • Finally, the more flowy, feminine, etc., the better - as long as it meets all the above criteria.
I took Rachel to 3 stores - Old Navy, Target, JCPenney. We got 2 pairs of shorts (however, the coordinating tops had various patterns and were much to babyish for my exceptionally mature 8 yr. old.), 1 casual sundress, 1 skirt, and 4 random tops (only 1 of which could be combined with any of the bottoms we purchased in an attempt to create a cohesive outfit).  Oh yeah, and a headache - a big, fat headache from all the arguing and negativity.  Unfortunately, I will likely have to drag her to a few more stores in order to complete any resemblance of a spring/summer wardrobe.  Now that I have a better understanding of her "requirements" I suppose I could go shopping without her to try to find a few items, but that is usually like trying to take a shot in the dark (which could actually be less painful for everyone concerned.)

So there you have it - the personality differences between Rachel and Megan as seen from a shopper's point of view.  Wish me luck and, when you see them this spring and think to yourself "What are they wearing?!?", just remember, I tried my best!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pasta with Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce

This recipe is very quick and easy, but feels just a little gourmet.

Pasta with Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage, mild
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 6-8 ounces pasta (I use rigatoni or penne)

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  Meanwhile,  heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add sausage and brown slightly.  Add red pepper, onion, & garlic.  Cook until onion is tender and sausage is browned.  Add tomatoes, cream, & salt.  Simmer until mixture thickens a little, about 5 minutes.  Add drained pasta to sauce and continue to simmer and additional 5 minutes.  Serve with Parmesan cheese and a green salad!

**The first time I made this, I followed these instructions exactly.  My kids thought it was a little too spicy, so I have backed off on the red pepper flakes since then.  I only use about 1/8 teaspoon or I leave it out entirely.  If you like it extra spicy you could add more red pepper flakes and/or use hot sausage!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Each Day We Choose

I am not usually one to be deeply philosophical.  However, I heard the following passage on the radio a couple weeks ago and it really "spoke" to me.  I finally found it posted on the internet.  Since I hope this blog will be a chronicle of our life as a family, I decided to post the passage here in hopes that my family and I will remember it and take it to heart.  I hope those who read it will take something from it as well!

Each Day We Choose 

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.
Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that
thorns have roses.
Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a
quest to discover new relationships.
Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy
because I have a job to go to!
Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my
mind and fill it with knowledge and adventure.
Today I can dejectedly murmur because I have housework to do or I can
feel grateful for shelter for my mind, body and soul.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped, and here I am, the
sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to
me. And I shall decide what kind of day I shall have!”
How will you live THIS DAY?

**I do not know who is the author of this passage.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I like symmetry.  I like things orderly, organized, and symmetrical.  When I am arranging furniture or hanging things on the wall, it drives me bonkers if they end up uneven and/or asymmetrical.

With that said, I'm not sure why I decided three children would be a good number.  Three is NOT symmetrical.  No matter how you arrange and rearrange it, there is no way to make three equal or even.  It is simply impossible.

Now, don't get me wrong here.  I love all three of my girls and wouldn't trade any of them for all the money and power in the world.  I also DO NOT plan on having a fourth to "even things out" as some people have suggested.  But the asymmetry is driving me nuts!

You see asymmetry = chaos.  At least in my opinion.  I can have with me any two of the girls; oldest & youngest, middle & youngest, middle & oldest - the combination doesn't matter.  When there are only two,  everything is so much calmer.  The volume is lower.  Everyone is generally happier.  As soon as all three of them are together, the chaos begins.  There is fighting, yelling, crying.  The volume increases to deafening levels.  I am pulled in a thousand different directions with everyone's needs and requests.  What is the explanation for this????  Asymmetry.

However, have you noticed how many things come in sets of three??  The Three Little Pigs.  The Three Blind Mice.  Donald Duck's nephews - Huey, Dewey, & Louie.  The Three Bears.  The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  The Three Stooges.  The Three Wise Men.  Three flavors in Neapolitan ice cream.  Three strikes in baseball.  Three point shots in basketball.  Three angles on a triangle.  There are even three holes in a bowling ball.  How can such an asymmetrical and chaotic number be so popular????

Maybe it's because chaos keeps things interesting.  In fact, the number three usually works out just fine.  The Three Stooges certainly made us laugh.  The Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruff defeated their adversaries in the end.  A bowling ball has three holes because it just fits better that way.  That's how it is with my three girls - it just fits.

"Explosive Chaos" by Natalie Holland

There can also be beauty in chaos.  Just look at these paintings.  They are interesting, colorful, vibrant - Just like my girls; just like my life.

"Nature's Chaos" by Richard Heinsohn

So I will continue to endure - and enjoy - the chaos.  Maybe I'll learn to loosen up a little.  Maybe the chaos will lessen as the girls get older.  Maybe not.  But even if the chaos is maddening from time to time, it is also what makes my life interesting and beautiful and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guess Who

People (including David and me) have always been amazed by how much our girls look alike.  I think they look like David.  Others think they look like me.  But everyone agrees they look a lot like each other.  I was reminded of this today when I happened upon some old pictures on my computer.  I thought it would be fun to let you see how much they look alike.

Here they are in random order - Can you tell which is which????  If you think you can, leave me a comment with your guess.  I'll post the answers in a comment on the blog on Thursday!!



#3 - Yes, it;s the same outfit as #2, but it's a different baby!



Monday, March 7, 2011

It Ain't Easy Being Clean!!!

I really don't know what my girls have against being clean, but they do not like bath time.  That means I do not like bath time!!  (At least not theirs.)  I just don't understand it.  Don't most kids like taking a bath??

I guess I should clarify one thing.  Once they are in the tub/shower, they are fine.  In fact, it's a struggle to get them out.  However, getting them to the bath is like World War III.  I say, "C'mon girls.  It's bathtime!"  I get a barrage of whining, complaining, and arguing.  "Why do we have to take a bath again?" they ask.  "We didn't get dirty today," they argue.  "Can we at least wait until after dinner or until this show is over?" they beg.  "We'll take one tomorrow," they promise.  I just don't get it.  What's the big deal???  They are girls.  Don't they want to be prissy and pretty??  Smell good??  Nope.  They just want to avoid the bathtub at all costs.

Well, I guess it's just one of those difficult life lessons they have to learn - It Ain't Easy Being Clean!!!

By the way, if you ever notice that my girls are "the stinky kids," you'll know I gave up and surrendered to my opponents!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Crock Pot Ravioli

This is a versatile, easy, and family friendly recipe.  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Ravioli
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded mozzarella
26 oz. frozen ravioli

In skillet, saute garlic and onion.  Add pasta sauce, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning.  Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray and layer in ingredients as follows: 1 cup sauce, 1/2 ravioli, 1/2 cheese, 1 cup sauce, remainder of ravioli, remainder of cheese, remainder of sauce.  Cook on low for 4 hours.

Some variations:

  • I used cheese ravioli so my vegetarian daughter would eat it.  You could certainly use beef ravioli or any variety of frozen tortellini as well.
  • You could also brown some ground beef or sausage with the garlic and onion if you prefer a meat sauce.
  • Fresh pasta (such as Buitoni) would probably work, too, but I would suggest cutting the cooking time down to 3 hours.
  • This made plenty for my family of five, but you could double the recipe for a crowd.  (Just make sure your crock pot is big enough!)  

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