Thursday, May 31, 2012

Encyclopedia Punishment

This is what punishment looks like at my house.  Well, not usually, but it did today in a round about way.  Y'all are just going to have to follow me on this one . . . 

You see, earlier this afternoon, my two oldest ones got into a knock down, drag out fight - literally.  It started with bickering, escalated to yelling.  That was followed by hitting and pushing.  It ended with me sending both girls to their rooms forever for a while.  I also took away their technology privileges including TV, Wii, & computer until Monday.  (Yes, now I realize that is 3 whole days away.  It was a moment of temporary insanity that I will surely regret many times during the next 72 hours.)

Then, later at dinner, they started singing the Star Spangled Banner.  I honestly have no idea why.  Rachel commented that the song didn't make any sense.  "What does early light have to do with our country anyway?"  My husband sarcastically replied, "It's a shame you can't go look it up on the computer since you lost those privileges, huh?  I guess you could use the Encyclopedia books like mom and I used to use."  
"You mean those brown books on the top shelf in the den? There's that kind of stuff in those?"

All three of them ended up as seen above - on the couch reading the Encyclopedia!  DW and I just had to laugh.   Here's some of the scuttlebutt we overheard:

"Who is this guy?"  (Emily referring to a picture of Ronald Reagan)

"I want the G book.  You take the T book."

"Look at these silly birds!"

"I looked up the Star Spangled Banner.  Now, I'm reading about Italy."

"Can I take this book to bed and look at it for my bedtime reading?" (Megan - and she did)

 Who would have thought?!?!  Remember my technology post from earlier this week?  This is one of those moments that really makes me doubt "progress."  Normally, we might have told Rachel to "google it," but because of the punishment situation, that wasn't an option and they got so much joy out of looking through those books.  I highly doubt that "googling it" would have provided the giggles and excitement they got from those old brown books that were collecting dust on a shelf.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Technology Generation

This was the scene at my house for a while yesterday:

Emily was on one couch with DW's iPad navigating Netflix like a pro.  She found a princess movie to watch without any adult assistance.  Meanwhile, Rachel and Megan were on another couch side by side, each with a laptop open.  They were playing a Disney online game in which they create virtual fairies who become virtual friends and meet each other (and other fairies) in a virtual fairy world.

I would like to say this scene is uncommon, but that would not be completely truthful.  The fact is, today's kids (including mine) are being raised in a technological world.  They are surrounded by computers, smartphones, and iPads.  It is truly amazing how much technology has advanced even since my oldest was born less than ten years ago.  A while back we happened to be in a building that had actual pay phones.  My kids didn't know what they were and when we explained, they replied, "Well, that's silly!  Why don't people just use their cell phones?"  In fact, did you know that the word "google" is now listed in the Webster's dictionary?  It is both a verb and a noun.  (I know this because I looked it up - online.)  In the future, my kids will probably read this and wonder "What was this smartphone thing mom was writing about? And, what the heck is google?  Poor mom! Wasn't her little blog cute and oh so simplistic?!?"

Technology is great in so many ways.  We have information at our fingertips.  If our kids have a question, we can just look it up.  They can see the world without leaving their house.  We can connect with other families and find all kinds of fun things to do.  Concerned about an ominous cloud?  I just check my Weather Channel app.  Kids got a strange rash?  Just check their symptoms on WebMd.

However, I do have to wonder what negative effects it is having on our kids.  We live on about 15 acres and have lots of outdoor space, but, most of the time, my kids would much rather sit and watch T.V. or play on the computer than go outside and ride their new bikes.  At least 50% of what my oldest reads is on her Nook.  They have probably learned more about sports from the Wii than they have from actually playing.  (Maybe because they are all girls???)  At one point this year, my fourth grader was convinced that she needed a calculator to do her math homework.  Fourth Grade???  When I tried to reason with her and explain that she needed to learn to do it "the old fashioned way" because she might not always have a calculator she responded, "Yes I will.  There's a calculator on your iPhone."  True enough - but she still doesn't get to use a calculator for elementary school homework!  Ironically, you can google hundreds of articles about how technology is actually making our kids dumb and/or obese.

It is most definitely one of those "Catch 22" situations.  I don't want my kids to become so dependent on technology that they become lazy and don't learn how to do things on their own.  However, I know that they have to keep up with technology and learn to use it well if they want to be successful in life.  (The oldest can already do a better Power Point presentation than I could, I'm sure!)  So what do other parents out there think about all this??  Are your kids technology smart??  Technology lazy??  How do we find the balance?

Just consider these "food for thought" . . 

This one is a bit hard to read, but simply HAD to be included.  It says, "Can't I just email you a link to my blog,  Miss?" 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Baby - the Kindergartner

This was Emily on her first day of preschool this year.
Note to self: Take better pictures!

This was Emily today - her last day of preschool ever.

I knew this day was coming, but grasping it in reality is not so easy.  For me, today is extremely bittersweet.  I am honestly looking forward to next school year.  It will be the one year all 3 of my girls are in the same school; under one roof.  I anticipate that the time I spend in my minivan will decrease by at least half.  Right now, I volunteer at preschool and elementary school and church.  Without preschool, one of those will be taken off my plate and (theoretically), I will have more "free" time.  Plus, I know it's time.  Emily is ready to move on and we, as a family, are, too.

However, we have been at the same preschool since my oldest was two - that was almost 8 years ago.  Not going will seem a little strange.   I will greatly miss the camaraderie I have with other preschool moms, too.  They are church members, familiar faces, and friends.  Some of them have been at the preschool as long as I have.  Some I will still see at Bible Study and Church, although less frequently than I do now.  Some of them, I honestly may not see again.  Sadly, I simply don't have the type of relationship with other parents at the elementary school that I have at the preschool and I will miss it.

The deeper sadness comes from this, though - It also means any small shred of lingering babyhood is now gone in our house.  I cannot even say I have a preschooler anymore.  All three of my girls are big kids now.  I have no desire to go back to babyland and have another one, but it is the end of an era and that is always a little sad.

Such a big girl now!
Have to throw this in, too - Hands down my favorite page from the scrapbook Emily's preschool teacher put together for us!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Playroom Findings

If you read yesterday's post, you know I did a serious clean-out in my kids' playroom over the past couple of days.  Here is a list of some of the things I found:
  • Money - Emily's lost wallet to be exact, although I don't think she knew it was lost.  It was full of coins from her piggy bank.
  • Dried playdough
  • Baby Toys - My youngest is almost 5.  Why on earth was there still a set of Elmo toy keys and a rattle in the toy box?
  • Socks - All those lost socks nobody can seem to find - check your kids' playroom.  Jackpot!
  • Beads - Lots and Lots of Beads
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Empty juice boxes
  • More Dried Playdough
  • Approximately 217, 584 Happy Meal toys - I get three of the same thing every time I go!  (Scary to realize how often I must go) :-/
  • 4 bottles of nail polish
  • Paper - gobs of wasted paper (Sorry trees!)
  • More dried playdough
  • I pink baseball cap I tried desperately to find about 2 weeks ago when Megan had a field trip to the zoo
  • A couple of Emily's blankies - good thing we have a few thousand extras!
  • More crayons, markers, and pencils in random places than I care to even estimate
  • More dried playdough
What do you think you might find hiding in your kids' playroom, toy box, or closet????

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My relationship with our playroom

I have a real Love/Hate relationship with our playroom.  (Read more about that here or here.)   I LOVE that it is a completely separate room where we can keep all the kids' junk stuff toys.  I also LOVE that I can close the door and ignore the mess most of the time - out of sight, out of mind.  However, I HATE arguing with my kids about cleaning it up and I HATE the chaos that perpetually lurks behind the door.  You see, my kids clean up by throwing things into a closet or a box or some random container.  I guess they also subscribe to the out of sight, out of mind philosophy.  Things works for a while, as long I keep the door closed.  Eventually, though, the mess and chaos get out of control and I have to unleash my inner neat freak.  That's what happened this weekend.  I spent a good part of Sunday afternoon and Monday morning cleaning, straightening, and organizing - AGAIN!

Here's the conundrum that the playroom currently poses for me.  My girls are 9 (almost 10), 7, and 4 (almost 5) and the fact is they really don't actually play with much of anything in the playroom.  Megan uses the art easel to play school.  Once in a blue moon, they will play with a 1 or 2 of the bazillion dolls that are in there.  Occasionally, they will get out the art supplies to make a birthday card for someone.  Emily does like to dress up some, but uses the same two princess dresses every time.  They NEVER play with the little kitchen or the 2,000,000 My Little Ponies or the 2 katrillion stuffed animals or the other 90% of the dolls or the other bucket of dress up stuff or the blocks or the puzzles or the Princess tent Emily had to have or the musical instruments - you get the idea.  Since the little one is only four it doesn't seem quite right to get rid of all that stuff completely, though.  I know that, eventually, that room will become a teenage hangout, but they are certainly not ready for that yet.  So what I am supposed to do with it in the meantime??

My strategy is to begin purging little by little.  Today, I took the kitchen (that Rachel got as a present on her 3rd birthday), all the play food, and the grocery cart up to the attic.  I also threw out a gigantic 50 gallon trash bag full of papers, broken toys, and junk.  I think soon, I will also pare down the doll family and the stuffed animal menagerie a little as well (although some of the dolls & animals out there actually used to be mine!).  But even then the question is whether to pack them away and keep them in the attic until I'm a grandmother or give them away or trash them.

The mess and constant need for organizing is definitely frustrating.  I think trying to figure out what to do with the stuff is difficult, though, because getting rid of it means my little girls aren't so little anymore.  They aren't ready for that teenage hangout space just yet, but I know that, soon enough, they will be.  Maybe then I will look back on these blog posts and actually miss all those dolls, all those ponies, all those stuffed animals, and all that chaos!

Some "AFTER" Pictures
SOME of the dolls

The toy box with the Princess tent she HAD to have folded up behind it and forgotten

The art "center" - If you can't see the labels on the bins, don't worry.  Apparently my kids can't see them either.

If you can relate to this post, stay tuned.  Tomorrow I will post a list of all the random stuff that went into that giant trash bag!!!  What would you find if you cleaned out your kids' playroom???

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Discipline is hard

This no surprise to you if you are a parent.  Discipline is constant - from the big things (like lying and beating up siblings) to the little things (like remembering to pick up your dirty socks and not talking with your mouth full) and everything in between.  It is never fun for anyone involved, either.  Because of it's continual nature and it's lack of fun factor, discipline can actually be quite exhausting.

In fact, I have noticed lately that my discipline "techniques" have become rather lazy.  I have put up with too much whining.  I have "given in" a few too many times.  I have used the "ignore strategy" a little too freely.  Why?  Because I'm tired of disciplining my kids.  It takes a lot energy and it is just easier to let things slide.  However, instituting poor discipline is doing a disservice to my kids and to society (and to me!).  So, having realized my shortcoming, I am trying really hard to do better.  And I repeat, discipline is hard.

Just the other night, we sent our 7 year old to bed fifteen minutes earlier than the usual bedtime because of a sassy mouth that had to be punished.  She cried and cried which is never easy for a mom to hear.  It would have been much more fun for both of us to cuddle up in bed and read a book together, but that would not have addressed the problem and she would most certainly have repeated the behavior.

It is also important for parents to find a balance with their discipline.  I tend to be a little lazy and DW tends to be a little harsh.  We have discussed it many times and we try hard to find a middle ground.  For example, the sending to bed early - he didn't yell and I didn't just ignore it.

The fact is, there is no parenting manual that tells us "For this offense, you should give this punishment and for that offense you should give that punishment."  We are all just figuring it out as we go along and trying to do the best we can.  It is exhausting and overwhelming.  Occasionally, we have to take a step back and re-evaluate our strategies.  We aren't always going to get it right, but, hopefully, the overall effect will be positive in the end!

We want to discipline like this . . . 

But it often comes across like this.

 We're really just trying to avoid this . . . 

and maybe this!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Things I swore I wouldn't do

Linking up with Growing Up Geeky for this post today~

Before I actually became a parent, there were lots of things I swore I would never do as a parent.  Of course, kids are just about the biggest reality check ever invented, so here are some things I thought I wouldn't do, but have now definitely done!

Packages in the Stroller - I remember walking around the mall with my hubby as newlyweds.  I was dumbfounded by the people who had a stroller full of packages and baby/toddler in their arms.  It just seemed so ridiculous to me and I promised him we would NEVER do that.  Of course, three kids later, I couldn't even tell you how many times I have been there, done that!

Co-sleeping - Yes, I was one of those parents who was totally against co-sleeping.  I thought it to be unsafe and unnecessary.  That was until my oldest was 7 months old and had her first ear infection.  Not knowing the cause of her crying, I had been up with her all night.  Finally, at about 3am, I put her in the bed with my hubby for what was supposed to be just a couple minutes so I could get a tiny break.  Less than five minutes later, she was snuggled up to him sound asleep and co-sleeping suddenly seemed much more appealing.  After about 5 months of it, we also discovered that it was a very hard habit to break, though!

Let my kids have attachment objects too long -  Well, this too is a very hard habit to break.  My oldest had a pacifier until she was 3 1/2 years old.  That's when a "tell-it-like-it-is" pediatrician scared the poop out of me by pointing out that she could chew on it and choke in her sleep.  (A bit of an extreme scenario, yes - but still frightening to the mommy.)  With my other two, I broke the paci habit at around 15 months, but um . . . . 

Do you see the blankie here . . 
By the way, it was Wacky Wednesday at preschool, I swear!
and here . . . 

and the 4 or 5 of them here. . . . . 

She is almost 5.  Enough said. 

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Hello readers!  As I'm sure you know, Sunday is Mother's Day and since this is a mommy blog, I've been putting some pressure on myself to write some kind of witty and/or super insightful post about mothers.  Robin at Pink Dryer Lint wrote this list of gift suggestions for Mother's Day that made me laugh.  Then I read this post from "You Know It Happens At your House Too!"  and the comments that followed.  The post is about celebrating her daughter's 10th birthday and there was one line in a comment from Blissfully Discontented  that really touched me and has stuck with me.  She wrote, "Enjoy your Masterpiece today!"  The masterpiece she is speaking of is, of course, the birthday child.  What an analogy - our children are our masterpieces!  Well, that thought reminded me of the passage below.   I posted this story in January 2011 here, but I've gotten some new followers since then and I think it definitely warrants a re-posting - especially with Mother's Day right around the corner.

If you have read it before, read it again (at least the last paragraph) - we all need the reminder.  If you have never read it before, enjoy (and grab some tissues).  If it touches you, share it with another mother who is important in your life.  Above all, remember that, if you are a mom, you are NOT invisible.  You are creating your masterpieces and they are wonderful!  Happy Mother's Day!!!

The Passage is called "The Invisible Mother" by Mary Lynn Plaisance.

The Invisible Mother
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or
sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30 , please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball: 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone? What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature--but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals--we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was
almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does."

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend
he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, "You're gonna love it there..."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How much is too much??

Growing up, I played sports in middle and high school.  Before that, I only participated in a few extracurricular activities.  I did a very brief stint in a Saturday morning dance class, but it was not my thing.  I played basketball on the optimist leagues in the winter.  I also took piano lessons beginning in third grade.  To the best of my memory, that's it until I got to middle school.  My brother played basketball, too, and little league baseball.  The "family schedule" was too crazy until my brother and I were at least in middle school.  Nowadays, however, it seems most kids are super busy before they even hit elementary school.  It's great that they have the opportunity to participate in so many activities, but I can't help but wonder how much is too much?

As a parent, I certainly want my girls to have lots of opportunities to experience new activities, explore their interests, and make new friends.  But where do we draw the line??  How do we decide which activities are worth the effort and craziness??  These are questions I have struggled with for the past couple of years.  

As the school year, and, therefore, the girls' current activities are beginning to wind down, the talk of activities for next year has already begun.  Here are their current wish lists for what they want to do next year:

Dance (she wants to be a ballerina and we have promised to sign her up this fall.)
Children's choir (through our church)

Soccer (She wants to play this fall for the first time and, if she likes it, can play again in Spring.)
Gymnastics or Dance (While we watch Rachel do gymnastics she wants to do gymnastics.  When Emily talks about dance, Megan talks about dance.  Otherwise, she doesn't mention it.)
Horseback Riding (She is currently doing this and it is a year-round activity.)
Children's Choir

Horseback riding (She has done this for the past three years.  Again, year-round.)
Gymnastics (She is doing this now and wants to continue.  Also, year-round.)
Children's Choir (She almost gave this one up this year, but changed her mind.)
Dance Team (through the elementary school)
Jump Rope Team (also through the school)
**This school year, we required her to participate in the Battle of the Books.  She does not want to do it again, but that is still a "point of discussion" if you know what I mean.
**She has also asked in the past to take music lessons -piano or violin.  We have delayed and she hasn't mentioned it lately.  Missed opportunity???

Like I said, I want them to explore new things and take advantage of the opportunities they have.   I almost feel guilty telling them no.  If they have interests, they should be given the opportunity to try them, right??  They are kids who are "finding themselves" and they can't do that if I stifle them.  Who knows - maybe in one of these activities they will find their special talent; a talent that could turn into a lifelong passion.

On the other hand, there's school and homework and church activities and family events and dentist/orthodontist appointments and PTA meetings and the list goes on.  Academics have to come first (in our opinion) and all this extra stuff is just that - EXTRA.  Not to mention, they I we need baths and meals, and sleep, too.  I already spend way too much of my life in the car and really don't want to add to that.  Also, since my hubby travels, I have to work all this out as if he is not here to help because often he isn't.

So, I would love to hear from some other folks on this topic.  What/how many activities do your kids do??  How do you juggle it all??  Do you feel guilty if you say no to something they want to try?  How do you decide which activities they can participate in?  And, of course, how much is too much???

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

At least they aren't vampires . . .

Saturday, we spent almost the whole day opening the pool, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and getting ready for summer.  By that evening, I was way too worn out to cook, so we headed out and grabbed dinner.  After all, it was Cinco de Mayo!  While we were out, DW's mom called to let us know the power was out in our neighborhood, so we meandered a little longer stopping at a couple stores.  Finally, we headed home much later than we should have.  When we got there, the power was still not on.

Since it was time for the girls to go straight to bed, this shouldn't have been a big problem, right??  Well, have I ever mentioned that my girls all sleep with night lights??  Not just one, but two EACH!  They each have a battery-operated light that changes colors and is filled with these water "beads".  Of course, those still worked.  However, Rachel also has a neon green lava lamp that I truly believe scientists could use to replace the sun if that was ever necessary.  Emily sleeps with her closet light on and Megan has a second, plug-in light.  When the girls realized their electric lights were not going to happen, they freaked out!!  I'm talking tears, screaming, then more screaming and more tears!  It probably didn't help that they were overtired.  My retort of "When you close your eyes it's going to be dark anyway!" was also not helpful (go figure!).  They begged to sleep together which I knew would just further the chaos, so I refused.

Megan was actually the calmest one of the bunch.  She had her one light and I gave her my iPod (because she also listens to music as she goes to sleep).  This was enough for her.  Rachel and Emily, on the other hand, were inconsolable.  After I put them to bed upstairs and left them both still crying, I heard Emily "tiptoe" into Rachel's room.  Later, when I went to check on them, they were huddled together as if they were awaiting the end of the world, but they were asleep.  (It was actually kind of cute, but I can't tell them since they were disobeying my rule!)

After the initial panic attacks, they all settled in and got a good night's sleep.  The power came on a few hours later and we all got a not-so-gentle reminder of just how dependent we are on electricity.  Oh well - at least we know the girls aren't vampires!!!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

My Almost Famous Recipe

I enjoy cooking though I am certainly not a gourmet chef.  I frequently cruise the internet for new recipes to try.  Once in a blue moon, I find a recipe that becomes something I make over and over again.  This is one of those recipes.  It is the one recipe for which I am famous (Well, famous in my own little universe anyway!)  It is one recipe that people actually request I make.  If I take it somewhere, people always ask for the recipe.  I made it a couple weekends ago and decided it wasn’t fair for me to keep the recipe to myself any longer - after all, I didn’t create it; I just found it.  I wanted to post it here for my girls and for my readers!
So here it is - My Almost World Famous Banana Pudding
5 medium bananas
1 large package (5 oz) instant vanilla pudding                  
2 cups milk
16 oz. container of Cool Whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 box vanilla wafers

In a large bowl, mix the pudding with 2 cups cold milk. 

 Once it begins to thicken slightly, add the sweetened condensed milk.
Then, fold in half of the Cool Whip.

Set the mixture aside, and slice the bananas.

In a casserole dish, layer pudding, wafers, and bananas.  Repeat the layers until you have used all the pudding mixture and bananas.  (If using a 13x9 dish, you can get two layers.)  Top with the remaining Cool Whip.

At first, the pudding mixture will seem a little runny, but if you let it set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving, it will be perfect!!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Thank You!!


This is the number I saw this morning on my blogger dashboard under the category of "Pageviews."  If you are not a blogger, that basically means that someone has clicked on The Golden Spoons website 10,129 times!!  That's incredible!

There are some blogs our there that probably get that many pageviews in one day or one week.  It took me almost a year and a half.  Some have hundreds or thousands of followers - I have 12.  There have even been some viral posts in which a single blog entry has gotten hundreds of thousands of views.  Some blogs even generate income through advertising and sponsoring product reviews.  My blog is not one of those blogs.  It might be nice to have a larger following, but I am just fine with my current little piece of the inconceivably ginormous internet.

I write my blog for my family and, as it turns out, for my friends, too.  I love it when people comment on my blog or see me later and say "I loved that story!" or "I completely understand.' or "That made me smile/laugh!"  I have connected with some other bloggers who write similar blogs and I love keeping up with their families, too.

I say all this to say - THANK YOU!!!!!  For every time you have read; for every time you have commented (online or in person); for every time you have clicked to vote for my blog; for every time you have shared it with someone else.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Terror in the Minivan

O.K.  Maybe that title is a bit overdramatic, but do you remember this post about my little one's new found talent for belching??  Well, I certainly want to be fair and balanced, so here's a glimpse into the other side of her personality - the side that is definitely dainty and feminine.

This past Sunday, I had the girls in the van as we were riding to drop the oldest one off at a church activity.  Suddenly, Emily let out a blood curdling scream of terror.  Of course, I was driving and had to try my best to continue focusing on the road and traffic, but my heart was pounding.  I said, "What is it?" certain that she had somehow managed to cut off an appendage or something of similar magnitude.  What else but something so severe could cause such terror?!?

"There's a bug!" she shouted.

"Is it on you?" I asked as I pictured a heinous and yet undiscovered species of insect that was surely stinging her, or biting her, or possibly devouring the tender flesh of my precious little angel.

"No.  It's up there," she said.  "It's on the ceiling above her seat," Megan chimed in.

(At this point, remember that I am still trying to drive down a busy road and Emily is still crying hysterically.)

"What kind of bug is it?" I asked, certain that it must be a killer bee, a tarantula, or one of those "monster bugs" that is depicted in the termite commercials.

Both Megan and Emily replied, "I don't know."  (Which only validated my visions of the undiscovered species.)

In a stroke of genius, I pushed the button and rolled down Emily's window.  "Tell me when it flies out," I demanded.

Then, Megan informs me, "I don't think it's the kind that flies."  Darn!  My brilliant plan was foiled.

Then, another scream from Emily.  "It's moooooving!!!" she cries.

By now, Emily was beyond hysterical.  She was practically climbing out of her seat to get away from this terrible creature.  "Mommy, get it.  Please get it," she was pleading.

I was on a two lane road with nowhere to go.  Then, I saw it - a gas station up ahead.  I whipped that minivan into the parking lot and jumped out with my proverbial "Super Mom" cape flying in the breeze.  I HAD TO SAVE MY BABY!

I opened her door and asked emphatically, "Where is it?"  She and Megan pointed, but I saw nothing.  "Where?" I repeated.  Megan graciously provided some additional details, "It crawled under the handle thingy."

"O.K." I said.  "Emily go over to the other side of the car and Megan give me your shoe!"  I readied myself to do battle and inflict the worst kind of punishment upon this awful, terrible creature that had successfully scared the "you-know-what" out of my little princess.

With shoe in one hand, I carefully lifted the car handle with the other and there it was - one of the tiniest spiders I have ever seen.  It was no bigger than the nail on my pinky finger.

Really?!?!?! I thought to myself.  This is it??  This is the thing that invoked panic and sent my four year old into hysterics??  This is the thing that almost caused me to have a heart attack which would have certainly led to a multi-car pileup??  I swear that was probably the longest five  three  two minutes I have ever spent in a vehicle - probably for Emily, too - and it was all caused by an itsy bitsy spider!!!!

There is a children's song about this guy, for Heaven's sake!

(After the ordeal was finished, I wondered if The Vegetarian was going to have any words of disapproval for me regarding the murder of the aforementioned spider.  She has done that before - seriously.  However, I guess she thought better of it after watching my eye rolling, heavy sighing, and general demeanor of displeasure.  She is smart like that, you know!)

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After all this, you really should have some sympathy for me, so please take a second to vote!  Thanks!

Wordless Wednesday

Sleeping Beauty ;-)

She fell asleep in the car yesterday while we were in carpool line for the big girls.  It has been a very long time since that happened, so I had to snap this sweet little picture!

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