Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chicken pops! (as Katelyn calls them)

We are officially in round two and three of the chicken pox virus with our kids.  Jocelyn was the first one to come down and Katelyn followed suit two weeks later.  Easton started showing the day after Katelyn.  When people find out that our kids have the chicken pox, the common question is...don't they have vaccinations to prevent that and some ask why we didn't vaccinate.  This is a hot button for a lot of people.  About half of our friends vaccinate and half don't.  Since there is no state law that requires a parent to vaccinate their kids, it is nice that the decision is left up to the parents to make the best medical choice for their kids.  Many strongly disagree with the decisions we have made for our own kids and that is fine...I am not the type of person to go up to someone and condemn them for vaccinating their child...if someone wants to talk about why we don't I am always open to the conversation and sharing our personal reasons.  Some say they don't for religious reasons, however that is not our reasons at all.

When I was growing up and going through my own round of vaccinations I had a severe reaction to the DPT shot.  I was not able to complete the entire series and now have a lovely little dent in my leg as a result.  As I got older and there more shots that the schools recommended, we tried doing the shot thing again.  I remember at times becoming extremely sick before getting home from the Dr’s office.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones.  The reactions that I suffered personally where only a partial factor in our decision not to vaccinate...the tip of the iceberg came when I worked for a group home for people with disabilities in Lincoln.  I would talk with the parents of my clients and find out that some at one point had normal healthy babies and after getting vaccinated their child changed overnight or within a few days and was not that normal child anymore.

I know many Dr’s and health groups out there completely deny that there are links between vaccinations and things going wrong, but how can they admit it?  Imagine how many people would sue because of what vaccinations did to their child.  It is a risk that we are taking, but we feel that the odds of our kids getting something that the vaccinations are trying to prevent is much less than the reactions from the vaccinations…not including the chicken pox….we knew those were coming.  We don’t feel that no noe should get vaccinated as it would be horrible if an epidemic broke out again of all the “childhood illnesses” from long ago…it would just be nice if there was a 100% guarantee that nothing would go wrong after getting vaccinations.  At least there is a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to help families out when their child does suffer certain problems from the vaccinations…but money can not always cure a child.

The demographics of this country are changing, so maybe a little later down the road when our children are a little older and have better immune systems to handle vaccinations we might reconsider…but for right now we feel we have made the best choice for our kids.
References:   O.K.  I know that you shouldn’t believe everything you read, but I found the following websites interesting…
There are quiet a few sites out there for or against vaccinations...this is just one of the one's against.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another blog giveaway and boy's room complete!

And the winner is...selected by   #7!!!  Congratulations Diana!!

Keep the end of this post you can enter to win some Uppercase Living Expressions!

I have this check list in my head of things I would like to complete before the new baby comes.  One project was to complete the boys' room.  Granted our new baby will not be sleeping in there for quiet some time, but I just wanted to have it ready.  Of course I decorated using Uppercase Living..duh!:)  Enjoy the pictures...and for those of you who didn't can find out what this new baby's first name will be!

Kind of hard to see, but I put a UL truck and W on the piggy bank and put the W expression on the canvas with a terra cotta oval boarder.

Ok...this isn't Uppercase Living..I free handed these...probably could have used Uppercase Living though!

Now for the giveaway!!  Even if you have won my past giveaways...stilll enter...the winners are chosen by, so anyone has a chance to win.
To enter:
1.  Simply write a comment below for an entry.  The comment can simply just be your e-mail address, enter me, or just a hello...nothing special just an entry.
More entries??
2.  Post this contest on Facebook and put a comment that you did.
3.  Post this contest on Twitter and put a comment that you did.
4.  Become a follower of my blog and post that you are...or if you already a comment that you are.

***Contest will end Tuesday, October 26th at midnight....I will draw a winner on Wednesday morning.***

Easy enough!  Ok...what is the prize?

As shown below, this sampler is available exclusively in Soft Gold and includes a variety of fun designs, perfect for enhancing almost any item. You can apply these expressions to laptops, cellphones, and household accessories (including vases, lamps, stationery, photo frames, and more) to create their own one-of-a-kind decor! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Major decorating help needed!

I do not have an eye for decorating...yes I am a demonstrator for Uppercase Living and I think I do a good job with that, but as far as knick-knacks and centerpieces...that is not my specialty.  I have been struggling this past week with figuring out what type of centerpiece to put on our table.  Sean is a very good at decorating, but he has been busy traveling and I am trying to wing this one on my own.  He suggested to buy a vase and put some sort of flower arrangement in it, but I don't want something to tall that I can't see the kids while we are sitting at the table.  I also don't want to move something every time we are eating.  So here is what I came up with so far.  I metal rod iron basket, some ceramic-porcelain type fruit, and grapes.  I also bought a table runner that was a bit too big, so I cut it to length and sewed it. 
Please be honest...what do you think...I think it kind of looks blah!  Maybe I am wrong or maybe I am right.  Any suggestions?  Send me any pictures of links you might see online of nice centerpiece ideas or something I could do to spice up the table a bit...or if you can't find a link...just tell me what you think I should add/take off or change all together...thanks!!:)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

First round of fall activities complete!

I let the girls choose what they wanted to do for the first round of fall activities.  Jocelyn wanted to take swimming lessons and Katelyn gymnastics.  For the second fall session they will both be in will be easier for me since I will have a new baby in tow during the middle of the session and won't have to deal with the showering and all the extras that go along with swimming class.  I didn't get very many pictures...kind of hard to get action shots!;)

Jocelyn is in the middle of the group

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I am preparing myself to have our fourth baby in hopefully less than 5 weeks.  I am a little nervous about the extra work load that will come about when this new little one arrives, so I have been focusing on teaching all three of our kids how to help more around the house.  The girls have assured me that they will take good care of this new baby, so I can focus more on Easton.  I think they got it a little mixed around.  I don’t have any rewards in place for my kids helping…I guess I just feel that if they are a part of this family they need to help out for free.  For many of the tasks they work as a team, for others, they are on their own.  If you are looking for ways that your kids can help out more around the house, maybe this list will provide you with a few ideas.  Jocelyn is 5 yrs old, Katelyn 3, and Easton 1 ½.

Jocelyn & Katelyn: 
  • emptying trashes around the house
  • setting the table
  • clearing the table after meals
  • cleaning their table spaces
  • gathering laundry around the house
  • sorting laundry by whites/darks
  • putting away their laundry
  • getting dressed by themselves after I pick out their outfits
  • getting their own shoes on and off
  • get breakfast ready in the morning, setting Easton’s cereal and sippy cup out in the morning
  • getting Easton out of bed in the morning and from naps
  • sweeping the floors under the table after meals
  • strapping themselves in their carseats
  • getting diapers/wipes for Easton
  • dusting furniture
  • Make their beds
  • brush their own hair and teeth
  • cleaning up room/toy room, and living room
  • helping with meals (measuring, stirring, pouring, reading directions).
By themselves:

Katelyn:  sorting out socks and underwear after laundry is washed and getting in and out of her carseat by herself.
Jocelyn:  making sandwiches, getting Easton in the car and strapped/unstrapped, helping clean bathroom sinks and floors, getting toothbrushes ready for everyone
Easton:  throw things (that are trash) in the trash, fetch things like diapers and Kleenexes, picking up toys

I am finding just these little things really help out.  Yes, I have to verbally tell them to do most of these things, but my goal is for all of our kids to be little helpers around the house so I can focus more on the big things that need to get done.  I always *try* to praise them after they do something on their own and let them know how much I appreciate them being a "little helper."
Sean says I should look into hiring someone at least once after I have the baby to come clean…why pay money for someone else to come in when I have three kids who will help for free!!:)

Any other ideas of what my kids can be doing to help out at such a young age?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Being married is a lot of work

Being a wife is a lot of work
Last week we had a speaker in our MOPS group,  Jennifer Brown,  from Hope in the Lord Ministries speak to us.  I have heard her speak several times and she always has some good reminders for women who are in the role of a wife.  Being a wife is not an easy thing.  It takes a lot of work.  Almost every young girl has this dream of how wonderful it would be to plan their own wedding, be married, and have kids.  Let me tell you what, I think back to my single days and it was a much easier life being single when I had to just worry about myself.  No I am not in any way shape or form saying I regret getting married and having kids.  I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I am just saying that I could go and do whatever I needed to without having to worry about feeding anyone else, making sure things were clean, worrying about anyone elses work schedules etc.  Plus being a wife of biblical values in a world with few values makes it extra hard. 
What about me, don’t I need a break?
I am constantly hearing my friends tell me...just tell your husband what to do or that he needs to just pitch in more around the house and with the kids.  Sometimes I am amazed at how much my friends go and do while their husbands are at home with the kids and all I think about is…my goodness that poor guy…didn’t he already have a long day/week at work?  Do they ask their husband what they think about things instead of just telling their husband how things are going to be?  Maybe everyone’s work schedules are different, but Sean’s work week is crazy as crazy can be.  He tells me stories of what goes on in running a plant and managing a few hundred people with many different types of personalities.  I am so grateful I don’t have to have a job like that and feel for him sometimes with all he has to deal with during the day.  He has to discipline, hire, fire, mediate, coach, make important decisions, listen to the gripes of many, and then do his job of running a successful business.   Kind of sounds like my job of a stay at home mom a bit, just on a larger scale.  So for me I know the last thing that Sean wants to do is spend his time in his haven (home) that he has provided for our family and do the same things he does on a daily basis at work.  Yes I am exhausted taking care of the kids and I rarely get a day off, but he is exhausted just the same and has his own guy to-do list when he is here at home.  Yes I do get to go out on occasion with friends or run quick errands, but I try to time those things when I know his day has been calm or our schedules haven’t been crazy.  He doesn’t mind keeping the kids or helping me out around the house, but I rarely ask knowing that sometimes it is just easier to take the kids where I need to go instead of dropping the load on him when he walks in the door.  I also try my best not to leave him—honey do lists.  Granted I can’t do everything around here, but I know he has his list of projects in his head that he would like to accomplish, so I try to time certain things when he isn’t in the middle of his projects.
I am grateful
I am grateful that Sean has given me the freedom to go and do whatever I want to with the kids or for myself.    He trusts that I am making the best decisions when he is away at work.  He doesn’t put many limits on what we do.  If it is something big, we talk it over and he tells me what he thinks and we go from there.   I am grateful that he has allowed me to be able to stay at home with the kids and provides our family with everything that we need. 
When we first got married and starting having kids, Sean expressed that one of his goals with our family is to have a peaceful household.  With me staying home with the kids, that has been the first step in keeping our house peaceful.  We try not to over do it with activities and fill our evenings with things…we know as our kids get older and are more into things, that this might be a bit hard, but for now, we are striving for peace. 
What about what the Bible says?
There are many Bible verses out there telling families, husbands, wives, and kids how they should conduct themselves.  Not always easy when you always seem to get a wordly view of what people think instead of a Biblical view.  Here is one verse you have probably heard but have not taken to heart or applied in your own marriage.
Ephesians 5:22-24
22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  24. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Is your husband the head of your household…or are you?
Questions to ask yourself about your marriage and relationship with your husband?
No I am not a marriage expert or have the “perfect” marriage.  I am just saying what works for Sean and I.  But next time you start nagging your husband and drop a burden load on him…ask yourself….
1.                        ***Do I tell him what to do way too much and nag him about things?  What does he 
                         think about that?
2                      *** Is our home a peaceful haven for him to come home to?  If not, why?
4.                     ***Am I in charge of this household or do I let him be?
5.                     ***Am I being a mom to my husband or am I being a wife?  Did he marry me to have   
                         another mom?
Something to chew on. 

Talk with your husband about his wants/needs for your family—if you haven’t already.  Hopefully he will be honest with you about how he really feels and not just say things because he knows you want to hear certain things.

I am lucky—Sean is honest with me so I know exactly what I need to do in maintaining peace in our household.  Love him to pieces!

The calm before all of the spots

So we kind of thought that Jocelyn had an allergic reaction to the hay from the hay ride.  She had just three spots on her face the next day and by the time her swimming class was over in the evening, the spots slowly started to appear all over.  The following day there were more.  We really, really wanted to make it to Roca Berry Farm, so we went for a few hours in the morning and by the time we got home she was covered.  I knew this would come one day and I am glad to see we have one child down and three more to go.  Time is ticking before this new baby we are hoping Easton and Katelyn break out in the next week.  Here is a picture before it really got bad.  No we didn't get the shots...long story about shots, won't go into details, but I had a bad reaction when I was little and could write a separate blog on why we aren't doing shots.

Roca Berry Farm in the Fall!

Last fall was our first visit to Roca Berry Farm.   We had such a good time that the girls talked about it all year.  There are so many activities for the kids to do and they go away picking out a pumpkin (included in the cost of the admission).  I couldn't wait to go and neither could the girls.  Last year we went when it was freezing cold, so this year my goal was to go when the weather was still nice and I while I was still able to walk around and keep up with the kids as they ran around and played.  Lots of pictures to share from our day...and we snuck in this last trip before Jocelyn's chicken pox really broke out!
Farmers Katelyn and Jocelyn

Can almost reach the bunny rabbit
Trying to climb the fence to play with the pigs
Just a bit too small, but tried anyways
Playing in the hay
Getting ready to jump and go bang
Riding the tractor
This might be the closest we get to seeing Snow White for a while
The petting zoo...Easton was SOOOO excited he just chased the animals around
A view of a portion of the much to little energy (from me)
Easton picking out a pumpkin and then throwing it..he is strong!
Jocelyn's pumpkin
Katelyn trying to find the perfect pumpkin
The kids at the end of the morning

Hayride with the family

We met our church friends for a hayride.  It was a wonderful Sunday evening and the kids had a good time.  We roasted hot dogs and smores after the ride.  I didn't have our good camera with us, so the pictures are limited and semi-blurry. Fun fall days!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Enjoying the fall evenings

We try to enjoy the fall weather as much as we can.  One of our favorite things to do is have friends over to have a weenie and smores roast-- easy meal without a lot of cooking and preparation. 
Here are a few pictures from our last weenie roast.
Easton bundled up waiting for his hot dog to be cooked
Sean starting the first batch of weenies
More friends venture down to start roasting away
The girls LOVE having their friends over.  Here they are chowing down with Sarah.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Uppercase Living- Vinyl Expression Giveaway!

 If you haven't heard of Uppercase are missing out!  Uppercase Living vinyl expressions are an easy way to decorate your home, office, business, car...basically any flat surface.  We have over 30 colors to choose from and hundreds of pre-designed expressions.  Not all of our expressions are word sayings...many are simply just pictures.  You can also design your own saying using our My Design Suite.  I have been a demonstrator for Uppercase Living since April of 2008.  If you have been to my home you will also notice that I am addicted...I don't think I have over done it and not every room of our house has it...well o.k.  every room has it except for 4 rooms.  It is amazing how you can transform a room with an Uppercase Living expression!

Below is a link to an old blog post of how I have used Uppercase Living in our home:  (don't forget to come back to this post to enter the contest!!!

Want to win a $25.00 gift certificate AND Free Shipping  for Uppercase Living?  Visit my website:  and comment on this blog post what your favorite expression is and where you would put it.  

Want to have more than one chance to win?

~Post a link to this contest on Facebook and then leave a comment that you did on my blog.
~Post a link to this contest on Twitter and then leave a comment that you did on my blog.
~Become a follower of this you don't have to have your own blog...just click on "become a follower" on the lower right hand side.  Then comment that you are a new follower...if you are a current follower, just put in an entry that you are!

**Other details before you enter away: 
****This contest will end on Thursday, October 7th at 9pm (CST).  
****You must use this gift certificate by Monday, October have in mind how you will spend it and e-mail me your selection.
****Please include your e-mail address in your entry (comment) so I can contact you if you won. 
****Winner will be selected by

If you don't win....for those of you who read this blog post and still want to purchase something...e-mail me your order by Monday, October 11th and I will still give you FREE shipping and take 10% off your entire order!!!

Questions?  E-mail me:
Enter away!!