Friday, October 31

Trick-or-Treat 2008 ROCKED!

Tonight was Trick-or-Treating. Payton looks forward to it all year, talking about what he wants to be and how much candy he'll get. We go T-o-T'ing with Jennifer & Anna and Tiffany, Nate & Lydia, like we have every year since 2004. This was the best year...for five reasons.

First; the weather. It was so warm all day and continued to be so for T-o-T'ing time. No one really had to wear extra warm clothes, no rain, no snow. It was great!

Second; the boys rocked out the candy situation. We brought home 14 full size candy bars, 9 bags of chips and about 6-7 lbs of other candy. Matt and I have already sorted out the kids' stuff from the adult stuff. And discarded all the open candy and things that the boys can't eat and we don't like. i.e. laffy taffy, now & laters, jawbreakers, crappy gum, jujubees, dots, etc.

Third; Maxwell was adorable. He had a fair trade agreement when we started out. He would only take the candy from someone else if he could give them one first. He handed out a lot of candy. Most people would laugh, comment that they'd never gotten candy back before and hand it back over his head. So cute. By the end, he was really getting it though. He figured out he didn't have to give to receive. That was the end of the agreement and Maxwell tried to get a monopoly on the candy situation.

Fourth; Matt. This is the first time we've ever been trick-or-treating together. Since 2003 he's worked every Halloween except one. That one, I was in Vegas with his mom while he was at home with Payton. It was so nice to be together as a family. He had a great time. And so did I.

The last reason that Trick-or-Treat 2008 rocked: B.E.E.R. Yep!! There was a trick-or-treat house that had treats for the grownups. Pop. Beer. Wine. Whatever you wanted, they'd give it to you. Bud Light, Labatts, Bud, Red wine, Pepsi... It rocked. Definitely beat the lady in the cool house that gave out $5 worth of stuff per kid. Yep. I'll take a beer over Hannah Montana candy ANY DAY!!

Pumpkin Carving

Payton and Matt carved our jack-0-lantern today. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Payton requested an "angry face". He and Matt discussed it for a bit and figured out what they wanted. Payton was alright pulling out the gunk for a few moments, but quickly became grossed out and Daddy did the rest.

We did a test light and it looked great! We took it with us to our friends' for trick-or-treating later tonight even. It's now in Payton's bedroom with about 10 glow bracelets inside. Tomorrow he'll be retired to the front yard until the squirrels eat him.

Thursday, October 30

Learning about me

I love to help. I love to work hard. I love to be busy and "doing" all the time. I hate sitting still and feeling like I'm not accomplishing something. Be it a goal for someone else, work at the school or exercising, I need to be making forward progress all the time. I hate being stagnant.

All of these things, leads to me having a hard time saying "No" to someone. When Payton's school started, I had all the plans in the world to be involved. I knew my strong points and my favorite committees I wanted to be on. It was just three. That was enough.

Then came another committee. Then a co-chair volunteered me to make something for another committee. (No, Robin, I don't mind!) And then the I agreed to take on the school newsletter. (SO happy with that...getting great feedback!) Then the prinicpal asked me to take on the co-treasurer position.

I realized this week, that I had too much. My school binder was busting at the seams. It wouldn't close! I had to give up something. I did. And I'm much happier. I don't feel like I have to be 10 places at once or that I have too much to do. I love what I've been able to accomplish thus far and I know my work is appreciated.

Ah. If only there was someone to hand the laundry and dusting over too. Guess I better start teaching Payton better.

Wednesday, October 29

The nose of a hound dog

I think I'm part hound dog. I'm not sure what part, but it must be in my genes somewhere. Since I got pregnant with Payton, my sense of smell has been heightened. And even more so since giving birth to Maxwell almost two years ago.

The other day, I came home from Payton's school and from OUTSIDE MY HOUSE, I could smell Matt's mouthwash. I walked in the door and sure enough, he had just cleaned his teeth. I told him and he just said I was weird. Ahh, yes. We know.

For two days, I was smelling something weird in my kitchen. I couldn't figure out what it was, but I knew something was going or had already gone bad. Matt said I was crazy and that he couldn't smell anything. We had several visitors over, including my inlaws, and no one said anything. I could smell it, but I don't think anyone else did.

Tuesday, I climbed up in the kitchen and hunted down the smell. A small pumpkin on top of our cabinets had started to rot. Yuck!

Yeah, you can tell me I'm weird now, too.

Tuesday, October 28

Watch Out Below!!

The time has come. The event has happened. Maxwell took the plunge. Right out of his crib.

Yesterday when I went in to get him from his nap, he was standing by the bedroom door. "Hmm, that's odd. I know I put him in his crib." Ugh. He used his brother's bed (right next to his) as a landing surface and had thrown himself out of the crib. "Well, this doesn't look good for tonight's sleeping."

I was right. When it came time for "nigh-nigh", Maxwell kept moving himself from his crib to his brother's bed, then right out onto the floor and knocking on the bedroom door to be let out. Matt began the plan we've had in place for awhile...moving Max into the playroom. He's just not sleeping well with our school morning routine and now with this, it just made sense for both boys well being.

But, until Matt can finish the playroom conversion, we had to do something to keep Max in bed. Ah-ha! Turn the crib so it's against the wall (blocking the closet). Then he won't climb out because there's no where to land. Right?

Right!! At least initially. He went to sleep and Matt and I worked in the playroom to clean up and discussed the toy situation (hey grandparents: NO MORE TOYS!!). We went to bed and heard Maxwell up a few times in the night. He always went back to bed.

Until around 6am. The fussing became screaming. Matt went in to find Maxwell on the floor. Ugh. Payton NEVER did this! I know,I know...they're not the same kid.

He's too young and not well enough behaved to trust alone in a room, so we can't make his crib into a daybed yet. I **KNOW** he wouldn't stay in it. *sigh* What now?

Monday, October 27

Relit my fire!

Every Monday, Payton's school sends home a newsletter with each child. Since the beginning on the school year, I've been noticing how it's become harder for the principal to get a good copy out in time for the teachers to pass it out and get it home.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to Mrs. Dowker, the principal, that if she ever needed any help with the newsletter, that I would be happy to help. It's what my (useless) degree is in, so I may as well use it right? Well, that suggestion was all it took.

This weekend I worked on the school newsletter for about 4 hours total and this morning another 30 minutes of changes. I showed a few new friends at the school to see what they thought and if there were any changes I should make and I got rave reviews! Everyone really seemed to like it. I sent it off to Mrs. Dowker and left the building.

By the time I got home, she had emailed me and said I had done an "awesome job". And it felt awesome! I loved doing it. It was something that was easy to me and I have a passion for. I'm excited about a lot of things that I'm doing at the school, but I am the most excited about this one. The newsletter is so important at any school. It's how parents who can't be involved can stay involved. I used my writing skills, my layout and editing skills and even some photography!

YEAH!! I'm so happy to be using my degree...even if I'm not getting paid for it. (Sorry, Dad!!)

Sunday, October 26

Let the festivities begin!

This past Friday was the kick-off to our Halloween partying. And I'm already sick of candy, trinkets and pumpkins.

We began with a party on Friday our playgroup friends. Everyone looked so cute in their costumes. Kristi brought photos from the Halloween party two years ago. Dang, they were so cute. And small! Everyone had a lot of candy and pizza. And everyone had a great time!Saturday, P woke with a cough, so we skipped soccer and hung out at home instead. That afternoon, we had Nate's 5th birthday party. I can't believe that kiddo is five. Seems like I just at his first birthday party last year. :( He's so amazing. I love that kiddo.

After the Death By Chuck E' Cheese birthday party, we headed up to 'our' farm for trick-or-treating. We met up with a great group of friends that we don't get to see all that often anymore. And as always, the farm did not disappoint. Complete with plastic egg hunting in the hay and a kid friendly scary haunted house. Not to mention the wonderful odors of cows and horses. Yum!

After two days of partying, we decided to lay low today. Or that was the plan originally. I offered to my in-laws to come visit if they'd like. They haven't seen the boys in four weeks and that's a LONG time for them. So they accepted and said they'd be up this afternoon.

I got to work on the school newsletter that I agreed to take on. I realized I didn't install the software. That means installing Windows XP (yes, we're stuck in a 2000 time warp). Well, that wasn't happening. Luckily my in-laws hadn't left the house yet. Gene grabbed his laptop for me (THANKS, DAD K!!) and brought it up. They kindly watched the boys while I worked on the newsletter. It only took me 3.5 hours. Not bad for my first time with it. Next week, only 2 hours I think! Maybe less!

Anyway...all is said and done and the boys are (hopefully) asleep in bed. I'm going to pop myself some popcorn and curl up with my coupons and ads from the paper. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 23

Selfless Giving

So, most of you know Matt and I had our "marriage changing weekend" about a month ago. Our marriage, although not AWFUL, was not great prior to that. We had one of those knock down drag out fights that lasted all weekend. And we're better people and better spouses because of it.

We've been really trying hard to meet each other's needs in emotional ways more. I suck at this. I guess I'm a selfish person by nature. Or maybe not with everyone, but maybe just with those closest to me. I'm not sure...still analyzing that.

But Matt. He's amazing at giving. He can give and give and while he does appreciate things back, he's not doing it for things back. Yesterday, I came home from P's school and he had cleaned the house. Tonight as we sat down for dinner, he asked me to make up the grocery list so that he could do the shopping tomorrow since I'm occupied at P's school all day. I can't tell you the last time Matt went grocery shopping without me.

The one that really blew me away though was when I had a headache yesterday. It'd been with me all day and it was because of raw emotions we've been expressing lately. Matt knew just what to do when I jokingly asked him to "Please make my headache go away." He brought me Motrin, gave me a neck and shoulder massage, and brought me a warm cloth.

The acts of kindness and love he's been doing lately are humbling. While I know that I don't necessarily deserve all the love he's giving lately, I love that he's still loving me with all he has to give. It gives me great hope for our future together. And it sets a good example for what I should be doing for him. Loving him. Even when it's the hardest.

Monday, October 20

Weekend Pictures

Family Weekend: So Grateful

This weekend, Maxwell had a fever off and on since Friday morning, so we had to cancel our scheduled plans and we just spent time the four of us. It was disappointing that we couldn't do what we had planned, but it was a nice weekend none the less.

Saturday, we went to "our" farm to pick pumpkins. It was a bit cold but we were all there together and had a great time.

This is where the "So Grateful" part of my post comes in. Sitting cozily on our wagon ride, we sat next to a mom with a lil' boy. She was cradling him in her arms and you could see tubes coming from and going to him from a bag she carried on her back. She turned and asked another wagon rider to take a picture of them. As she turned him, we could see that he obviously had brain damage. He was barely aware of what was going on around him other than to flinch when the sun hit his face. He looked to be between 12-18 months old, not much younger than Maxwell, who was sitting on my lap happily chatting and pointing and looking around. I almost felt bad to have Maxwell sitting next to her.

But, I admire her for not keeping herself and her son at home. For taking him out and letting him experience life even if he may not be fully aware and understanding. I admire her, but I'm so grateful. So grateful that God granted me and Matt two healthy, smart, "normal" babies. I think sometimes God uses these moments to help us appreciate what we have and remind us to pray for those who have different situations.

That night, putting my boys to bed, I kissed them, thanked God for them and prayed for that woman and her strength. I wish I could tell her son how lucky he is to have her as a mother.

Thursday, October 16

A great honor has been bestowed on me!

I have been granted my very first blogger's award!! I couldn't be more proud.

This prestigious honor has been granted to me by my friend, Marissa. Most of you know her. Or at least know of her. You know, she's the one who lost an amazing amount of weight in less than a year. She's the one with three adorable boys and one precious lil' girl. Oh yeah! And she's got great boobies. Thank you, Marissa! If you haven't checked out her blog, you should. She has a few interesting things to say. ;)

Anyways, back to my award!! The Oops Award was created and is to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their humor and their talents, also for contributing to the blogging world in whatever medium. When you receive this award it is considered a special honor.

Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to others. The rules for passing this honor on:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you would like to award this honor to.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Oops” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Sooo.....Hmmmm..... Who should I grant the award to?

1. Finally Finding Me...I think
2. Green and Natural Mom Blog
3. Strollerderby

and I'm reserving the right to update the last two spots soon. I have several friends who blog...but need to update.

Thanks again, Marissa! *kiss*

Tuesday, October 14

So much to do...

and yet here I sit. Looking out my window as the wind blows the fall leaves down the street.

Maxwell is down for his nap and I just can't get motivated to do anything. Maybe I need a list? To see how much I really need to do?

take garbage out
clean up breakfast dishes
bake apple cake
write up 250 book titles for media-library committee
copy recipe for secretary at P's school
read next chapter in book study book
find more paper for book titles for media-library committee
3 loads of laundry to wash, dry and fold
confirm play date for today? eek. Is that happening??
bake muffins when apple cake is done
staff appreciation committee meeting at 2pm

and that's just for TODAY. ugh...anyone else feel like their list never ends?

"Having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women, according to a University of Michigan study of a nationally representative sample of U.S. families. For men, the picture is very different: A wife saves men from about an hour of housework a week."

Monday, October 13

Seven Years

October 13th.

Today, we celebrate a seven year ride on a vicious roller coaster. We've had amazing ups and humbling and painful downs. But this year, no...this moment, feels different. We seem to be broaching a new ground. A place we haven't been. I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out, but it seems to be pretty solid.

I'm thrilled to say that I love that man. The man I stood next to seven years ago in front of 100 people and said that I would love him forever. There were times I wasn't sure that could really happen, but we've made it thus far. And we have the will to make it farther.

Matt, I love you. I love you more today than any other day. And tomorrow I'll love you more than I did today. I just know it. I can't wait to see how I feel next year on this day! Thank you for loving me the same way.

My adorable boy

Yesterday, in the beautiful weather we had, I took Payton & Max to the new park to play. As usual, I took my camera.

I couldn't get Maxwell to sit still to take a good picture for the life me! So frustrating because normally he's my photogenic kid. I was really hoping to get a good one to frame. Instead, I got these:

We decided to go for a walk and Payton was interested in having his picture taken. That NEVER happens. He's so hard to photograph. But he was really into it. I got some great pictures too!! YEAH!! He's such a great kid. He's reading amazingly, he's so cooperative, he's anxious to learn and even more anxious to help. Yesterday, I punished him by telling him he's not allowed to mop the floors. Someday I'll be begging him to mop, I'm sure! But now, he's so willing to belong and help, that I have to find things for him to do. He's grown so much in the last year, but especially the last 2 months since school started. Oh, how I love this lil' man!

Saturday, October 11

Questioning my abilities

Hey, Moms! Ever have those days where you feel you just may not be cut out to be a mother? Or at least not as good of one as you hoped you'd be?

Today was that day for me. Actually, just this morning. Payton had soccer at 9:30am. I "let" Matt take the boys to the field and I made hot cocoa for him and tea for me and grabbed snacks for the boys. I arrived at soccer at 9:45am and enjoyed the game. By 10:30am, we were packing up and heading out. Matt was going straight to work. I didn't want him to go. Yes, because I like spending time with him, but also because I just didn't feel like being a mom. And I was questioning if the boys would have a good day with me. I didn't feel like I was quite capable of what the boys would need today.

Now, in the end, I know that I did a good job with them today. Payton and I had some great one-on-one time which is hard to find now that he's at school all day. And Maxwell and I played kick the ball in the backyard for awhile after I mowed down the field growing back there.

But not all days end that way. Sometimes I really feel like I'm disappointing them. Or maybe instead of being so stern with them, I should cave more often. Maybe they'll grow up hating me. Maybe I'm not teaching them all that I could be.

Why do we as moms, and as women, question ourselves so much? Why is there so much pressure on moms to have "the BEST" kids possible? And why do we let it get to us?

Ugh. I don't think anyone knows the answers or a solution. I think we all just feel this way from time to time. Today was my turn.

Friday, October 10

Gonna be a busy one!

I've been up since 6:30am. I'm already exhausted just thinking about my day.
I have to get my son to school, along with a little boy we pick up now because his mom and dad don't have a car. Then I have to get a friend of mine's son because her youngest son is having a medical procedure. So I have to take the oldest to school. Then BACK to Payton's school to have a committee meeting and meet with the media specialist and work on a few things with Payton's teacher.

Then Payton has an early release day. Grab him, bring him home to Matt who THANKFULLY is off work today. Then, I have to go grocery shopping. Bring the groceries home, unload, pick up the boys and take them to our FAB playgroup that we haven't been meeting with since the bigger kids are all in school. It's really hard to work out a schedule. Payton is so excited to see his friends.

While we're doing that, Matt will be helping a friend put up drywall in his basement. I'll come home, put the kids to bed and then Matt will come home. HOPEFULLY, he'll be bringing dinner and a bottle of wine. *wink, wink, Matt*

Ahhh...I see lots of coffee and Odwalla Bars in my near future.

Wednesday, October 8

Rainy Day

Today, again, I spent the morning at Payton's school. This time, the music teacher, Ms. Powell had requested help for a 1.5 hour block. I was why not? It was defiantly a learning experience. I think I may lock Payton in a closet when he enters fourth grade if he's anything like the kids I saw today. Oy!

Since then, I've been home enjoying the gently falling rain and cuddling with Matt on the couch. I made a cake for the teacher's at school for tonight. It's Parent/Teacher conferences. Now my house smells all yummy!

I picked up Payton from school, he's done his homework and I think we're going to have some hot cocoa and apples for snack. Dinner won't be before too long and then we have our church program tonight. Payton loves his program there and we now have his bestest friends Rose & Bella going with us. And the adults attend a great program called "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage".

Enjoy your rainy day!

Tuesday, October 7

"Love Is Not A Fight"

As my marriage continues to improve drastically, daily, I have found peace in God, but also my friends with solid marriages, my church, our mentors and this song.

by Warren Barfield

Love is not a place
to come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
Work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for

To some love is a word
that they can fall into.
But when they're falling out
keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
but demand we give our all

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for.

Cause I Will Fight For You
Would You Fight For Me
It's Worth Fighting For.

It is currently featured in the movie Fireproof Your Marriage with Kirk Cameron.
Amazing and moving song. I'm brought near tears each time I hear it.

Monday, October 6

Galt Family Weekend

To celebrate my mom's birthday, which was the end of September, and my 2nd brother's birthday, which is next weekend, two of my three brothers and I, along with my mom's sister and her husband, all went to my parents' house this past weekend. These visits are always too short, but we really had a great time.

On Saturday, mom and I did some shopping and cleaning. When everyone had arrived, we ordered Chinese food and ate it "family style" by passing all the boxes around the table. It was great! After, we had a fire in the fire pit I got my mom for Mother's day and then had cake and ice cream. The boys didn't go to bed until almost 11pm (WAYYYYYYY past bedtime), but it was a nice special occasion since they only see Aunt Carol & Uncle Jimmie once every 18 months or so.

Sunday, we all met for breakfast at Bob Evan's. It was a great weekend! Except for the chaotic four hour drive with the boys.

Damon & Jason (standing). Damon's girlfriend, Steph, Mom, Payton & Aunt Carol.Me & Max, with smores on his face
Mom & Jason with their cake
Maxwell outside of Bob Evan's
Payton reading to Uncle "Jimmie"

Friday, October 3

Family Updates

PAYTON: He's doing great! He loves his new school and really likes his teacher, Mrs. McCoy. He's known to give hugs to everyone in the morning and all the staff know his name and look for him. He's really enjoying learning and is surprising his teacher at how much he knows. She asked the other day about what makes something a sentence and Payton said "It has a capital letter at the beginning and an ending mark." She was shocked that he knew that. She told me later that she wished she had a "class full of Paytons." Talk about making a momma proud!!!!

MAXWELL: He's doing really well with his brother away at school. His vocabulary is really growing and he talks a lot. Currently, his obsessions are: dogs, Yo Gabba Gabba, dogs, food and dogs. He'll be a dog for Halloween if I can get the costume on him. He wore it for 48 hours straight and now won't put it back on. That's a shining example of his personality. On the health side of things, we're watching him closely for weight changes. He hasn't gained weight since he was 9 months old and it's concerning his doctor. He'll be checked again in a few weeks and we'll see what to do from there.

MATT: He's away on military this weekend and I'm missing him like crazy. That weird new love we're feeling is still very alive in us. Matt got accepted to Excelsior College's nursing program. We hope that he will be done in 18 months or less. It would be a huge jump for our family, especially in these times of national financial crisis.

ME: I'm enjoying life! Max keeps me busy and is becoming a great buddy. My typical day includes drop off at school, volunteering at school, heading to the gym, coming home to care for the house, picking up from school, dinner, soccer or more gym time and then bathe and put the boys to bed and then ME TIME!! I'm reading a great book called "SAHM I AM" about Christian moms who communicate over the Internet. It's much like my life and I see all the humor, and truth, in it.

OTHER FAMILY: Our parents are all doing well as are our brothers and my sister-in-law. We're hoping to see more of everyone with the coming holidays!

Thursday, October 2

Customizing your blog

I've gotten several comments about how I change my blog. I designed my header image on my own, but the color schemes are really easy to do on your own too.

To change your header, from your dashboard, click "layout". Choose "page elements", in the Layout Tab. You'll see a box that says "Header" with your blog title in it. In the lower right corner of that box, click to change your banner look. This will bring up a pop-up window.

In the new window, you can change the title of your blog as well as the blog description. This is also where you can make your banner image different. Play with it to get it just right!

To change the color scheme of your blog, choose "fonts and colors" under the Layout tab. Now you should see a menu that displays all the colors of the layout you're using and a preview of your blog underneath.

From here, you can change all the colors of your blog. I find that the color options provided are very limited, and the charts online only provide so many color codes. So I use to find the exact color I'm looking for. Play around with the colors until you find the perfect fit for your blog. Make sure you SAVE before moving on!

Good luck! And have fun!

Teachers don't get paid enough!

This morning, Payton asked me if I would go to morning assembly with his class. Seeing as I had nothing else to do, I figured it was as good a time as any. So Max and I went and enjoyed it.

On the way out, I asked his teacher if I could do anything to help her. Max and I didn't have any plans this morning, so I may as well make myself useful. She couldn't have been happier!! She gave me one thing to do and each time I went back, she found more for me to do. I don't think it was too hard for her to find things. She normally does them on her lunch or at home in the evenings. Personally, I would hate taking all that home with me everyday. It's nice to leave work at work!!

So Max and I spent 2.5 hours at school today, preparing worksheets and such for his classroom. I feel so useful!