Saturday, January 31

Payton, the amazing kid

I have had such an amazing day with my son. I love watching him grow and change.

He's getting too smart for me though. We went to the library today and he picked some TOUGH "reader 2" books. I thought they would be more of a challenge for him, but in the car, he read two of them aloud to me. I'm shocked at the words he knows and how well he's sounding them out. When the story says things like "he sang" then Payton actually sings the song. And he is so good at inflection in his voice. He's actually FUN to listen to.

And we went to the Y for open swim time and Payton jumped off and swam to the edge many times by himself. His fear is gone. He's loving the pool.

And he's so helpful. He does exactly what's asked of him (85% of the time) and is becoming more patient with Maxwell. The ladies at the library told him today that he has "very good" manners.

Now don't get me wrong, he still has his issues. He can't handle being told "no" or failing at something. He is extremely emotional, especially when overtired. And he is scared of all movies; Cars, Happy Feet, Mary Poppins, Madagascar...ALL!

But overall, I have an amazing kid. He's fun, he's cute and gosh darn it, people like him!

Thursday, January 29


I have talked about a lot of things lately, but never followed up on any of them:

1) The Speedway gas station referenced in the American Flag post replaced their flag about 48 hours after I posted that entry. Finally!! Now I can started getting my coffee there again. Maybe they read my post...doubt it.

2) My Zumba class rocks. I love it and I signed up for the class all the way through the end of April. Twice a week. And then in March, I'll be starting a new class: Drums Alive. I'll keep you posted about that one.

3) I sent my blog entry to the district manager of Chuck E Cheese. Haven't heard anything there other than a automatic response.

4) I ended up with about 6,000 new visitors because of the Missy-Maxwell-Marker Incident. Welcome to my new visitors! Yes, Missy is still blue. It's fading, and currently she has some dried ketchup on her from Maxwell's lunch. But ya know...what's ketchup after permanent marker?

5) Because of the recent birthday party, I haven't been back to cooking really. I'm anxious to try something new, so link me to your favorite recipe!!

Monday, January 26

The Dog Party

Maxwell has a love for dogs. He has even since before his latest high jinks. Because of this, we decided to have a dog themed party for him this past weekend. We celebrate all the boys' birthdays at my in-laws since a) they live closer to all the family and friends and 2) because they have a WAY bigger house.

We had a very nice, smaller than usual, birthday party where everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. As you can see in the cake picture, we even included "the blue dog" on the cake.

Thank you to everyone who attended. Maxwell loves his gifts and had a great time! We love you all.

Sunday, January 25

Happy Second Birthday, my lil' man!

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my lil' terror's birth. And to think he started out so calm and quiet. HA! None the less, I love him with all my heart and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Stop laughing...I really mean that (most of the time).

Maxwell, you are my source of laughter, my tears of joy and my heart's melting point. You are my trouble maker, my button pusher and my mischievous ball of energy. I love you more than I could ever express. Thank you, God, for blessing me and allowing me to be Maxwell's mother

Wednesday, January 21

Check E. Hell??

Because of the cold winters we have here in Michigan, I've been to Chuck E. Cheese a few times; more than I'd like, but the kids like it and we're limited as to fun things for two boys 4 years apart to both enjoy doing.

So, I was at the Roseville, Michigan location recently with friends and was disappointed to find the store dark and dirty. But that wasn't the only problem. The prize selection meager at best and all but 2 of the ticket counters were broken. There were many games "down" and there was not enough staff. The employees were down right RUDE to customers, ignoring their requests for help, and they didn't seem to care about any of the problems customers were having. One employee was so frustrated, I heard him say he wanted to quit.

Yet, less than one week later, I went to the Sterling Heights, Michigan location, further from my home, to meet friends for a birthday party. What a difference!! This location was clean and bright. The manager, Kevin, was available and on the floor. The parties were flowing seamlessly and every game was in working order. The prize selection was three times what the Roseville location had. There was more than enough staff to service the machines as needed and take care of other customer's needs. I never had to wait for anything and the empolyees were more than willing to help.

I know which location I'll be using, and refering friends to, from now on. It's worth the extra 15 minute drive to be where our business is OBVIOUSLY wanted!! I mean, I know most parents don't love going to "CEC", but at least I can be comfortable while I'm there, right?!

Tuesday, January 20


Although Missy is still a blue dog, life is returning to normal around here. We had a nice weekend including a date night where Matt and I saw "Defiance" which I highly recommend to those of you who are Holocaust/history/war movie fans.

Today, I had my second class of Zumba! I started this because I can't fit the Forza into my schedule anymore (darn kids and their early bedtime). Zumba is a Latin dance inspired aerobic class. It's almost constant moving, including the merengue, salsa, cha-cha and some more urban type moves. I didn't think I had much rythym, but either I'm better than I thought or my classmates are REALLY bad. Maybe it's both. ;)

If you have the chance to check out a Zumba class, I encourage it. Well...except for you, Dad. ;)

Saturday, January 17

Well Hello There!

Apparently, the fact that my son colored our dog blue is hilarious! It's so funny that's I've received over 4,000 visits over the last 3 days. From all over the world; Estonia, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, New Zealand and just about every state in our U.S. of A.

So, thanks for visiting! Feel free to stop back anytime, as I'm sure this isn't the last time Maxwell does something amazingly funny yet annoying. And share the story with your friends!

The original story is still posted below.

Thursday, January 15

Maxwell did it again!

I had planned to write today about how much Maxwell LOVES Guitar Hero.

(he looks so innocent...)

But something else came up. I got a picture message from Matt today while I was at P's school.

Max found a marker. A permanent marker. (Does this sound familiar to anyone else?) Now, he must have learned that we don't color on walls, floors or cabinets last time. We've been really good at keeping all marking items out of his hands unless he's at the table. All our pens and such are kept up on the counter now where he can't reach.

But while Matt was washing dishes, he realized that Max was being too quiet. That's a VERY good sign in our house that he's up to something. Sure enough, he was very much up to "something". He found a blue marker.
And found the dog.

Now the amazing part of this is that he got barely any on himself. Secondly, the dog stayed still for it!!! Even rolling over or moving because she has his "artwork" on both sides of her.

So...does anyone know how to get permanent marker off a dog?!?!?!?!

(feel free to share this story with your friends. and laugh at my dog's expense.)

Monday, January 12

Recipe of the Week: Cranberry Bread

Another homemade item was successful!! And OH so yummy! I love the tartness of the cranberries. It's a nice surprise in the bread. Max loves it. The 3 friends I had over today and all their children loved it. Payton does not. (No surprise there.)

(I believe this is from"Everyday Food" magazine back in November or even October).

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus enough for the pan
2 c. all-purpose flour , plus more for pan
1 c. packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c. whole milk
1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar, for topping, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350, butter & flour 9x5 loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet mix to dry mix and combine well; fold in cranberries.

2. Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, approx 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let col 30 minutes. Invert onto rack and let cool completely.

It says "Serves 8" but I've gone through about 2/3 of the loaf and have cut 7 slices already. And those slices cut in 1/2 are really enough for a light snack. So really, I think you could get 20 decent size servings out of it.

Friday, January 9

Hello out there!!!!

Hey all you readers. A few long-lost friends read this blog and don't comment enough. And I used to read YOUR blogs, but now I can't find your comments to find your blogs. So, everyone, please just give me a *wave*. I want to catch up on you and your families! Please?!

American Pride

Maybe it's because my dad instilled such a patriotic feeling in me. Maybe it's because my husband is in the military. Maybe it's because I just know the "rules" and proper procedures. Maybe it's all of these reasons, but I hate to see an American Flag flown improperly.

Everyday when I drive back and forth to take Payton to school, I pass many businesses and homes that fly tattered flags. Flags with holes, tears, frays and rips. It hurts me to my heart.

I've stopped using certain businesses that have tattered flags and don't do anything about them. Currently, the Speedway on Gatriot near Martin has a flag that is ripped to shreds from being caught on their signage. I won't stop there until they fix it. It's still caught on the sign and has been for over a week. Even the flag outside the U.S. Post Office has a tattered flag!!! (Can't stop using the mail service though.)

I've gone so far as to call businesses before and remind them that it's noticeable to people and it does effect if I shop there or not. Back in November, I called a local business and asked for the owner, telling him how I felt. He apologized and later that day, the flag was down. Two weeks later, a new flag was on the pole. I called him back to tell him that I'd noticed and it meant a lot to me. He thanked me for reminding him what the flag meant and how it should be treated.

For Veteran's Day at Payton's school, we had our first official flag raising. It was a big "to-do" with lots of events. I organized the whole thing and it was worth all the work to hear the local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars talk about how to properly hold, handle, fold and dispose of the American flag.

This topic has been weighing on me lately. Maybe because I feel that while American has a country is under a lot of stress and there is a lot of anger, a tattered flag can represent how we really feel. But shouldn't we have enough pride to show that which represents our country in honor and all it's glory? As a sign of what we want to be and hope to be soon. I sure hope so. And I hope you do too.

For more information on how to properly handle or dispose of a flag, please click here.

Wednesday, January 7

The Binge; The Purge

No, I haven't developed an eating disorder...unless that's what you want to call what I did over the holidays. And maybe it is, but I don't think it's an abnormal one.

The Binge; From Thanksgiving to New Years I eat WAY more junk than I normally do. And I have a few extra pounds to show for it. But man! The Wasilla dinner on Christmas Eve. The pierogies, the cookies, the yummy snacks. And then...that just continues for days on end. And we brought cookies home from my parents' too! So I've been eating CRAP for days and days and literally weeks.

The Purge; Today, I cleaned house. All the cookies hit the garbage. All the left over candies and junky things, went to the kids or to the street for pick up in the morning. I'm done. And I know myself. If it's in the house, I'll eat it. I can't hide it from myself and even if I had Matt hide it, I'd search it out and find it. (And he's not that great of a secret keeper anyway.)

So it's gone. And hopefully, in a few weeks, my butt, thighs and extra belly fat will follow. Next week I start "Zumba" at the YMCA. Soon I will be a slimmer version of myself.

Tuesday, January 6

I *can* make soup!!

In my resolution to cook more meals at home (healthy or not ;) ) I found a blog that I decided to try a recipe from. I found The Soup-aholic and decided to try his recipe for Tomato Bisque, one of my favorite soups. It was a lot easier than I thought and the recipe is really good! It's a nice change from a bland, canned tomato soup.

I think I'll be making more soups in the near future!

Sunday, January 4

Welcoming in 2009

Sorry I've been MIA. Matt was off work for a few days and we were spending family time together.

Four days in and thus far, 2009 has been alright. Nothing serious to complain about. In fact, I realize how blessed I really am.

My resolutions. Ugh. Doesn't everyone make them, plan for the best, even hope for the best...but in the end we tend to fall short on at least one or two of them. Alas, I make them anyway.

1) Grow Spiritually. I want to have a deeper faith and dependence on God. I need to learn to not worry so much and pray more.

2) Love Deeper. Since September, Matt and I have had an amazing turn around in our relationship, but the work is not done. We still have a long way to go and we'll continue to make progress.

3) Get Healthier. I want to get back to the gym at least 3 days a week starting tomorrow. I have about 12 lbs to loss and I want it GONE! And I'm hoping to make more homemade recipes and cook more for the boys, even when Matt isn't home to eat with us.

4) Decorate it. This is our second Christmas in this house and I still have no pictures hung on the wall. I finally have a vision and I want it accomplished by the end of 2008. I have lots of pictures of the boys, my parents and brothers and old pictures of my family members that need framed and hung.

Beyond that, we're just getting ready for tomorrow. BACK TO SCHOOL!! I've missed my "school friends" so I'm sure that Payton is missing his. I know he misses Mrs. McCoy. I'm sure others as well. returns to "normal"; whatever that is.