Can we please?

Tonight we went trick-or-treating. Marleigh went with her friend. Hubby stayed home to pass out candy and make dinner and the rest of us all went out with our neighbor and her Dad. Thank goodness the Dad came because Tess got tired half-way-through and he ended up carrying her on his shoulder's. Gotta love those strong neighbors.

Tess was dressed as Rapunzel, Selah was a can-can dancer, and Elliot was the Energizer Bunny. We went through the whole neighborhood and got lots of goods. One family gave out bananas. Seriously. (That would be "seeweyuswee" in Selah terms, which she says all the time by the way.) Elliot was very nice at the door and came out to the curb and said, "Um, that's the new "penny person". They give out BANANAS!".

We got home and all three kids went through their candy, organizing it and getting ready to trade things with their siblings. Of course, while sorting it they each were munching on stuff. Elliot just went for the first thing he could get his hands on. Selah picked through several things, opening them and then deciding she didn't like it and then would move on to something else. (She doesn't like chocolate. I think she may have been switched at birth.)

Tess however, went straight for that banana. She's like that commercial where the kid is stacking up all sorts of fatty snacks to make a stool so they can reach the Life cereal. You don't think that happens in real life but it does.

I had a lot of fun tonight. And the kids came home telling Hubby how much fun they had, which made it even more fun for me. And then Selah closed the night with this...

"Can we go trick-or-treating again tomorrow night?"

Sure we can. Who cares what the neighbors say!


Mommy, why is the church man here?

Nothing like a visit from the preacher to really make you look at the way you're living. Right?

Hubby recently built a house that is right next door to our preacher's house. It's been finished for almost two months now and still no offers on it. We really need a contract on this house. So if you have any extra room in your prayers, a send up to the Big Man for an offer would be much appreciated!

So, when hubby built this house he and the preacher (JJ) put a fence up. Since JJ's house is next door, part of the fence is technically his. So he owed us a little bit of money for supplies. At church last Sunday he said he'd come by and drop off a check. Of course, we came home and made at least the front of the house presentable. He never showed up.

This afternoon was chaos. Marleigh had gone to her friends house to help her prepare for her birthday party. Then they showed up here to get some CD's to play. I was in the living room with the two of them making sure they chose appropriate music. Selah was in the living room watching tv and since we (Marleigh, her friend, and I) were talking she had it turned up really loud so she could hear it. Elliot and his friend who is spending the night were upstairs in the bonus room playing the X-Box. Of course they are screaming at the top of their lungs because you just can't paly X-Box silently. Then on the landing upstairs is Tess with her CD player blasting the High School Musical CD and singing at the top of her lungs. Like I said, it was chaos.

As I'm sitting in the living room with the girls I hear the doorbell ring. I fully expected it to be Marleigh's friend's father who had been waiting in his car outside. Instead, I hear Selah say, "Mommy, why is the church man here?"

I turn around to see our preacher in the door. There was nothing for me to say other than, "If you'd come by on Sunday, it would have been clean and quiet around here." He got a major taste for the real life in our house. Nice, huh? Ugh.


They really are exceptional

All too often I take my kids for granted. I just assume that all children are like mine. My kids fight and whine. They hate picking up after themselves. They blame everything on their siblings.

However, they are also exceptional. They are all able to sit and have a conversation with an adult. Like yesterday when Elliot took a costume over for a neighbor to borrow and was gone for twenty minutes. Turns out he went in and told our neighbor about the new music he was learning to play on the piano. He took the time to explain all the pieces of the costume to her. He told her 6 year old son he was sorry he didn't feel well. I take for granted that my children do these kinds of things. Then I think about my neighbor's son who is Elliot's age and could have more of a conversation with a brick wall then he could with me.

Last night I was reminded by a friend at church just how exceptional Marleigh is. As a Mother, it's always a treasure to hear someone talk about your child with such praise. But the comments I heard last night just made my heart leap.

Marleigh went on the Jr. High retreat last weekend. They went camping for 3 days and 2 nights out in the wild blue yonder of Arkansas. On the second day they were doing an obstacle course that was much like the ropes courses of my days. You know the kind, where you have to trust and depend on others to help you through. As Marleigh and several other friends jumped over a rope while still holding each others' hands, it was then Alex's turn to make the leap. Marleigh held her hand as she took her jump and cringed as she heard a loud snap upon Alex's landing. Thankfully, the person on the other side of her was an adult chaperone and he immediately told Alex, "Don't move. It's broken."

Marleigh has only known Alex for a few months. Yet she stayed by her side as the adults fashioned a stretcher out of a cot to get her to the car. Being in the middle of nowhere, the closest hospital was nearly an hour away. So when Alex was told she could bring a friend with her she chose Marleigh.

Last night my friend (the chaperone on the other side of Alex and one who also made the trip to the hospital) told me that he was so impressed with Marleigh's care and composure. He told me of how she stroked Alex's face tenderly, telling her it would all be ok. How she held her hand extra tight as they made their way through the bumpy terrain to get to the highway. That she kept Alex's mind off of the pain by sharing with her the story of Tess breaking her arm earlier this year and telling her funny stories about our crazy family.

At the hospital Alex was only allowed one adult in the room with her but was somehow able to con the nurses into letting her new friend Marleigh join them. And so Marleigh went back to sit by her side and help her not feel so alone.

My friend said he doesn't know many 11 year olds that can be as mature as Marleigh was that night. I feel so incredibly blessed that she's mine. At times like these, Hubby and I wonder how on earth we got such exceptional children. I need to say an extra prayer thanking the Big Man for choosing us to raise these wonderful kiddos.

Oh, and if you're wondering...Alex is doing all right. She dislocated her ankle and broke her leg in two places. From what I hear, if her ankle hadn't been dislocated she would have had a compound fracture. Ouch! It looks as though she won't have to endure surgery but she's been out of school all week. Marleigh's already been over twice to visit her. What a special girl!


Tomorrow I'm wearing tennis shoes

That's what Sela said as soon as she walked in the door after school today.

"Tomorrow I'm wearing tennis shoes. Know why? Because I can tie them now!"

She's so proud of herself. We wear lots of sandals and shoes that don't require tying around here. Not because she can't do it, they just tend to be cuter. I have never really worked with her to teach her to tie. I just knew she'd figure it out at some point. Sort of like at some point I figure she'll decide she shouldn't be sucking her thumb anymore. Right?

So today she got it. What a big girl!


I'll probably regret this

Watching my weight is a huge thorn in my side. It's been a constant in my life. It's way past old. For the last several months I've been like a yo-yo just moving up and down between 10 pounds. I get to the top of that 10 pounds and feel so disgusting that I get back on track, lose 10 pounds quickly, and then go through a couple days of bingeing and the cycle just starts right over. It's a pain. And what's so frustrating is that the bottom of those 10 pounds is actually 17 pounds MORE than where I was at one point earlier in the year.

So I'm tired of this yo-yo game and decided on Monday that I was going to get back on track and not give up when I lose those first 10 pounds. I've done great all week and am already down 10 pounds. But here's where the regret is coming...

I have a headache today. And I'm in a funk. And I just want to eat. I've been really good but then 4:00 rolled around and I ended up opening the bag of sugar free reese's peanut butter cups that I bought yesterday. Thank goodness it's a small bag with just 2 servings. I've got one cup left and then the bag will be gone. My willpower sucks. Ugh.

At least they're sugar free though, right? But the sugar free stuff usually gives me the worst tummy ache ever if I induldge too much. So I'm sure I'll regret that I ate this whole bag.

It's a viscious cycle. It really, really is.


Thank goodness that's over

Today's was Tess' last trip to the pediatric dentist in Oklahoma City. This was our 5th trip and it's just not any fun at all. Poor little Tess inherited Mommy's icky teeth. At her first ever trip to the dentist she had 7 cavities. Then when we went for more x-rays it turned out there were 10. So we were referred to a pediatric dentist who was more equipped to handle the amount of work that needed to be done.

After all was said and done, Tess has a total of 7 silver crowns on back molars as well as the enamel colored crowns on her two front teeth that she got today. $2500 on teeth that will fall out in the next 5 years. Nice, huh? Not so much.

In the beginning I gave her a weeks notice that she had an appointment coming up. Then she spent the next week being a huge terror knowing that the countdown was on. So then I tried telling her just the day before. That was almost worst. Well, until I just showed up in the parking lot without giving her any warning at all. That's when she looked around and said, "Why awe we herwah?!" That was way worse. I had to basically tackle her just to get her out of the car.

So I told her yesterday that her last appointment was today. She wouldn't get out of bed this morning. Then as we got closer to the office she got more and more upset. Until we were pulling onto the street of the dentist's office and she announced, "I don't want to go to da dentist. It feels like day awe widing a bike on my teef!" Never heard that one before. Poor thing.

Ah well, at least it's over. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that the next time we go for a cleaning she doesn't have another 10 cavities.


Spys like us

First let me say that I am a big loser for not updating sooner! I often have things that the kids say or do that I mean to write in here. But the last month just seems to have gotten away from me. Obviously.

So last night we were all spys. We got "booed" a couple days ago. You get a package of goodies on your front porch with a picture of a ghost and a poem. The poem tells you that you must copy the picture of poem twice and "boo" two other people in the next 24 hours. Luckily, there was no warning like on some emails that I've gotten threatening me with my life if the task wasn't completed within 24 hours.

I got bags of goodies made up for our two neighbors across from us and when the sun went down last night we all got ready to boo. Sela and Elliot did one house, they ran across the street and rang the doorbell and then ran over to the side of the house. All the while, the rest of us are crouched down in the dining room watching through the window. We don't have a great view to that neighbor's front door but we did see the man of the house open the door and get the bag.

Tess and Marleigh got to do the other house and it was much more exciting. They had gone over once and placed the bag on the porch and ran but then we realized that only the dad was home. He must have been upstairs because although a light came on in the house no one ever opened the door. Then as Sela and Elliot were hiding in the bushes the rest of the family came home. Luckily they weren't found out. After they all unloaded from their car and got in the house Tess and Marleigh went back over and rang the doorbell again. This time they came to the door and opened it. They must have been pretty excited to get booed because they immediately went to their study (which we have full view of) and copied the papers. Then they hung the ghost in the window so everone would know they'd been booed. The Dad went outside and looked around and messed with some of their Halloween decorations. He was just several feet away from Tess and Marleigh hiding in the dark at one point but lucikly they made it home safely without getting caught.

It was fun watching the look on the neighbors faces when they saw their goodie bags. But what was even more fun was crouching down in our dark house acting like spies and seeing the looks on my own kids faces!

We'll definitely be booing again next year!