Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...and the children were nestled all snug in their beds....

...and mom & dad aren't far behind!  Sarah & Ava passed out almost immediately.  Amazing how missing that afternoon nap makes for an early bedtime!  We spent the afternoon/evening at my cousin's house and then left to go look at Christmas lights.  I was cracking up at Zachary & Josh singing "Feliz Navidad" - well - TRYING to sing!  Then they got into some theological discussion about Jesus being God.  I was amazed at the "stillness" of everything.  Stores were closed, traffic was was like it was the middle of the night! By the time we got home and the kids discovered the pjs that were "left" for them (see previous post), excitement ensued so we once again had to wind down - but that didn't take very long!  Sarah still doesn't really "get" Christmas, but she is beside herself with the thought of opening presents!  The pajamas alone nearly put her over the top - I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like!

I tried to remember what my Christmases were like at Zachary & Josh's age.  I think when I was 10, I got a tape recorder and a guitar.  Actually those came from my grandparents.  When I was 7, one thing I remember getting was a --- you are so going to laugh -- a "J.J." doll.  I mean "J.J." from the show "Good Times"!  You pull a string and he would say 'Dy-no-mite"!  Really - I am dead serious!  I know I got lots of other things, but those are the things that stick out in my mind.  I was an only child - it didn't take much to amuse me!

Tomorrow morning will be a blast!  Sarah will be the most fun to watch.  Her theme this year is Dora.  Ava is still borderline Elmo - but she likes Dora too.  Josh would be happy with a ball of yarn and Zachary's stash is just a hodge-podge.  He is so hard - he's very particular and really never asks for anything.  Charles & I were examining everything and thought it really looked bare - but everything is so small.  We honestly didn't go all out - there is no need to and we really don't want our kids to expect it.  They have 2 uncles (plus other family) who spoil them greatly - which is fine!  I think all kids deserve to have someone who will go all out for them.  Uncle Danny & Uncle Randy are extremely creative and put lots of time and thought into their gifts.  I am so grateful my kids have them!  They love their uncles and love spending time with them!

I hope all of my friends and family have a blessed Christmas.  I am in awe of how blessed I am this season.  I have no doubt there will be some serious changes in our family next year (no - I am NOT pregnant!) but for right now - this moment - under this roof is my best friend and 4 little rays of sunshine who mean more to me than anything else in the world.  I have everything I could ever want this Christmas.  God has been so good to me.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve!

At least - that is what Josh determined it was this morning!  The kids are so excited...they love all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  If they had their choice, they would spend the whole 2 weeks at other people's houses!  They are not "home bodies" by any means!  I've been trying to squeeze in time to try to do this or that, but there is never any "time" left!  It finally occurred to me the other day that if I just listen to them, they'll let me know what things are important to them.  They've talked constantly about going to "Nanny & Pops" - which we did last Saturday - to have Christmas with them.  They count down the days until Christmas Eve when they get to see their cousins....then there is Christmas day when we go to Charles' aunt's and then his mom's.  They love being with family!  That really is what is important, and I am glad they think so too.  They are looking forward to the traditional "making of the Christmas cookies" on Christmas Eve.  We do the whole rolling out the sugar cookie dough & using cookie cutters thing, then decorate with cream cheese icing & other assorted toppings.  They have such a good time, and Santa REALLY likes the cookies & milk!  ;-)  While we are gone to my cousins, one of "Santa's elves" comes by and leaves a package of Christmas pj's on each child's bed.  This has happened every year since Zachary was a baby...and has turned into one of the highlights of their Christmas.  I love how this is such a magical time for them - as it should be.  I want them to feel this way for as long as possible!
Sarah is really starting to get into the season...she loves seeing the presents and is always  asking "Is that present for ME?"  Ava is still a little young....but she will catch on fast!  Sarah got a tea set last Saturday at Nanny & Pops and we have been having tea parties.  She is quite the little hostess!  I don't know where she picked up on that....unless at mother's day out.  If I am still --- she is handing me a plate & cup!  Last night, she got up to go get in bed - hugged me and said "You my best friend"!  I just melted!  Granted, just an hour earlier I had been trying to think of a way to detach her from my side....but that just made my year!  She can be a sneaky little thing, but she is also as sweet as she can be when she wants to be!

I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas and remember in the midst of all the chaos the real "reason of the season" - that sweet baby who came to save the world.  The other night on my way home from work, I was listening to the radio and they were playing "Mary Did You Know?"  I've heard that song a million times, but suddenly one line really struck me....."and when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God."  That is just awesome to me.  Here this little teenage girl is blessed with the gift of giving birth to the Messiah.  She got to cuddle him and love on him like any mother would her newborn. Think about all the times you have kissed the sweet soft cheek of a baby - but Mary got to kiss the face of God -- Awesome isn't it?  Merry Christmas everyone! 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is It 4th of July, Or Christmas?

Seriously.....the reason I ask is because Sarah seems to be declaring her independence these days. "I DO IT!" is heard constantly! Don't get me wrong...I'm glad for her. She's testing her wings. The problem is when she does things like insisting on picking out her own pajamas - and she chooses her Elmo tank-top and shorts when it is 25 degrees outside! Do you realize what it takes to convince a strong-willed child that she needs to wear long sleeves and pants when that is not on her agenda? It's exhausting! She wants to pick her own breakfast (cookies or popsicles), her own clothes (explained above), put ON her own clothes, put her own toothpaste on her toothbrush, wash her own hair (as well as Ava's!) pour her own milk/juice (I don't think so!), put all the clothes in the dryer (I can work with that - even Ava joins in), buckle her own self in her car seat...the list goes on and on. Now - when Charles is home, that is a totally different story! Her independence is out the door and all we hear is "No! Mommy do it!!!" I have to buckle her in her seat (she has finally consented to letting Charles get her in - but he can not - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE - buckle her. It HAS to be me. He can't give her a bath, get her juice, get her name it. It's all about the mommy! Even Ava (aka..."Little Bit", "Bitsy", "Tiny Mite", "Spider Monkey", "Chihuahua on Crack"....) is getting into the act. When she phone rings, she says, "I get it!"... same thing when the dryer goes off ... "I get it!" It's really cute!

So anyway -- that is just a few of the musings happening at our house. Our crazy week is about to come to a close and I could not be happier. Christmas luncheon Sunday, and musical Sunday night. I can't wait to see it! The stage and choir look fabulous, and the kids do an AMAZING job! There are some really talented singers in that bunch! Yes - my own child is included - but even so, all of the soloists are so good! It will be exciting to see it all come together! I know Zachary & Josh can't wait! The boys have 1/2 days Wed., Thurs. and Fri. next week and then they are out for 2 whole weeks...yea! I think I'm looking forward to it just as much as the boys are -- no lunches or snacks to pack....sleeping late (anything past 6 a.m. works for me!)....just relaxing....aaaaaaahhhhh! Then, I'll be counting down until spring break, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.... :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yes - I'm Still Alive - and So Is Charles! :-)

Wow!  Has it really been 2 weeks since my last post?  It does seem like an eternity - but then it also seems like yesterday.  I know I sounded a little psycho in my last post -- sorry!  I was stressed and very sleep deprived - which we all know is a bad combination!  Charles has recovered nicely from his surgery.  He's starting to ease back into "normal" life - whatever that is!  He came home the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  For the first time in our marriage (12 years), we had to skip our traditional Thanksgiving dinner at his grandmother's in Oxford.  We hated missing out on the best food EVER, but fortunately, his brother and mom brought us leftovers.  

Thanksgiving seems like forever ago.  We are now in the throws of the Christmas season.  I feel like I have just topped the first massive hill of a roller coaster and am soaring out of control at top speed to the bottom.  My eyes are closed, and I am holding on tight!  This time of year is just insanely busy - which is probably why I actually dread it every year.  I know - how horrible!  Let me just give an example...this week involved 3 nights of karate (that was just by chance), school program, trip to Wolfchase for Santa pics (which deserves a Prozac for everyone!), Zachary's b'day party, another b'day party for him to go to Saturday....and then there's next week.  Karate Monday, rehearsal for the church Christmas program Wed-Fri for the boys (btw - Josh has a major solo and I am floored!  I never even knew he was interested until he tried out!), and I work Mon, Thurs, and Fri.  Charles will LOVE that!   We have another b'day party next weekend, as well as the church staff Christmas luncheon, and the Christmas program.  I'm HOPING things will slow down the next week.  We need to have a couple of nights of just loading up in the car with hot chocolate and going to look at Christmas lights.  Sarah gets so excited about the lights, and she loooooves her Christmas tree!  I had resigned myself to the fact that we were just not going to have one this year.  That is Charles' project - his baby!  No one helps him because things have to be placed "just so".  With him having surgery, there was no way he could get everything out of the attic and I sure couldn't do it.  He went last weekend and bought a skinny little tree that is really cute!  A far cry from the massive one that normally ornates our living room!  We have this one in the den, right next to the t.v. - a good thing because Ava has to be watched like a hawk!  She really doesn't mess with the ornaments - only the candy canes (which have now all been moved to the top half of the tree!) Our little "chihuahua on crack" (as we so affectionately call her) quickly discovered that they can be easily broken and eaten!  Sarah really doesn't bother the tree - thank goodness!

Well - it is getting late and I am working a little while in the morning, so I need to get some sleep...I promise not to wait 2 weeks before my next post!  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Talk About Extreme....

When I think about what I was doing 2 weeks ago, and what I am doing now, it is depressing!  Two weeks ago, Charles & I were in Mexico...lots of sun...great worries.  Today, it's freakin' cold, I think the last thing I ate was popcorn - yesterday, and my mind is in a tailspin!  Charles had major surgery Thursday and won't be home for several more days, which I just cannot stand.  I hate that he is in pain, I hate that he can't hear (will address that later), and I hate trying to sleep without him here with me.  I just can't!  Isn't that pitiful?  Am I the only one like that?  I usually keep the t.v. on all night and sort of doze.  Each day is getting better - for him...thank goodness!  I do not want to re-live Thursday for anything.  Let me tell you all about my day....

We checked into the hospital around 11.a.m. and still had to wait over an hour for him to be called back.  It was almost an hour after that before I could go back with him (thanks for sitting with me Traci!)  Let me just add here that I already felt like a rubber band about to SNAP!  I was stressed - about the surgery - about the kids - and so much more!  When I get this way, I get snippy (I know, me?  snippy?  Hard to imagine isn't it?)  Unfortunately, Charles was the only one around for me to take it out on.  I know, automatic nomination for "Worst Wife of 2008".  He knows I'm stressed, and is used to my quirkiness (thank God).  Here he is, waiting to have major surgery and he tells me, "Honey, it's all going to be okay."  Well, then I lost it, because I realize I have officially WON the title of "Worst Wife of 2008" (no other applicants need to apply!)  I should be the one telling him it's all going to be okay!  "Hello, my name is Rene', and I am scum!"

I collect myself, he answers the same questions a thousand times to different people (talk about CYA!), all is well, and he gets whisked away.  I wait in the waiting room with Charles' mom & later his dad joins us.  I get called with updates every hour, and finally Dr. Miller calls when he out of surgery.  Everything went well and he was doing fine.  He was in recovery and they would call us "in about an hour" with his room number.  That hour turned into almost 3!  While we waited though, I was reminded of how blessed I really am.  The waiting room was almost empty and I noticed 2 dr.s came out and talked to this really cute lady I had seen while Charles was in his little "holding area" prior to surgery.  They talked to her for a really long time and then I saw her start to cry.  Her friend who was with her put her arms around her and hugged her, then the dr.s hugged her, they talked a little more, then it was just her & her friend.  Well of course it didn't take a genius to figure out something had gone wrong.  I went to the restroom and the lady's friend happened to come in after me and was on her cell phone (I was faced with the dilemma of "to-pee-or-not-to-pee" know those cell phones pick up EVERYTHING!)  Anyway, come to find out, this lady's husband must have had a tumor in his stomach that was supposed to have been removed, but when they got in there, his whole abdominal cavity was full of little tumors.  The dr.s just closed him back up and they were going to call in an oncologist.   I felt so sorry for her.  Her whole world was turned upside down in a matter of minutes.  All my problems were very small all of the sudden.  Ah, but then the ugly monster reared his head once more.  After Charles finally got into a room, the nurse told me they had to hold him in recovery b/c his sats were dropping.  He was in so much pain, and I was thinking what am I going to do?  I HAD to go home.  My mom had to get back to my grandmother, the kids had one more day of school, I still needed to wash uniform pants, Zachary had a sleepover to go to right after school, so he had clothes to get together, b'day invitations had be finished to be sent home in "Friday Folders"....but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving him!  Fortunately, I guess his dad picked up on my anxiety b/c he volunteered to stay.  During this time, they called an "Emory House" to a room right across the hall from his (that's hospital code for 'a patient is crashing').  I peeked out and the patient was actually a girl who had walked in right before us when we checked in.  I don't know what type of surgery she had done, but the fact that she had also just come out of surgery freaked me out.  Long story short, Charles gets his pain meds and is zonked, so I leave to go home.  I barely get to the car and I just fall apart.  The day was just too much.  Granted, I had it easier than others - we were blessed with good results - but at that time, it didn't matter.  

So let's fast forward.  Each day gets better.  Today he walked around the floor and even took a shower.  When I talked to him earlier, he was hurting again, so he probably did too much.  Another downfall is that he cannot hear - again.  His ears have filled up with fluid again and he really can't hear.  His friend Chris came and looked at his ears and prescribed 2 different sprays and a pill, so hopefully that will help.  Don't EVER fly if you have the slightest sign of a sinus infection!  Anyway - now I need to restore some sort of normalcy for my kids.  I remember my mom having several surgeries when I was little and I hated when she was in the hospital.  The boys are with me tonight (Josh went to bed at 7 feeling sleepy and having chills...I hope he is just tired!) and I will have all 4 back tomorrow.  I am so grateful for grandmas and family who don't mind keeping the kiddos!  I don't know what I would do without them!  I can't wait for all of us to be under one roof again!

So - that is what the last few days have been like in our household.  Charles has a looooong recovery ahead of him.  I guess at some point I need to start thinking about Christmas.  Right now I just feel all "Bah-Humbug" about the whole thing.  Seriously - Christmas is Charles' "thing".  He does the tree every year and it is amazing!  There is no way I can even get the stuff down from the attic, much less try to put it up!  Oh well - we are just going to have to take everything one day at a time and be grateful for the things we do have - especially good health!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekend To Remember

That is exactly what this past weekend was. We went to Aventura Spa Palace in the Myan Riviera Sat.-Tues. It was the perfect way to spend our anniversary. Charles' dad actually won this trip, but wasn't able to go, so he gave it to us. It was all inclusive....we even had free calls to the U.S. from our room (which is needed when you are checking up on 4 kids!) The only thing we had to pay for was our shopping excursion in Playa Del Carmen - and the dr. visit to our room the first night. Charles had been battling sinus problems before we left, and the descent from the plane when we landed did him in. The first night he was up at 2 a.m. basically in tears because his ears hurt so bad. The last time I saw him in that bad of shape was when he was in the hospital for his diverticulitis. Anyway - this place was so awesome - they have a dr. on call 24/7...he was at our room in 15 minutes - examined Charles - gave him 2 shots and some pills and 20 minutes after he was gone Charles was snoozing away. Drugs are a beautiful thing! The dr. said if he wasn't any better, to call him and he would come back at no charge. This place was incredible. You can see pics of the trip on my Facebook page. (Let me throw this in -- I'm sure everyone knows the mark-up is outrageous in Mexico. At the airport, they had a little snack area for sandwiches, drinks, and Pringles. Guess how much 2 can drinks and a can of Pringles cost........$10! We didn't pay that -- I'd rather go hungry - but others did!)

Anyway - like I said - this was our anniversary and I have done a lot of thinking over the past few days. It makes me laugh to think of how we started out in our little one bedroom apartment (that I could vacuum entirely from one outlet) and have grown to a family of 6 in a house that is now bursting at the seems! We are by no means perfect, but I so love my husband and am grateful to God for bringing us together. We have had funny moments (oh so many of them!), sad moments, scary moments, worrisome moments, etc., but each "moment" has made us stronger. I have always said that he is the only person who could be married to me and not divorce me! I blame it on OCS...."Only-Child-Syndrome". We have learned that we have to make an effort to make time for "us". With 4 kids and our crazy schedule, that is near impossible, but somehow we manage. We have learned to rely on the "little" things. We joke that we are rare because we actually LIKE each other and like to do things together. I want to share the things that I love about Charles...the things that make him so special to me:

1) He loves his family. Charles is 100% hands-on with his kids. With my work schedule, I am gone 3 nights out of the week, so that is 3 nights he is home alone with 4 kids and having to manage homework, dinner, sometimes karate, baths, and bedtime. There aren't many men who would do that - or at least be good at it!

2) I love how he will do little things to show me he thinks of me. On days he comes home and knows I am driving his car the next day, he'll set the CD player to my favorite CD, or he'll send me an e-card for no reason. He doesn't hesitate to make me feel special.

3) He is always quick to compliment if he thinks I look nice, or even on dinner (when I am able to cook!)

4) He voluntarily helps out around the house. He will give the girls a bath while I do dishes or vice-versa. I never have to ask him to help me.

5) He has no problem with me having a "girls night" every now & then - even when I am gone other nights of the week.

6) He has a tender heart and is soft-spoken. He never yells and never talks down to me.

7) He has the best arms in the world! When he hugs me, it is the best part of my day!

8) His "oh well" attitude is so comforting. We had a "situation" while we were on our trip and his response was "let's go get dessert" - rather than wringing his hands together and freaking out. Now I know where Josh gets it!

9) He is great at making me see the "other side of the story". If I get upset about something he'll say, "Well, from their perspective, they probably meant......"

10) I love how he hums in the shower.

11) He'll bring home Nestle Tollhouse ice-cream cookies when he has to make a night trip to Wal-Mart!

12) He will sew his own button or iron his own shirt. I would do it if he asked, but he has no problem doing it himself if I'm not home.

13) He makes the BEST lasagna, cheesecake, and oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies!

14) He still opens my door for me.

15) We ALWAYS end a phone conversation with "I Love You". Even if he is miffed with me, he'll still say it! :-)

16) He'll bring me flowers "just because".

17) He works hard. He has a full-time job and still works for his dad. It stinks sometimes, but he still does it.

18) His kids and his family come first. Sometimes his dad has a problem with him taking off to go to a game or karate tournament. I think he is just jealous because he sees Charles doing what he should have been doing 30 years ago.

19) He is quick to help out a friend or neighbor.

20) He is the most patient person I know. I don't know how he does what he does!

21) He'll give me his "crispy" part of his fish and take my "thicker" part. (I don't like thick fillets!)

22) He knows that I like honey mustard with my onion rings, lemon in my tea/water, no jalepenos on my " Spud Ole", and my eggs hard scrambled.
23) He'll arrange for the kids to go to his moms so we can have a "date" every now & then!

24) He decorates an amazing Christmas tree. I am not the creative one here...he is so good at that kind of stuff!

25) He is faithful. Enough said.

I could go on but I'm sure you are tired of reading about why I am so in love with him. I love him for the big things as well as the little things. I can't wait to see where the next 12 years leads us!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Time to FROG!

"FROG" ......Fully Rely On God. Is that what you are doing? Were you doing it before the elections? I hope so, but if you weren't, I'm sure you are now. I don't want to give the wrong impression, but I'm not upset about the election results. I've known from the beginning that God was in control and knew who our leader would be before the first vote was ever cast. It's not like He was watching the returns saying, "Oh my gosh! What is going on down there?" He's the Alpha and Omega...the First and Last. He may not have answered the prayers of many in the way that was anticipated, but that just proves once again that "The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works." (Ps. 145:17) (Note - it is HIS way ... not OUR way!) It isn't our responsibility to be disappointed, it is our responsibility to lift this man up in prayer daily as he leads this nation. He has a difficult task ahead of him and even though there are things we may not agree on, he is still our President. God placed him there for a reason and we should honor that.

When I was in high school, my algebra & geometry books had the answers to all the odd problems in the back. Sometimes I would get so frustrated trying to work out the problem that I would just write down the answer and not care how I got it. Getting the right answer was all well & good, but I was really cheating myself for not taking the time to figure out how to actually work the problem. I guess what I am trying to say is that today some people might be trying to jump to the answer...what is God trying to show me/us through this election? What we should do (in my opinion) is slow down, and see how God is going to work in our nation. This is not the time to despare and have an "oh woe is me!" attitude. This should be a time for everyone to put aside political views and unite in praying for our nation as well as our leader.

Friday, October 31, 2008


That is EXACTLY what I have had to do so many times today!  I do love my girls, but OMG...they double team me sometimes!  Sarah woke up Ava so breakfast was being served before Charles & the boys even left for school....not a good sign.  Besides them both being cranky -- they were just into everything!  I found a place that had some little shoe covers for Sarah's costume (Dorothy) so we went to get those.  That sounds like such a simple task doesn't it?  You all know what the "getting ready" process is like, so let's just skip straight to the store.  I had asked them to hold the shoes for me so I wouldn't have to try digging for them.  So, I get in line for the register and Sarah thinks she is in Santa's workshop -- she's all over the place.  I manage to corral her to stay at least within 2 feet of me, and Ava is going nuts wanting to get down --- which was NOT going to happen!  We were in the store 3-5 minutes but it felt like 3-5 hours!  I was so glad to get back in the car!

We get home - they nibble at some lunch and I announce nap time.  Sarah goes into a crying fit so I promptly place her in bed and let her cry it out.  She's waaaay tired!  Ava goes too, but after about 30 minutes, they are still "talking" and Ava starts with the "serious" crying.  This does happen sometimes.  Usually I go check to make sure someone doesn't need a diaper change, give them a stern warning, and they proceed to go to sleep.  Not today.  Ava has chosen to revert to the "stripper" phase except this time she is "jaybird" naked.  Diaper & clothes are on the floor, and yes -- a wet spot on the sheets.....nice.  I changed the sheets, re-dressed her, swatted her behind (all not necessarily in that order) and put her back in bed.  I gave both of them a good "talkin' to" and walked out.  Not another sound was heard.  Finally!  Naps today  were not an option.   We have "trunk-or-treating" tonight at church and since they were up at the crack of dawn, they needed some down time.  Not to mention that mommy did too!  I had things to do!

After tonight, I should have some great pics to put up.  We went to my boss's farm in Moscow last weekend and the kids had an incredible time.  They got to see horses, cows, miniature donkeys, go on a hayride, roast hotdogs & marshmallows - we all had a blast.  [I work with some pretty awesome people (you know who you ya!)  We always have a great time together, be it at work or elsewhere.  That is a "fantabulous" thing since we are together 12+ hours the days we work!  I love them so! ]  Anyway, I have those pics and hopefully will get cooperation from the kids to get some good shots tonight!  Zachary is Batman, Josh is a storm trooper, Sarah is Dorothy and Ava is a kitty (pink/black).  I hope the hood fits over her rather "healthy" head!  We'll see... Happy Halloween to all!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes, I'm Going There

Okay, let's just go ahead and discuss the elephant in the middle of the room -- the upcoming elections. I'm going to take a break from the comedy that is my life and voice my opinion on why I believe the things I believe and why I support the candidate I support. I will state right now that I am a Christian and a Republican, so if you think that anything that I am going to "say" will anger or offend you, please click out now and I promise to return to my regularly scheduled hilarities next time! I am not out to change anyone's views - I am just stating my own. Since I created this blog and it does have my name on it, I feel that I am entitled to voice my opinions here. Should you disagree, please do not blast me on my comments - let's just respectfully agree to disagree. Feel free to go to and create your own blog! I would love to read it.

First, I am thrilled with Sarah Palin's boldness on her beliefs and views of Christianity. The following is an excerpt taken from an interview she had with James Dobson (Focus On the Family). Christa -- I copied this from your blog -- I hope you don't mind!

"The Alaska governor talked by phone with Dobson for about 20 minutes Monday while she was in Colorado campaigning. Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program aired the interview Wednesday. Dobson asked whether Palin was discouraged by polls showing the GOP ticket behind. "To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder," Palin said. "And it also strengthens my faith, because I'm going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God's hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4. So I'm not discouraged at all."

Palin thanked Dobson and supporters for their prayers and — when Dobson inquired about the importance of faith in her life — said: "It is my foundation, yes, my Christian faith is." She also used terms like "prayer warrior" and "intercession" — words that might be unknown to the average listener but are common vocabulary in Pentecostal Christianity. Palin spent 20 years in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church, but she usually refers to her faith generically as Christian, not even evangelical. "It is that intercession that is so needed and so greatly appreciated," Palin told Dobson. "And I can feel it too, Dr. Dobson. I can feel the power of prayer, and that strength that is provided through our prayer warriors across this nation." She continued: "When we hear along the rope lines that people are interceding for us and praying for us, it's our reminder to do the same, to put this all in God's hands, to seek his perfect will for this nation, and to of course seek his wisdom and guidance in putting this nation back on the right track."

Describing herself as a "hard-core pro-lifer," Palin said the birth of a son with Down syndrome was "this opportunity for me to really be walking the walk and not just talking the talk. There's purpose in this also and for a greater good to be met there." Palin said the campaign had to have faith that its message will be heard "minus the filter of the mainstream media." "That filter has to be erased," she said. "So we have to have faith in the wisdom of the people that they'll understand what our message is. But even bigger that then, I have to have that faith that God is going to help us get that message out there."

I just loved what she had to say. This is only a portion of the interview, but you can't deny the strength of her convictions. It is also obvious just by watching her that she has a peace about her. She knows that win or lose, this election is in God's hands and until that time, she will continue to be His vessel. The liberal media does not phase her - it is almost as if she has a "bring it on" attitude. Now, I'm not totally stupid -- McCain knew what he was doing when he picked her --- reaching the audience he would otherwise never reach had he picked just another guy in a suit. McCain has pushed Palin into the limelight and sort of taken a step back. I'll admit -- my vote for McCain is actually a vote for Palin. I'm not "wowed" by McCain - but I'm not going to vote for Obama either. (As a side note - I think this whole SNL thing with Sarah Palin has been hilarious, and she has been a gracious sport!)

There are a plethera of issues surrounding the presidential election - the war, the present financial crisis of the country, social security, etc. I'm not writing a book or hosting a nationally syndicated radio show, so I am not going to comment on all of these - just one. Every election - be it local, state or national level - has the abortion issue tagged to it. I am very much pro-life. I have a really hard time with this whole "it's my body and you can't tell me what to do with it" attitude. Seriously? That's your excuse? As soon as you become pregnant it is not about you becomes all about the life you are carrying inside you. And yes -- it IS a life - regardless of how it began. I've seen and heard the heartbeat at just a few weeks. People use the argument, "Well, it isn't viable outside the womb." Okay -- well, (not trying to sound insensitive) the person up in ICU who is having to be fed thru a NG tube - breathing only with the help of a machine - heart pumping only with the help of a machine - isn't "viable" either, but at least is given a chance. You don't see people picketing outside the hospital to turn off the switch. It's all about making a choice....a choice to put someone else's life above your own. A choice to save a life - not end it. If you don't want this life, then give it up for adoption. I probably sound like a mushy mom who loves to cuddle a newborn (and I do!), but I have done my research -- I know the "how" and "why" and what happens after an abortion (no - I haven't had one, but I know many who have). People bring in the issue of rape. Yes - that is a horrible crime on so many levels, but I don't believe an abortion is the answer there either. I remember MANY years ago a woman came to our church to speak who was the product of a! She was amazing! She was a prime example of God turning something tragic into something beautiful. I guess that is the difference...the "God" factor. Not everyone has it - but that is all the difference in the world. He influences your choices - He gives you comfort in the most painful of times and provides you with a support system like no other. I don't judge you if you chose to have one - actually my heart aches for you b/c I cannot imagine how painful an experience it had to be for you. I hope you know that God can help you thru the healing process.

Okay -- I have written enough to last a month. Maybe I gave you something to think about - maybe you think I'm a rambling idiot! It's not easy to put yourself out there -- these are sensitive issues. Like I said, I am not trying to force myself on anyone. I gave you the opportunity to bail out at the very beginning, so if you read this all the way thru, it was YOUR choice! :-) I hope that whatever your views are you feel strongly about them (don't ride the fence!) and that you will pray before casting your vote. It isn't important that you agree with me....I'll still like you! :-) These are just opinions! Whoever wins this election has a long and trying road ahead of them. The state of our nation did not happen overnight - it will take years for us to see any improvement (if any!) We ALL have a long road ahead of us!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where Oh Where Does All My Time Go? days are gone and usually I have nothing to show for it.  This week, my days off are Tues. & Wed.  I try to cram in the things I NEED to do (laundry & grocery shopping), but the girls consume any available minutes while we are at home.  They try to be good little helpers, but sometimes create more work instead.   I was folding clothes today and Sarah was all too eager to jump right in.  "I help mommy....I help you!"  And she did -- I folded a huge basket of whites in about 35.2 seconds because she was pulling everything out and handing them to me for me to fold and was very impatient when I did not take her items fast enough!  You know, for a 2 year-old she is quite opinionated and demanding.  Okay - I guess all 2 year-olds are demanding -- I'll give her that.  Her big thing right now is that she MUST be dressed first thing in the morning.   There is no "lounging" around in her pajamas....oh no.  As soon as I go into the girls' room to get them up , she is telling me, "Mommy, I want my clothes.  I want my orange shirt (or pink, or purple, etc.) and pants."   There is no tricking her either.  She knows her colors so if I don't produce the requested shirt, I have to convince her that the one I have in my hand is better.  Good thing my college degree is in psychology because she is already making me use it.  I'll have to go back for my PhD. before she hits the teenage years or I won't make it!  Let me just add that while she can push me to the brink of insanity, she also has the ability to charm the socks off me.  Everything is "please" & "thank-you mommy".  How can you resist that?  She can see it on my face when I am counting to 10 on the inside and she will pat my arm & tell me, 'You o'tay o'tay."  I sat down on the couch one night and she came running across the room saying, "I comin' mom...o'tay...I comin'."  I didn't really know what she wanted, but she just crawled up next to me and sat there -- holding her blanket and patting my leg.   She is so free with her hugs & kisses.  She & Ava are both like that.  I could just eat them up sometimes! 

I digress...this is supposed to be about where my time goes.  Yesterday I had a dr. appt., took Ava to the grocery store with me (that alone is a whole other blog -- why can't my kids actually ENJOY riding in the basket?  I know it is possible...I see other kids doing it without shrieking!)  We picked up Sarah & the boys from school, had dinner, then went to the Collierville mall to get some pants for Zachary.  We were in Children's Place about 10 minutes and I sent the brood over to the cookie place b/c I could not think.  Charles had Ava, the boys were showing me hats and big winter coats that I had to convince them I was not buying at this time, and Sarah was running amuck thinking this was some new cool playground.  I must admit, I got some sweet deals and everyone did come home with at least one thing!  Today I knew it would be just me & the girls all day, so I decided I would take them to the park after it warmed up.  I planned my strategy -- I planned to get there about 2:00 thinking little kids would be home taking a nap and we would be gone by 3:15 in case mommies wanted to let their little darlings burn off energy after school.  It was a great plan -- no one was there and we had the whole place to ourselves for about 30 minutes!  

Now - let me tell you the events leading up to our little outing.  I decided to "jump" in the shower while the girls were engrossed in Barney, or some "Sprout" show.  Normally, I have to get up at 5:45 a.m. (working or not) in order to get completely ready for the day (b/c I also have to get the boys up & ready and Charles needs to be in the shower by 7:00).  Today, I knew I really wasn't going to have to see anybody, so I decided to sleep in until 6:45 and try to work in a shower later.  Big mistake on my part.  Fast forward....I had just started washing my face when I hear the bathroom door open and Ava's little voice - "Momma!"  I'm talking to her, trying to get the soap off my face & out of my eyes.  When I open them, she has pulled the shower curtain totally out and is standing there -- water hitting her face -- just looking at me.  It's Josh all over again!  (If you don't know the Josh & the shower story, go back & read one of my earlier postings!)  I yank the curtain back but it is too late.  Water is all over the floor.  Ava can't even walk because she keeps slipping on the water like ice...her butt is soaking wet (I had JUST put her clothes on her!)  I had only had one towel in there b/c I was washing all the others.  I had to use my one towel to put in the floor to start soaking up the water.  Sarah tried to go get me towel, but she does not know where I keep them (not really important info for a 2 year-old to retain!)  Poor little thing tried to go find one, but as soon as she left the room I hear, "Mommy, I can't find it!"  So, I had to run to the other bathroom (where the linen closet is) dripping wet and get a towel....both girls all up under my feet like this was some new game.  So I get the water cleaned up (only a 1 towel job this time!), change Ava's clothes, finish getting myself ready, get everyone's shoes on, THEN we are ready to go!  The topper would have been if I had gotten everyone in the car and someone had a "stinky" - but that didn't happen.  If it had, I think I would have just cried!  It did end up being a good day though.  The girls had fun.  They were exhausted because they didn't get their afternoon naps, but that just meant an early bedtime.  I did manage to wash and change our sheets, dust a little, and do 3 other loads of laundry, so I was a little productive.  I just hate when I run myself ragged all day and have nothing to show for it in the end (that isn't true - I usually have at least one load of laundry as evidence).  I let the girls help me fold, or dust, or pick up.  I'm trying to loosen up and not turn them into neurotic cleaners like me!  I let them do what they want and whatever they don't clean up, I take care of when they go to bed.  After all -- it's just "stuff", and they are babies!  I'll crack the whip when they get older...just ask Zachary & Josh!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Big Day

Today was Zachary's luncheon at Chickasaw Country Club.  I think he was a little underwhelmed with the food, but he still had a good time.  Here are a couple of pics.  It looks like his poster was about crawling out of a burning house to safety.  He did a good job showing people crawling - that is pretty difficult.  My friend Jen pointed out that I left out a Josh update in my last blog.  Well -- He hasn't said much about Zachary's accomplishment.  He told Zachary, "You don't have to keep bragging about it."  He was quickly reminded that he had his moment in the spotlight at the karate tournament, and now it is Zachary's turn.  In case you didn't know, Josh is very competitive.  If he loses in a game, he will make you play again until he wins -- he's very much a sore loser!

Anyway - here are the pics I promised......he is growing up so fast!  It is hard to believe he will be 10 in a couple of months.  In three years, a teenager --- aaaaaggghhhh!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far.....

I have really got to get better at this blogging thing.  Time gets away from me and the next thing I know another week has passed!  I'm going to brag on my kids once more and I promise to stop - well for a little while at least!

Zachary has won honorable mention in a poster contest for "Fire Prevention Week" - like - for the whole city!  It was extra credit, but he wanted to do it anyway.  I think only 3 people in his class even did it.  Next thing we know, Mr. White (his principal) came to Charles' office with a fax that told him his poster was one of 1,500 chosen from the whole city!  It will be framed and will hang in the Memphis Fire Museum for one year, then given back to him to keep.  He was so excited!  He gets to go to a special luncheon at the Chickasaw Country Club too!  This made up for his slump after the karate tournament.  This reminded me of when I was in 6th grade and won 3rd place in a "Law Week" poster contest.   I got to go downtown to a luncheon with the Mayor (Wyeth Chandler at the time - some of you will have no idea who that is - yes I'm old).  Somewhere there is a picture of me with him....maybe I can dig it up.  Believe me - that poster was no work of art.  I'm sure Zachary did an amazing job on his - you know he IS his father's child!  I never saw it - it is best for special projects to be left at Daddy's office where little hands (a.k.a. Sarah & Ava) cannot get to them.   

Speaking of "little hands" -- the girls have done a good job of staying dressed this week.  I hope this is a trend that has passed!  They are so funny....Sarah is singing her "ABC's" like a champ (with the exception of l-m-n...gets a little blotchy there!) and Ava amazes me at just how much she understands.  I think I underestimate her !  She's so tiny that I tend to forget how old she really is.  (She is 16 months old and still wears 12 month clothes...thus the nickname "Itty Bitty"!)  She goes to the tub when you mention a bath, goes to her room when she's ready for bed, she'll put something up if you ask her to.....and her favorite word right now is "NO!"  Ask if she is hungry -- "NO!"  Ask if she is ready to get in the car -- "NO!"  Now, if she really means no, then you get "NONONONONONO!"  I took the girls to see my grandmother this past weekend and Ava's little face lit up like a candle when she saw my grandmother.  She looooooves her!  Well - all my kids do -- she is so great with them.  It is sad to see how her health is going down (she has a cancerous cyst on her pancreas).  There was a time a few years ago when the boys would go stay a day or two with her, but that is out of the question now.  She is barely able to stay by herself.  I had taken some things to her house to make dinner for her so that she would have something to eat on for a few days and it made me sad to think how much things have changed over the years.  When I was little, I loved weekends because we would go to my grandparents house and cook-out steaks.  They were sooooo good!  We would have baked potatoes and salad too.  I always thought she made the best salad ever -- then I realized it was her dressing I liked.  She always bought that Thousand Island dressing that came in the jar -- the thick stuff.  When I spent the night, she made a breakfast to feed an army.  She was always up & moving & could not stand to sit still.  She loved to cook and always made more than we could eat.  Now, everyone else is taking care of her.  It really stinks to grow up...  

Well, like I said, I hope to get better at keeping up with my blog.  The girls alone give me enough material to write about!  

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Whew! There have been lots of things going on this week, so I'm going to hit the highlights. First of all, can someone (ANYONE!) offer up a suggestion as to why a toddler feels the need to be naked - particularly from the waist down? This seems to be a new "hobby" for Sarah and Ava - particularly at naptime. I can't tell you how many times I have had to wash their sheets this week. Fortunately, they were just other "surprises"! :-) I don't know how she did it, but one day Ava managed to even get her dust ruffle wet. I'm going to have to start putting her in one-piece pj's - and possibly turn them backwards. As for Sarah, she chooses to be stark naked, so I don't know what I'm going to do with her. She's so tall they don't make onesies big enough for her! I hope this "stripper" phase passes soon -- I not only hate, I loathe changing crib sheets. I would rather change my own sheets every day than have to change crib sheets. They are back-breakers! One positive note...this week I discovered Sarah loves steamed broccoli & Ava likes steamed carrots. Now just how long that will last is anyone's guess!

So, that is what the girls are up for Zachary & Josh....they had their first karate tournament today, and I am soooooo proud of them! Zachary placed 2nd in his division for sparring, 3rd for kata. Josh placed 1st in his division for sparring and 2nd for kata. They were in the same division for kata b/c that is based on belt level (they are both orange belts). They were in different divisions for sparring due to size. Now, the belt levels go white-yellow-orange-green-blue-purple-red-brown-black. There is also a "black stripe" belt in between each color (i.e., white-white/black stripe-yellow, etc). Josh beat out 2 green belts to get 1st and Zachary lost by 1 point to a purple belt and placed 2nd over 1 purple and one orange. Granted, this was a small tournament - not "Karate Kid" size, but they still did awesome. This was the first tournament their instructor hosted and he did an amazing job. Every kid walked away with either a trophy or medal, and he (as well as the 3 judges) did nothing but praise these kids. They emphasized today was about having fun and doing your best. "Mr. Keith" does a great job of building up confidence & character in his students. He loves what he does! Most of all, the boys enjoy it, and that is what counts!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Day In The Life....

You know with 4 kids there is always going to be SOMETHING going on at our house. So, let me give you a glimpse into the type of chaos that can occur at a moments notice....

Tuesday started as a normal day. I was off, so I took Sarah to MDO, then Ava and I ate lunch with Zachary. I picked up Sarah & the boys at school, then came home and monitored homework, snacks, etc., until dinner. The weather was beautiful, so after dinner, Charles & Zachary went on a bike ride and Sarah, Josh and I washed my car. Ava was supervising in her stroller. Let me add here that Josh did an incredible job of corralling Sarah. He did not allow her to get anywhere close to the street. (I never even asked him to do that - I guess after 2 very close brushes with moving vehicles, he didn't want the same to happen to her!) They had a great time - except at the end, Sarah decided to put her entire body in the bucket I was using to wash the car...with the dirty water still in it! I decided it was time for her to go inside at that point - it was getting dark anyway. I finished up outside and by the time I got in, Charles had just finished giving Sarah a bath. This is where our story begins. She came running down the hall and immediately Charles says, "She picked out her own pajamas!" What would normally be a pair of long-sleeved/pants pajamas was looking like a pair of skin-tight capris and a halter top. I was surprised she could even breathe! I was just thinking I wanted to get a picture of it when out of the corner of my eye I see Zachary headed out of the kitchen with about 6 paper towels. I asked him where he was going and he said Josh had an "accident" and he was trying to help him. I knew Josh was in the shower, so I'm thinking Josh+water+"accident" = not a good situation. I went back to our bathroom (where the boys take their showers) and water was EVERYWHERE. In hindsight, it appears that the nozzle had gotten turned around so when he turned the shower on, water was spraying all over the bathroom. It took 9 (seriously - I counted!) bath towels and a mop to get all the water up and the carpet is STILL damp 2 days later! (And to think - Zachary thought 6 paper towels would do the trick!) I was sooooo mad - not because it happened, but because Josh took his entire shower knowing that water was going everywhere! Now, while I am sopping up the water, I hear Sarah screaming from her room, "NOOOO MOMMY DO IT! MOMMY DO IT!" (She has a terrible case of "mommyitis" these days.) What was causing all that commotion? Charles was simply trying to put clean sheets on her bed. She was having a FIT because I wasn't doing it. You probably think I am making this up or at least embellishing but I promise you all of this is true. I added no details! These type of antics are common at our house...we just learn to shake it off! :-) Charles said later, "I'm sorry you had a bad day." I told him I actually had a good day - but the last couple of hours were very nerve-racking!

So - there is a glimpse into what kinds of things are going on at the Robertson household. Sometimes I think I should put a webcam in my house and charge people to watch! Like they say on "John & Kate Plus 8"........"it's a crazy life, but it's OUR life!" I do love it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Wish

You know, if I had one wish - besides a housekeeper - it would be for a "grocery fairy". I'd love to have a little person go to the grocery store for me. It is a chore that I dread every week. If we had the space, I would just go to Cosco once a month and be done. What is frustrating is that I can't get all the items I need at Kroger and I can't get all I need at Wal-Mart. For example, Zachary & I are fanatical about our popcorn. We love Pop Secret Homestyle. Wal-Mart doesn't carry Pop Secret. We love the Welch's fruit snacks - Kroger doesn't carry them. Kroger only carries the itty-bitty peanut butter I like (Peter Pan reduced fat) - whereas Wal-Mart has bigger sizes. Kroger has the better meat & produce section...Wal-Mart is cheaper on cleaning supplies and bath products. Now, I don't go both places every week. I try to do Kroger when I can, but sometimes I HAVE to go to Wal-Mart. I can't take all 4 kids. Oh - I could - and I have - but I can''t think and I have to have 2 baskets (one to hold Sarah & Ava & 1 for food!) When I shop, I have to have a list, and I have to be able to think. This requires more time & energy than I can handle sometimes! :-) It would just be so nice to have a little "helper" do this for me - or if I could just wiggle my nose and have my fridge & pantry awesome! (Sigh) I guess we all wish we could have "little helpers" around our house. Granted, I do have 4 of my own, but they "help" in other ways. Zachary & Josh help so much with the girls, Sarah "helps" me with laundry and anything else she thinks she is big enough to do, and little Ava...well...she is actually pretty good at putting up stuff when prompted. I guess I should appreciate what I do have! For now, my kitchen is full and I actually had empty laundry baskets for a couple of hours last night. It's going to be a good week!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Week Over!

I guess it is an age thing, but I feel like time is just slipping out of my hands. The week starts and is over before I know it. In some ways I guess that is good, but it also means that my kids are growing up right before my eyes, and I am getting older that much faster! :-)

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions...for me at least. Mainly sadness. I look around me and I see so many people I know - some of them friends, some acquaintances - whose marriages are dissolving. It breaks my heart. I mean - dreams are shattered at no hope of restoration (at least at this time). I can't imagine the pain they are going thru. It has been a long journey to this point, and there is an even longer road ahead. Some feel free to share with friends and family  and others don't. Choosing not to share only makes you feel more isolated - I think. You need to be able to lean on your friends for support and encouragement - especially as Christians. Personally, I can understand how difficult it would be to talk to other people - no matter how close you are. Anyway - I am rambling...this is just something that has really bothered me this week. It has made me take a closer look at my own marriage.  With 4 kids, we have crazy schedules, but we do try to take the time just to "catch up" on our day.  It is an effort to stay connected with each other, and if we don't work at it, we don't.  I think that is what is happening to lots of families these days.  The husband & wife get so caught up in other things, that they slip away from each other.  One thing leads to another and next thing you know - separation.  Sometimes I wonder if people really even take marriage seriously anymore.  Some people decide they don't want to "do this" anymore and just bail out.  We have to pray - not only for ourselves, but for each other - that God will protect our marriages and use them as a testament of his love for the Church.

Like I said, I am rambling -- sorry!  My friend Jen probably thinks I read her blog and then write in mine!  We have both been dealing with similar issues this week.  I guess I need to go check on my little ones.  This much silence probably means that little hands (a.k.a. AVA) are into something they shouldn't be in - like the toilet!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Mind of a 7 Year-Old

Don't you ever wish you could just go back in time and be a kid again?  When your biggest worry was whether you should ride your bike or roller skate?  Good times.....Today, we live in a world full of crime, poverty, catastrophe, and most of all sin.  I usually pull up every day and the news is always so depressing  -- some of the stories I can't even bring myself to read (especially if they involve children).   Sometimes it would be so nice to be a kid again!  Josh just turned 7, and a couple of weeks ago, he had an assignment in school to write "Things That Make Me Happy".  Here is his list (I took the liberty to correct his spelling!): 

I like my Wii
I love my family
I like my Nintendo
I love church and God
I love air
I like to write
I like my Gamecube
I love to sleep
I like school
I like video games
I hate satan 

I got the biggest kick out of this!  This is one of those papers I dated and will tuck away forever.  If you know Josh, the abundance of video games on this list should not surprise you.  I have to say, I was impressed he threw in that he loves his family (not just "likes"!), loves church and God, and hates Satan.  I guess as parents we must be doing something right!  I really miss those days of innocence - when my parents thought nothing of letting me play outside until way past dark (in the summer!)  -- not always knowing where I was.  I cannot even fathom letting my kids out of the house and not being able to put my thumb on them at all times.  I want to protect my kids forever from the evils of the world, but I must let them go at some point.  All I can do is pray a hedge of protection over them and leave them in God's hands!   For now though,  I'll try to shield them from all the "bad things" take great joy in letting them just be kids!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Another weekend over. I'm sure Charles is glad since I had to work Sat. & Sun.! One parent + 4 kids + busy schedules makes for one frazzled parent! I'm really praying that something will change so that I can go back to just 3 days during the week. I only have to work 1 weekend a month, so it isn't the worst thing, but when there are a thousand places to go, it makes for a hectic weekend for my wonderful husband! Not to mention the fact that he leaves the house at 4 a.m. on Saturdays and gets home around noon -- aahhhh the joys of a family business! (BTW - big congrats to Zachary & Josh for passing their test for their orange belt. I am so proud of them! Charles took pics, so I will post them when he downloads them from the camera.)

On a different note....I was finally able to read the People Magazine article on Steven Curtis Chapman and his family's recovery process following the death of their daughter Maria. I just can't imagine the pain and hurt. Not only are they dealing with the loss of their daughter, but also the fact that it was their own son who accidentally ran over her. I kept thinking of those few lines from Psalm 139 ....."you knit me together in my mother's womb"......."for I know the plans I have for you"........."all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be"... On one hand you think "how could God let this happen?" but at the same time you know He wasn't surprised by this either. He knew Maria would only have a short time here on earth - but the Chapman family did not. This is just like I wrote in this blog a couple of weeks ago. Our "curtain" is only open part of the way -- God is the only One who sees the whole picture. There are some things were just aren't meant to understand -- at least -- not at this time. Enjoy every precious moment/memory with your loved ones. You never know when it will come to an end.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I have a horrible confession to make - one that might startle some of you - so sit down....take a deep breath....blow it listen to what I have to tell you. I HATE to shop! Whew! I'm so glad I got that off my chest! I hope you won't think less of me for it! I guess I should clarify. I hate shopping for myself -- Charles & the kids are a totally different story! Today was a reminder of why I hate to shop. Charles & I were at Macy's. They had a great sale (or so it appeared). He got 3 shirts (2 of which we later realized were Calvin Klein) for $45. They were long sleeved, dress shirts, so that was really a great deal. Charles NEVER buys himself anything, so I really had to coax him. Geesh -0ne shirt was only $7 - you can't pass that up! I decided to look at the women's stuff. Problem #1 - a "deal" was a top for about $30. Problem #2 - there are only 4.5 billion variations to tops/shirts/blouses/dresses/jackets. Guys only have to decide b/w long or short-sleeved, material, pattern. There isn't much variation there - just find your size. As for the women? Aaaagh! I just refuse to spend that much $$ and I refuse to try on 25 items to see which one I can tolerate. I wear scrubs to work 3 days a week, and on the days I am off, I am chasing a 1 and 2 year old, so I don't sit around in designer labels all day. I'll go for comfort rather than style. Target - here I come!

Let me also add that I could spend ALLLLLLLLL day shopping for the kids - especially the girls - and I get so excited when I find a good deal! (If I had $1,000 to blow, I would spend $998 at Target and The Children's Place on kids clothes and $2 on a Diet Coke for me!) I've been to Chocolate Soup 2x this month and was ecstatic with my finds! I guess it is the thrill of the chase. Chocolate Soup is the most over-priced children's clothing store in the whole tri-state area, but sometimes you can get the most unbelievable deals. I love that I can buy for Sarah and know Ava will be able to wear it too (eventually -- she is sooooo tiny compared to my amazon child!) I would be happy wearing the smocked a-line dresses, but they look a whole lot cute on a little girl than a grown woman! I guess at that point they become "moo-moo's"! :-) Don't get me wrong, I don't spend my days off at the mall. I usually only shop for the kids at the change of seasons and maybe pick up a few things here & there. All the fall stuff is out now, but it is hard to break out the corduroy when it is still 90 degrees outside!