Tuesday, November 27, 2007

They Change So Fast!

I just love being a mom. It's challenging but rewarding at the same time. I didn't always feel that way.

When I first became a mom I was shocked at how completely it changed my life. I had three children in four years and life was really chaotic. It is still chaotic but back then it was BAD! I can remember being in a public place and two of my three children were crying and one other child had a stinky diaper. It was then that some old woman came up to me with a smile and said sweetly, "Cherish your little ones lady, they change so quickly." I can remember wanting to hand her my stinking, crying baby and telling her to cherish the moment but I resisted.

Then a funny thing happened. The kids grew up and became people. They were less physicaly demanding and we had more enjoyable moments. I really enjoy each of them as people.

Now that I'm back in the baby stage I'm relishing every moment because it really does go by so fast and he too will become a person. Now I can enjoy being the apple of his eye and the sole focus of his life. It's a very short phase! I'm hoping that by spending lots of time with them now they'll want to spend lots of time with me when I'm old. What a great thought.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Menu Plan Mondays

Here is my plan...we'll see what the week brings as to how closely I follow it.

Mon - grilled cheese and "healthy soup"
Tues - Seafood pasta, my own recipe. Ask for it only if you are okay with imprecise measurements. Salad.
Wed.- Veggie burgers and french fries
Thurs - Baked chicken, mac n cheese and peas
Friday - pizza homemade.
Sat. White chicken chili
Sun - fish, rice salad

Friday, November 23, 2007

Liam's haircut

Yes my husband uses a flowbee to cut the baby's hair. It is something that sucks the hair like a vacuum and cuts it at the same time. He uses it on his and my other son's hair too. They've all had their hair cut this way since they were 3 mos old. It's hilarious. They have to sit in my lap until they are old enough to sit still themselves. What's nice is that we don't spend much at the barber! Bill's offered to cut my hair that way too...but I think I'll pass. Liam is getting accustomed to it already.
Now he's ready for the party! Watch out ladies!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why I'm Thankful.

There's many things for me to be thankful for:

1. My relationship with the Lord, He's there even when others are not and He knows me so I don't have to put on a face for Him.

2. My husband, Bill. He's a great guy and would do anything to make me happy. He agreed to a reversal surgery last year and now we have a new addition to boot.

3. My children. They are healthy, great kids. They all have a sense of humor and dramatics and are just so lovable in all their own way.

4. My friends. Dana, she listens to me every week. Mel, Debbie, and Shannon who adopted me into their circle. Writer's Group, we share writing as well as intimate details of each others lives. We faithfully hold each other up in prayer.

5. My health, it just cannot be taken for granted.

6. My parents who supported me growing up and even today. My mom made us steak and potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner...yum! My in-laws and I have a great relationship too.

7. My needs are met abundantly. Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Banana Meatloaf Story....dum,da, dum, dum!

Okay, Taylor asked that I write this story down...It's quite famous in our family.

When I was first married my husband and I had very different tastes when it came to food. I was used to fresh fruits and vegetables and rather fancy cuisine. Bill loved to smother things in ketchup and considered velveeta it's own food group. We didn't fight about things like money or toilet paper rolls our first year of marriage, we fought about food. He absolutely hated salmon, I loved it. Sushi is just to die for in my opinion but my husband doesn't think it's dead enough to eat! We would go round and round about this. Most things I made went uneaten and down the disposal.

One day I was making meatloaf. I figured that was a safe bet since you could smother it with ketchup. Heck! I could get rid of leftover food in it and he'd never know! Score! I mean really, you throw ground beef with some onions, lots or worchestershire sauce and oatmeal. What else could I sneak in? I looked around and noticed a banana that was going bad on the counter. Ah-ha! I could mush it up and make the meatloaf even healthier that it already was. He'd never know, the ketchup would drown the taste out. I quickly put it in and mushed it all together with my hands. Waste not, want not!

When he came home we quickly got dinner on the table and he prepared to smother his meatloaf in the ketchup that we had in ample supply. He took one bite and looked at me with angry eyes. "Did you put a banana in this meatloaf?"

"Yes," I said, shocked that he would notice it.

He shook his head and promptly stomped into the kitchen and dumped the whole meal in the trash can. What a jerk! I thought. I couldn't believe he was being so UNREASONABLE! But then....I took a bite. Oh my word! It was horrible. It meat and banana at it's most ripe state. THe whole effect was quite horrifying. He wasn't being unreasonable after all. It was just awful. I too threw mine away and ate something else that night.

Later I threw my arms around his neck and apologized for such an awful mess. He forgave me and asked that I not try to sneak in healthy food into his beef without his knowledge...unless it was ketchup. We came up with ground rules about food:

1. I was to never make him salmon.

2. He would serve himself.

3. No sneaking!

Ever since then we haven't fought about food. He does serve himself vegetables to be a good example for the children, just not the heaping portions that I used to give him. Thus we have marital bliss!


Do you know what my husband did? I was lamenting to him that I was overwhelmed with all of the stuff we have and the chaos in our house. He didn't say much (not that it is unusual for him to be quiet) but then he said he was going to Home Depot. When he came home he had shelving units. He'd bought four for downstairs and one for each of the kid's closets. They were pricey but he said it was a start to our trying to tame the chaos. YEah! He loves to do that kind of thing for me and I love that I can tell him anything and he will work hard to fix it if he can. What a guy!


Who couldn't use a giveaway? You have to hurry though. Go to http://yestheyareallmine.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/my-very-own-giveaway/ to enter for a chance to win! You have to do it by tomorrow. I love free stuff!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Mondays

Monday - Chicken enchiladas
tues - multicolored pasta, garlic bread, salad
wednesday - cream cheese chicken
thursday - anti-thanksgiving feast (we don't like that meal)
friday - pizza

Link up with Laura at http://orgjunkie.com for more menus. It's especially for those of you that have issues with cooking and meal planning.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I don't mean to complain....but....

In case you don't know I like to cook...a lot. I'm the experimenter. I like to take things that no one's thought of and put them together and see what happens. I rarely measure out things I just throw it in there and hope for the best. I rarely get complaints....but when I do they are doosies!

Like today. I made my top secret IHOP harvest grain pancakes. They are wonderful and the kids scarf them up in 5 seconds flat. I do measure out the ingredients but I have substituted apple sauce for the oil it calls for. That way it has a little touch of Wendy in it. Anyway, I made the pancakes and I noticed they were burning and sticking to the pan in a weird way.

Now I need to preface this with the fact that Bill and I have been working on getting the kids to complain less. One child in particular is a CHRONIC complainer. I don't know WHO he gets that from! Anyway I'm noticing that the pancakes are being eaten very slowly and Dylan is trying to drown his in syrup but it's not making them disappear faster. He looks at me with these puppy-dog brown eyes and says, "Mom, I don't mean to complain but these pancakes taste like sunscreen!" SUNSCREEN!!!!!!!!! I was irritated....until I took a bite. You know they really did taste like sunscreen. Wow! How did I mess that one up? Looking back on it I realized that I put 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of baking powder in them when it only called for a teaspoon of each. I couldn't even choke them down. Honey didn't take the horrible taste away for me.

We all had a good laugh about it later. Bill was munching on something and when Dylan commented on it he said, "Normally I munch on the leftover pancakes but since Mom made sunscreen pancakes I think I'll pass this time!"

Oh well, at least it's not banana meatloaf! (Yes, I made that one too...but that's another story!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Austin's Christmas List

1. Trampoline (oiy!)
2. Shrek Three
3. Game Boy console
4. latchhook kit
5. legos (doesn't he already have a million? I guess he really likes these...they don't get old)
6. pc games
7. puzzles
8. Game boy games

That's all folks!

Housekeeping issues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, for those of you new to blogging. If you visit my site, please comment if you have time. It's nice to know who's reading! Just click on comment at the bottom of the post. Also, don't forget to vote on my poll. The question this week is how many children do you have? IT's on the left! Obviously most of my readers just love kids!


Even old people are victims of Taylor's fashion sense!

Taylor enjoys dressing up her grandpa. Here he's wearing her new American Girl hat. He's an awfully good sport about it. One time his other granddaughter Julia was making fun of his toenails. She lives in another state so when she was due to visit again he called Taylor to paint his toenails as a surprise. She was so excited. She painted them an array of blues and purples. She then commenced to painting her and Liam's toenails too! Julia was in for a big surprise! Taylor had a blast conspiring with her grandpa. I, for one, was shocked that a man of his generation was into something like that but then I guess he's just young at heart!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Taylor's Kids

My daughter Taylor has a love for children that is quite heartwarming. This is Abby, Dana's third daughter that Taylor's holding. Kids just light up when they see her coming. She gets down on their level to play with them, she protects them, and makes them feel number one. Liam definitely lights up when she comes in the room. Her younger brothers all love her too, she's all excitement. Taylor has quite a following of children: her little cousins, Anna, Naomi, Abby, Liam, Elaina, Gary, and I'm sure there's others I've forgotten. She has a servant heart and is always willing to help out with a smile. Every mom would love to have her as a daughter but I'm glad the Lord blessed me with her.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My day

Things don't always go smoothly at the Kienbusch house. Today I schooled the kids amid lots of noise, most of it centered around entertaining my very LOUD baby. I then took phone calls, made lunch, and had a mess in the kitchen because we were still doing school. Dylan had decided to go on a mental vacation and I couldn't get him to focus the entire day. By 2 pm we were still doing school with no end in sight, the baby refused to nap and was screaming his head off, my dishes were still piling up, and Dylan was having a complete meltdown. I gave up and told him to do school by himself which caused him to break into complete hysterics. I then announced that we were no longer going to the park like we do on tuesdays but we were going to the trail instead so I can get a quick workout before taxi duty.

We raced down the trail in our rollerblades and thankfully I didn't fall but when I got home I had to get everyone in the car. We then dropped Taylor off at ballet and raced to Austin's basketball game. My children had been playing with the cell phone and left it at home so my husband couldn't get a hold of me. The baby smelled like poop in the middle of the game so I went out to the car, got the diaper bag and changed him but....no poop! OKay. Went back to the game and yelled at all the players to get their HANDS UP! They got creamed 23 to 4. I then raced home to feed Liam, and bath him so that all Bill has to do is to put him to bed. Apparently Liam decided to poop...in the tub...after his bath...on the pretty green towel on my lap. Unfortunately I didn't realize it until after he'd squashed it into every Egyptian fiber! Yuck! I then had to take the baby downstairs to be fed by my son while I cleaned poop out of the tub and then raced to pick up my daughter from ballet. Unfortunately for her I'd said to leave class 15 minutes early so I could pick her up and go to my homeschool meeting. Since I was late due to the poop fiasco the teachers thought she was lying to get out of dance. Poor Taylor!

I raced to the meeting where the topic was about productivity, and purpose in homeschooling. It was definitely something I needed but man...I need to go to bed! I'm glad the Lord understands days like this.

Olympia Chicken recipe

I had some requests for this so I thought I'd publish it. I originally got it from Cooking light magazine.

1 whole chicken
1 lemon
1tbsp olive oil
1 container feta cheese
1 onion
1/2 cup wine

1. Take your fingers and gently separate the skin of the breast part of the chicken from the meat of the chicken without tearing the skin. Stuff the opening with the feta cheese. I like to put in near the legs too.

2. Cut lemon into four wedges and squeeze juice into bowl and combine with olive oil. Rub this onto the skin of the chicken.

3. I cut up one onion and add white wine to the roasting pan before roasting the chicken.

4. Roast for 1 hour 15-30 minutes at 375. The juices should run clear and the legs should be droopy.

5. Enjoy. My family LOVES this recipe.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Mondays

Okay, this is my first menu plan monday entry.

Monday: Olympia Chicken, roasted potatoes, salad

Tuesday: shepherd's pie

Wednesday: pasta, garlic bread, salad

Thursday: crock pot roast

Friday: cream cheese chicken breasts, rice, broccoli

Saturday: Pizza with whole wheat crust

Sunday: minestrone soup and homemade rolls.

Thanks for looking

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We had a great weekend visiting my brother, Brett and his wife Thea. They brought their little girl named Lily with them to the soccer park to watch Dylan's game. I made a video of her running. She does this constantly and always on her tippy toes. It's so cute. My kids love her. They played chase and loved to laugh at all the fun things that she did (bad and good). She's almost two and definitely needs to be on the move ALL THE TIME. We went to the zoo afterwards so hopefully she conked out for a while in the car on the way home.

We wish that we could see them more but my brother and I live in different cities and it's hard to travel with little ones very much and then there's the expense of it too. I really regret not seeing my brother more but I guess that's just how things are right now. We were best buds growing up. I do enjoy what little time we do get. Maybe we should look into webcams so that we're not these weirdos she sees once in a while huh? Let me know what you think about that.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Looking back at my wedding day.

I love this picture of me and my dh. It had been such a stressful day trying to pull off the wedding and by the end of the night I was just exhausted. This picture was taken as I was just starting to unwind and enjoy myself. I love the way we're looking at each other, as if there wasn't anyone else in the room. After 12 years my feelings for him have intensified. I admire him more, trust him more, and give more of myself to the relationship than I did in the beginning. It's great that after 12 years and four kids we can still have a lot of fun together, laugh a lot and support each other. I don't have to tell him how I feel sometimes he just knows by looking at me what's going on. What's important is that we've grown together. I hope in another 20 years we'll be this same way...just more wrinkled with bad eyesight.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Uncle Boots

Here's a picture of my dad and my great Uncle Boots. He's a World War II veteran and just so much fun to be around, at least he was when I was a child. I don't think I've seen him since I was around 9 years old.
The last time I saw him he stayed with us for a few days. He announced one day that he wanted to get a bicycle so off we went to the bike shop. When we walked in I was facinated by all of the bicycles. It was then that I saw it....a metallic blue bicycle with a flower basket, banana basket and high handle bars. It was the type of bicycle that every girl wanted for Christmas back in the seventies. I jumped on and off of it many times and said, "Hey Mom, Uncle Boots...This is the bike I want. It's just perfect for me."
"Now Wendy, we're here for Uncle Boots to buy a bicycle, we're not here for you,"my mom said.
"Oh, okay." Bummer! I thought. We left the bike shop without a bike. Uncle Boots didn't find one that day that suited him. He had a big smile on his face as though he were up to something. I remember his laugh and that when he smiled he had dimples.
That Christmas under the tree Santa had brought me that bike that I wanted. I had it under special authority that Uncle Boots had told Santa just what I liked. My mom said that he really enjoyed being a part of the caper. Apparently the bike shop called once to see if he wanted the bike he was looking at that day! Salespeople...they just don't get it!
It was the last time I ever saw him before my parents split and we moved away, but what a memory I have.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Marco Polo

Okay, I am stepping away from my family members to mention something I find really absurd. I rented Marco Polo for my kids since that's what we're studying about in history. The movie is a good one but they cast Brian Dennehy as Kublai Khan. Huh? Even my daughter said, "Mom it's so distracting to watch him! He looks ridiculous." You mean to tell me they couldn't find an asian actor to play him? I mean it's like casting Tom Cruise as Kunta Kinte from Roots. That would have been an uproar! Why does Hollywood have an adversion to asian actors? They did the same thing in many other movies. Normally I'm a fan of Brian Dennehy but I say, "Come back from the Dark Side!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My son, the Renaissance man

Austin is a very sensitive guy. Yes, he's all boy. He'll wrestle, play ball, and destroy things with the best of them. He also wants to learn all my hobbies. He joins me with cooking. He's also decided to knit and to sew. He's knitted himself a hat and a sweater for his little brother. He's sewn a fleece sweatshirt and is working on another one too.
The picture is Liam wearing his new sweater. Austin saved his allowance to buy the yarn and bought it at Hobby Lobby when I was pregnant. He diligently worked on it until it was done. The sweater turned out to look pink but there is orange, green, purple and yellow in it too. I was so proud of him when he finished it. He couldn't wait to take the picture of Liam in it. I just love his heart. So many times he is misunderstood since he says what's on his mind no matter how rude it sounds to others (a problem his mother has not his father.) But then he can be so tender with little children. Isn't that a quality that our Lord wants us to have (not the rudeness, but the tenderness). He asks so many questions far beyond his years. Like, "Can Satan be changed for good? If God knew what would happen why did He make Adam and Eve anyway? How can I be a Christian if I keep doing bad things?"
When he was four an eight year old was picking his sister Taylor and he sat on the kid so he couldn't get up and yelled, "Stay away from MY SISTER!" There was another time that I was in the city late at night and we had to walk to our car far away and had to cross a gang of drug dealers to do it. My idea was to cross that area myself and pull up with the car in front of the building to pick up the kids. Austin would have none of it. "Mom, I'm not letting you go out there by yourself. I will protect you." He was only 7 at the time. He bravely held my hand and marched to the car calmly as we passed the gangsters.
He's a joy to homeschool too. He loves brainteasers, math, and reading mysteries. Anything that has to do with learning is exciting to him.
I hope that his future wife thanks me for these skills when he's older. I figure that if he has the perseverence to finish a baby sweater and has the bravery to protect his mom when he's 9 years old who knows what he'll accomplish when he's an adult?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Worldless Wednesday

Getting older

Today I went roller blading by myself today and crash landed during the course. I bent my thumb back in a wierd position, took the brunt of it with my knees (I'm sure I have hematomas galore!), and managed to flip the stroller over. Poor Liam was sleeping and then all of the sudden was hanging vertically in the stroller. He had a look on his face like, "Why did you do that mom?" Two other men were about 25 feet away and were asking, "Man, are you okay?" They didn't bother to get up so I didn't think they wanted to help me.

I righted the stroller and poor Liam didn't have a good nap and my body feels like I've been in a car wreck. In the past I've fallen and it hasn't hurt too much but I'm definitely sore and feel like I will be for a long time.

Well, that's all for today. I think I'll take a warm bath.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A tribute to a friend.

Pastor Shawn said something this sunday about the importance of words of affirmation. If we gave what we thought someone needed (like criticism) it was like a glass of salt. If we said nothing it was an empty glass. If we gave words of encouragement then it was a glass of water. This was from the book of Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear."

I'd like to give some edifying words to one of my friends. This is a tribute to a fellow stay at home mom in the trenches. Here's three different pictures of us at three different times in our lives. As you can see our weight has increased with each child we have. The picture in the middle is of us when we were going to the Christmas Ball. I made the dresses from the Jane Eyre era. Even though we didn't know what we were doing we danced anyway as our husbands looked on in horror! The top picture is of our belly's at my surprise baby shower. I knew something was wrong when I was at the stampin up party on time and Dana had beat me. She almost never does that. The last picture is our last two kids after a roller blading escapade.

We do just a lot of things together. We rollerblade, chat, minister to refugees. We have the same stroller, our mom's sell juice plus, the same style nursing blanket, both drive mini-vans (a sad but inevitable path for moms, something we both swore we'd never do).

I see her changing in amazing ways. I love watching her with her kids. They are like second children to me too as I've seen them since they day they were each born. We have so much fun together too. She laughs at what I say...a lot. We share funny stories and we've both had major meltdowns in front of each other. There are things we've told each other that only we would think was great news!

I'm glad the Lord brought us together. I definitely see His hand in what we've both been through. I'm so glad to see her grow as a friend, sister in Christ, and mother to her young ones. Way to go momma!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fall fun compliments of the Creator

I heard a scientist describe what happens to the earth during autumn. He said that the leaves break down and provide nutrients for the decomposers that then return nutrients for the soil. He said that the deciduous forest is the most diverse habitat anywhere for this reason. He said that this harmony and cycle couldn't have occurred by chance, it had to have been put into place by a Creator. He then said he felt that there was one other reason that God made fall....for the delight of children to play in the leaves.
In my home this is definitely the case. My children look forward to raking and frolicking every year. Now they get to add someone new to the mix! I was picking leaf bits out of his nether region for quite a while after that!

Sewing fun

Here are some recent projects that I completed sewing. On the top are my two sons with matching outfits. I was teaching a sewing class last year and one of my students decided to give me a gift certificate to Hancock Fabrics (the best store to go to!). It was for a baby gift when Liam was born. I decided to make an outfit for each of the boys and took Austin and Dylan to the store with me to pick out fabric. If you know my sons at all they are complete opposites and neither could agree on fabric choice. The new plan was that I got fabric for Austin and Liam that matched and Dylan and Liam that matched but Austin and Dylan would look quite different. Hence Austin and Liam have some lime green plaid fabric that Dylan wouldn't be caught dead in and Dylan picked out Spongebob fabric. At least Liam was compliant!

The other picture is Lily, the cutest neice in the world! I made her this dress with leftover fabric from a top/shorts outfit I made Taylor. I'm so glad it fits her too. Isn't her face so sweet? I wish we lived closer so I can make lots of dresses for her.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Look at who's sitting.

Look who's sitting tall? He just started this week. He really likes it too. We still need to be by him though. I can't believe how fast he changes. The kids all cheer for him whenever he does something. He'll grow up not knowing how to do anything significant without a cheering section.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

These are videos of Liam's favorite activity...bouncing and laughing! It's so entertaining. The kids were in such stitches today that we couldn't get school done. He was laughing at them laughing at him bouncing! I know these days are short so I'm trying to catch all the memories I can before they're gone and he's growing facial hair!

The real Halloween with all the make up. We had a blast this year dressing the kids up. The only snaffu was when Dylan wanted to wrap up as a mummy and asked Bill to help. Bill did it but complained to me that "this costume is not functional!" No dear, not all things are functional but some are just frivolous and fun. We collected parts of Dylan's costume along the way as they got candy. Taylor was dracula, Austin was frankenstein, Dylan was a mummy and Liam was a duck. I got the costume last year when I was pregnant for just a buck! What a steal!

They enjoyed getting joke books from the library this year and writing out lists of potential fodder for the neighbors. The kids complained that although the neighbors asked for jokes they laughed halfway through the presentation and sent them on their way. They said, "Mom they didn't even take the time to listen to me!" Ahh, the first of many such experiences for them. How many of us really listen to each other??