It's time.  The planning of the Halloween costumes is upon us.  We've had fun over the years... 
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
...and we're excited for this year to arrive.  We're doing an old school theme this time around and I can't wait to post pictures once we're dressed. 

     We hope that you and yours have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN with plenty of treats and not a trick to be found.

         Please Click Below to VOTE!  Thank You!!!
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
 
 
    This Saturday will be the last football game of the year for our three boys.  They began the season back in August and have gone through hours of training and development.

    There's something to be said about experiencing this.  It's hard sometimes to literally and figuratively sit on the sidelines and watch your child in any sport.

    You find yourself looking to the coaches as well, through the good, the bad and sometimes...the ugly.

    This year was different than last.  The boys played for another league a year ago, with very different coaches.  Two of our boys had a great experience with that league, but our oldest did not.  He had a head coach that cared more about winning than about the good of the kids.  There was an assistant coach that all but counteracted the head coach's demeanor and he tried to take our son under his wing.  It didn't matter.  The head coach was crude and often mean spirited, having a negative impact on our son.  So much so, that when we told the boys we were signing up with a different league this year, he begged us not to make him play.

    He stuck it out though.  What he didn't realize, was that this year would turn out to be different.  This year the head of the program was more interested in the heart of the players, rather than the execution of the plays.  His goal was to shape young men as opposed to winning at all costs.  He taught the boys that people in their lives will tell them that they deserve to win but that is a lie.  It takes work, dedication and commitment to become winners.  This isn't always necessarily demonstrated on the scoreboard, but rather through character and discipline. 

    The boys have listened and grown from him.  Our two younger boys have loved every minute of it and thankfully, our oldest son began to change this season too.  In no time, he began to worry less about going to practices and games and began talking more about the plays, his friends and the cool coaches.  His expression turned from a look of doubt and fear, to focus and happiness.     

    The head of the program and our boys' team coaches may never know what they've done with our boys...especially with our oldest...but we do.

     They've help build their confidence and have given them wonderful childhood memories of the days of Fall.  What a difference a positive influence and genuine compassion can make to a child...as well as for those of us...who sit on the sideline.

     So thank you coaches, for caring about our boys.  It means more than you'll ever know. 
Picture
Picture
Picture
  Please Remember to Click Below to VOTE!  Thank You!!!  XO
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
 
 
To the Receptionist at the Hair Salon,
     You don't know me.  You don't know that my life is just about as crazy as it can be, but then again whose isn't?
     When I work like mad to get to my appointment on time though, you're not exactly the person I should have been met with.
     Let me explain.
     You see, when you calmly say to me as I dash in, "Um, yes.  I tried to call you.  You're appointment is cancelled because our stylist is out sick today."
     I instantly have a flashback of the day trying to get to you.  
     What I WANT to say is, "We've been running around the state of North Carolina for our boys' football games and haven't been home since seven something in the morning.  I'm sorry I missed your call (to our house) but I haven't been home yet.
     Instead, I ask, "Is there anyone else who can see me?"
     To which you reply, "No.  We're busy.  You can reschedule for this week though."
     What I WANT to say is, "I can't.  I have four kids, work full time, have to get the kids to practice on the weeknights and can't physically make it to get my hair cut.  In all honesty, it's been a year since I've actually HAD my haircut.  Seriously, a year."
     What I say is, "I can't make it this week.  Maybe on the weekend."
     This is where you respond, "We have an opening tomorrow at 3:30." (Sunday)
     Thinking as fast as I can, I try to rearrange our schedule in my head and blurt out, "Okay."  (wait a minute...if she's sick)  "Who would it be with?"
     You say, "It's with 'so 'n so', at another salon of ours.  She's a master stylist."
     What I hear is, "It's going to cost you even more money to drive twenty minutes FURTHER away from the thirty you've already driven to get here, screwing up another whole day for the time you don't have." 
     This is where I waited for the whole...'customer service' thing to happen.  I don't know why, but I naively thought you'd make things a little better by saying, "You'll be charged the same as you would have today though," or "Don't worry, we'll give you a discount for your inconvenience."
    I know it's a simple thing.  A haircut is not that big of a deal in the scheme of things involving life, but maybe it was because of everything else.  The running around all day, the being hungry from skipping dinner to make it to my appointment on time.  Maybe it was the simple fact that I was truly looking forward to sitting down for one hour with nothing to worry about and no responsibilities with kids, work, cooking, cleaning...just...nothing.
     That's when you looked at me with your indifference and said, "Like I told you, I tried to call.  I don't know what else to say."
     Okay, I'm out.                    
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
 
 
   Ahhhh, the State Fair.  It's hard to pass up the opportunity to eat horribly good food, ride rides and play games only to spend twenty dollars on a prize that's worth two.
   Nevertheless, it called our names yet again.  Our stomachs hurt from the sugar and grease, but the day was worth it...and we'll eagerly wait until next year when we'll get to do it all over again. 
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
           Please click below to Vote!  Thank You!  :)
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
 
 
Picture
     Okay, so last night, I couldn't sleep. 
     Reaching for my laptop, I was happy to see there was the Hallmark Channel's movie of "My Boyfriends' Dogs" I could review.  
     Thinking I would watch a little and maybe drift back to bed, I quickly realized that was a silly notion.  Five minutes into the movie, I was hooked.
     "My Boyfriend's Dog" is a charming journey of a young woman who is trying to find her "Mr. Right" as opposed to "Mr. Right Now".  
      The movie begins as the main character, Bailey, (played by Erika Christensen from “Parenthood”) stumbles into a diner with her three dogs. 
      Soaking wet and wearing a wedding gown, Christensen does an excellent job at pulling you into her story with a lovable character and a best girlfriend type appeal, leading you to root her on to find her fairy tale ending.     
      "My Boyfriends' Dogs" is a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, based on the popular fiction novel of the same name, written by Dandi Daley, includes a cast of, Mackall Joyce DeWitt (“Three’s Company”), Teryl Rothery (“Debbie Macomber’s
Cedar Cove”), Emily Holmes (“Snakes on a Plane”), Jeremy Guilbaut (“The L.A. Complex”), Tyron Leitso (“Being Erica”) and Jesse Hutch (“Arrow”) co-star.
      Be sure to catch it tonight, (Saturday), October 18 at
(9 p.m. ET/PT, 8C).   
        Please Click Below to VOTE!  Thank You!!!  XO
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
 
 
     I pushed my grocery cart into the cool air and saw you park your van in front of the store.  You needed to drop a movie off at a Redbox in front of you and I couldn't help but inwardly smile at your messy pony tail, sweat pants and exasperated look.  
     Realizing that you left your toddler in his car seat while you jumped out, you thought you'd only be a second, leaving your car door open with intentions of jumping right back in.  What you didn't plan on though, was how quickly he'd climb out of his seat and pull his door open in the van.  
    Slowing my cart, I quickly surveyed the parking lot as panic struck with an oncoming truck.  Your little one was about to crawl out on his side, with the truck on its way.  The driver would never have a chance to slow down.  In that split second, you turned around to head back.
    That's how fast it was.  That's how quickly it all happened.  I prepared to run and get your son but I didn't need to.  You shot to him before his little feet hit the ground.
    He was fine.  You were fine.  Your look was of pure exasperation and I thought you would start to cry.  I felt your look glaze over me with an expression of, "You have no idea how hard this is."
   I simply smiled back with my cart in tow...and gave a nod of understanding. 
   Then something happened.  An older woman walked towards us with a scowl on her face and a tsk, tsk shake of her head.   
    Her glare was directed directly at you with a look of complete disapproval.  She saw what had happened and wanted to make quite sure that you knew how greatly you were in the wrong.
    It did nothing to support you.  It didn't help the situation in anyway and I watched as you fell a little deeper into your defeat.  
    I'm sure the woman had raised children of her own and did everything right, without a day of despair or wrongdoing.  I'm sorry that she made you feel that way and I want you to know that there is no such thing as a perfect mother.  
    You will make mistakes.  Some will be big, some small.  Some will scare you to death, others will have you laugh until it hurts.  That's called being a parent.
     No matter what, don't let the negative and judgmental people get you down.  They're always going to be there, telling you what you're doing wrong and how you should be better.  Try to focus on the good though. 
     Surround yourself with people who will support you and love you no matter what.
     Even though it's hard to believe, it will get easier.  Just hang in there and get through one day at a time...and try not to let the bad ones get you down.  
          Thank You for Clicking Below for a Vote!           
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 
 
    With the holidays coming right around the corner, traveling and sight seeing will be in full swing.  If you're going somewhere with young children, here are a few simple tips to keep them together with you...safe and sound.
   1. What they wear.  We may look like the cheesiest family, but when we travel or go to places with large crowds, we often dress our kids alike. 
    Most everyone thinks this is for a "cute" factor.  I usually don't take the time to explain, but it's actually not. 
    Not only is it easier to scan and pick out your kids if your mind/eyes are looking for the same thing/color, but it's for another very critical factor as well.  You see, when we went to Disney World one year, we lost our second son.  I mean, completely and utterly lost. 
   There was a panic that hit levels I'd never humanly known before.  We frantically searched for him through tears and gut wrenching fear.  He was only three years old and I nauseously ran around the park, trying to find our little boy.  
   Every person we stopped to ask for help, asked one single question.  "What was he wearing?"  It was in that moment that I realized that if our others were dressed somewhat alike, I could've simply shown them.  It felt like such a waste of time to try and describe his appearance when we should've been combing the park.  
    My husband ended up finding him.  It turned out that Ethan evidently found the train tracks that ran down main street and simply walked away from us in hopes to find the train at the end.
    We've dressed them alike ever since.    
Picture
    2. Identification.  One of the simplest and yet most reassuring things we've learned to do when traveling is to hit the pet store first.  Why you may ask?  
    Someone gave us the great idea of making name tags for each of the kids with our cell phone numbers inscribed.  They're fun for the kids to create with using their first name and our contact information.  
    The name tags are a brilliant concept because they're durable and waterproof.  You simply link the metal ring around the back of their shorts or pants belt loop and they're out of the way of fidgety fingers.  
    If you become separated from your child, someone can call you immediately with his or her location. 
    3.  Role play.  You never want to become separated from your child, but what would happen if you did?  Would he or she know what action to take?  Where to turn?
    A very important thing to do is to teach them what and who to look for.  A person wearing a name badge or a uniform.  A police officer. 
    The goal isn't to scare a child silly with the worst case scenario, but instead give them the tools to use if necessary. 
    4. Pick a spot.  One final rule of thumb is to find an area or landmark to act as a type of home base.  Our kids are older now, but even when we go to high school football games, they know that if we get separated or if they run around, we always meet at a big rock at the stadium's entrance when the game is over.  
    It's good to use an obvious location that's easily visible or located.  
    The ultimate goal isn't to worry or become scared of travel and vacation for you or your family.  In fact, it's just the opposite. 
    With some quick and simple tips and to keeping up with your loved ones, you can breath a little easier with the reassurance of keeping your ducks in a row...and staying far, far away from any train tracks.  :) 
  Please help us go up in rank by clicking the brown box below.   
                  One click = One vote
                    Thank You!  XO    
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 
 
    We've spent the past week on the high seas.  My parents booked a cruise for our family from Ohio to North Carolina to gather together for fun and memories.  Thanks again Mom and Dad!  You're the BEST!!!  XO
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Cousins
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Pirate Night
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
         Thank You For Voting by Clicking Below!  :)
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 
 
    There's something that seems to happen when a child turns around the age of four or five.  We've come to expect it with the boys. 
     Out of nowhere, their loving, tiny world of Blue's Clues, Franklin and Little Bear, turns into the crime fighting powers of Spider-Man and Ninja Turtles.
     What we didn't know, is that with girls, they evidently become...well...Fabulous. 
      I'm not sure how to feel about this yet.  Our daughter who used to be content with simply "hanging with her brothers", must now accessorize from head to toe.  It was kind of cute at first, but now it's borderline ridiculous.
     Take the other day for instance.  Lauren Elizabeth was rummaging through our bathroom drawers, looking for a headband to match her outfit.  What she found instead, was a special container of glitter dust that we keep for the Tooth Fairy. 
     When the kids loose a tooth, the Tooth Fairy always borrows some of this dust to "kiss" each one of them on the cheek, letting them know she was there.  There's a lot of dust - and even the slightest touch of it - goes a long, looooong way.
    When Lauren found this hidden treasure, it was as though she stumbled upon the land of Pixie Hollow.  She carried the dust with her, promising to keep it safe.
     I knew better.  Telling her to give it back, I warned her that if the top came off in her little hands, it would cover her to a level that would be
irrecoverable.
    "No it won't mommy!  Look!"
    - Poof -
    From the back seat of the car on the way home from football practice, a cloud of fairy dust grew to astronomical proportions.  NASA's radar systems had to kick into generator mode, and probably haven't recovered since.
    The boys began to scream, I steadied the car just to keep it straight, while Lauren squealed with excitement as her world became engulfed in silvery perfection.
    Every square inch of us was covered in sparkles.  Our hair, skin, clothes, the boy's football uniforms, even our shoes.  There's no way to describe how much this powder/dust covered. 
    We made our way to the house and jumped out.  Between the five of us, the garage floor, house floor, and aaaaaall the way up to the bathroom became a trail of Pixie Dust. 
    I tried to scrub the kids as the boys were furious and Lauren smiled from ear to ear.  She wanted to sparkle forever.
    Trying to clean after they went to bed was useless.  It seemed like the more we worked, the more it spread.
     The next day was even worse.  Driving to school resulted in covering the four kids in glitter again.  The boys all but refused to get out of the car as Lauren danced to class a cloud full of sparkly happiness.  I fully expected rainbows and unicorns to pop up around her. 
     Our seven, nine and eleven year old boys were mortified as everything from their backpacks to their shoes had that special touch of pizzazz to go with their day.
     Even I felt the humiliation of sitting through a staff meeting at work.  It's hard to look professional when you sparkle.  Trust me.
     All in all, the glitter has died down somewhat and everyone is happy, minus one particular five year old little girl. 
     It's amazing to see what her world is like.  There's never a dull moment...not for one single day. 
     I can always rest assured that she'll have the most sparkly and fabulous time about her...but now I'll know to run for cover the next time that she does.
Picture
  THANK YOU for clicking below and helping us move up in rank!  
                 You are FABULOUS! :)
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 
 
    My Father has it, my Father's Mother had it...and now I have it too.
    The Family Curse that states that for whatever reason, it's not humanly possible to sleep past 6:00 in the morning.  I hate this curse. 
    We used to wonder why my Dad would wake up at the crack of dawn, every. single. day. of. the. week.
    It didn't matter if he had to go to work or was on vacation.  You could always find him wide awake with his cup of coffee at o' dark thirty every morning, no matter what the situation.
    My Grandmother was the same way.  We used to have to put pillows over our heads when we went to visit as she clanged pots and pans around for breakfast...even though it was still dark outside.
    It never made sense to me.  Why would anyone want to wake up that early?  What could possibly be that important?
    Then something happened.  I don't know what it was, but for some horrible reason, I'm finding it harder and harder to sleep past 6:00.  It's awful.  I, who used to be able to roll out of bed at ten in the morning when given the chance, am going stir crazy by 6:30. 
    I don't know how to break this curse.  I've tried to stay up late on a weekend to be able to catch some extra z's on a Saturday morning.  It only makes me tired when I wake up early regardless.
    It's no use.  I'm cursed to wake up at an obnoxious hour for the rest of my life.  My husband and kids could sleep the morning away, but I have no such luck.
    So, if you happen to be up this weekend at 6:00 for absolutely no apparent reason at all...give me a call.  While the rest of the world snoozes away, we can catch up and chat for awhile.  Maybe make some breakfast, have some tea.  
    It would be nice to know that somebody else has the same family curse too.    
    Please Help us move up in rank by clicking the box below!
                     Thank You! XO 
   
Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory