Wednesday, October 5, 2011


could i be more behind with my blogging? so sorry. so...since last post...we've gotten a dog (a great dane at that), started school (yes BOTH of us...that means a household of 7 in school), ash started middle school (yikes), oliver started preschool (thank god), and my divorce became final (THANK GOD). except god isn't a part of my life anymore. (read other blog) so, basically, life is wonderful and i'm loving it, it's insane and crazy, but never stops! i'll get back to regular postings...just had to take a break to live my life! :) huuuuge update including pictures coming VERY soon! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

overdue update

four eleven-year-olds hit the town for some yummy steaks at o'charley's and the movie soul surfer. the most "girl" time i've had in months! :)

family outings to the zoo! thanks grandma and grandpa for the family passes! the kids love the kick ass playground and mark and i love the gibbons :)

with four in soccer and one in flag football, we've logged a LOT of time at drakes creek park. because of all the rain outs, there were SEVEN games last saturday. luckily, we're at the end of the season. 2 practices a week and 5 games on saturdays is getting exhausting! colorful group, aren't they?!

socks for seven anyone? we don't feel bad about having the girls do this, seeing as how their chore list is almost non-existent. this will soon change. :)

 i sent the boys upstairs to each pick out two toys to take outside to the playground...aidan and jake picked nerf guns and transfomers...oliver comes downstairs like this. he said, 'i'm a fireman in sunglasses mommy!' well alright then. oov is a special, special boy. :)

i made these invitations to my friends' daughter's first birthday party! it was a fun task. i haven't done much creative-wise since i've moved here (see above activities that keep me distracted...) and so i loved getting to have fun and be creative with these! :)
my painting above our bed :) 

storms, lots of rain, and beautiful flowers. mark and i are learning how to garden....we have no idea what we're doing. but it seems to be working! the yard is beautiful!

and last but not favorite part! mark and i just spending time together and enjoying the porch, and of COURSE, our new favorite mexican restaurant, rio bravo. mexican and margaritas?! any day!! :) these days are sponsored by grandma and grandpa who occupy the hoodlums so we can relax which is much needed after our busy busy days!
we've cleared the lice and given pillows and comforters back. what a pain in the ass that was!! so so so glad it's over. we're nearing the end of the school year (nooooo) and the days are getting hotter. the pool will open soon, so i've started hammering it out with p90x. i've GOT to get my body back...i kind of let it go this winter. yuck. we've also got a family vacation to a south carolina beach in july...can't wait! i really hope my boys will be able to come with us. i'll also be going back to school either this summer or fall (depending on whether or not i get granted tennessee residency for the summer). i'm really looking forward to it. i've been wanting to go back for a long time but it was just never possible. i'll be going for my emt basic this fall, then on to paramedic after that! the whole program is 2 years. hopefully mark will be joining me for the emt basic. he's in his last week of officer school right now so that he can test for captain next time it comes around. the emt certification will only help his promotional points and earn him a little extra money. i'm so ready to be going back to school and do something besides waiting tables. plus, because i'm a single mom with 2 kids, i'm actually getting paid to go back to school. it's a pretty good deal. :) thank you, mark, for pushing me to do this and do everything possible to make it happen!
so that's what's going on in our little crazy world...can't help but just sit back and watch it all fly by. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


ahhh sweet life. you suck me dry sometimes.

i'm starting to think we're almost over the lice issue! we still have 7 bags of pillows, stuffed animals, and comforters in the garage. but for the past 2 days we have found zero nits on either girl!!! just to update you on what we've done in this entire horrific process...2 pesticide "lice" treatments (nix and rid), one mayonnaise treatment, and hair dye. yes, we dyed an 8 and 10 year old's hair. but we matched it as close as we could. this was after 2 weeks of no luck with anything else...we were at our wits end. not to mention twice daily section by section nit checking. plus every other day of washing, rewashing, and washing some more of bed sheets and blankets. boiling of brushes. boiling of combs. ahhhhh we were so done. i think we may have beaten it. i promise if it comes back i'll just throw up my hands and give up right then and there. this whole process is insane!!! i've done nothing but itch and scratch for the past month!!! thankfully nobody else got lice, though. which is pretty impressive for a household of 7.

sweet ashlee's birthday was yesterday, she turned 11. i couldn't imagine the feeling mark felt...i just can't imagine my BABY being 11. crazy. she got a wii game (just dance 2) and it was absolutely hilarious to watch her and kait rock it! i'll be taking her and 3 of her girlfriends out for dinner and a movie on saturday night...figured for turning 11 she could have her first "girls' night" :) poor girl deserves it with how much she has to deal with 4 younger siblings!! i'll post pics of that...we'll get all dolled up and have a grand ol' time :)

the bathroom issue hasn't been resolved. all 7 of us are sharing one bathroom. bleh. but we're working on it!!! mark has to go to officer school next week...i'm dreading it...that means 4 full days (2 of which have soccer practice...) of kids, homework, refereeing, bathing, and lunch making. not to mention the 6:15am alarm that comes with all that. oh but i love them. so it's ok. :)

sweet mark took all 5 to soccer practice tonight so i could have some time to chill out and breathe. jake isn't playing, but is playing football. so he took him to practice some things. his first game last sunday went so great! we were very proud of him! aidan and oliver are doing well with soccer, too. i'm so thankful for this new life i've found. i'm so happy. :))

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

scream wine?

it's 9:03pm and i feel like i'm about to pass out from exhaustion. i only made it til 9:09 last night. am i 24 or 44?! guess that's what 2 weeks of lice, 5 kids playing sports, a bathrom catastrophy, divorce complications, and dream filled and disruped sleep will do to a young person. turn them into an old person. ugh!!! i'm so done with all of it. i'm sick of picking through hair checking for nits. i'm tired of not having any time with just mark...only time with kids kids and more kids. i love the kids...but GOODNESS. sweet mark tried to fix our shower and ended up making a week long project for himself. poor man was just as frustrated as i was. divorce issues were resolved today and took 10 tons of weight off my shoulders. and me not sleeping at night? nothing new. but just as frustrating as ever. oh life.

i love it. i really, really do. but sometimes i just need more room to breathe!

what a sweet life we have. i see it, love it, and am thankful for it. but sometimes i just want to scream whine.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


i feel so out of touch with my blog and i do NOT like it. i've got some damn good excuses though. last week i got on a kick and decided to repaint our room and bathroom. we hated the color...the bedroom was maroon (apologies college station) and the bathroom was dandelion yellow. mark was gone to officer school and wasn't here to supervise but assured me i could go a little crazy and express myself. so i did. i'll post pictures when it's all put back together, but the walls are light grey, the doorway is lime green, the bathroom is teal and dark grey...i've done some art projects that i'm pretty proud of, too. can't wait to post pictures of how it all turned out!

so that ate up my time last week...mark came home thursday and we had to drive to arkansas to pick up the boys on saturday, then sunday our whole crew (grandpa, grandma, mark, me, ashlee, kaitlin, jake, aidan, and oliver...that's right. 9 of us. we got some interesting looks.) went to the zoo. it was so much more fun than i thought it would be! grandparents got us memberships, so i have a feeling we'll spend quite a bit of time there this spring and summer. we came home, grilled out, and had a fabulous end to a great day.

and that was the end of the fun. the things that have commenced since sunday are: our main computer crashing and completely virus infected (thanks kids and your video games), our back up computer not working and not opening explorer, (i'm borrowing ashlee's laptop), a sugar ant infestation in the kitchen, and here's the kicker...3 kids with lice. so far.

i was sitting down with a glass of wine after cleaning up dinner on monday (mark was working), and ashlee had just gotten out of the shower and brought me her hairbrush and showed me a little brown bug crawling on it. i immediately dragged her by the hair into the bathroom and checked her thoroughly. i didn't see anything so decided it was no big deal. until i looked back at the brush and saw 2 more little brown bugs. this is my first experience with lice, so i wasn't sure what they looked like. i grabbed a plastic baggie and wrapped the brush up, started picking more thoroughly through ash's hair, and called mark.

(a little background on mark) he is, without a doubt, the neatest clean freak i've ever met. he's worse than my mother. and she's pretty bad. he cleans the entire house every 3 days. and i mean dust, vacuum, sweep, bathrooms, everything. he cleans the kitchen thoroughly after each meal no matter what...he is just super clean and needs to have everything picked up and orderly. this works out wonderfully for me, as i don't have to worry about cleaning much. now as far as i'm concerned, i do laundry when i'm out of underwear and would be completely content to do laundry and dump the clean stuff on the couch and dig through it and pick stuff out to wear until there's nothing left. i hate laundry. i never make the bed, my side of the closet looks like a tornado hit it...i'm just not the most organized person. mark gave me a craft room upstairs and i can't walk across it because there is shit everywhere. paper, punches, scraps, crap crap crap everywhere. pretty sure he convulses every time he walks in there, it may or may not cause him a few hours of sleep a week. but he loves me and assures me it's ok because that's my space and he can shut the door and not look at it.

so anyway, i call mark at work and tell him about the possible lice. he tells his captain he's got to go for half an hour and heads home. in that time i look in the brush drawer and there's little brown bugs EVERYWHERE. i compulsively start twitching and scratching. we confirm the lice and start checking all 5. EFF. ashlee, kaitlin, and jake share that hair brush...luckily my boys were buzzed by nathan last week. when i saw them i hated that he did that and vowed to cut their hair before their time with him from now on because it's not a good look for them. at all. now i'm thankful. they have no hair to brush so i haven't used the brush on them at all. we had some left over lice treatment because my boys had it a few months back. ash and kait had it once it the weekend of their mom's funeral. so i guess if you're going to get lice, this is as good a time as any and far better than their first experience with it. we started the process of purging their rooms of linens, stuffed animals, clothes recently worn, and towels from their showers. mark had to go back to work so i started shampooing all of them, one by one, and set up a movie in the other room so they had something to do while they let it soak. it was past half of their bedtimes at the start of this process. my poor boys were banished to the upstairs tv.

i shampooed, rinsed, combed, gelled, rinsed, combed, and blow dried each one, one by one. kait had it the worst...i found so many live ones and the bathtub and sink were filled with floating lice by the time we were done with her. poor girl. i made a make shift bed upstairs for them because their beds were stripped and sprayed. i finally got everyone in bed by 10 and started cleaning the bathroom. i scrubbed every inch of that damn bathroom with clorox wipes, then doused it all in lysol. i was utterly exhausted and grabbed half a glass of wine and turned on tv to attempt to wind down. i woke up multiple times scratching the hell out of my legs, arms, and hair. (i don't have lice, but feel like i'm covered in them) my dreams were about lice in my bed, lice on the walls, lice everywhere. ew ew ew.

mark was home first thing in the morning and we spent the entire day combing lice out and cutting nits out one by one. yes, we literally separated their hair into sections and searched like monkeys with a pair of scissors and cut hairs individually out when we saw nits. don't EVER say we don't love these kids. ha. we may or may not have started drinking before noon. we found 2 nits in jakes hair and i immediately whisked him outside and proceeded to give him an aidan and oliver special. we were worried he'd look just as bad as them because his head has a ridge along the back like oliver (aidan has a perfectly round and pretty little head...he can pull off the buzzed look better than oliver by FAR), but he actually looks really good. he looks so much older! i think we just saved ourselves a few hundred dollars and found our summer cut.

we thought we'd be responsible parents and call the school to let them know of the lice infestation. turns out that wasn't the best decision. we were told we had to take them (and the box top of the lice treatment i'd thrown away the day before), to the health department and get them cleared. so we called the health department to see if we had to wait a certain amount of time before coming in, and they let us know it would cost $50 a child to be inspected. (because his kids have health insurance. it'd be free if they didn't. why is our system so freaking backwards?!) so we called the school and told them we didn't want to pay $100 to have a nurse look through their hair and asked if the school nurse could just do it. they said that was ok, so we set up a time for this morning to bring them in. i cannot express my frustrateion with this situation at this point. so anyway. everything was washed in hot water and put back on their beds and we had spent individually picking through their hair and hadn't seen a live one since the morning, so we were relatively confident.

this morning mark found 2 live ones on ashlee and more nits on kaitlin. EFF. called off the school nurse, did some research, and decided to give mayonnaise a chance. (we sent jake to school because we only found 2 nits yesterday, buzzed his hair, and checked him thoroughly this morning and saw nothing. we're getting good at this.) we went to the grocery and got mayonnaise and shower caps, i locked myself in our room to blog while he saturated their hair with mayonnaise. not sad i missed that step at ALL. they have to leave it in for 2 hours, then we'll wash it out, go on an agressive and thorough nit hunt, then i'll braid their hair to keep it up and away. then, most likely, we'll end up in a corner with nothing but a bottle of vodka, while we convulse, twitch, and compulsively scratch.

so here i sit.

i'll be back when the infestation is over.

Friday, March 11, 2011

jake's 5th birthday

the crew on jake's birthday at grandpa and grandma's house. aidan's face is blurry...we must have taken 15 pictures...but it's nearly impossible to get all 5 to smile, look at the camera, and SIT STILL all at the same time. call us crazy, but we love it. :)
jake wanted a 'transformers' birthday, so that's what he got! along with a kick ass nerf gun.  
oliver and grandpa having fun while mark grilled :)

mark and the stink. love.

big shout out to grandpa and grandma who kept all 5 kids for an entire night so we could have a much needed and wonderful DATE NIGHT!! mark took me to carrabbas where we spent more on wine and jack and cokes than we did on food...exactly as it should be. :)) then we went to see 'the adjustment beauru' at the theatre. we had a fantastic night, then breakfast at cracker barrel. yuuum! i love him. <33

we now have two 5 year old boys who recently discovered wrestling. jake has a good 5 inches and 20 pounds on aidan, so aidan is really going to have to work on his strategy because the one he has now (running as fast as he can, yelling, and barreling into jake) does NOT work. jake pinned aidan over and over, but aidan kept coming at him. jake kept count for awhile then got bored of that so started putting his face right on aidan's and saying "BINGO!". this infuriated aidan. i'll give him credit though, he's persistent. as for now it's just a losing battle.

tonight, it's pizza at grandpa and grandma's, then leaving his kiddos there overnight so we can get up bright and early to make the drive to little rock to send my boys to texas for spring break to be with their dad. it's a boring and flat drive, but mark and i always find a way to have fun :) i chatter endlessly and he tells stories that make me laugh...then there's always a 30 minute johnny cash jam session. love.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

doorknobs and light sabers

all throughout the downstairs of our house, the doorknobs are shiny gold. yuck. so i went to lowes to price doorknobs and OUCH! the hall/closet ones i liked started at $20 each. then there's the front door and the door to the garage which need deadbolts...those started at $85. 12 needed replacing...not happening. so i did some research and decided to try my hand at spray painting them. i did one test one and figured worst case scenario the paint peels and looks like crap and we just put it on our closet door. i did it 2 weeks ago, and so far it's holding up GREAT! the strike plate is a little scratched, but you can't see it unless you're really looking for it...other than that i've been super happy with the results! so if you're looking for an inexpensive way to fix drab doorknobs, try this out! grand total? $24.98.
these are the paints i chose...a grey primer for metal, oil rubbed metallic, and a clear enamel gloss. (got all these at lowes)
i covered the latch with painters tape so i wouldn't have to worry about it getting painted
i raided mark's grill accessories drawer and found these kabob sticks...worked out quite nicely. helped me get all the angles evenly.
yucky gold before...

pretty oil rubbed bronze after! please excuse the grunginess of the of my spring projects is to repaint all the doors and frames!

i just followed the instructions on the paint and let everything dry extra long...the whole process took 3 days start to finish. next time it won't be as bad because i'll do all of them at once!

so sunday was pretty much the greatest day ever. got to sleep in a little, then watched a very unqualified man plant 4 trees in our neighbor's back "yard"...he was wearing corduroy pants, a polo, and had a jacket tied around his waist like a total baller. he'd dig for 10 seconds, stop and look at it. dig, stop, look. it took him 3 hours. the trees are unevenly spaced and crooked. not sure how much they paid him to do that or where in the hell they found him, but he did NOT do a good job. it was hilarious to watch and listen to mark commentate. haven't laughed that hard in a long time. then mark took me to lunch at our favorite local mexican restaurant. of course i can't eat mexican without a pitcher of margaritas! :) then we came home, sat on the porch (it was PERFECT outside), watched the kids play, then mark got out the light sabers and went to war with the boys. i snapped a few pictures through the screen...sorry. too lazy to get off the porch. :)

 aidan using the force :)

 mark showed no mercy. at this point jake was crying, aidan was pouting because mark took his light saber from him, and oliver was on his way to the ground.

 aidan and oliver still recovering, jake retaliating...
 ...and failing.
victory for little boys!! mark finally gave in...they put up quite a fight though! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

update in pictures

 just posting a few pictures...i really should invest in a camera. all these were taken with phones. but they're pictures nonetheless! :)

 pretty kaity at the adventure science center
 ashlee, aidan, oliver, and jake's head playing at the park across the street on a "snow day" (as you can clearly see...grr!)
 ooov and "mr. mark" cuddling on the couch
 trying to be cute enough to get to stay up just a little while probably worked :)

aidan and mark at the adventure science center
i love this man...can you tell?!
when i first moved to tennessee i had my eyebrow and lip pierced like this...i had to take them out for work, but now that i'm not there anymore i was really missing them so got them back! also, i'd never had my hair highlighted, so mark treated me to a fresh hair cut, carmel highlights, and a feather extention! i absolutely LOVE it all!!

so much to do and so little time!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


whoa what's wrong with me?! i used to blog at least twice a week. i guess i have 5 kids, a boyfriend who i can't be next to enough 4 days a week, and this new-found life of mine to distract me. my blogs call to me more often than not...i just struggle with what to post about and what not to post about. guess that's a post for unhinged hope. so. i've made a few cards...and by the request of the lovely patty, i'm working on birthday invites for her daughter's first birthday...such an honor :)) loving every minute of it! i'll post pictures soon. nice to have a project again! here's something i did the other day just trying to warm back up to it all...

i love the triangle banner going across the top...color is a little off because i took the picture with my phone (that has undoubtedly been though some rough times)...but still. a start. thanks, patty :)

so other than that it's just kids. and more kids. and what...wait. why do i have so many kids? kids. kids. kids. eff. but i can't help but love them. which is what it's all about, right? :)

we make 4 lunches at a time, hand out hugs and kisses every 10 minutes...times 5...get 3 on the bus by 8, drive one to school by 9, pick up one at 2:30, another at 3, be home by 4 for the other 2, sit down and work through homework times 4 for an hour, take turns yelling upstairs at the others on the wii, work on approximately 2 major school projects a week, cook dinner for 7 every night, and pancakes every saturday morning. you can feel free to go ahead and call us badasses. i could take a whole 'nother post and talk about rules, orders, and lifestyles here as a household of 7. i grew up in a conservative and quiet household with only my brother who was 3 years younger than me. mark has an older sister about the same...big families sure are different and more challenging than what we were used to. but we are just holding on for the ride and loving every minute of it.

call us insane...but we signed up all 5...yes all FIVE up for sports this year. yeah...i'll let you know how that works out. jake was the lone wolf and wanted flag football...the other 4 chose soccer. 5 kids. 1-2 practices a week per kid, plus games on saturday. 5 games. saturday. wait..what?! yeah maybe i'm insane. but such is life. i'm not bored, that's for sure.

more to come soon.

i promise.

and here.we.go.

Friday, January 28, 2011

broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl

i've always loved to cook, but since moving to tennessee i've really been getting creative and trying new things....just trying to be consistent in my life choices :) so twice now i've made bread bowls, and maybe 5 or 6 times i've made broccoli cheese soup since it's ashlee's favorite. i'm not a recipe user for anything except desserts and bread. i'm always experimenting, even with basics like pancakes. my last experiment with pancakes was adding apples, applesauce, honey, and cinnamon. it was a hit! anyway i posted on facebook about my soup/bread bowl first attempt and decided to make it again and attept to make a recipe out of it so others could follow because it was SO good! i've perfected a spaghetti sauce...i may have to write that one down too, because it was such a hit! it's chunky and full of italian sausage, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. my lasagna was pretty awesome, too. it had everything mentioned above plus spinach, zucchini, and squash. yummmmmy! ok so here's my broccoli cheese soup/bread bowl recipe, complete with pictures! :)

broccoli cheese soup

3 cans chicken broth
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bayleaf
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 cups broccoli florets (frozen or fresh)
1 cup milk

make a roux of the 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup milk. sautee the chopped onions, garlic, and 3 tablespoons butter in skillet for 3-4 minutes. dump everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. (my crockpot cooks hot, so adjust accordingly)

bread bowls

2 packages active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all purpose flour
((i also added 2 teaspoons garlic powder and 2 teaspoons crushed basil for flavor))

1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

in a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture: beat well. stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.

((since i'm impatient and my mixer is about to die, i just stirred it all in together. all 7 cups. worked really well actually. just kneaded the rest in))

when the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

((boil some water and stick it on the bottom rack of your oven and let it rise in there with the door shut))

punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. place loaves on lightly greased and baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

((reboil water, and do the oven thing again))

preheat oven to 400 degrees. in a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.

bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. cool on wire racks.

to make bowls, cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving shells. fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately. duh.

 all my ingredients nicely arranged :)
 yuuuum...sauteing the onions, garlic, and butter. i could just eat a bowl of that plain. plus it makes your house smell wonderful :)
 my roux of flour and milk...just whipped it with a spoon until it had no more lumps.

yummy soup ready to cook all day!
finished product!!! :))

Saturday, January 15, 2011

boys will be boys

the kids got out of school on the 21st of december. they went back the 6th of january. they were back in school for 2 days and this entire week they've been out for "snow" days. that means they've been stuck in this house for 24 days. and guess what?! monday is a holiday. woohoo. mark works every 3rd day...he's on a 24 on/48 off schedule. so, every 3rd day, the adult to kid ratio is 1:5. want to guess how many handles of vodka i've been through?

we've had some laughs and good times, though. movie nights, trips to the adventure science center, snowball fights, wii tournaments, and lots of snuggles. ashlee and kaitlin are phenomenal sisters. they get along better than i've ever seen any sisters get along. they spend hours together and never fight. it's amazing, really. refreshing. compared to aidan, jake and oliver. the three of them have such an interesting dynamic, which isn't shocking considering they're all within 22 months of each other and still trying to figure out their places.

jake will be 5 next month, aidan turned 5 last august, and oliver turned 3 in may. jake is by far the biggest. i can fit my feet in the child's shoes. i'm not kidding. i'll take a picture next time. he's not chunky at all, but i can't pick him up. he's just a giant. pretty sure his organs are made of iron. he's the most soft spoken of the 3, though. aidan, on the other hand, can be heard through 3 shut doors and a brick wall. and never stops talking. and thinks he's in charge of every.single.thing. i'm working on that. oliver can't seem to cut the cord to me. he has to know where i am at all times and tells me and mark he loves us about every 7.5 minutes. jake and aidan compete over everything. and i mean everything. 'i got more noodles than you. oh yeah? i got more hair than you. oh yeah? i'm bigger. oh yeah? i'm older.' oh it never ends. i'm waiting for one of them to throw a punch. oliver generally just hangs out by himself or lurks around me. they play so well together, though, considering. i know jake is happy to have boys in his life! they have an awesome playroom to play in and an endless supply of firetrucks and army men. what more could a boy want?!

 aidan and jake. destined for some true brother love.
 oliver, predictably alone playing with legos in the playroom...but happy as a clam
sorry for the poor quality of pictures. one, they were taken with my phone. two, these were taken approximately 3 minutes ago. i just turned around in my chair at the computer desk and shot them real quick :)

funny story about the joys of parenting strong willed children: the other day i walked into the kitchen and saw oliver's buzzed head standing suspiciously on the other side of the island. (first indication of guilt) when he saw me he jumped (second indication), then he casually dropped the majority of an oatmeal cookie on the ground (...third), then he stuck his bottom lip out in a pathetic attempt at getting sympathy and just started bawling (fourth and final). he was sent to his room and banned from cookies for the extent of this batch.

the very next night after dinner, mark and i were folding laundry and mark went to put clothes away in the kids' room. he turned the corner to the kitchen and oliver flew out from behind the island in the kitchen. he didn't even last 2 seconds and the lip came out and he started wailing. i immediately look at the plate of cookies that was precociously sitting on the edge of the counter. upon further examination, there was the evidence. an oatmeal cookie with an oliver sized bite out of it sitting neatly on the edge of the plate under the mangled plastic wrap. conversation continues as such:
because i was fighting back giggles but trying to keep my composure, mark started.
mark: oliver. did you eat a cookie?
oliver: [through wails] noo!
mark: oliver, i saw you. did you eat a cookie?
oliver: no!
me: oliver, why does your breath smell like cinnamon?
oliver: i don't know!
me: oliver, i see cookie in your mouth. did you eat a cookie?
oliver: [will: intact, quivering lip: not] nooo!!!
me: oliver. last chance. lie to me and you get a spanking. do.not.lie. did you eat a cookie?
oliver: [with resolve] no!
...and i proceeded to follow through with what i said and put him immediately in bed. while tucking him in, i explained how bad lying was and that if he had just told me the truth the first time he wouldn't have gotten a spanking. i gave him one last chance to redeem himself and asked again, "oliver. did you eat a cookie?" "yeah..."

momma always wins.

Friday, January 7, 2011


 me and mark...i'm dressed as a ref because that's what i had to wear to work...yuck. don't miss it a bit. only thing i miss is being able to pay bills.
 kaitlin, aidan, and ashlee showing their nannie berry spirit wearing their matching sweatshirts to school
 oliver, jake, and aidan visiting mark at the firehall and playing on firetrucks...nothing better!

 the (bald) love of my life. poor baby had his head shaved after his lice incident while with his dad in texas.
 titans game with mark! one of three! :)
 mark's parents took all of us to a pumpkin patch mid-october and everyone got a pony ride!
 my lovey with hair on his pony
christmas morning snow...perfect. missed my boys but had a wonderful first christmas in tennessee! :)