Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dress Up Fun

For half of the day today I was a mother of 5. Two 4-year olds, One 2-year old, and Two 9-month olds. All girls.

PD had to get her hair cut and colored so she dropped off Nora's and Georgia's BFFs to hang out for the morning. Nora was so excited to wear her Cinderella dress for Olivia so I called PD to tell her to bring Liv's dress up clothes. The three girls had so much fun, although Ryann decided at some point that every necklace and piece of jewelry and purse was hers AND NO ONE ELSE'S! And that is all there is to it.

We did a photo shoot of the three girls, but I don't want to post pictures of PD's kids without her permission, so here are the photos of my two butterfly princesses:

What Prince Charming would not ask this Cinderella to the ball?

I think Prince Charming would be scared to ask this princess to the ball;)

Ryann and all her Bling - the female Mr. T?

Nora was content with her Cinderella dress for the second costume change and wanted to wear it again. She's lovely and no change is necessary:)

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Pocket Inventory: (picking up the house for the dogsitter this weekend...)
Right Front Pocket -
*2 of Georgia's pacifiers - 1 blue, 1 white
*The cap to the folic acid bottle
*1 adult sized nail clippers
*1 gray scrunchy
*11 pony tail holders
*17 barettes - 1 plastic pink poodle, 2 bugs (yellow & green), 2 medium polka dots (pink & purple), 3 medium plain (2 black, 1 purple), 1 purple butterfly, 8 tiny (2 black, 2 red, 2 purple, 1 pink, 1 blue)
*$1.81 (5 quarters, 4 dimes, 2 nickles, 6 pennies)
*1 purple lite brite peg
*1 yellow scrap of paper
*1 corner of a gogurt wrapper
*1 ball of lint

Left Front Pocket:
*4 pony tail holders
*1 purple butterfly barette
*2 pennies

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I like to work in my garden for a couple of months, then I get bored with it

As I mentioned before, the lady who owned the house before us planted some random perennial/flower beds in our back yard. There really was no method to her madness, but it has provided me with some fun nonetheless.

We moved here 4 years ago in May or July. Our old house had a few flowers that I planted in the back flower boxes, but nothing to get excited about. This house had perennials - something I had never experienced before.

That first summer was so much fun as I just waited for everything to bloom. I bought myself a perennial book and would scour the pictures until I was able to identify 99% of the blooms in my yard. I made lists of what bloomed when. I made maps of what flower was where. I took photos of each area at the same time each month so I could see the difference at the end of the summer. It was all great organizational fun.

The first summer was fun because I really did nothing but look at flowers.

Every summer after that I have done some sort of major overhaul to the "garden". One summer I removed a whole area and sodded it in (she had a big square right in the middle of the yard - made no sense whatsoever). I moved those flowers to a different place. The next summer I had some high schoolers from church remove 20 huge bushes and I re-bordered two existing areas with the existing landscaping bricks (removed the bricks, leveled the dirt, dug up some sod to make the areas bigger and relaid the bricks). And last summer, while I was pregnant I planted some tulip bulbs. This summer I moved some flowers, re-planned two areas and planted some gladiolus and crocus bulbs.

Its fun! I love to see the flowers blooming. I love making my annual spring trip to Home Depot to buy the annuals to supplement the perennials and to fill in my window boxes and patio pots. I love having 3 Gerbera Daisies to look at while I read my book outside and play with the girls.

You know what I don't love? I don't love weeding. I don't love watering. So by July, when it is usually too hot to get the mail, my flower beds suffer. I'm good until then - weeding and watering for a couple of months. Hot and Humid? Nope, no good. Weeds thrive. Flowers thirst. And I look out my window and think, "Oh my, I really should go out and weed sometime soon". And the next day I think the same thing. And the next day I think the same thing. So the "garden" is neglected, my annuals are yellowing and dying, my window boxes are ugly and every year I promise myself that I won't let it happen again next summer.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Here is how one flower bed looked the last time I weeded, wed, whatever...
Looks nice, doesn't it?
June 27, 2006.

And here is the same flower bed - TODAY!! Pathetic. I'm almost embarassed to show you:)

getting to know me in 100 days - day 10

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last Spring I purchased a membership to the Brookfield Zoo. I thought it was a brilliant idea - for one low price we could go whenever we wanted. Free parking. Free admission. Free children's zoo. We would recover that money quickly in the course of one summer.

Um, okay. This was a good plan until I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to fold my brand new double stroller to get it in the trunk. And for those who don't know - I drive a Toyota Camry and Dave drives a Pontiac Sunfire. We have 3 carseats smashed into the back seat of the Camry - so the idea of leaving the stroller unfolded and just standing it in the back of the minivan was a good one if we had one:)

I tried to figure out how to fold the stroller. I even got out the owners manual, but the diagram did not help me at all. I just could not figure it out.

I am so smart! I am so smart! I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T! I mean, S-M-A-R-T...

On Sunday morning, though, I thought the zoo would be a nice afternoon trip for us. We had been busy all week, but not with each other. We'd barely seen eachother as a family since the previous weekend, so the zoo would be a nice afternoon. And if Dave could figure out that stroller, well, it would be even better.

Dave, because he's so smrt, read the directions in the owners manual rather than trying to go by the diagram and got the stroller folded and we were on our way.

We had a really nice afternoon and the girls loved it. This was the first trip to the zoo that Ryann really understood what the heck we were doing and she was fun to watch, although, true to form she would not face the camera at all:)

Here they are looking at the sleeping lion - you can see him to the left of Nora.

And here's Georgia in the double stroller. She had so much fun watching people and pulling Ryann's hair. (and I laughed my little evil laugh in my head about Ryann's hair getting pulled. She is sooooo getting a taste of her own medicine these days and is not liking it one.bit.)

This is the closest I got to a picture of Ryann's face. (and I have to tell you that they should really reconsider having an actual pig sty in the children's zoo. It smelled very bad and all the kids let everyone know about it).

And this is beyond cute - I love pictures from behind. I made them hold hands in the petting zoo so they wouldn't get separated while I was taking pictures (is that responsible? aren't pictures more important than holding your own kids' hands?)Nora was so helpful with Ryann and showed her all of the animals. They really do enjoy each other, even though they fight all the time:)

And the membership is definitely the way to go. We did not bring even a dime with us, which was really nice. We figured that we paid for half of our membership already, so 1 or 2 more trips will cover the cost entirely. And the best thing about it is we saw just the animals we wanted to see. We didn't feel a need to spend the entire day there or see EVERYTHING because we had paid an enormous amount of money to go. We went for a couple of hours and left. It was great!

And the best part... we did not go to the baboon exhibit. I HATE the baboon exhibit. They gross me out with their naked bums and I have seen some disgusting things go on in that little rocky mountain. Things that will forever be etched in my memory that I would prefer to forget. So no more baboons for me:) Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 28, 2006

The answers

Here we go:


2. ARE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Um not sure. Legend has it that my grandma suggested adding an "a" to my mom's name so that it would match with my sister's name (cara). Who knows - sometimes I hear stories and then repeat them and my parents are like, "What? Where did you get that from?"

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? About 2 hours ago

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Depends what kind of pen I used


6. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, 3 little girls

7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Of course - who WOULDN'T want to be friends with me?

8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Not a written journal. I do have a blog (


10. TONSILS? yes

11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I would have done it in a second before I had kids, now I would have to think about it. Probably yes.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Hmmmm. Cinnamon Toast Crunch w/ 2% milk


14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I used to be quite strong, I've lost some of it, but I'm still pretty strong for a girl

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? This is a toss up... cookies and cream, mint cookies and cream, Edy's double churned French Silk


17. RED OR PINK? What do you think? red

18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU? right now - my face full of zits. Hello? I'm 30 for goodness sakes!



21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? jean capris and black sandals

22. LAST THING YOU ATE? mush - my wisdom tooth is infected and I can't open my mouth. So it was Italian Wedding soup flavored mush

23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the computer. Dave has the girls at a friends house and our house is very quiet

24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Blue - everybody uses blue

25. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SMELLS? freshly brewed coffee, baby lotion, cookies baking, lemon

26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Dave - 2 hours ago when I was crying about my wisdom tooth and feeling left out of the fun


28. FAVORITE DRINK? I don't drink much other than water, but I do like red wine or a very, very spicy bloody mary - oh and a chocolate martini (as long as they're free)

29. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH. White Sox baseball

30. HAIR COLOR? My favorite hair color?? Silver. My hair color? Blech.

31. EYE COLOR? Blech - nothing really. gray


33. FAVORITE FOOD? mmmm - fish at The Canoe Club


35. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Talledega Nights, the Ballad of Ricky Bobby - I almost peed my pants


37. SUMMER OR WINTER? neither - spring or fall


39. FAVORITE DESSERT? Cheesecake

40. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? That would be no one - all of my friends are duds, especially Kim (wait, was that an insult? Oh well...)



43. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? the solar system

44. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT—The Office (Michael told the whole office about Jim having a crush on Pam. Dave and I laugh like little girls having a sleep over at that show).

45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? "I wuv you mama" (Ryann), "I love you, too" (Nora), Chatter (Georgia), "You're beautiful" (Dave), giggles in another room, giggles in the same room, sighs of contentment, "We won the lottery!" (haven't heard that one yet, but I'm pretty sure it would be my favorite sound)

46. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles, no contest

47. THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Jamaica or Honduras - which is further?

48. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I don't think its a talent... I'm a VERY good judge of character and seeing through the BS

49. WHEN WERE YOU BORN?April 1, 1976

50. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Grand Rapids, MI

Amanda scores 19 + 1 additional point for saying I rock - total: 20
Carol scores 12 + 1 additional point for saying my daughters are the absolutely most adorable girls and 1 additional point for being so sarcastic - total: 14
BFWW scores -1 for saying that she was going to do it and not doing it (now you owe me a candy bar)

So Amanda a Snickers will be in the mail on Wednesday:) Good job ladies!

Friday, August 25, 2006

A weekend contest

I received one of these little survey things via email today. I decided the post the survey and let you answer the questions and we'll have a little contest. Here are the rules:

1. You have to answer each item as you think I would answer them.
2. Copy and Paste the survey into the comments section and include your answers.
3. Do NOT read other responses before you fill yours out (honor system on this one).
4. Do your best to put yourself in my shoes and fill it out as I would (in other words - do I really answer yes and no questions with a yes or no answer?)

The person who gets the most answers correct will recieve a candy bar of his/her choosing via the mail (probably the smartest choice would be a hershey bar so it doesn't get smushed, but hey - whatever you want:)

Good Luck! I've already filled it out so your responses won't influence mine. I'll post the answers on Monday morning...

The only thing I will tell you is that I filled the answers out at 6:30pm on Friday evening...



















































I'm trying to make my own compost

We live on clay. Our backyard turns into a swamp after it rains because the water does not drain - because we live on clay.

The woman who owned the house before us planted a perennial garden in the backyard. It wasn't a nicely planned garden. It really isn't a garden. It was several small areas planted with perennials throughout the backyard. In the clay.

Over the past three summers I've tried to move perennials, plant some new ones, replan what already exists, resod some of the weirder spots, etc. It was a difficult task - trying to dig up plants and plant new ones. Because we live on clay.

In the spring of 2005 I decided that I wanted to try to make the flower beds better by adding some compost - and what could be eaiser than creating your own? Um, yeah. I found some plans for a compost bin on the internet, went to to find out how to make compost and sent Dave to Home Depot for the materials. He made my bin within 2 days and we set it up in the back corner of the yard.

Last summer it was great. We put all of our food scraps in the compost bin. We put the grass clippings from the 2 times we mowed the lawn (remember the drought of 2005?) in the compost bin. We put the raked up leaves in the compost bin. And I, with my big pregnant belly, tried to turn the compost every other day to give it oxygen. Um, yeah. Obviously ours was a slow-making compost process because we didn't have compost at the end of the summer like my high hopes had been.

This year I've turned the compost 1 time and I've put about 12 eggshells and 1 1/2 cartons of bad strawberries in there. I'm so good at seeing projects through to the end;)

Am I a nutcase? Y or N?
What has been your dumbest yard project?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 9

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thanks a whole lot.

Remember my PD? (Pregnancy Date?) I will remind you once again in case you forgot...

A couple of days after I found out I was pregnant with Georgia, I happened to call a friend of mine from church to ask if she wanted to get involved in something with me. When she answered the phone she didn't seem quite right and I asked if everything was okay. She said, "I'm having a baby." I very excitedly said, "ME TOO!" Of course we asked what each other's due dates were - hers was November 17th, mine was November 15th. How fun. Wait - its better. We go to the same OB so we decided to go to all of our prenatal appointments together and go on a little date afterward. We had so much fun, the doctor loved us, the nurses loved us (and really, who wouldn't love us?)

But not only did we go to all of our appointments and dates together, but we had our babies on the same day. In the same hospital. 2 hours apart. Naturally Georgia and Hannah are BFFs - they don't have a choice:)

We got to be really good friends during those 9 months and beyond, but we had a problem - we lived 40 minutes apart. It was difficult to see each other much more than at church. She has 4 kids with different schedules and I have my 3 so trying to find times to hang out was hard.

Right after Christmas she found a house 5 minutes from me and they bought it. How happy was I??!! She also has a 4 year old, so Nora and Olivia have become BFFs to the max. When they moved we had a discussion and made a pact that we would babysit eachother's kids for free whenever it was needed, tell each other no if we couldn't and be honest about it, but most importantly, we both agreed that our kids were no longer guests at each other's house and they would be treated like our own children (and she brought up that last part).

I've kept my end of the bargain. She hasn't. Nora and Ryann go over there and get the royal treatment. I've talked to her about this, but she hasn't changed... I treat Olivia like my own child. I think Olivia is severely getting the raw end of the deal since she has to be a hostess to my girls at her house and then she's treated like everyone else at my house...

So that brings us to todays original posting idea (wow that was a long, round about way of getting there):

A couple of days ago I was having lunch with the girls and I was asking them what their favorite ____ was. Favorite food. Favorite color. Favorite animal. Etc. etc. Then to be funny I said, "Who is your favorite mom?" Without even the slightest hesitation Nora says, "PD". Yup. PD is her favorite mom. So happy to hear that. Then I asked, "Who is your favorite dad?" I fully expected her to say "PD's husband" because it would fit with the theme. Nope. Her response: "Daddy."

So I'm home with her 24/7. I feed her. I dress her. I play with her. I provide every need for her. I hug her. I kiss her. I cuddle her. I GAVE BIRTH TO HER WITH NO DRUGS. And PD is her favorite mom. Nice.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We built a red cross facility

When we showed up to our worksite that first day in Honduras it was an empty lot except for several piles of cement blocks and some cement mixers. We were being asked to build a Red Cross facility for the city of Comyagua... since none of us had worked in construction before it was a bit overwhelming to think about the task, but we started in feet first.

We were given a quick lesson on how to lay the blocks by one of our adult chaperones. Put the mortar on the previous block, place the new block, make sure it is level with our string, move it until it is, scrape the mortar, start over with next block. We did this over and over and over for almost 2 weeks and became "experts" at the tender ages of 16-18 years old.

It was hard work. The blocks were heavy and we were constantly lifting them again and again. In order to transport them from the stock pile to the work area we had to set up a "block brigade" - we all lined up from the pile to the work area and swung the blocks one at a time to each other. My friend got hit in the head with one of them and had to go back to camp to be checked. We were all jealous because she got her hair washed with warm water:)

We worked in pairs and we got to know each other well. We got slap happy a lot and had mortar fights. It was hard work, but it was good work and God was working in us at the same time.

I suppose we could compare the work that God does in our lives to the work we did there. He builds our faith one brick at a time. The Holy Spirit lays the mortar, places the next brick of faith on top, lines it up with God's will, and scrapes the remains away only to begin again with the next brick of faith. Sometimes our faith lines up with God's will the first time, but often the Holy Spirit has to jiggle it and move it around until it lines up - sometimes it never lines up perfectly, but it is functional the way it is (but think about it - one skewed brick creates a whole mess, doesn't it? It affects everything else after that). I know that I often get anxious and want to have a whole building RIGHT. NOW. but it doesn't work that way. We didn't build that Red Cross facility in one day and neither will I become who God wants me to be in one day. One brick at a time - keep telling myself that.

How is God working in your life TODAY?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 8

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I went on a 2 week mission trip to Honduras

When I was a junior in high school I had some big plans to go on a trip to Mexico with our Spanish teacher (he took a group every other summer). Not only was I going to go, but my boyfriend was going, too. A week in Mexico. With my boyfriend. We were excited.

Sometime during the school year a friend and I had a meeting with someone (our youth pastor? I don't even remember) about going on a mission trip to Honduras during the summer. After the meeting, I was convicted - I needed to go on the mission trip. It wasn't just a matter of I wanted to go, I needed to go. Looking back, I now know that I felt called to go on that mission trip, however, I don't think I would have known what that meant at the time... My friend also decided to go, and a guy that I worked with in the parsley farm also decided to come with us after I told him about it.

My parents were on board. My church gave us some money. My grandpa gave me a scholarship. It was a go for launch.

I broke the news to my boyfriend - I wasn't going to Mexico anymore, I was going to Honduras on a mission trip. He was quite upset and I think it ultimately led to our demise (among other things). So upset, in fact, that he backed into his dad's van when we left to bring me home - oops!

So my week of sight seeing with my boyfriend - indian ruins, the market, the gulf, the beach, hotels, real food - turned into 2 weeks of hard work and less than stellar conditions.

We had a group of about 25 kids from around the country & 4 Canadians. We stayed in a house in the woods. It had concrete floors, some walls and a roof and that was about it. No running water, no shower, no beds, no air. We slept on 2 inch thick matresses on the ground - one right next to another. We took "showers" in our bathing suits in the creek that bordered the property. The creek had a wall near the bottom that had 3 or 4 PVC pipes in the middle of it. The pipes = the shower. There were cows doing some business upstream... but we had no other option. It was hot. It was the middle of summer and there was no question that we needed showers everyday when we got back to camp.

The only sight seeing that we did was whatever we observed as we were driving to and from our work-sites or as we took a break from the work. We did go out for ice cream in town one night, though. We were followed closely by little kids (mainly boys) who begged us for just a little money so they could buy some glue to sniff. They didn't have shoes. Their clothes were ridiculously dirty and torn up. They were skinny. But they needed glue.

The food... I'm sure that we had some authentic Honduran grub, but all I remember is poptarts, tiny bananas and fresh pineapple. There is nothing - nothing - like fresh pineapple.

It was 2 weeks away from home. I get homesick very easily and I cried for the first couple of nights. My new friends supported me and prayed for me and sent me little notes. We had nightly slumber parties in our rooms and got to know each other quickly. They all helped me determine whether I should call the guy my boyfriend or my ex-boyfriend (I had no idea if we were still together when I left...) We all bonded in a way I had not done before with other kids my age. We bonded through the living conditions, our work during the day and mostly through our shared love of God.

My faith became real to me on that trip. I had always believed in God. I grew up in a Christian home, went to church every week, went to Christian school my whole life, had gone on YCF convention, went to youth group, etc. etc. Yet it took getting down and dirty to help others to make my belief this personal and real to me. I think it was something I took for granted until then - it just always was. But these people had a faith and reliance on God that I had never experienced. They had nothing. They could do nothing to help themselves get out of the situation they were in. Yet they had God. And God provided for them - through us that summer. Through similar groups in other summers.

I'm glad I chose Honduras over my boyfriend and Mexico. (As it turns out he was my ex-boyfriend and he never really got over my choosing Honduras). Mexico would have been awesome, but would I have found my faith there? I don't think so. Would I have come home with a better understanding of the needs of others - perhaps, but not like I did. I'm sure its obvious, but I gained so much more by going on this S.E.R.V.E. trip than I would have if I had done the sight-seeing that I originally planned. God called me to that trip and I am thankful.

Have you gone on a mission trip? Where? What did you do?

getting to know me in 100 days - day 7

Monday, August 21, 2006

I just started to like oatmeal

I always thought oatmeal was an icky food. Give me a huge bowl of cereal for breakfast and I was completely satisfied. Heck, give me a huge bowl of cereal for any meal of the day and I was happy. Cereal is one of my all time favorite foods... Mmmmm... Cinnamon Toast Crunch (with 2% milk like at Gram's house), Wheaties, Honey Bunches of O's, Ohs, Cinnamon Life, Golden Grahams, Cheerios, Grape Nuts... Whatever, I like them all (except Cap'n Crunch - not so fond of that one).

But then I became a mom - for the third time. I was nursing Georgia, trying to do weight watchers, but having a hard time producing milk (am I really talking about this, because now I'm grossed out - and if I'm grossed out, you must be, too) and I went to one of the message boards on ww online and asked what I was doing wrong and what I needed to change. Someone kindly responded and one of the tips was to eat oatmeal - that it helps with milk production somehow.

I didn't want to try it because remember? oatmeal is icky. But I started having oatmeal for breakfast as a last ditch effort to lose weight while nursing. I soon learned that it had to be the old-fashioned kind, not the quick oats, that it needed at least 5 teaspoons of brown sugar, that 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal should be mixed with 1 1/4 cup of cold water and microwaved for 4 1/2 minutes on 50% power. This is now my breakfast of choice - even after I quit nursing.

Oatmeal is good. The texture is good. The flavor (with the brown sugar) is good. Its all good as far as I'm concerned.

And it did help with my lactation issues - just in case you're wondering.

What is your favorite cereal? And - Do you like oatmeal, if yes, how do you make it?

getting to know me in 100 days - day 6

Friday, August 18, 2006

Your happy place

Mommy Brain came up with a great blogging game idea yesterday... I'll put it into motion.

And yes, Kim, you have to play.

Yesterday I posted a picture of a corner in my house that makes me happy when I look at it. Its dumb really - three colors and straight lines meeting, but nonetheless it makes me happy to look at it.

There have got to be some spots or things in your house that make you happy...

Maybe you feel happy just looking at something like I do with my corner. Maybe you have happy memories associated with an item or a piece of furniture (no beds allowed, please;). Maybe there is a special book, article, piece of clothing that makes you happy. Whatever it is, take a picture and post it on your blog* and leave a comment here when you've posted so we'll all know to go look and comment on your happy place.

I'll try to find another happy thing in my house, although off the top of my head I realize that I already posted most of them - my stripes, my corner and my cabinets:) I'm sure I'll find another and I'll post it at the bottom of this post.

*If you don't have a blog, post a comment describing or explaining your happy place/item.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Stripes

In describing the paint colors of my kitchen cabinets, I referred to My Stripes. For those of you who have been to my house you have no doubt what I was referring to - you can't, I brag about them too much to not know what I was referring to;)

Here they are for the few who have not been here:

This is my foyer wall. (And I'm not married to the pictures that are there - in fact I was just thinking that they get lost in the wall and I need to find something new, but they're there until I find what I want. And I had larger paintings there at first, which is why these are so high up on the wall).

I painted these stripes about 3 years ago. It was a 3 week process and it was horrendously tedious, but I love them. I do not, however, love how the colors look with the flooring and I've talked about painting over them ever since (especially now since Ryann has drawn on them and I can't touch it up). I just don't have the heart to paint over them...

What do I love most? I love the color scheme - I found a strip of paint shades at KMart of all places - it was one of those strips that has 6 shades of the same color on it. I used three of them on the stripes and one other shade in my front room & stairway. The medium color in the stripes is the color of my family room and my bedroom and the cabinets, the light color is the ceiling in those rooms and the frame of the cabinet doors. The shade between those two is the color of my front room and hallway (looks more like true khaki).

The other thing that I just love is the fact that I started the pattern in the middle of the wall and went around the room so the corner of the walls are smack in the middle of the stripes and it looks really cool to me (rather than starting at the corner and having one side of the corner be one stripe and the other side be another stripe - does that make sense?) You might be able to figure out what I'm describing in the picture below.

And here is my favorite view of the stripes. I love the way the red walls frame the stripes and I just love the way the colors and angles meet in the middle top of the picture (the white ceiling, red front wall and khaki side wall). I don't know why... sitting on the couch and looking at that corner just makes me really happy.

So there you go - My Stripes. Cool, eh? And the red paint is courtesy of BFWW and I have 1 1/2 gallons left if anyone wants them. My favorite pictures in the whole world (the two daisies on the wall) are courtesy of my in-laws - nice, huh? Love them! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


And the secret project is revealed!

Here is the before picture:

Note the water/sun damage on the door. All of the doors looked like this and the kitchen just never felt clean because of it. The cabinets were basically the same color as the floor so it just always felt dark and dirty to me.

And here are the After photos:

The main color is called Khaki Beige - it is the same greenish/beige that is seen throughout the rest of my house - the family room, my bedroom, the medium color in my stripes.

The light color is two shades lighter than Khaki Beige, called Shady White. This is the same color as the ceiling in my bedroom and family room and the lightest color in my stripes.

I am mostly pleased with the results - it has brightened up the kitchen tremendously. I love it! And I got all new knobs and hinges - so no more dark, dirty bronze knobs and hinges, now we have brushed nickle. HOWEVER, if you look closely you'll notice that there are some doors that are not entirely closed - this is not because I'm lazy and don't close the doors - its because they WON'T close! The new hinges don't exactly fit the doors, so now the doors overlap each other by about 1/8" and for the cupboards that don't have 2 doors... they don't close either because the hinges are too loose... I am unhappy with this result, but not sure how to fix it. Eventually I'll call our favorite handymand and have him come out to fix them all.

So isn't it as amazing and fabulous as I told you it was?!!

*I'm not an idiot - I know it is actually spelled Voila;)

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Remember when we were hot?

Happy Birthday my dear BFWW! I've known you now for... 12 years - can you believe that? 12 years. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were in your room, I was looking at your pictures and saying, "You know that jacka**?" My language has gotten much better since then, hasn't it? And you want to know something, a lot of it is because of you - we had a conversation once about potty mouths and it has stuck in my brain ever since.

I could go on and on with stories of us over the 12 years, but I won't completely go there. I will just say this: Perkins, mount wall, ok, you create a diversion..., this is Lucy from Lucy's kitchen - you have eggroll in lobby, come pick up, Cascade Inn, my birthday freshman year, perkins, the wall, yeah, we're..., all my children, Beth, Natums, you won't shop at Goodwill, Castle Bluff, sharing a bedroom, talking about getting engaged, our "fight" about having a wedding in October (which you don't remember), Woodward, 90210 & lighting the pilot light with Brent, my birth order term paper, getting caught by Sharon in the kitchen, posting pictures on the cupboards, camping, bag o' jag, megan's margarita night, Yummy dinners, perkins, our weddings, callling you when I found out I was pregnant with Georgia - I was crying and you were so excited, our babies, our phone calls, our coffees, our breakfasts, the bars and locks in my house, our blogs:) i'm sure you can add to it, but keep it clean, please!

I'm pretty certain that I don't need to expound on how I feel about you... but I will a little bit. I love you. I miss you. I want you to live next door to me. I want you to come for coffee every week. I want to babysit Elise, but mostly I want you to babysit my kids. 12 years of fun, insanity, tears, talking, sharing, and loving. I hope the next 12 years are just as much fun!

Happy 30th, my friend.

Monday, August 14, 2006

9 Months

Now that I have my new memory card reader I finally got around to taking Georgia's 9 month photo shoot. I could only get a couple of pictures because she is on the move people! There is no sitting still to get your photo taken with this little Bug now:) In addition, I had one other child begging to have her picture taken and another one demanding to take the pictures... so I had to settle with just two pictures of Georgia.

There haven't been a lot of changes since her 8 month update. Her napping and eating schedules are still the same. She loves to try new foods (she goes crazy for pizza - demanding that we give her some). She still loves Brady, still only has the 2 bottom teeth, but now she is crawling!! She started crawling last Monday and has gotten so much better since then. She is all over the place and we're going to have to teach her to climb the stairs soon. I feel like she has gotten so much older since she started moving - isn't that weird? This seems like the first step toward no longer being a baby, but becoming a toddler.

This child never stops smiling. She rarely cries. She complains when she sees her bottle being made, but other than that we hear very few complaints from her. She goes to bed at night and for both of her naps without a sound, she loves to take a bath with the big girls and she is trying so hard to get in the middle of the playing with the other two. I know I've said this before, but she is truly delightful.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy we are with all three of our girls. We have shrieking and we have fighting, but they are all so wonderful - they are kind, polite, well-behaved, loving and happy. We are extremely blessed by these little girls.

Here is our household model. She insists on being in front of the camera as often as possible - and who wouldn't be thrilled to take a picture of this beauty?

And then we've got this one - I had to beg her to sit in front of the camera and even then she refused. If she is in front of the camera she has her face hidden. I snapped this picture totally unexpectedly and I have to say - Could this be the cutest picture of the cutest child ever in the history of pictures and children? I thought so;) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I finally got a new memory card reader!

In the middle of July Nora had her last Tball game for the summer. She loved tball, however, that day was so hot and humid that by the 10:15 start time I already had sweat rolling down my back. Nice. It was rough on the kids, but they got through one full inning and finished their season.

Nora was one of three girls on her team and was definitely the best girl on the field. She hit well and she was very aggressive in the infield. After every hit she would charge the ball regardless of what position she was playing or where the ball was hit. After the first time she did this the other kids followed suit and it became mass chaos on the field with everyone fighting for the ball - and our baby started it all:)

She is definitely a child of my family. She is very athletic and just loves to play baseball. In fact, we were outside this afternoon showing off her hitting skills to grandpa and grandma before they went home. And I will brag a bit and tell you that she really hits the ball and is very good. I think we are going to be watching a lot of softball games in the future.

So here you have it - photos of our last game:

After she hit the ball...

Waiting on first base for the next hit. Posted by Picasa

Being coached in the field - she was playing shortstop/second base (on the shortstop side of second base)

Running to field a ball

Georgia had a great time watching the people walk by as Nora played (she was facing the opposite direction so she would be shaded by the stroller).

And our little monkey ate iced animal crackers and had melted icing all over her face and her hands, but she was so darn cute:) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My first car was a 1986 Black Mustang

Oh my. I look at that picture and I just get happy:) That is not a picture of MY black mustang but it looks pretty darn similar to the one I had (don't think I had a spoiler on the back - did I Dad?)

So with all of my hard-earned muck money, I was able to purchase one used 1986 black mustang for $1500. I can remember driving past it with my dad and not really liking it or caring too much about it. But then over the next day or so I think I realized that I didn't really want to put any thought or effort into finding myself a car, so whatever my dad wanted would be just fine. I was a month shy of turning 16 and I had my first car. Gray interior. Steering wheel cover. Tape deck. Sun roof that could be fully removed. Two doors. 3 working cylinders. It was a beauty. Don't remember how many miles it had. Don't remember if it was in good shape or had a bunch of scratches. None of that mattered because it had wheels, it moved, and it was good. All was good in Jana's world now that she had a car.

I had that mustang through my first year of college. It took me so many places... to school and back every day, T. Dykstra & Son's produce, Rozema's Standard, Ben's, play practice, Rainbow Grill, Prince Manufacturing, Woodland mall, north of Cadillac to my friend's cottage, Calvin, Bill Knapps, and it even made it to Chicago and back to celebrate my birthday freshman yearof Calvin at BFWW's house during spring break (although that was a sketchy trip that I was pretty worried about).

My little Mustang was with me for 4 years and saw many changes in my life and in my music tastes. It heard many a tune from Motley Crue but also some Janet Jackson and some mixed tapes that I made. There are songs that I hear that put me right back in that driver's seat - That's The Way Love Goes (janet jackson) or You're The Only Hell Your Mama Eever Raised (Warrant). I hear certain songs now and I anticipate the song that SHOULD come after it (like it did on my mixed tape). I played my tapes over and over in that car, rarely listening to the radio. I can put myself there right now - windows open, music blasting, independent, free to go where I wanted.

My mustang was my first step towards independence, being my own person and having my own responsibilities. I'm so grateful that I worked and earned enough money to buy my own car and that my parents pushed me to do so. And I'm grateful that my dad paid for my insurance until I was married:)

Oh Beautiful Mustang. Where did thoust go?
I cannot remember the last time
I laid eyes on you, but fond memories I will always have of you, my first car.
Did you love me as much as I loved you or was it a one-sided affair?
Oh Beautiful Mustang, thou art truly the love of my childhood.

Question of the Day:
What was your first car and what triggers the best memory of you with that car?

getting to know me in 100 days - Day 5

Friday, August 11, 2006

My second job was cutting parsley on a muck farm

This is an incredibly daunting topic for me - it is so involved and was a very long period of my life. As I was bringing Nora to preschool this morning I was thinking about what I wanted to write about my experience on the muck farm. Do I want to educate the public about how parsley gets to your table? Do I want to educate you about the dangers of cutting parsley without protection? Do I want to focus on the people that I worked with? Do I want to focus on the hi-jinks that we did and the new territories I crossed at that young age? I'm still not sure - lets see where this takes us (get your coffee, folks, this could be a long one:)

During the summer before eighth grade I tagged along with my sister once again to a new job. Every morning at the wee hours of the day we each got on our scooters (hers was a Honda Spree, mine, you'll recall was a Razz) and drove 2 miles to T. Dykstra and Sons Produce. At that time there were probably 20-30 other high school kids that descended onto the parking lot at the same time - some on bikes, some in cars, some on mopeds. We came from different schools and different areas but we were united in one cause - bringing the freshest, greenest parsley to your plates every day.

Grabbing our yellow plastic pants (some of us even wrote our names on the pants because we wanted the same pair every day) we hopped on the back of a flatbed truck or a pickup truck and rode out to the parsley field. Once parked in the field, we would grab a bucket, a knife and several handfuls of rubber bands and head out to the bed. The most experienced bunchers would scout the best parsley bed and stake a claim on that one immediately. A parsley bed consists of 3 rows of parsley planted side by side approximately 3-4 inches apart. Each bed was about 2 feet from the other bed - about the space needed for a truck wheel to drive through. We would kneel on the bed, straddling the middle row of parsley, bend one row over, slice through the stems with the knife, shake the bunch to get out the yellow pieces, wrap the stems with a rubber band, and toss it behind us. After a while there would be a trail of parsley bunches that would lead us back to where we started. In the meantime, the foreman was making crates and bringing them to the starting point of each of our trails. When we met up with the person who was bunching in front of us (we faced each other and bunched toward each other) each person would go back and pack his/her bunches into the crate and write his/her number on it.

So that's the basic technical stuff - the how to of bunching parsley at T. Dykstra & Sons Produce.

Here are some other interesting tidbits:
*We were paid by the crate, not by the hour, so the faster you bunched, the more you made.
*Sometimes the foreman would come and bunch along with you - this increased your production and hence your pay. It also made the time go by faster since you had someone talking to you.
*The best parsley was the longest/tallest parsley because you had so much more stem to grab onto with your folding over hand - I know that probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I can't describe it very well.
*After a field was cut, the parsley would grow back. We alternated fields throughout the summer, each bed would be cut 3 times during a summer.
*Toward the end of the summer the parsley was shorter and had more yellow leaves in it so production went down because shorter parsley is harder to cut (less stem space to grab) and more yellow = more shaking = longer for each bunch.
*The yellow leaves in the parsley caused a rash, called parsley rash (pretty original, eh?) for some people. Pretty much everyone wore rubber kitchen gloves that went up to their elbows. I never found gloves that fit me correctly -the finger tips kept getting in the way - so I never wore gloves. I never got parsley rash, but I cut my thumbs up pretty badly once a summer (I can show you my scars).

We would begin in the morning - bright and early (I'd guess around 7:30?) and take a break around 9:30/10ish and head back out until lunch. At lunch we would all go back to the barn and eat our lunches there. The girls would eat in one area and the boys in another. After lunch, the kids with the highest seniority would punch in (so they'd be paid hourly) and go into the washing barn to wash and pack the parsley for shipping. The pee-ons would have to go back out to the fields to bunch some more - usually until about 3 or 4pm. (Washing parsley was the coveted role because you got out of the sun and while washing you got wet and cooled off).

So that was our day in a nutshell for the summer and for a while after school began (yes we went after school and worked for a couple of hours). Shortly after school began we started pepper season, which was also very profitable, but not part of this story:)

What else do I want to tell you about this job?
*There were only 8 girls working with 20 guys.
*I was the youngest girl and one of the youngest kids.
*The cutest boy in school worked there. He was 2 years older than me and my best friend had the ultimate crush of all crushes on him - since I worked with him for so long, I could talk to him in the halls in high school - a freshman talking the the best looking junior in school - I think my best friend was a little jealous of that.
*One of our foremen treated me like a little sister and I viewed him as an older brother, although to this day Cara thinks I had a crush on him (I didn't)
*I worked there until my senior year - and by that time there were only 6 of us left and we weren't bunching parsley anymore.
*If there is a parsley tree on my plate and I take a sniff of it, 5 years of memories come flooding back to me. I often grab a bunch of parsley in the produce section of the grocery store and smell it for that reason.

Working in the muck was physically difficult - it was hot, full sun, walking in dirt, on your knees, carrying crates, working hard all day. It was exhausting, but enjoyable at times.

Question of the Day:
What was the most physically demanding work you've done? (paid or unpaid)

Getting to know me in 100 days - Day 4

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I would call, but this is easier

As a stay at home mom, sometimes I wonder what kinds of things really make my life exciting. I mean, I get excited about my girls and their wonderful accomplishments - like Ryann naming letters, Georgia crawling, and Nora drawing houses - but really, on a daily basis my life is not tremendously exciting. I get up, work out, take a shower, eat breakfast, pick up the kitchen, do some laundry, pick Nora up from summer camp, make lunch, do some laundry, put the girls down for their naps, clean up the house, make dinner, eat dinner, play, put the girls to bed. Thats my basic daily routine - sounds like buckets of fun, doesn't it?

In general I feel like I live a pretty boring life. I am happy - extremely happy - and I wouldn't have things any other way, but really, life around here is routine (my preference) and somewhat mundane. My girls make me happy, but they aren't exciting everyday. Then every once in a while something happens that is so exciting I have to tell the world all about it - I call people and I blog about it to share my excitement with everyone I know.

Today was one of those days.

It stormed here this morning. You know what that means? It means that PG's car needed to be parked in the driveway to rinse some of that egg smell off of it so my garage could smell normal again. So I backed the car out of the garage and as I did so I found the most amazing, incredible thing on the front seat of the car.

I looked down and my heart skipped a beat. It couldn't possibly be... Seriously? I picked it up, turned it over in my hands like a precious gem - careful not to drop it or to lose any time examining it further. I had seen commercials for this, but I had never seen it in person. I always thought I would want one and now I could try it out before purchasing one of my own. My life just got better in those few seconds.

Today is marked as a truly exciting day because I found this. And I'm not sure they are ever getting it back.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My first job was picking tomatoes in a greenhouse

The summer that I was 13 years old marks my official entry into the working world. I was 13, I had nothing to do over the summer and I lived in a semi-farming community (I don't know, would it be called that? Hudsonville has lots of farms, but is it a farming community?), so finding work as a 13 year old was not difficult. There were actually many places to choose from - onion farms, celery farms, parsley farms and tomato greenhouses. My sister was already working at a tomato greenhouse, so naturally - as I always did as a little kid - I tagged along with my big sis. I'm pretty sure she wasn't ecstatic about that situation, but I'm not sure she had much of a choice.

We left early every morning. Got on our 12-speed bikes (12 speeds - not 10. We were special), and rode to the greenhouse. I don't remember much of any of it. I do remember that there were tomato vines lining the many aisles in the greenhouse and each of us would take an aisle and pick the ripe tomatoes off of the vine and put it in our bushel basket - carefully, of course. I also remember that if I picked a not-yet-ripe tomato I was terrified that I'd get into trouble, so I rolled it into one of the aisles next to me so it wouldn't be in my basket or on the floor of my aisle. I'm sure no one caught on to my trickery...

I think I worked there for 2 summers - I think. I don't remember. Maybe it was one summer and my sister didn't work there the whole summer with me. Cannot recall.

I used the money that I earned to buy myself a Razz moped (or as I have been corrected - a scooter). It was like $300 and it was so sweet to buy something that expensive with money that I earned by rolling green tomatoes through the greenhouse:) And really, isn't $300 a small price to pay for being cool and getting around town twice as fast as all of your friends on their 10 speed bikes?

What was your first job (besides babysitting)? How old were you? What was the first really nice thing that you bought with your hard-earned cash?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 3

Add this to the list of why I don't want sons...

My Pregnancy Girlfriend (the girl who was pregnant at the same time, due two days after me, went to the same doctor as me, we had all of our pre-natal appointments at the same time so she could shove ice cream down my throat afterwards, and she had her baby two hours before I had Georgia in the same hospital, same doctor, down the hall - that friend) and her family went on vacation this week. They left on Saturday and will be home this Saturday. And since they live so close we have been chosen as the Plant Waterers/Mail Retrievers/Garbage Can Movers. Such an honor, I know.

I went there on Sunday to get Saturday's mail. We all went there on Monday night after dinner at Aunt Jan's to get Monday's mail and to bring the garbage cans out to the curb. We drove up to the house, pulled partway into the driveway on the side that did not have their car parked on it. There was a pile of eggshells next to their car's door. Nice. I'm talking a pile of shells - not one or two, likely a dozen. There were eggshells and eggs all over the driver's side, on top of the roof and on the hood. Eggs on their car all day in the sun. Nice.

I went inside, got their car keys and drove their car to the car wash. No change - now we had soapy eggs baked onto the car. It was 10:30pm by the time I got it back to our house and in our garage. I took out the pail and the dish soap, called my dad for washing advice and got to work. Luckily it didn't take long to get it all off. We'll keep the car in our garage - away from the vandals - until they get home on Saturday.

Now my garage smells like eggs. Nice.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Getting to know me in 100 days - Day 2

I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology

Yes thats right, I am soooo smart that I graduated with two degrees in four years. I'm incredible, aren't I?

Actually, it was fairly simple - Criminal Justice is a form of sociology so the two degrees overlapped quite a bit. Some classes counted toward requirements for both degrees - like Statistics and Probability and my interim class (which was based on this book).

Lets take a minute to veer off from this subject a tiny bit and discuss Statistics and Probability... Remember yesterday when I said that I'm really horrible at math? I am. Horrible. I was a great student in high school, but I got my first ever C on my report card in senior math/pre-calculus. My dad was pretty upset with me and I can remember standing in my bedroom, tears streaming down my cheeks, yelling to him, "I can't help it, I'm just stupid in math! Its not that I don't care, I just don't get it!" Okay, so I'm really stupid in math - that has been established - but now add in (ha!) statistics and probability and I am really at the bottom of the intelligence food chain. I really, really don't understand these things - and I have no desire or need to understand them.

So the thought of having this class as a requirement for both of my majors was incredibly terrifying. However, I only had to take one class to fulfill both majors' requirements - and I could take either the Psychology course or the Sociology course. Luckily for me, Allen Shoemaker was the Psychology prof teaching stats at the time. Professor Shoemaker's class consisted of 15 minutes of looking at cartoons and Jay Leno quotes on the overhead and 30 minutes of random characters (like letters and numbers) being drawn on the board in some sort of equation type thing. I am severely math disabled so whatever he was writing on the board very well could have been sensical, but for me he might as well have been writing in Arabic. Luckily Professor Shoemaker allowed us to bring full-sized cheat sheets into the exams. So as long as I had every formula in the book written on my cheat sheet I could pass the exam with flying colors. I can put the formulas into pratice, but have no idea what they mean or what I'm trying to do with them. I passed my exams thanks to Professor Shoemaker and his wonderful testing skills.

So anyway... the point is some of the classes overlapped which made if fairly easy to earn a double major in 4 years.

I chose to major in Psychology because I find human behavior and thought processes so incredibly fascinating. I want to know why people make the choices they make. I want to know why they act the way they do. All of it. The classes were awesome - interesting, thought provoking, and I use what I learned even now as I contemplate life. So what if I had no idea what I could or would pursue in the psychology profession after I graduated - I was enjoying my studies and getting good grades because of it. I loved every minute of those classes. I loved the text books, I loved the case studies, I loved the papers, I loved the professors. Isn't that important?

Did I graduate and use my psychology degree? If you consider analyzing why my boss was emotionally abusive to her employees as using my degree... then yes, I did use my degree a lot within my first 3 years out of college. Really, though, by the time it got to the point where I needed to figure out where to put my studies to use I was already in the midst of my CJ major and my internship and planning to pursue that avenue. By the time I decided not to go any further with CJ I was too far into both degrees to turn around and change my majors and graduate within four years. I had no interest in going to graduate school at that time and knew that it was unlikely that I could do anything with a psych degree unless I did, so I graduated with two useless bachelor's degrees;)

Instead I worked for a phone company doing data entry, then after moving to Chicago I worked in human resources for a computer consulting firm. While I may not be using either of my very expensive degrees my college experience was priceless (okay, it was worth approximately $30,000). I became who I am in college. I changed within those four years in ways that I don't believe I could have otherwise. I learned the value of a well-rounded education. I found out that I do enjoy some science. I found out that I still hate any kind of history class. I met my husband. I met BFWW. I became independent. I learned how to pay bills and pay for groceries. I learned how to live with people other than my family. I learned how to be a little more spontaneous. I learned to do some things just for the sake of having the experience. I learned to push myself out of my comfort zone. How can you put a price on any of that?

Have you gone to college? Do you have a degree? Do you work in the field that you majored in? (BTW - Dave got a bachelor's in environmental science and he's an investment advisor - I LOVE writing those checks for our student loans;)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Getting to know me in 100 days - Day 1

I have a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice

I went to Calvin as a pre-med student. Freshman year I took Biology 100 or whatever it was and hated it. Hated it so much that I dropped it after a month and thought better of the whole pre-med idea. What in the world was I thinking? I'm bad at math, bad at science and I do not enjoy either subject - who thought it was a good idea to spend 4 years in those kinds of classes?

One of the things that I like most about Calvin is that it is a liberal arts college which requires students to take core classes - basically the very basic/introduction level classes to all of the studies. I love that I got a well-rounded education and that even though I hated biology, I could take geology to fulfill my science core and learned that I was really interested in that kind of science and actually enjoyed the class.

One thing that I learned pretty early on in my college career is that there were other, more interesting courses that fulfilled our core requirements rather than simply the "Introduction to..." classes. While perusing the class catalog I found some very interesting classes that met the requirements: I took a music class that went through popular music from the very early, primitive mountain/folk music to present day. The core music class that most of my friends took was one that was all about classical music and from what I understand was very boring and difficult. My music class rocked (sometimes literally) - and it was a night class, and my sister-in-law was in it and sat right next to me (Dave and I barely knew each other at the time, but how weird is that?).

Another thing I learned early on was that if I took one night class a semester my days were really open and I felt kind of like a part-time student. I am convinced that night classes require less studying than day classes... So as a freshman I took a night class in Theories of Criminal Justice with Dr. Griffith in order to fulfill some kind of core requirement. The class was incredibly interesting - who knew that there were actually philosophies of crime? That there were theories about why criminals did the things they did? Maybe I was completely naive, but I didn't know these things existed and this class fascinated me. It was hard work, but interesting work. And Dr. Griffith was amazing and he was the catalyst to me deciding to add Criminal Justice as a second major. I took every class I could with the man and loved every minute of it - mostly because he was a fantastic teacher, but also because he was one of those profs that gave you an outline of exactly what you needed to do to earn an A in the class.

At the beginning of my Junior year Dave and I began dating. His best friend, Jake, was dating Megan - who was also a criminal justice major (a year ahead of me). She was working as an intern at the Kentwood Police Department and offered to get me an interview there. It was a great opportunity - it fulfilled my internship need for both my CJ major AND my psychology major and it was a paid internship. I got the job and became Cadet Wiersma. I was hired into the newly funded position in the new Victim's unit. As such, I worked in the detective bureau right next to the 5 KPD detectives, who all adored me (and who wouldn't in those nice uniforms?). I was there for a year. I had no concrete ideas of what I was going to do with my CJ degree, but mostly assumed that I would go on to find a job as a probation officer or something along those lines.

Senior year... I moved into a house with 4 other girls in a nice neighborhood in East Grand Rapids. I went walking every morning. I would see the same old man walking his dog every morning. I began to get nervous, I began to suspect that he was a pedophile. He didn't do ANYTHING to lead me to that conclusion. Nothing. He never said hi to me. He was across the street walking the opposite direction. It was simply the fact that I saw him everyday and that he was an old man. From that point on I knew that I could not pursue a career in criminal justice. I am a trusting person. I am a positive, happy person. Working at the police department for 20 hours a week tainted my view of the world. I was suspcious and I didn't like being that way. It was over. I earned my Bachelor's, but never again considered doing anything in that field and I'm glad I didn't. I like me the way I am - I didn't like who I was at that time.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Worth a revisit

100 (okay, 102) things about me:

1. I have a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice
2. I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology
3. My first job was picking tomatoes in a greenhouse
4. My second job was cutting parsley on a muck farm
5. My first car was a 1986 Black Mustang
6. I just started to like oatmeal
7. I went on a 2 week mission trip to Honduras
8. We built a red cross facility
9. I'm trying to make my own compost
10. I like to work in my garden for a couple of months, then I get bored with it
11. I'm terrified of losing my husband and children
12. My favorite dessert is cheesecake
13 I would be heartbroken if Brady got lost
14. I'm often overwhelmed at the amount of responsibility I have
15. I drove a Razz moped in high school
16. Dave thinks I'm a dork because I drove a moped in high school
17. I worked in a gas station in high school
18. I worked 3rd shift in a factory the summer between high school and college
19. We put the screen printing on the visor extentions for cars
20. I was a hostess and waitress at Bill Knapps
21. I would love to be a waitress right now if our schedule and child care situation worked out
22. I want to go back to school to become a nurse
23. I drink my coffee black
24. I like the flavor of cherry, but I do not like cherries
26. I like bananas, but I do not like the flavor of banana
27. I would love to live in the city
28. I'm claustrophobic and have panic attacks
29. I wasn't claustrophobic and didn't have a panic attack until I was pregnant with Nora
30. I have very little interest in visiting Europe
31. I play the piano and the trumpet
32. I taught myself to play the flute
33. I want to learn to play the oboe
34. I do not enjoy being pregnant
35. I enjoy labor and delivery
36. I witnessed an autopsy of a stabbing victim
37. I held his testes (not testicles) and gallbladder in my hands
38. 2/3 of the right side of my face was burned by boiling beer when I was a freshman in college
39. My sister is my best friend - NOW
40. I'm as big of a White Sox fan as Dave is
41. My walls in my bedroom (when I was a kid) were decorated with newspaper articles about the Detroit Pistons - Bad Boys Rule!
42. I taught myself how to do difficult dives
43. I have to have 2 shots of novacain when I get cavaties filled
44. I like red wine, but I'm learning to like white
45. I do my crossword puzzles with an ink pen
46. I separated my pubic symphisis while delivering Georgia
47. I've never broken a bone
48. The biggest reason I can't wait until the girls are old enough to stay home by themselves (or we can afford a babysitter) is so that I can play tennis with Dave
49. I played catcher in softball throughout junior high
50. I didn't try out for softball in high school because I didn't know how to bunt (and didn't realize they'd teach me)
51. I thought Dave was quite a piece of work when I first met him
52. I delivered Nora and Ryann without any drugs during labor/delivery or pain medication afterward
53. I re-taught myself how to knit
54. Sometimes I throw things when I'm angry
55. I really hate it that I throw things when I'm angry
56. I like to iron
57. But I don't like it that Dave wears a dress shirt EVERY day
57. I LOVE to bake
58. I turned 30 on April 1, 2006
59. I still think I'm 22, which is why I feel like I'm really too young to have 3 small children
60. I want to be like my gram when I grow up
61. I like the discipline of dieting - I feel like if I'm disciplined in one area I am more disciplined in others
62. I am VERY into my routine. I'm not a fan of anything messing up my routine or schedule 63. My routine issue is the reason why having a newborn is so difficult for me for the first 2 months
64. I spelled my middle name Lee for the first 13 years of my life - and I wished it was spelled Leigh
65. When I got my first job and had to provide my birth certificate we found out it was actually spelled Leigh - Yea!
66. My parents disagreed with how to spell my middle name... my mom won because she filled out my birth certificate
67. My dad calls me Squirty
68. My sister calls me Lana
69. I get pulled over for speeding A LOT
70. I include 2 speeding tickets in our annual budget every year
71. I get out of the tickets more often than not
72. The best weasel out of a ticket was: Officer:"Why are you in such a hurry?" Me: "Actually I'm really just trying to get home to sit on the couch." Officer: "Merry Christmas!" LOL!!!
73. I like to watch (some) reality shows
74. I am fascinated by human behavior and thought processes
75. I wil NOT dress my kids in the same outfits, different sizes
76. I have a mental list of why I do not want to have sons
77. My biggest parenting goal/wish is to raise 3 young women with healthy self-esteems who are kind, generous, compassionate, God-fearing, sincere, respectful, and loving
78. Many people comment that they like my laugh
79. I laugh a lot
80. Even though they might be inappropriate, I laugh so hard at "man with no arms and no legs" jokes - so much so that I cry
81. I can be quite sarcastic at times
82. My sarcasm has (predictably) gotten me into trouble many times
83. I think people find me to be unapproachable when they first see me - even though I try so hard not to be that way
84. I am often misunderstood or mischaracterized
85. I get incredibly hurt when I am mischaracterized
86. I make decisions based on what is the "grown-up" thing to do - not necessarily what is the easiest thing to do
87. I wish more people would make "grown-up" decisions
88. I am not very future-oriented, I am a very practical, right-now person
89. Dave is a visionary, future-oriented person - we compliment each other very well
90. I handle all of the bills/finances in our family. Dave does the investing (obviously)
91. The first new car I bought was a '98 Sunfire and the only option I wanted was power locks so I could drive to Dave's college house in the ghetto
92. I wish I had an Atari set with Frogger, Qbert and Asteroids
93. I love to learn - I would love to go back to Calvin and just take whatever classes I wanted to take
94. I don't feel old enough or responsible enough to raise children
95. I love to get the mail
96. I'm disgusted by the health care/insurance industry, but feel helpless to change anything
97. I always have to be doing something. I cannot just sit and do nothing - even watch tv - I have to pick up the family room or eat or do a crossword puzzle - something!
98. I don't have a lot of very close friends, but the ones I have are my favorite people in the world
99. I have a really difficult time with relationships that are one-sided
100. My eyes aren't really a color - they're kind of grayish
101. I wish I watched less tv and read more
102. I save the thing I like most on plate to eat last - then by the time I get to it I'm usually full (but I shove it in anyway
103. Oprah somewhat reminds me of one of my good friends (who lives in california). While I'm not a die-hard Oprah fan, I watch it almost everyday because it is comforting to me.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hurling Report and Unreasonable Diarrhea

I just want to get it out in the open... Dr. Beautiful commented on my last post: "Good rules for this are if no fever and no hurling for >24 hrs and diarrhea is reasonable, and you have lots of hand cleansing gel you should be fine," WHEN is diarrhea reasonable? Because as far as I'm concerned, even though I do NOT talk about this with anyone (but now I'm making myself vulnerable to the world wide web - see how much I push myself out of my comfort zone?), I have to tell ya, diarrhea is NEVER reasonable. It never comes at a good time. It never seems to make any sense whatsoever. Reasonable - No. Gross - yes. That being said, I will not tell you if I had reasonable or unreasonable diarrhea along with my hurling the other day thankyouverymuch.

Hurling report: Not since Sunday night/Monday morning. Yea! However, my core muscles are seriously sore from the hurling. Perhaps that was the best ab workout I've had in years? No one else has thrown up either, so as of now, we're in the clear (as long as the reasonable diarrhea doesn't show up with anyone).

Today I feel 100%. And I am soooo happy:) Yesterday I still felt a bit queasy and really nervous to eat anything. I had half of my breakfast, a semi decent lunch - but when I started in on the turkey sandwich I thought I should probably stop - and I had toast again for dinner because I was still too nervous to eat. All in all this new diet has been a good one - I'm sure I've dropped at LEAST 10 lbs by now;) And I even exercised this morning. I took one step outside and decided the stairs were not happening (is this humidity ever going to go away?) so I did Tae Bo Bootcamp. Good. Good. Good.

And now, to make my day even better: BFWW is coming for coffee any minute now. I am VERY excited about this. And as I threatened in her blog, I may not let her leave. What is with this living in Tennessee stuff anyway? Who needs to live there? In case you haven't guessed, my secret project has been to install bars on all of my windows and doors and extra deadbolts on all of my doors so she can't leave. If anyone could manage a food drop like they had on LOST, I would greatly appreciate one in about 5 days...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am sick. Not as sick as yesterday, but still kind of sick. And I'm sick of comcast, but thats a different story:)

Sunday night after coming home from VBS (Parkview's - amazing), I went to bed and was reading. At about 10:20 I realized that I didn't feel good and thought to myself, "I'm going to be throwing up all night." And I did. All night.

On Monday morning I woke up feeling a little better - if you consider feeling really horrible, but not having to throw up as feeling a little better. I looked at the shower and wanted to cry. Instead I went downstairs and laid on the couch. Dave took care of the girls and asked me three times if he needed to stay home - I told him I would be okay and he should go to work. At 12:15, after I had slept for 1 1/2 hours (while Ryann got into my jewelry), I had to get Georgia up from her nap. I got out of bed and fell immediately to the floor - I was light headed, my stomach was queasy and I had no idea how I was going to get Georgia out of her crib and feed all three girls lunch. I called Dave.

"I don't know how you're going to do it, but I NEED you to come home - at least for lunch - because I don't know how to take care of these girls."

His response, "I'm on my way. I'm sick, too."

Yes, yes I feel bad for him - he's sick, too. I don't want him to be sick - never. However, I am wondering why can't I be sick by myself? Why can't it be all about me for one day? Why does he get to be sick, too?

He came home, found me on the floor of Georgia's room (where I was when I called him 45 minutes earlier), and fed the girls lunch while I went back to bed. I slept from 1:15-4:30 and felt a little better. Better enough to get myself two pieces of toast and a ginger ale and to feed the girls dinner. I don't know how sick he was since I was pretty self-absorbed yesterday. As long as there was someone else in the house I figured the girls were getting cared for - I don't know how well they were being cared for, but nonetheless, someone was there.

Oh how miserable I was - achy, feverish, queasy, hungry, couldn't get comfortable, my knees hurt, my back hurt, by ankles hurt, my wrists hurt, my head hurt, my eyes hurt. Doc - why does this happen - why do fevers settle into those places? And one more question - how long are we contagious? Am I able to go to the blogging pool party on Wednesday (tomorrow). Help!

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