Wednesday, October 21, 2009


With every child I have, I am always so excited when they first start to talk. I think it is adorable to hear them say their own words and try to copy and mimic everyone around them. Olivia has been talking for awhile, but has really started to put together sentences and learn colors, animals, etc. Every day when I drive Tanner to and from preschool we pass by a field that always has 3 horses roaming around. The kids have learned exactly where this field is and want me to drive by it slowly so they can check out the animals. Olivia gets just as excited as the rest of excited that she starts pointing and yelling "WHORE! WHORE!" Every time she says it Tanner gets so frustrated and says "No Olivia! It's not a whore, it's a horse!!" She just looks at him like 'duh! that's what I just said!'. I love the innocence and the fact that it's so darn funny and she has no idea why.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tears and Tenderness

Last night was one of the sweetest moments I have witnessed between Julia and Tanner. It was getting late and they were both SO tired. Tanner insisted on having some juice before bed, so he got a little juice bottle out of the fridge. He was trying to pull the plastic cap off and the juice ended up spilling all over the floor. I mean ALL over the floor. I still don't know how he managed to get the juice to fly that far, but he did. The juice also sprayed the refrigerator which is home to all of Julia's artwork. One of her pictures got annihilated. Tanner immediately began crying and said "Mom, I had an accident!" He was so worried he was going to get in trouble! His tears and sincere face just melted my heart. I told him it was okay and I began to wipe up the juice. Then he spotted Julia's picture. He gasped and looked at her as if she was going to be really upset. He was still crying. In the sweetest most tender voice and with tears streaming down his face he said "Oh Julia! I am so very sorry!!" He was devastated that he had ruined her picture. Julia walked over to him and gave him a hug and said "it's okay Tanner, it will dry". They just stood there and hugged each other. I know I'm a pregnant sap right now, but it was hard to hold back my own tears. It's moments like these that make up for all the naughty ones.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We may need an MRI

This morning was an especially difficult one for me. The last couple of days I have been working non-stop and to say I am exhausted would be an understatement. Exhaustion plus pregnancy hormones is not a good me.

Our six year old didn't help matters at all today. I have been talking with her lately about her constant whining. It doesn't seem to matter what it is, she whines about it. The other day I grounded her from the phone for 3 days because of it. (Sad that a SIX year old is punishable by phone restrictions! I swear she's a teenager trapped in a tiny body!) That seemed to do the trick...until this morning. As I was pouring cereal for the kids, she pipes up and says "I think that cereal is disgusting. I don't want it!" It was Life cereal. I understand that it's not Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops, but Life isn't repulsive. It could be worse. She could be eating Grape Nuts or Oat Bran. I told her that this was the only option for breakfast and she needed to eat it. Let me just say here that she has eaten Life cereal a hundred times before...and enjoyed it. This was purely her attitude coming out. I told her several times to eat because we needed to leave for school. She absolutely refused. I was so tired of telling her, so I told her to go to her room until it was time to leave.

I went downstairs to talk with her about why on earth she's being so difficult. This is so embarrassing but I actually started to cry because I was so frustrated with her. Even when trying to reason with her and talk with her about her behavior she continued to have attitude. It really makes me feel like a failure of a mother!! I know I am an emotional wreck right now and this morning was pretty bad. As I type this I am giggling because now that I'm writing it out, it just seems silly that she got to me that bad. I told her she needs to lose the attitude and I left her room. When I went back to get her, she was packing her suitcase. She said she didn't want to live here anymore because she doesn't like making me cry. was starting to sink in for her, maybe we were making some progress.

I sat her down and told her how much I love her and that I don't want her to leave. I'm sure there will be a time that I do want her to leave in the upcoming week, but today wasn't the day. ;) ha ha I just asked that she please try and work on her attitude and that I will help her with that. That is when a classic Julia line came out of her mouth...she looks at me dead in the eyes and says "Mom, I really don't know why I have attitude. I think there must be something wrong with my brain!" Ah, gotta love it. I've gotta hand it to her...she's quick with the comebacks. I asked her if she had this attitude at school. She replied "no, my brain must be okay when I'm at school." Even better. I guess I should be grateful that she knows where and when to behave. I am just hoping that someday soon we can go one day without a meltdown from the Princess of the house.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fourth and Final...

We are excited to announce that the last member of our family is on his/her way. Ron and I wanted to wait until we had our first ultrasound to make sure baby is healthy before spreading the news...well that and our 6 year old feels the need to spread ANY bit of information she gets, so the kids just found out as well. I went to my ultrasound appointment fully expecting to see a "gummy bear" but much to my surprise it looked like a baby! This means I'm a little farther along than I thought and that is ALWAYS good news! The little peanut wasn't very cooperative though and is not very photogenic. Here is our newest baby's "first portrait"...I outlined the little stinker in the 2nd one just to show that there is actually a baby somewhere in that blur.

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Day of School

Matt, Julia and Tanner started school this week. It was sooooooooo wonderful! I just don't know that I'm cut out to be a summer stay-at-home mom! :) I love my kids and I also love public education. Matt is in 10th grade this year...only three more years to go until graduation! (but who's counting, right?) Julia started 1st grade and is absolutely loving being in school all day. She is quite the social butterfly and has made a lot of new friends. Tanner is in his second year of preschool and I am so grateful he was excited to go back. He has definitely grown leaps and bounds since last year. Now I just need to find a way to stop doing daycare so I can enjoy Olivia alone for a few hours a day. I think she's missing mom. She's turned into a holy terror recently...and REFUSES to leave my side. I don't know whether to be flattered or irritated. All I know is I want to sleep at night...but apparently she doesn't. Here are some pics of the kids on their first day...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Tanner-Man!

Oh I am such a bad mom....this post is LONG overdue. Tanner turned 4 on July 29. He is such a little man!! I absolutely adore this kid. I have to admit that when I was pregnant with him, I wanted a girl. Growing up with my brothers, I decided that I wanted girls only!! Boys were rowdy, rambunctious and had way too much energy! Sadly when the doctor announced we were having a boy, I was slightly disappointed. I feel so terrible for ever having those feelings because Tanner has truly been a blessing in our lives. It is so awesome to have a boy!!! With him there is no demand to dress up, put on make-up or call everyone he knows on the phone...(yes, I'm talking about you Julia!). He is the most laid back, charismatic, loving little...or not-so-little boy. I can't believe he's 4 already!!

Tanner, you are the sweetest most sensitive little guy I've ever known. You're always wanting to protect your sisters (unless they are bugging you). I love how you like to tell me "secrets" in my ear...even though sometimes the secret is a little turd. :) I love and cherish our quiet moments together when you'll sit with me and have a one-on-one conversation about your day, things you like to do and what Juju has done to bug you. :) I am in love with those big dimples...all you have to do is flash a smile and I just melt. You have such a big vocabulary and use big cracks me up. You're one smart cookie! I love you T-Man!

Here are some pictures from his big day. Of course he was spoiled rotten!!

Tanner LOVES to do of his favorite quiet time activities!

Tanner's favorite gift...thanks Grammy and Yippaw!!

When asking Tanner what he was doing he said "I'm reading the erections Mom!" I think it's pretty safe to say he meant "directions"...we are emphasizing the 'D' in that word. :)

He was so proud to chauffeur his sisters around in his new ride...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Newest Family Member

This is Marley...our vicious puppy weighing in at 4.5 lbs. He is AWESOME! So much fun and great with the kids. The best part is he's full grown. I love how tiny he is! He's been a good addition to our family.

Tanner also enjoys Marley's bed...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Today my baby turned 2. I can't believe it!! The terrible twos have been in full force now for a couple of months....whew! She is one sassy little girl! I love how animated she is...she makes the BEST facial expressions. I love how she spins until she's dizzy. I love how when I ask her for a kiss she will shake her head no, only so I will smother her with kisses. She loves to cuddle (when she's tired). I love that she is talking and really learning a lot of new words. We really couldn't ask for a better baby...she is WONDERFUL!! Happy Birthday Via!

Only a true diva can mow the lawn in high heels!


Big girls DO cry...

Thanks Grammy Chunk for Via's favorite and most diverse gift...ha ha ha

Friday, June 12, 2009

Catching some rays...

About a week ago we had some great weather. It was hot and sunny and perfect for catching some rays. The kids and I had stopped over at my parents house after church one Sunday and my mom was sitting on her patio swing enjoying the heat. As soon as we got home Julia changed into her swimsuit and grabbed a towel. I asked her what she was doing and her reply was "I want to have dark skin like Grammy Chunk, I'm going to go get a tan!" She headed outside and laid down on our porch swing (which happened to be in the shade). I explained to her that she needed to lay where it was sunny to get a tan. So she moved to the grass. It was so hilarious as she would run up to me every few minutes to ask if she was darker. Of course she wasn't and I needed to let her in on a little one gets as tan as Grammy one. I swear the woman gets a tan just by turning on her bedroom light in the morning. Why couldn't I have been blessed with that skin? I don't tan, I burn....and even then I am still pasty. :) Here's the little drama queen catching her rays...(Julia, not my mom...ha ha ha).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The other day I was enjoying a quiet moment...which is rare. Julia and Olivia were napping, Ron was outside and Tanner was sitting in the dining room looking out the windows into the backyard. I was at the computer reading blogs. Ron had the task that afternoon of spreading some poison on an ant hill we found near some trees in our yard. There are landscaping rocks around the trees, so Ron was shoveling them out of the way to be able to pour the poison directly onto the ants. As he was returning the rocks to their original spot, Tanner looked out the window and said "Wow, impressive!" I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. He looked at me and said "what's so funny Mom?" It's just so funny to hear such big words come out of such little people sometimes. It always amazes me how much they actually know and retain. I better be careful about what I say around here. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is that contagious?

Today Julia had four baby teeth pulled. She's been in a little bit of pain, but is doing so well. I think she's more irritated about having to keep gauze in her mouth to absorb the blood. When Tanner finally woke up this morning he saw her and immediately became concerned. I was sitting on the couch cuddling with Julia and he climbed up into my lap and asked what was wrong with her. I told him she had teeth pulled at the dentist and asked if he wanted to see. He said yes, so he leaned over to get a closer look. I think he was startled to see the four small holes in her mouth. However, when he leaned, his hand slipped and ended up landing on Julia's leg. He jumped off my lap and said "I don't want to touch her mom!" I asked him why and he said "because she will make my teeth fall out too!!" Since then Tanner has kept a safe distance...hoping to avoid catching Julia's disease. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Holidays are always fun at our house. Mostly because of the children's anticipation. This year Julia woke up before anyone else...proceeded to the living room to peek at what the Easter Bunny may have left, then tip-toed through the rest of the house informing everyone that he did in fact come. She's such a stinker and exactly like her Dad. Can't keep a secret and can't handle waiting for a surprise. We had a great morning and loved watching the kids get so excited over the simple things left in their baskets.

I didn't get a picture of Olivia with her basket, but man was she enjoying her ring pop!! no attention to the missing pants.

Super-cute JuJu! Not often we get a picture of her without a fake/forced smile!

And Matt...don't mind the inside-out shirt...sadly many mornings start this way for him. LOL!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Getting their hunt on...

The day before Easter we took the kids to an egghunt at the church. Sadly it was raining, so Ron stayed home with Olivia. Julia, Tanner and their friend Jaynee had a great time! They got tons of eggs and a crazy sugar high! Nice hunting kids!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Auto/Boat Speedshow

Every year at the fairgrounds the Auto/Boat Speedshow comes to town. This year we went with our friends Scott, Shane, Nanci and her daughter Karli. It was fun to walk around and see all the vehicles. Juju and Tanner got a picture taken with Diego, although Juju was reluctant because "Diego is for babies". Please. We had a great time and look forward to next year.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Matt!

Matt turned 15 this year! I feel SO OLD being the step-mom to a teenager. Crazy! We had a great time. To kick off the festivities we had some friends over and celebrated Matt's birthday with them. We then of course had the traditional family party on his "real" birthday. I feel terrible that I didn't get more pictures, but my camera pooped out for some reason. We had a great time celebrating Matt's special day. He really has adjusted nicely to living in our home and we're glad he's a part of our family. :) Hope you had a great day buddy! Just year you'll be able to drive....maybe....if the grades are good. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dancing With Cinderella

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

Julia had the opportunity to make one of her dreams come true and go to a "ball" with her Prince Charming. Her school hosted a Daddy/Daughter dance with the theme 'Dancing With Cinderella'. It was so adorable to watch how excited she was to put on a Cinderella dress and have her hair done all fancy. We even ordered a corsage and boutonniere to complete the ensemble. She had a wonderful time with her Daddy. They danced the night away and had so much fun. She truly felt like a princess for a night!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Miss Julia!

On March 10th we celebrated Julia's 6th birthday. How the time flies! I can't believe she is 6...although there are days it feels like she's a teenager with her sassy attitude and mouth. :) Julia got to have her first "friends" birthday party. She invited some girls from school and church and they had a great time!

Julia also had the traditional family birthday party. She was spoiled rotten!!

What a nut...she chose to do this to herself.

Oh Julia, there are days that I am honored to be your mother and other days I wonder how I am ever going to get through it. :) You are one of the most amazing children I've ever known. So smart and witty (which is what gets you into trouble most of the time). I guess what counts it that you're such a polite young lady when in the presence of other people, now if you can just let us know how to get you to act like that at home...we'll be set! At least you know when to be on your best behavior. :) There are so many things I love about you Miss JuJu. I love how expressive you are, and your ability to make anyone laugh. I love watching you when you're in your own little world, dancing and singing to yourself. You are so good to your younger siblings (most of the time) and are such a great help to me. You are always so willing to help out when I ask and when you want something really bad you even take the initiative to do things without being told. :) I love you JuJu Grace! Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!

February 17th is always a little bit rough for me. Today is the day that we both welcomed our sweet baby girl into this world and also had to say goodbye. Our precious little angel Paige Elizabeth was very premature and God must have had other plans for her. I will never forget her tiny body and how perfect she was. I can't wait to one day hold my little girl in my arms and tell her how much I love her and that I thought of her every single day. I am so grateful for the knowledge that there is indeed life after death and that families are forever. It gives me hope and strength to know that I will see my little girl again. So it's time to dry the tears and honor Paige on her special day. I can't believe she would have been 5 years old! How the time flies! Below is a picture of her tiny hand and feet prints. She was so tiny and perfect. I love you baby girl...Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Liar liar pants on fire!

This was just too funny not to share. A few days ago Matt was having a really hard time falling asleep, which meant it was quite a battle getting him up and ready for school the following morning. I thought to myself, I bet I get a call from the nurses office today...saying that Matt is down there with some sort of illness. Sure enough the call came in later that morning. I happened to be talking with someone else at the time so I just let that call go to voicemail. A few minutes later I checked the message. Now try and imagine the most monotone, unenthusiastic, depressing voice you've ever heard. It was Matt and this is what he said..."Um, it's Matt. Well I have a really bad migraine and the lights are really bright and all the noises are really loud. Um.....well.....ok.....bye." Gosh darn it, I was right....again. :)

So I call the nurses office and say "I think you have my step-son in your office there". The nurse let me know that she sent him back to class because he's not running a fever. What?? Do they check for fevers when you complain of a headache? I asked her why he had come to see her and she said that Matt was complaining of cold symptoms, said he couldn't stop coughing and that the little kids had been sick this weekend, so he must be getting it now. Hmmmm....very interesting. I asked her if there was any complaint of a headache...she said no.

Well being the evil step-mother I am, I had to think of a way to catch him in his own lie. For heaven sakes, if you're going to lie, at least keep it consistent man!! He makes it too easy for us to bust him. Ha ha ha. When Matt walked through the door that afternoon I really laid it on thick. I gave him a hug and told him I was so sorry he had such a terrible headache and that it would be best if he just stayed in his room and relaxed, since the tv would no doubt aggravate his condition and the kids get quite loud as well, so he should probably have some quiet alone time. He looked at me and said "Oh, my headache is MUCH better now!" AMAZING!! HE'S CURED!!! Little did I know I was such a miracle worker! Demons be gone!!! Not to be outsmarted I looked at him and said, well I can't imagine your cold is getting any better, so it's probably best that you still stay in your room, so you can make a quick recovery. He just looked at me with a deer in the headlights look and had no idea what to say. Um hello? Matt?? Earth to Matt! When he finally 'came back' I told him I had talked to the nurse. He looked completely shocked. Ha ha ha. We had a nice chat about staying in class unless he's bleeding or dying. :) With any luck this won't happen again, but if it does, hopefully the kid has learned enough to make sure the lies match up. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!!

We rang in the New Year with our good friends and had a great time. The house was full of good grub and lots of laughs. We basically spent the whole night rocking out to guitar hero and playing wii games. It was a blast and so fun to have our little "competitions" going. At midnight the only ones who shared a kiss were Shane and Heather. I didn't look, but it sounded pretty sloppy! Way to do it right guys!! LOL! Hopefully they are still my friends after reading that. :) I took a few pictures, but sadly none of my own family! How pathetic is that?? Shane and Heather took off at about 1:00am while Scott and Nanci stayed until 3:30am. It was awesome! We're so lucky to have such fun friends! Here are the few pictures I did take...

Here's Shane going for a strike...

We do not...I repeat, DO NOT promote underage drinking....this means you Brooke!! Oh was only sparkling cider...

This is what Nanci thought of not getting a smooch at midnight...LOL!

Scott and Brooke rocking the guitar hero...

Thanks again friends for the VERY fun night. We'll have to do it again soon!


The other day I had some errands to run and Matt asked if he could come with me. I said sure and we set off to go to a few places. Once we were in the car he turned to me and said "Leigh, what are some of the worst temptations you've ever had?" I wasn't quite sure where he was going with this, so I asked him to clarify. He wanted to know if I had ever given into temptations and what they were. I gave him an example of when I was single, I hung out with some people that maybe I shouldn't have and it was very tempting to live the sort of lifestyle they were living. I asked him why he wanted to know and he replied that he has been struggling with some temptation himself. I told him if he wanted to talk about it, I would be more than happy to listen. (that was the motherly thing to do right?? I said a quick prayer right then and there that if he did want to talk, that it would be something I could handle! ha ha) He opened up to me and told me about the temptation and his concerns and asked me what he should do. Thankfully it wasn't anything horrific and I actually had to giggle on the inside because his temptation was pretty manageable and I was soooooooooo relieved that it wasn't something more major. I am just in awe of his innocence and his desire to be the best person he can be. It really was a bonding moment for us and I am so grateful that he trusts me enough to share his thoughts and concerns with me. I told him that the temptations he was having was part of being a teenager, and that it's how he reacted or responded to the thoughts he was having that would ultimately prove whether or not he is strong enough to resist the temptation. I let him know that he needs to pray for the strength to push the thoughts out of his mind and that it never hurts to hum your favorite hymn if all else fails! ha ha. I told him that his Dad and I are always here for him and he can talk to us about anything. I know I should be flattered that he came to me and wanted to talk, but I'm secretly hoping that any other issues that may come up get directed to Ron. ha ha ha (just kidding...kind of) Hopefully I gave some semi-good advice...I thought I'd have a few more years before dealing with teenager issues! But I guess these are good learning experiences for me and I will be good and prepared for when my own kids start becoming teenagers.