Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

We spent the better part of last weekend in the mountains of North Carolina. Sapphire Valley, to be exact. We love visiting this area and it is always nice to be able to get away, get a fire going all day in the fireplace, and just relax with family.

We had gorgeous weather ... cool mornings that warmed up to comfortable afternoons in the 60s. We spent a lot of time outside on the porch and playing in the leaves.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we opted to go against the grain and smoke a pork butt instead of having the traditional turkey. It was delicious and it was fun to do something different. Everyone contributed different sides and desserts and we were full for three days straight.

We finished off out non-traditional Thanksgiving meal with an equally non-traditional sweet treat ... S'mores! But it was a dessert very fitting to the weekend we had.

We also enjoyed swimming in the just the pool (because we definitely obey rules and did not let any children under 14 in the hot tub).

We also got to experience a little bit of Black Friday ... complete with a visit with the Big Man himself (I know Santa is only in the background, but we really did see him. We just weren't allowed to take pictures ... so said his entourage).

And after all that fun we managed to fit in a trip to get our Christmas tree on the way home. Nothing says Christmas like over-scheduling your children in the name of mandatory holiday cheer!

I think Adah liked this one ...

Peyton wanted to take home the ones that were just her size. We convinced her that bigger was definitely better.

Luke was pretty tired out by this point and I found him conversing with the couple who was selling the trees ... while using their lawn chair to "rest his legs." He was about to head into the their trailer for a snack but I stopped him before he ate all of their food for the next few days. The boy can put away some food.

We finally made it home tired, full, and with Christmas tree in tow (or attached to the car roof). Thanksgiving is definitely my most favorite holiday because it combines some of my favorite things (family, relaxing, extra long weekends, parades, and FOOD) without the stress that I sometimes feel with Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas too, but there's just something about Thanksgiving that warms my heart. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving filled with lots of food, family, and fun. And now, here comes Christmas!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011


While I have so many things to be thankful for in my life, I feel it can all get diluted when amassed into a large post about Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday because it is not about gifts, or costumes, or commercialism (well, I'm sure there's some commercialism that always manages to sneak in). It's about togetherness and family and the intangibles that we receive everyday. Things we take for granted that invariably mark us as blessed in the eyes of so many others throughout the world.

As I often find, children's blessings and prayers tend to provide the clearest and simplest directions for our thoughts on a day like today. So I'll leave you with some of our family's favorites. Here's wishing you and your family a season of togetherness and thankfulness on this day.

God our Father, God our Father
We thank You, we thank You
For our many blessings, for our many blessings
Amen, amen.

Thank you God for happy hearts,
for rain and sunny weather.
Thank you God for everything,
and that we are together.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hairy Situations

I was excited at an early doctor's appointment when I found out that one of the triplets was going to be a girl. I started buying bows in bulk once I found out that two of the three in there were going to be female. I wouldn't consider myself especially girly or frilly, but I love picking out girly clothes for Peyton and Adah. And usually there is a matching bow or barrette to go on top. I had to wait a long time for their hair to grow (almost 2 years for Adah!), so it was a day of celebration once I could actually put both girls' hair up in a bow.

The bald wonder

The girls happily complied with my hair requests over the first couple years. They could have cared less what their hair looked like and I was happy because it looked cute and was out of their faces. Now, as we are inching ever closer to the big number 4 birthday, the girls have decided to take control in the hair department. Adah still has never had a haircut because a) she really hasn't needed one and b) she is scared to death to get one. She has seen her siblings get them many times but the idea of shears near her own precious scalp sends her up the wall. Peyton, on the other hand, is a hair salon veteran. But she is starting to have opinions on what crowns her own locks on a daily basis. A typical morning of hair issues goes like this ...

Me: "Peyton, come in the bathroom and let me do your hair before we go to school!"

Peyton: "But Mom, I want to wear my hair down!"

Me: "You can't wear it down because then you can't see anything. Your hair just falls in you face and you can't see. You could wear it down if you got bangs. Do you want bangs?"

Peyton: "No bangs!"

(I breathe a secret sign of relief as I abhor bangs from previous childhood experience)

Me: "Ok, so lets do your hair. Do you want a barrette or a rubber band?"

Peyton: "A rubber band, but not thaaaaaat one!!! I want the piiiiiink one!"

Me: "Ok, fine. Now do you want a bow?"

Peyton: "No bow."

Me: "Are you sure??"

Peyton: "Yup."

Ten minutes later ...

Me: "Ok guys, let's get in the car! Where's Peyton? Why isn't she out here with everyone else? Peyton! Where are you?!?!"

Peyton, crying: "I'm in here! Don't leave me Mommy!"

Me: "What are you doing? Why aren't you getting in the car?"

Peyton: "I don't have a bow!! You forgot my bow!"

Me: "You said you didn't want a bow! Now you want one?"

Peyton: "Yes, a blue one."

Me: "Ok, I'll get a blue bow. Anything else?"

Peyton: "Yes. I want piggy tails now. And bangs. What are bangs?"

And so it goes ...

Monday, November 21, 2011


We hold all of our Halloween candy hostage in a bucket on top of the refrigerator once it arrives at our house. That way we can pick and choose the best candy to steal monitor how much candy the kids get each day. We usually let them pick one piece after dinner if they try everything on their plate and eat a reasonable amount of their dinner. One night a few weeks ago we were passing the candy bucket around the table after dinner when the following conversation took place ...

Me: "Ok Sam, what candy are you going to have?"

Sam: "Ummmmm, I'm gonna have the chocolate bar!"

Me: "Great. Ok, your turn Adah."

Adah: "Ohhhh, what's this?!?" (while holding up a Kit Kat ... the LAST Kit Kat ... Did I mention that I love Kit Kats?)

Me: "Oh, I don't think you'll like that. How about this lollipop?" (Don't judge ... I love Kit Kats)

Adah: "Ok!"

Me: "Luke, your turn. What do you want for dessert?"

Luke: "Mommy I want a tipsy stick!"

Me: "A what? How do you even know what tipsy means?" (as I glance at my glass of wine sitting on the table)

Luke, while gesturing at what he wants: "A TIPSY STICK mommy!"

Me, seeing him pointing at the brightly colored straw in the bucket: "Oh, a PIXIE stick ... right!"

Matt: "You actually could get pretty tipsy after a couple of those things ... not that I would know."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picture of the Week - November 20

Last home football game of the year!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Safety First

Check out my post today on children and safety HERE on 25 Hours A Day. Also, please remember to "like" 25 Hours A Day on Facebook!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picture of the Week - November 13

The cheapest part of the birthday party is apparently the most exciting part as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dreams Do Come True

We woke up yesterday morning to find this outside our window ...

I didn't think much of it, but the boys nearly wet their pants when this also showed up ...

Our next door neighbor was having a tree removed. Little did she know that she was simultaneously making two young boys' dreams come true.

We sat outside for close to two hours watching the tree come down. The kids didn't care that it was 45 degrees. I, on the other hand, had more than a few cups of coffee to stay warm.

Of course, we had to bring all of our construction vehicles and tools to the party. Just in case ...

Eventually, our patience paid off and we were left with only this ...

I must admit that it was pretty amazing to watch that last piece of tree finally exit the premises.

We really were sad to see the tree go. Technically it wasn't in our yard, but it shaded a large portion of our front lawn. Now we have a lot more sun peeking through and it looks a bit empty.

Later that day the kids and I went to visit the scene. They decided that, indeed, the tree was happy ... but not really (courtesy of one of their favorite books).

Monday, November 7, 2011


I've been a single mom for the past three days.

It's not the first time I've been alone with the kids for an extended period of time. In fact, it's not really much of a big deal any more. Mornings and evenings are harder because I'm used to having help, but we just wing it and make do with what we have. There may be a few less baths and a few more chicken nuggets when Dad is away, but we make it work.

I'm only mentioning this because about two years ago the thought of me having to take care of all four kids alone for several days would have caused me to pass out from hyperventilation. Back then I had four kids under age 2, one being an infant to whom I was also a food source. If Matt ever went out of town during that time in our lives, I was recruiting family and volunteers to come and stay with us. I was taking any and all help thrown my way. I just wasn't confident enough in myself to do it alone.

Nowadays, it's a walk in the park ... not really. But it is much easier than it was before. Routine helps us out immensely, as well as kids who can feed themselves, go to the potty alone, follow instructions (most of the time), and nap (thank the Lord we still nap!). Doing it alone makes me really appreciate what all single moms have to do every day. Being the sole provider/caretaker/parent is a tough job, and I admire anyone who enters that battle on a day to day basis.

All of these revelations got me thinking ... Could it be that this is all getting easier? That taking care of four small children all relatively the same age is not as hard as it used to be? In some ways, it is easier. As I said, the fact that they can do things like feed themselves, help clean up, and follow directions has made the day to day grind a little simpler. The act of physically caring for my children is not as exhausting as it once was. I no longer pass out every night on the couch at 9pm - ok, maybe still occasionally - but I know that I am not as physically tired as I was two years ago.

However, what I have gained in more physical energy has been replaced by more emotional exhaustion. Who knew refereeing fights, disciplining, and answering countless questions could be so tiring? So I'm still tired, just in a different way. My brain hurts sometimes. Do they make a pain reliever for that?

In no way is this meant to be a pity party for poor, tired me. Heck, I know everyone is tired with all that we undertake every day. I just think it's funny that I used to think that once the physically exhausting stage ended, it would be smooth sailing from then on. I'm slowly learning that one stage leads to another, and I don't think I'm going to feel rested until they are all graduated from college and living on their own. I guess being tired is the new normal, whether it's in my body or in my mind. So does anyone have some eye cream recommendations for these circles under my eyes?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Picture of the Week - November 6


Can someone remind me why we haven't had to take this child to the ER yet?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Did You Said?

Someone's been watching me.

Sounds creepy, right? And I'm not joking. It's more than one person too. PEOPLE are watching me. I feel like that little kid in The Sixth Sense. But instead of dead people ...

"I see little people!"

Recently, I've become keenly aware that I have eight little eyes on me at all times. Eight eyes that watch my every move. Along with that are eight ears that always manage to hear every little thing I say. Funny how that always seems to be apparent at the worst times.

Me: (to Wilson as he barks incessantly at any person that walks down our street) "Shut uuuuuupppp!"

Sam: "Yeah Wilson, Shut up!"


You never realize how bad it sounds until it comes out of a three year old's mouth. Luckily, neither Matt nor I utter many curse words. I can't imagine things like that coming out of the kids' mouths. But now even words like "butt" or "crap" take on a whole new meaning when I know they are listening. It really takes some self-restraint on my part. In our house these words aren't allowed, so I've definitely had to apologize to the kids if I have said them.

It's amazing how much an almost 4 year old can comprehend and understand the things that you say. It used to be that they didn't know when we were talking about them right in front of them. Now they do ... and they want to know everything that is said. We can't even really spell words anymore because they've figured out what we're spelling! It's gotten to the point that I can't even whisper or mumble something to Matt without hearing a little voice chirp out from behind me ...

"Mommy! What did you said?"

"Was you talking about me?"

Sure their grammar leaves a little bit to be desired, but they've already managed to understand the "fear." You know the one we all have that someone is talking about us and we don't know what they're saying but ohmygoshIknowsheissayingsomethingmeanaboutmebeindmybackhowcouldshe!

I don't want paranoid kids. I want my kids to feel confident in who they are as people. I want them to have an unwavering set of values and beliefs that they can stand on and know that nothing anyone says influences anything about who they are inside. I want them to know that the only opinion that matters is the opinion of the One who made them (and maybe the opinion of their parents!), and that they are amazing in His eyes because He designed them to be just they way they are.

Now that I know they are listening, I am always aware of what is coming out of my mouth. I want them to see words and speech as a way to communicate and grow with one another, not as a tool to deceive or shame another person.

We focus on Bible verses every week with our kids and I thought it was quite fitting that a few of the most recent ones addressed this topic.

Psalm 34:12-13
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.

Proverbs 15:1-2
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

It's amazing that while you think you spend your days teaching your kids everything they need to be successful in life, they're actually teaching you what you still need in your own life. Let's just say that I'm a lot more aware of the words I say these days and how those words affect my own heart and the hearts of others. I'm still planning on spelling out some words here and there (how else can we make Christmas present plans over dinner?), so I'll have to think up a good alibi when I hear the ever familiar question ...

"Mommy, what did you said?"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sugar Crash

Happy November 1!

(Or in other words, Happy Thank-Goodness-Halloween-Is-Finally-Over Day!)

I'm not that much of a party pooper, I promise. But I am ready for Halloween to be here (and be over) when it finally arrives. The last few weeks have been filled with endless parties and events that require four costumed children. Add a little candy, a lot of sugar, and the fact that the kids have been out of school for a week for Fall Break and you have a recipe for me being bald by the time Halloween actually got here. I guess it didn't help that I potty trained my youngest during this fall "break", but that was a self-inflicted would so I can't complain about that.

Once the dust on the pat week settled, I had four tired kiddos, buckets of sorted candy (done by yours truly's type-A self), and a child who can hold his pee for hours at a time. Seriously, this kid is a camel. But we made it through two nights of trick-or-treating with no crying, no throwing up, and dry pants all around. So overall, I'd call it a success.

Cheers to free candy and no pencils this year!