Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: Expresso For Your Spirit

Espresso for your Spirit, Hope and Humor for Pooped Out Parents, by Pam Vredevelt, was a good read. This book includes several stories from Pam's life about raising her children. Pam tells stories about good times and bad times. While reading Pam's stories, you realize you aren't the only one going through what you are going through. Parenting isn't always easy. 

Each chapter ends with a page of either an encouraging word, a scripture, or a funny short story to make you laugh. This is a book that you could read whenever you have time. Most chapters are short, so that you can get a small "pick me up" as you go about your busy day. This book does not offer to solve your problems. It was written to provide encouragement for parents who need it, which is every parent at one point or another.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a parent and are busy like I am. I have four young children. Even if you only have one child or are pregnant with your first and haven't quite experienced parenthood yet, this would be a good encouraging book to read. Always remember, you are not alone and someone has been through exactly what you are going through as a parent right now.

I received this ebook from Waterbrook Multnumah for free. I was in no way asked to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Joys of Having Older Siblings

Being the "baby" of the family often has its perks. But there are times, when being the youngest child in the family is not fun. Take Rilian here, for example...He has three older siblings. One sister and two brothers. 

One evening, Piper, Finn, Seven, and Rilian were all playing out back. We have a swimming pool and I leave it up to Jeremy to take care of it. You know, putting chemicals in it and making sure it is clear and clean. Well, he tries to keep up with it, but sometimes it gets forgotten about. You're probably going to think this is gross, but this one particular evening, the pool was in some really sad shape. There was scum in it...Piper, Finn, and Seven decided to take the scum out of the pool and they found the "perfect" place to put it...
From the expression on Rilian's face, I don't think he agreed with his sibling's thoughts on where the scum should be relocated to.

Now for another example...

One evening, Finn, Seven, and Rilian were playing in Rilian's room. They usually don't play in there, but I didn't think too much of it. Then Rilian came out crying. I looked him over, made sure he wasn't bleeding, gave him a hug, and told him he was ok. He obviously was pretty upset about whatever happened in his room because he cried for a very long time about it. I just figured he was really tired, because he didn't get a very long nap that day.

That night as I was brushing his teeth, I noticed his cheek was a little pink AND it was a little swollen. Then I thought to myself, "No wonder he cried so much about it!" I asked him what happened. He said, "Seven punched me." I didn't know whether to believe him or not, because he blames alot of things on Seven, even when Seven is innocent. 

In order to find out exactly what happened in his room, we sat Piper, Finn, Seven, and Rilian down and asked each one of them what happened. Well, Piper lucked out because she wasn't even in the room when it happened. Seven didn't admit to knowing what happened. Finn said Rilian fell off his bed and hit the floor. The next morning, Rilian said that he hit Seven's head. So, I don't know exactly what happened, but from what I gather, the boys were jumping on Rilian's bed and Rilian jumped off and his cheek hit Seven's head. Who's idea was it to jump off the bed? I don't know. But, once again, Rilian, being the youngest sibling, got the short end of the stick.

The next morning, his eye was swollen shut a little. And his face was starting to bruise. He really didn't want me to take his picture, so this is the best I could get.  
Since he wasn't really cooperating first thing in the morning, I tried later on in the day to get a better picture. You can see how much it was swollen.
I called the doctor to see if they needed to look at it. With the swelling being so close to his eye, we were worried they might need to drain it or do something about it. We also wondered if his cheekbone might be fractured. The doctor said not to bring him in, just give him Tylenol and keep an eye on it.

Around dinner time, the swelling had gone down, but the bruising was getting worse.  
It happened on a Wednesday or Thursday night. I started to count days to see when it MIGHT start to get better. I thought it MIGHT start to get better on Sunday. Great...we will be going to church on Sunday. What will his teachers think? As a parent, when things like this happen, you worry about someone calling Child Protective Services on you, thinking you beat your child. I wasn't too worried, I have worked for Child Protective Services before, so I know alot about the process. But the thought did cross my mind, just like any other parent.

Later on that same night, the bruising was worse and was starting to spread.
The next morning, the bruising got darker. Rilian looks so pitiful in most of these pictures because he never wanted me to take a picture of how horrible his eye looked. 
While brushing his teeth, while getting ready for bed that night, I thought maybe he would cooperate and not have a pitiful look on his face. So, I took another picture. The bruising was darker yet. 
The next morning, the bruising was darker and starting to spread more. But hey, look! He is smiling!
Four days after the initial injury, Rilian's eye started to slowly get better. The bruising was still pretty dark, but around the edges, it was starting to turn yellow. A good sign!
I think it took about a week and a half or close to two weeks for it to completely heal. Poor little fellow! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

West Texas Fair

Last month the West Texas Fair and Rodeo came to town, starting with this parade. The fair offers different discounts on different days. We decided to go on Tuesday, which was $2 ride night. This means that every ride only cost $2 to ride. Normally, they can cost up to $5 each to ride. With four children, we decided this would be the best night for us to go. Our kids love to ride the rides. By going on a cheaper ride night, they would have the opportunity to ride several rides. Plus, the kids had fair tickets from school and a friend of mine gave Jeremy and I tickets to get in. Score!

Jeremy saw this ride and thought it looked fun. I think it was called Hurricane. Jeremy, Piper, and Finn are in "car" 1. The "car" goes around in a circle while the arms that hold the "car" go up and down. 
After Piper and Finn got off the Hurricane, Jeremy and I knew they were not ready for Six Flags yet. They both were terrified! I wish I had taken a picture of Piper when she got off, her face was blank and pretty pale. I think she might have gotten a little bit of motion sickness.

Next up was a "Fun House". Seven really liked this one last year and was really excited to do it again this year.
This is towards the end of the "Fun House". They end by coming down a slide. Much more fun and enjoyable than the Hurricane, if you ask Piper and Finn.
Rilian is still pretty short on the height charts. We finally found a ride he could ride! Watch Finn. He was cracking me up! He looks like a rag doll being thrown, with his arms all floppy.
Not only do my kids enjoy the rides at the fair, but they also love going to the petting zoo and feeding the animals. Well, we are still working on Rilian. He may not love them as much as his older siblings do. There were several donkeys that apparently were VERY hungry! You can tell that they really wanted the food!
In the donkey pen was also a cute baby donkey. 
Jeremy even got in on the feeding action. 
Rilian wasn't too sure about some of the animals. He was more than happy to hand Jeremy some of his food to feed the animals with.
Piper and Finn feeding a llama.
Seven was amazed by this huge tortoise.
The emu was definitely one of the animals Rilian did NOT want to feed. Look at the expression on his face. I can understand though, emus are kinda creepy looking.
These little goats were really cute. They looked like baby goats, but they were full grown. I don't remember what they were called, though.
I guess Finn and Piper thought this donkey didn't need food, so they pet it instead.
Rilian kept saying, "I don't like that one."  Apparently, the goats are not a favorite either.
Rilian tries again, to feed an animal. I thought he had gotten brave when I saw him trying to feed the white horse. I just couldn't figure out why the horse couldn't get the food. There as a sign in the way! Poor horse was trying SO hard to get the food. 
Do you like how Rilian backs away when the hungry donkey realizes there is a little boy with food? 

On Thursday, it was Cantastic night at the fair. This means that you can take 6 empty Coke cans to get into the fair. Sounds pretty easy, huh? Jeremy and I decided to go on Thursday and have a date. We got in for free, thanks to Jeremy's love of Coke! It was pretty easy to come up with 12 Coke cans. We enjoyed eating dinner at the fair and looking at exhibits. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A REAL Salon Visit

Jeremy and I watched the movie "Tangled". If you haven't seen it, SPOILER ALERT...Rapunzel cuts her hair at the end. Jeremy thought I should cut my hair like that. I thought about it and thought about it AND thought about it. I had never had my hair cut that short before. I thought I'd give it a try, knowing that it will always grow back. So, I took took the plunge a couple of months ago and did it! When I came home with my new haircut, Piper decided she wanted her hair cut like that. She had just had her hair cut not too long before that, so I told her when it was time to cut her hair again, we would get it cut like that. Also, Piper kept telling me she wanted bangs. Piper has a history of taking matters into her own hands, a.k.a. cutting her own hair. I didn't want to wait too much longer, fearing she would do it again. Plus, my hair needed a trim. So I made an appointment and we went to a salon here in town. Piper has been to Cool Cuts before, but this salon was a REAL salon, a salon that adults go to. 

Piper's hair wasn't that long, but you can see the length that it was, as our stylist friend is starting to cut it.
A view from the back.

Piper's bangs were sectioned off in preparation to be cut. I didn't really want her to get bangs, but as I have said before, it is her hair AND it will grow back. It is now a few weeks later and Piper has decided to grow her bangs back out :)
Making the bangs the correct length.
Piper's hair was all cut and it is now time to style it.

The finished and styled product...Look! It's Rapunzel, with bangs!
Like I said, I also got mine trimmed and of course, you can't get a trim and not get your hair styled. So, here were are together. Like mother, like daughter.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Review: Hermie, A Common Caterpillar

Hermie, a Common Caterpillar is written by Max Lucado. It is about a caterpillar who is just a common caterpillar. He keeps asking God why he is just a common caterpillar. God reminds Hermie that He isn't finished with him yet. At the end of this story, we find out God's plan for Hermie. But, you will have to read the story in order to find out what it is.

Hermie, a Common Caterpillar was very colorfully illustrated. My kids loved all the beautiful pictures of the caterpillars and other bugs. This particular version of Hermie, a Common Caterpillar was a Level Two Reader. It was made for a child who is in the beginning stages of reading. My daughter enjoyed reading it on her own. In fact, she has read it several times and enjoyed it just as much each time. 

I would recommend this book. It is a good book to remind us that we can talk to God when we are bothered by things we cannot do. Hermie, a Common Caterpillar also is a good book to read to remind us that God isn't finished with us. He is still working on us and has a plan for our lives. This book reminds us that we need to be patient with God and that God's timing may not be our timing. Hermie, a Common Caterpillar is also a book to remind us that prayer works and God DOES answer prayers.

I received this book from BookSneeze for free to review. I was not required to say anything positive about the book. All the opinions I expressed were my own.