October 31, 2008

boo!



Happy Halloween!!

It just isn't Halloween without a full moon...
Don't forget to check out our family's Patriotic Halloween Costumes !!
Be Safe and Have fun!!

October 30, 2008

indian summers...

So... What do you do when it's 80* outside in October?
My kids get on their swimmin' suits, turn on sprinklers, make the tramp into a slip-n-slide... and, make homemade water bombs... There is NEVER a dull moment at my house!!

October 29, 2008

an end and two beginnings...

These are the cupcakes that Leah and I made yesterday for a bake sale at the Fall Festival. Yeah, I really am the PTA President at my kids' school... this was our first activity last night and it was fun. We had tons of help and we raised $2500... the most they have ever raised was $500. So, a month of planning has come to an end-- not so sad to see this one go. But, I feel a bit lost... it's the same feeling I get when I've eaten all the chocolate out of my kids' Halloween candy... even the tootsie rolls.
See this cute baby? Anything look different? Yeah-- she SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!! That's right... ALL NIGHT LONG. 10pm-7am. Can you believe it? She hasn't even slept for 4 hours at night yet, then last night- BAM!! All night. Of course I woke up every hour (after 3am). Besides the fact that I was certain she'd be up any minute, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO EXPLODE. (some of you may know what i mean...) My baby is getting bigger...
Speaking of babies getting bigger... YEAH, these are panties. On Leah. She had one accident (it was a huge shocker to her) and has gone potty on the toilet ever since. (Even dry at nap time.)
I KNOW that Lily will NOT sleep through the night again tonight, and that Leah and I will have long journey together on the Potty... But don't you know those stories of kids who just start sleeping through the night, or who are potty trained after just one accident... Maybe that will be me... Or, maybe this is just the end and the beginning...

October 27, 2008

political laughs...

I heard this on Dr. Laura today and thought it was funny... SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch. BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change! JOHN MC CAIN: My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road. HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me. GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here. DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun? BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken? AL GORE: I invented the chicken. JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now and will remain against it. AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens. ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed access to the other side of the road. NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks. PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American. MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information. DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told. ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone. GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough. ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road. JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace. BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted. ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken? COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
Here is a reader's digest laugh...
"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it." P.J. O'Rourke
(Yes, this is funny even to a Republican...)

alien slime...

We had a church Trunk-R-Treat on Friday Night.
This was one of my kids FAVORITE treats...
well, maybe tricks because it's not edible.
On Sunday afternoon the boys made up their own slime.
Easy and Fun... WITH NO HELP from Mom...
WE LOVE SLIME...

October 25, 2008

some pics from soccer

Todd snapped these pictures during Anna's team pictures...
Drew was home sick with Mom and the little girls.
Isn't Texas beautiful?! Ahh... sweet soccer memories.
(Isn't Anna's coach a big teddy bear? We love him!)

October 23, 2008

kid-sized caramel apples...

Mini-Caramel Apples
Jen's Rating- 3 out of 5 stars ***
Total Prep-Time- 2 minutes (plus remembering to buy caramel sheets at the store)
Total Activity Time- 15-20 minutes
Total Clean-Up Time- 5 minutes (plus several reminders for the kids to BRUSH really good)
We made mini-caramel apples using Granny Smith apples, a small cookie scoop, caramel sheets (from Wal-Mart) and Halloween Jimmies. I saw this idea at Little Birdie Secrets, and they got the idea from Family Fun Magazine.
Each kid got a different color toothpick, 4 apple pieces, one caramel sheet cut into 4 squares, and we shared the bowl of sprinkles. Wrap the apple with caramel, stick it with a toothpick, dip it in sprinkles, take a picture and eat them!!
Good Things- easy preparation... inexpensive... yummy and small so there wasn't a lot of waste or a lot of sugar (plus, they were easy to eat-- way easier than big caramel apples and the kids actually eat the apple not just bite off the caramel)... even though the apple pieces weren't totally round you couldn't tell once the caramel was on... very quick clean up... anything is good with sprinkles... did i say EASY!!?
Not so Good Things- if you handled the caramel too long it turned into a sticky mess and would not stick on the apples... if you licked your fingers the caramel got wet and would not stick on the apples-- this caused minor trauma for the kiddos... and, we left a plate for Todd to eat when he got home, but the caramel all melted off the apples as they were sitting... you definitely have to eat them right away...
If you're going to do caramel apples, this is a great way to involve kids without the mess.
I'll do it again next year because it was a fun, QUICK and EASY way to make it feel like fall.

lily's 6 weeks...

Mmmm... yummy baby.

October 21, 2008

is this how brittney started out?

NOTE TO MY MOTHER (and any social worker who are reading this blog)- It was just once that Ellie came home and announced with triumph-- "Guess what Mom? I didn't wear panties all day at school!!" I panicked a bit because she had worn a dress to school that day. Luckily, she did have shorts on under her dress. Anna tried the same stunt the next day, but a wise father had a panties check on the way out the door. It wasn't as funny the second time. :)

[OK- confession #1... The Professor thinks it is important to note that once (two years ago) we did get a call from Anna's preschool teacher saying that she wasn't wearing panties. That time she was in a skirt without shorts on... we did find the panties hiding in the corner of the school bathroom. I guess the moral of the story is you never quite know what us Moss's have on underneath...]

[OK-- confession #2... The day that Ellie went to school without panties, she was also wearing church shoes that were about 3 sizes too big for her (click, clack, click, clack)... Anna had traded shoes with another girl at church and we didn't realize it till the car ride home... these are the shoes that Ellie wore to school. I obviously was out of it that morning- Ellie completely missed all my checks. The Professor said he knew she had shoes on that were way too big, but he thought that I had approved it??!! Anyway, it was definitely one of those days... moments to remember!]

Yes, my kids do write on the walls, poop on me and sneak out without panties... I write about these things so I can remember them. But, I will also add that all four of them have gotten straight A's on every single report card they've ever gotten (except Anna did get an 89 in English this last marking period as her brothers are quick to point out). They all get Principal's Awards for citizenship and behavior and they are all in GT. Plus, Jakob (age 9) made a complete pancake dinner (from scratch!!) the other night. They play the violin (anna) and the piano (jakob and drew) and the boys are cub scouts. Ellie made 5 goals at her soccer game last Saturday. They read young, they share well and they only occasionally try to kill one another. Overall, they are EXCEPTIONAL kids-- I'll take no panties every now and then.

enjoying the moment...

The Professor came home to a room exploding with piles of folded laundry... he snapped this picture of the Mother Hen hard at work! My friend Bliss made Lily this quilt...
isn't it perfect?!

October 20, 2008

Lily's Blessing...

Here are a couple pictures from Lily's baby blessing on Sunday. She is such a sweet baby- we feel so blessed to have her in our family. I really need to dress Lily up again and take some pictures of just her in her sweet dress. With 9am church we had a hard enough time getting everyone dressed and in the car, these pictures are after church and everyone is ready for lunch... (including Lily) More pictures coming soon!!

anna's talents..

Don't you hope that your 16 year old girls keep the confidence they have when they are 6?
I LOVE THIS LIST!!
Anna's Talents...
1. drawing
2. gimnasbick's
3. sewing
4. reading
5. soccer
(see-- THIS is why we signed up all 4 kids in soccer...)

October 17, 2008

something fishy... PG13

The kids got a great lesson in the life cycle this week... The Professor got a new fish tank. He put our now-grown frog into the tank with his new fish. He assured us all that frogs and fish coexist all the time in fish tanks... Let's just put it this way, Cobra got renamed Killer. The kids were screaming and crying a little. Killer got put back into his little tank and we watched the hurt fish slowly die... thank goodness Petsmart has a 14 day guarantee on fish... So far, I'm lovin' the fish thing... Another little guppy died this morning. Oh, and my favorite part... The Professor got male and female guppies... It's horrible. Drew's fish (which I secretly call Hot-Pants because he has a bright red tail) spends all day chasing after the female guppy. We think she is pregnant already. The poor thing. Whenever I look at that tank and see Hot-Pants chasing the poor pregnant momma I feel like we're running a brothel. Maybe I should rename the Professor, the Pimp-Daddy. I grew up near the ocean and I've never really liked fish tanks-- I feel like we're watching Fish Hell. Mommy fishes in the ocean tell their babies, "If you are bad you may end up swimming in circles for the rest of your life trying to get away from Hot-Pants or Killer." I'm a total Nemo fan... escape, run for your lives... even the filter is better than a life of captivity... maybe the angel fish we had who refused to eat and just ended up in the filter was really a Nelson Mandela fish. To me, the fish aren't blowing kisses, they are mouthing the word "Help... Help... Help..." over and over. Do all drains really end up in the ocean? I may flush just the pregnant one... don't tell Pimp-Daddy. [Todd says this email is bordering on inappropriate. He says "They're fish honey, they're just acting on God-given instincts. How do you know the guppy doesn't like it?" I said, "If she liked it she wouldn't spend all day RUNNING away!!" Duh...] Sorry if you think this is a racy post-- imagine how I feel-- it's in MY LIVING ROOM!!

October 16, 2008

happy birthday honey...

Todd turned 35 last week and I had another moment... After his birthday dinner (Carol Thompson's Casserole) and birthday pie (no-bake cheesecake) and opening presents (school clothes and a fish tank)... we danced. Mmmm... I am completely in love with this man. We have six kids, have been married 11? years and I still get all tingly when he spins me around the room to a Disney princess CD. After he danced with me, dipped me and kissed me long enough for our audience to erupt in giggles, he danced with each of his daughters (and sons if the truth be told). We taught the boys a few fancy moves and they practiced whipping their sisters into spins and dips... and, of course the evening ended in a pile of tickles. Anyway, it was the daughter dances that touched my heart. Maybe because I never had a dancing dad when I was growing up. Maybe because we have a friend, father of 4 small kids, who just died in Iraq this weekend. Maybe because I'm nursing and hormonal. Maybe because good fathers are so rare nowadays... But, I just watched my sweet babies in their father's arms and I felt again how blessed we are. Todd is an adorable dad... he's especially cute with his little girls. He can sing all the words to all the princess songs. He can coax the girls into almost any outfit by telling them sweetly how beautiful they look. He can even do pigtails (almost). I've heard it said that girls look for husbands like their fathers... and, that children's relationship with God often mirrors their relationship with their fathers... I'm so grateful that my kids have such a great role model. I joke about Todd a lot (it is funny when he says Howdy at the grocery store), but the truth is He is AMAZING. I love being "yoked" together with him forever... I had no idea that marriage could be so fun. Here are a few things that I love about Todd that don't involve our children. 1. He always makes the bed, even though he doesn't move in his sleep and I am a night-time gorilla, tossing and turning and ripping the covers out from under the mattress almost nightly. (I seriously can't wear nightgowns because I would strangle myself). 2. He loves to go out on dates, and he makes sure we go out for a lunch date at least once a week. 3. He loves quilts... or at least he makes me think he does. Honestly, he always makes me feel like I'm amazing. 4. Even PTA... he's not bitter when I volunteer for one more thing-- he said, "Jen, I'm so proud of you. You're going to learn so much doing PTA." Seriously, could you find another guy that is so supportive? 5. Have you ever hugged this guy? It's perfect. We just fit together very nicely... [Todd says this one is weird... he asked what I would say if someone replied... "You're right! I have hugged Todd and it was really great..." He's a dork...] 6. Todd is NICE. Although sometimes it drives me crazy, he can see nice intentions in anyone else's behavior. I know that I can bring any frustration to him and completely thaw my disgust. Sometimes I have to enjoy my contempt with a girlfriend before I talk to Todd about it, he just melts any stressful situation. 8. We are always talking... all day we're connected. He knows my details and he tells me his details. I think this keeps us friends and I love it... 9. He cooks and cleans and let's me take naps and he takes the kids to soccer games and practices... yeah, I know this wasn't supposed to be about kids. 10. He watches chick-flicks with me. And, when I used to go watch him play basketball, he would wave to me when I cheered. And, he smells so good in the morning as he heads off to school. And, he would rather listen to me cry and rant then have me be upset and quiet. And, he's funny... we still laugh all the time. And, he fills my car with gas. And, he likes that I can beat him when we play games. And, he doesn't care that I will never play trivial pursuit, chess or checkers with him because I can't beat him. And, he puts the toilet seat down. And, he can make gravy without lumps... who can do that? And, he doesn't say anything when I watch reality TV... well, this is a taught behavior. He makes me feel pretty even when I'm huge pregnant (Do you know he told me that he was going to miss my belly?). And, when I'm earth momma at the end of the day... he still tries to make-out with me while I'm cooking dinner. Overall, I try to make our life seem fairly normal and give a real-life perspective. And sometimes I don't say the good things enough. Todd, he's a good thing. I'm so excited that he's mine for eternity!! Love him...

October 14, 2008

Lessons I've learned... #1

NEVER change a baby's diaper on your lap.

the writing on the wall...

OK- I think there is a stage of life that most kids go through when they feel an intense desire to mark their territory. Boys use bodily fluids (Todd is in the bathroom one day when an un-named boy child walks in and pees on the bath mat. Todd asks, "What are you doing?" To which the un-named boy child replies, "Oh Dad, sometimes I do that." ??!!!???)... And, girls use writing utensils (which can include scratching with fingernails on a leather couch, toothpaste on a mirror, or sharpie on a door). If you have exceptionionally bright children, like my own, they will employ two above-average tactics. 1. Be sure that you take a picture of your sister in the act of destruction so there will be no doubt who to blame. 2. Be sure that you boldly express your love to those most likely to be inflicting consequences for your deviance. Yeah, this artwork was created during our garage sale on Saturday... thankfully it was a washable white board sharpie-- not permanent. And, we LOVE Magic Erasers...

October 13, 2008

i think i can, i think i can...

i had to laugh at myself this weekend... when i asked myself why i continually try to pull more than i can handle, i answered myself with an AHA!! moment... I'M THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD. No matter how large the load if I just keep chuggin' I think I can make it over the hill. (It's my mom's fault-- she read to me too much as a child. )
seriously, this is what i always tell myself... my inner dialogue...
just keep chuggin'... i think i can... i think i can... i think i can...
(and, i'm totally pulling a circus!!)
"Puff, puff! Chug, choo! Off they started! Slowly the cars began to move. Slowly they climbed the steep hill. As they climbed, the little steam engine began to sing: "I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can - I think I can - I think I can I think I can--" And they did! Very soon they were over the hill and going down the other side.
And she went merrily on her way, singing: "I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I thought i could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could I thought I could --"

October 12, 2008

sweet baby...

lily... age 4 weeks... ohhh... i just love this precious time... newborns...

October 11, 2008

because, i LOVE garage sales...

BELOVED CRAP

because, my friend Grey is moving and wanted to get rid of stuff...

because, Todd was out of town on a cub scout camp out...
because, I only had one birthday party (we didn't make it-- sorry Jackson), two soccer games, a 6, 5, and 2 year old, and a 3 week old at home...
because, I only had 4 award assemblies and one PTA executive board meeting at the school yesterday...
because, my baby is awake and not so happy from 11pm to 4am...
because, I LOVE selling my cute, pottery barn kitchen that I paid $100 for at an outlet to a Mexican family for $15...
(Yeah, that family came back to our garage sale with a moving van... for real!! I may have to check out the local flea markets next week to buy the kitchen back!! Who knew there were professional garage salers?)
because, my friend Grey just adopted a two year old last Saturday...
because, between us we have 13 kids...
because, it was supposed to RAIN...
because, I LOVE putting prices on things...
("How much is this?" "Uhh... 50 cents... ten dollars? Make me an offer... OK, just take it.")
because, I don't have another friend that would be crazy enough to have a whirl-wind garage sale with me....
We opened at 6am and closed up at noon.
(Well, we sold a moving van of stuff to that one family the night before- they showed up as we were setting up. And, on Saturday it started raining around 10am- we were seriously DONE by noon.)
CRAZY!!!! but fun.
kind of.
I did make $186!!!
ALMOST enough to pay the $250 speeding ticket that Todd got on the way to Scout Camp....
Treasures... (Anna helped with pricing!) So, what did you do this weekend?
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