Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton


Way Back Wednesday

My three daughters, I captured on film, all at about the same age: 18 months old. I'm still amazed that they all came from the same gene pool. And that two average-looking people can create such exquisite beauty. The girls appear below, with Halie at the top, in B&W, September 2000, then at lower left is Catie, Easter 2002, and finally, bottom right, my little firecracker, Rosie, February 2005. Enjoy!


Hurry up...WAIT. Hurry up...WAIT.

That is what traffic in DFW is like: gas, brake...gas, brake...gas, brake. Why does it seem that the whole world is in such a dadgum hurry? With or without turn signals, inconsiderate drivers wedge into the smallest breaks in traffic, even when the driver has known for the last 1/2 mile that their lane was merging with the next one. That's just 'rush hour'. Then there is the perpetual reconstruction of our expressways, highways and interstates. I know that even as one major project finally ends on our roads, another one begins, and the traffic jams simply rotate to another area of Dallas. TXDOT has to keep hiring because there is always a new major road to repair. Guess there is a high turnover rate in Road Repairs.

I am grateful that I deal with traffic on my terms. I am blessed to stay home with my daughters and have a relatively flexible schedule. I get to choose the hour at which I travel across the metroplex, thus avoiding traffic. I deliberately shop at Wal-Mart after my girls are tucked in bed in the evening, leaving DH on Snore Patrol, simply so I can be unrushed and kind to the other shoppers. I just get a happy feeling when I say, "You go ahead. I've got all the time in the world." Strangers don't know that the very shopping trip I'm on is the very first time in days that I've been out without my three daughters. Since my accident two years ago, I am never in a hurry. When I find myself rushing my kids to get them out the door, or find myself double-checking the speed limit signs on my neighborhood streets, I remind myself of this fact: No one is going to die or lose their job because I'm not there early.


Halie's Birthday Bike

Although Halie's seventh birthday is not until December 7, my father promised her a bike as a gift. Halie's 'Papa' picked her up on Saturday after lunch and took her to a family friend's cycling store that recently celebrated 25 years in business. This is the place where Discovery Team members Lance Armstrong and Patrick McCarty got their start. My father has been cycling for as long as I can remember, so before he arrived to pick Halie up, I reiterated to her that "Papa is a seasoned pro - don't question him." I knew that Halie was afraid of trying to ride without training wheels. I mean at her core. My dad did try to get her to at least try a bike or two with no training wheels. He walked on one side and the owner of the shop walked on the other side, and each time that Halie began to lose her balance, they would reach out to 'catch' her. Even with two strong men on either side offering protection, she was in serious tears before the ride was over. Halie did find a bike that she l-o-v-e-s, and a basket that matches, as well as a new helmet. DH and I are kicking ourselves for idiotically putting her on the same bicycle, wearing the same helmet since she was three.
Okay, our buns are sufficiently bruised. We have agreed to set a better example for our daughters with our fitness levels, and we're looking for bicycles of our own. After all, we're much too out of shape to run behind Halie and Catie, trying to keep up with them on their bicycles! They are speedy. As for DH and myself? Not so much. But maybe with a bicycle or two...


In case you were wondering...

If you have ever wondered about why on earth my blog is named Family Circus, I have one question: Did you see the pictures? Take a moment and check out old posts ' In My Basement'. Past stories might give you a glimpse into the complexities behind my simple, beige front door.

At one time, I was searching for a doorbell that played circus music. You know, the music you always hear at a Ringling Brothers show. That should be OUR theme music! Or maybe the theme to 'Batman' would work. Maybe 'Peter Gunn' might be enough warning when my girls are on the scene. It would help - and I could avoid having to explain about how social graces work in our house...


Dirty Laundry Saved the Day

DH loves tossing the girls around on our bed. They deliberately climb onto the footboard of our sleigh bed (three feet off the floor), then after maintaining balance for a few moments, they take the Nestea plunge, falling backwards to land flat on our mattress, and then giggle hysterically. Rosie, after seeing how much fun her older sisters have, decides she'd like to share in the giggling fun. DH usually lifts her onto the footboard, then says, "Ready...Set...GO!" When he says, "GO!", he lifts Rosie and while still in the air, he positions her so that she will not bounce so violently that she ends up on the floor. On her head.

Recently, I've been getting rather behind in laundry. The hampers are overflowing. Okay, okay. Truth: I've emptied the baskets and separated the white/darks, which I have left in two piles on either side of our bed. Large piles. On the carpet.
Without any 'reminders' from DH, I began to feel guilty about letting the laundry (literally) pile up. I finally found time during Rosie's extended nap yesterday to start a load of laundry, then dry it and put it away. Still, the smaller piles of laundry stayed next to the bed into the evening.
DH got home relatively early in the evening, and has a tradition of 'Daddy Time' with our daughters. Generally, this time involves much grabbing, giggling, and pleas from our daughters to end the 'tickle torture'. Today, however, all three girls practiced their own version of the Nestea plunge. Halie went - I'd give her a score of 8, then Catie - surely a 9. Then Rosie attempted to perform her stunt without the safety net - DH was talking to Halie. As Rosie climbed, then plunged, her tiny 25 pound body caught some wicked air, and off the side of our queen-sized bed she went. DH and I both gasped as we watched the entire scene in s-l-o-w. m-o-t-i-o-n. Just as we both began to reach for Rosie, we realized she was not crying. Rosie was giggling! She was thrashing around in the dirty laundry. Turns out that the pile of darks had saved the day.


Cowboys vs. Broncos

DH took Halie to the Thanksgiving Day game: Dallas vs. Denver. They were sitting on the 20 yard line with the Cowboys' Families in front of them. Those two rows of 'family seating' was all that separated them from the Cowboys team. Halie was beaming as she came through the door tonight, I spite of the loss of her beloved Cowboys. She was toting a pom-pom of Cowboys colors, and wearing a huge foam finger. Even though Dallas had their biggest fan in their home stadium, they lost 21-24 to the Broncos. Like I said, Halie's spirit was not dampened in the least. Turns out, she made friends with one of the the players' kids ( she's Greg Ellis's daughter, I believe), and one of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. The cheerleader and my six year old traded smiles and waves from the sidelines, and Halie danced along with the squad when music came on. When the next quarter of the football game came, the cheerleaders rotated to a different spot, at the other end of the field. Halie was devastated, saying, "Oh No! I can't find my cheerleader friend!" DH explained how they move around the stadium throughout the football game. "Well, I miss her!", wailed Halie. One of the male fans nearby, after hearing Halie's despair, responded by patting her on the back and telling her, "I feel your pain."


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

1. I don't floss as often as I should. I'm lucky to brush twice a day!

2. My oldest daughter has pulled two of her own teeth. loose, of course.

3. I would rather send an email than make a phone call.

4. Chaos erupts when I'm on the phone. Thus the title Family Circus.

5. I don't consider emails from friends and family 'impersonal '.

6. I keep up with 'Lost' and 'Prison Break'.

7. My 16th spiritual birthday was on Nov. 22.

8. My sister, across the state, accepted Christ about the same time.

9. My holiday overindulgence runs from Halloween to Valentine's Day. Seriously.

10. I've never kept a New Year's Resolution. Chocolate sabotages my best intentions.

11. I've stopped making resolutions. At least the ones that I share publicly.

12. I'm cetain that at least one of my daughters will win an Oscar. Drama!

13. I pray that she will thank her parents. Especially her loving, supportive mother.

Every Thanksgiving, I eat too much, and have to choose between staying awake to watch the Cowboys' game or digesting. At my house, we TiVo the games to skip the commercials. This time, DH and Halie will be sitting just behind the Cowboys bench. I'll be recording every second just in case they are on television.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


The Mullet Revisited

It's been suggested that the title of this post should read: You Might Be a Redneck Child. Catie decided she'd design her own shorter hairdo today. Problem being that she used scissors, so it's permanent. Or semi-permanent. At least until it grows out. After two hair 'repair trips' to Great Clips with Halie after she had done a similar chop-job on her own hair, I'm not going back to assuage my own fear of ridicule. Catie's just going to have to live with it. Through Thanksgiving and Christmas, with all the photos snapped by family members. *sigh*

My 100 Things

Instead of my regular Way Back Wednesday, I decided to post the finally completed list: My 100 Things. Way Back Wednesday will return at its regularly scheduled time next week. I know, I know... Everybody else has done it already! That's right. I had to arrive after everyone else - make an entrance.

My 100 Things:

  1. I was born August 31, 1974, in Chicago, Illinois.
  2. My father taught me to ride a bike at 5 years old.
  3. My parents divorced when I was 10 years old.
  4. I was angry with my parents.
  5. I've forgiven them both.
  6. My father, his wife, my mother, and all the kids had Christmas as one big family.
  7. My mom was afraid to try to break up any fistfight between me and my sister.
  8. Early in my teens, I was addicted to drugs.

  9. At 15, I lived in a Children's Home, and established a relationship with Jesus.

  10. I've been drug free for 16 years.

  11. My sister, Kelly, is 19 months younger than me.
  12. She and her DH(dear husband) made me an aunt on Nov.1 , 2005.
  13. I have a step-brother and a step-sister.
  14. I consider them my brother and sister.
  15. I don't call them as much as I should.
  16. I still find my DH irresistible.
  17. He calls me Sunshine.
  18. I call him Prince Charming.
  19. I was told at 18 years old that I couldn't have children without medical help.
  20. I found out I was pregnant on our one year wedding anniversary.
  21. I had Halie 7 months later, six weeks early. She was 5lbs. 14oz.
  22. After celebrating Halie's first birthday, I found out that I was pregnant again.
  23. Catie was born nine months later, a week past her due date.
  24. I labored with Catie for 24 hours, non-medicated, and had another c-section anyway.
  25. Catie was 7 pounds 10 ounces.
  26. I do not remember how I handled two babies in diapers.
  27. I just woke up every morning and did exactly what I had done the day before!
  28. Our third daughter died before she was born.
  29. We named her Emerson Grace, 'Emmie".
  30. As soon as the OB gave us his okay to try again, I got pregnant.
  31. Being pregnant with Rosie kept me from being depressed about Emmie.
  32. I was in a car accident that left me unconscious.
  33. I was six months pregnant with Rosie.
  34. No one else was seriously injured.
  35. The OB scheduled a c-section at 38 weeks.
  36. My baby, Rosie, was born healthy.
  37. She weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce.
  38. 'Rosie' is actually Trinity Rose, and she is 2 now.
  39. We lived with my in-laws while I was still in a wheelchair.
  40. I married a loving man with a loving family.
  41. I don't understand jokes about in-laws.
  42. I love my in-laws.
  43. I consider my mother-in-law a close friend.
  44. I live within a 5 minute drive of DH's parents.
  45. I live within 30 minutes of mine.
  46. I don't buy clothing for my daughters.
  47. Their grandparents supply the clothing.
  48. I have three families, with three moms.
  49. I hope that I look as good as they do when I'm 50!
  50. In 1993, I attended Criswell College, majoring in Evangelism and Missions.
  51. I planned to serve as a Missionary overseas.
  52. I met DH at work the summer after our freshmen year at college.
  53. We dated for that summer - every day.
  54. I got fired for dating an employee.
  55. It was SO worth it!
  56. I moved to San Angelo, and went to college there.
  57. My mother and I used the same Anatomy book for our classes.
  58. My mom is a Massage Therapist, and I was in EMT school.
  59. I was an licensed EMT and rode out with the San Angelo Fire Department.
  60. I wanted to serve on an emergency helicopter medical team.
  61. My very first ride in a helicopter was after my accident.
  62. I do not remember it, and I am grateful.
  63. I have decided not to pursue a medical career.
  64. My mother and DH's mom traded off caring for the girls while I was hospitalized.
  65. My daughters have three sets of Grandparents.
  66. My daughters have traditions at home, plus THREE Family Christmas celebrations.
  67. I still put cookies and milk out for Santa.
  68. DH requests the kind of cookies, and I bake them myself.
  69. I always get jewelry. I'm not complaining.
  70. My jewelry box is not nearly full.
  71. I could wear different jewelry every day for a week.
  72. I still wear the same jewelry every day.
  73. My SAHM 'uniform' is jeans and t-shirts
  74. My 'uniforms' come from Wal-Mart.
  75. My nice clothes come from Target.
  76. My nice clothes are unstained jeans and a fancy t-shirt.
  77. I do not stray from my uniform much.
  78. I wear a dress for Date Night.
  79. I love having a reason to dress up.
  80. I wear some of my special jewelry on Date Night.
  81. We are very picky about sitters.
  82. Grandma always comes to the rescue.
  83. Did I mention how much I love living close to family?
  84. Grandma is an accomplished seamstress, and she adjusts/repairs our clothing.
  85. I'm 31, and I've just now figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
  86. My young daughters give me puzzled looks when I say that out loud.
  87. They live in the fantasy that only married grown ups have kids.
  88. I'm not ready to crush that fantasy yet.
  89. When all of them are in school in Fall 2006, I will return to school.
  90. I am enrolling at the Institute of Bodywork Studies .
  91. I know that God created me to impact others.
  92. Lots of people are lacking daily in human touch - thus massage.
  93. My 'natural color' is L'oreal Excellence: Medium Reddish Blonde.
  94. I was born a redhead, I will die a redhead.
  95. At 31, I often have more pimples than I did as a teen.
  96. It seems wrong to me to be battling acne and the signs of aging simultaneously.
  97. I avoid confrontations with my DH.
  98. When it happens, I love the emotions involved
  99. and the resolution afterwards...wink, wink!
  100. I am not afraid to introduce myself to anyone.

Feel free to copy this layout and post it for your own 100 Things Meme.


Poker Night

On Sunday evening, we actually hired a babysitter to watch our girls while we enjoyed Poker Night with friends. My niece, K, is 16 years old and saving money for the expenses involved with the car she will soon have. Besides knowing her prestigious pedigree, I know she's a phenomenal young woman and has many families who trust her with their children. So K spent the night with our daughters: Halie 6, Catie 5, and Rosie 2. Since there is no school this week, I told my girls that they had my permission to have a 'slumber party': eat popcorn, watch movies and stay up late. Bedtime on school nights is 7:30PM, so I thought for sure they would all be asleep by 9PM, at the latest. When DH and I got home at midnight, we found Catie crashed on the sleeper in the living room, Halie zonked in her own bed, and Rosie looked like she had been shot - frozen where she dropped. Stretched out next to her was K, happily snoozing.

K told me this morning that the girls fell asleep not long before we got home, and in the opposite order of what I had expected: Halie first, Catie second, and Rosie third. She told me that Rosie still wanted to play while she was in her bed, so K decided to lie down with her. Next thing she knew - she was asleep. I explained that I often find myself in the same situation!

So, DH and I went with money, but came home with none. Texas Hold'Em: you might be good, but you're not garanteed a win. Good thing we have 'fun money' budgeted for nights just like these. No more poker parties for a couple of months.



The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both
feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to
be a little on the old-fashioned side. You
value home, hearth, and family life and love to
be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent
for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

I don't think I'm graceful, but I would like to think that I'm generous. I don't know about comparing myself to two brunettes, even if they are famous. My feet are planted firmly on the ground because if I get too 'big for my britches', my family would fit me for concrete shoes. I do know that God designed me specifically for helping others, and I get a 'high' from serving at my church, doing what else? Helping others.
I'd love to spin straw into gold, but with three daughters, where would I find all the time needed to 'spin'? If I did find it, they'd probably ask me for a gold prom dress...


Out of the mouths of babes...

My oldest daughter Halie recently spent the night with her Grandma and Grandpa. The next day, they treated Halie and her Aunt B. to lunch at the local Chinese restaurant. My daughter ate her weight in popcorn shrimp, like always. As Halie obviously started slowing down, her Aunt B. snagged a shrimp off her plate. Halie was obviously shocked, began to cry, and proceeded to rally the rest of the state of Texas her grandparents to tell Aunt B. how wrong it was for anyone to take food off her plate without asking. Of course, Aunt B. explained to Halie that she was merely trying to assist her niece in finishing her food, so that she could have some ice cream for dessert. A few moments later, Grandma snagged a shrimp from Halie's plate. Halie did not even flinch. Did not say a word. Aunt B. pointed out that Halie needed to give her Grandma the same reaction after snatching food from her plate. Halie responded very plainly, "It's okay for Grandma and Grandpa. They're round, and they're old. It's okay." I am 1) secretly wishing she hadn't said it, and 2) That she never says that about her parents.

Acceptance. I'm glad Halie's got the idea.
Next, we'll work on Sharing.



I have been teaching Rosie that we can have fun while cleaning our home. She had an excellent time this morning! When she was younger, she would scamper away when the vacuum 'headlight' even pointed in her direction. I think she's over that. So, instead of calling her 'Rosie Posy'. I'll now call her 'Rodeo Rosie'! If I keep up the training, she might be a serious rodeo competitor in the future.
(all I had to do was tell ,"Yee Haw!" and she began thrashing right right arm around. I had to catch it on film!)



He just can't be RIGHT!

DH and I occasionally have 'competitive discussions', both of us willing to go to great lengths to prove how right we are. Recently, the discussion was about Halie's school. Had it really been there for so long? The following is an approximation of our talk:

DH: The LEAP teacher said she's been at Halie's school for twelve years.

Me: It's fairly new. When mom and dad were having their house built, it wasn't there.

DH: Yes, Erin, it was.

Me: I remember driving down 'ABC' street and being able to see the house from the street. Across an open field. The school was built in that field later on.

DH: No. I'm sure it was there already. We watched fireworks from there with mom and dad.

Me: I can call mom and find out right now.

DH: Let me dial that number for you, sweetie.

Me: That's okay, honey. I've got her on speed dial.

DH: Fine. Go ahead.

My side of the conversation with mom:

Me: Hi Mom. It's me. Settle a discussion for us. Tell me that the elementary school was not there when your house was being built.

Me to DH (sheepishly) : Yeah, it was there.

Me to Mom: Really? I thought it was just an open field.

Me to DH: Okay, you were right.

DH to Me (loud enough that mom could hear) : Awesome! That's my one to your 269,000!!

Laughter for all three of us...

Me: Oh yeah. They put up portable buildings a couple of years ago. I forgot about that. That's why I can't see your house from 'ABC' street anymore. Okay, thanks. Bye.

Me to DH: You're catching up!

DH: But I still have a long way to go!



Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin

1. I am not motivated - to do anything, except blog.

2. It took me a year of marriage to figure out the laundry does not wash itself.

4. My kids will flush public toilets...never the ones at home.

5. I clean our toilets with bleach everyday.

6. My two year old thinks that toilets are aquatic play centers designed for her.

7. I'd be a kinder, gentler mommy with more sleep.

8. My daughters did not inherit my red hair, but they are redheaded on the inside.

9. I finally stopped biting my fingernails while in a coma. ( I was 28)

10. I lost 40 pounds during that hospital stay, and I was pregnant.

11. It took two years, but I've gained it all back.

12. I must be a dyslexic anorexic.

13. I look at my obviously overweight body in the mirror and think "Damn, I look good!"

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Pampered Chef - Mommy Crack

Buffi has a post about her Pampered Chef experiences. I was once a Pampered Chef Consultant, but I realized that it was impossible to just 'sell' and not 'use' the product. For a while, I still attended parties, certain that I could just go have a good time without buying any. I was wrong. I eventually decided that I own enough stoneware to last me for the rest of my life. I still use them regularly, just to encourage myself to cherish the bakeware that is already in my cabinets. I have been 'clean' for three years.

Way Back Wednesday

My Wednesdays focus on my daughters. Why not? Everything else does. It's easy for me to display photos because way back was not so long ago for my girls! And I get to show off pictures that I took. Well, not all of these are mine. My Dad took the one of Catie kissing Rosie at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

Catie, about six weeks old.

Halie, 2 days old, modeling a shirt bought at Daytona Bike Week.

Catie giving her new sister, Rosie, as kiss on the cheek. You can see how Rosie felt about it!
Okay, so it's not way WAY back, but I don't have a scanner to save my old eighties photos on the computer. So shoot me. Then, check my girls out! This is Rosie, now.


Finally funny jokes that I actually GET!

My daughters are famous for telling 'Knock knock' jokes that make absolutely no sense. Catie is the best (or worst) at it, and we refer to her jokes as 'Surrealist Humor":

Catie: Knock knock!

DH: Who's there?

C: What do you get when the cow jumps over the moon?

DH: *SIGH* What do you get when the cow jumps over the moon who?

C: DAD! You're not doin' the joke right!

DH: You said 'Knock knock', and I said 'Who's there?' Isn't that how a knock knock joke is supposed to go?

C: Nevermind.

Two minutes later:

C: Mom, I've got a joke for you!

Me: Okay. Knock-knock.

C: Who's th- WAIT! I'm telling this joke!

Me: You're right. I goofed. Go ahead.

C: Knock Knock!

Me: Who's there?

C: What happened to the cow who jumped over the moon?

Me: *SIGH* Not a clue, sweet pea.

C: His bottom got BURNED by the moon!

Me: ?? (over my head)

DH: Then why isn't it called a moonburn instead of a sunburn when your skin turns red?

C: Because I made it up all by myself!

My thoughts: *Really? I thought for sure you had a writer giving you those lines.*

DH did share a couple of good jokes today. At least I think they're good, because they made me laugh. Out loud. Body-shaking. There was even one snort. I'll share:

Q: Why do mermaids wear seashells to cover their breasts?
A: Because deeshells would be way too big.

Q: What do you call a midget psychic who has broken out of prison?
A: A small medium at large.

Hang on. Let. me. stop. snorting. Okay. I needed a good laugh today, and DH provided it. I love it that we can still make each other laugh hysterically!


Football Day

Sunday, DH was home, so his day off was dedicated to watching football. Not that I don't enjoy football, it's just that Halie and Catie would rather spend their time ramming bamboo shoots under their fingernails. Rosie, however, was more than happy to cuddle with her daddy and watch hours of the All-American sport. At least for a brief time. When she grew bored with watching young, athletic men in tight pants (did I mention I like watching football?), Rosie used her father as a jungle gym. First, Rosie used his legs as Parallel Bars, then used his crotch as a springboard to propel herself onto his broad shoulders that served as her Pommel Horse. DH said he enjoyed the snuggle time with Rosie, but never thought he'd need a cup to play with his daughter. Needless to say, I cannot tell you what teams won or lost, but I can tell you that my birthplace, Chicago, lived up to its nickname: The Windy City, with wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour. And the Chicago Bears looked good while fighting those winds.

We ended the evening playing Disney Scene It together. With rare exceptions, our daughters are good sports. They congratulated each other on victories at least as much as they pouted when they did not win another turn. Granting them the 'free time' to stay up and finish the game made for a much happier (read: easier) bedtime.

Today is Monday. The beginning of a new week. Today holds much promise!



Maybe she's my alter ego. I thought my alter ego was named 'Eta X'.


Shhh...It's Saturday

Halie has Whisper Wednesday at school, where the students must use whispering voices to speak. I loved the idea when I heard it, and decided to put it into play at home with my own children. Halie(6), Catie(5) and Rosie(2) chose Saturday as the quiet day, and named it appropriately Shhh Saturday.
Let me tell you, with five people in my house, sometimes you must shout to even be heard. We'll see how this goes. I don't doubt my girls, I doubt MYSELF!

Please keep us in your prayers.


Finishing my Education

I guess you could call it 'changing careers'. I went to a Private Baptist College, studied to serve overseas as a missionary. I met DH before I finished my studies, so I tell folks that while I did not graduate, I got my M.R.S. Degree. I went to a different college out in West Texas, to learn about emergency medicine, then tested and got my license as an EMT. When I found out that I was pregnant, and my OB advised me to leave my stressful job, I became a stay-at-home-mom. After our three daughters are in school, I will have my options open once again. I think that I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
I know that God designed me to impact others. I prefer to be a positive impact on the people that I come into contact with! I plan to enroll in a Massage Therapy Program. Not the Red Light District kind of massage, but legitimate Massage Therapy that's becoming recognized by insurance providers. I've investigated toured one school near my home that looks promising.

All that to preface a recent episode that I thought was blogtastic: I drove with Halie and Catie in the car on the way to school. Halie opens the conversation by asking me what I'm going to do with my time once all the girls are in school. "I plan to go back to school," I tell her. "Can you guess what I'll be learning to do?" Catie chimes in, "Learning to be a better mom?" I laugh and tell her "No." Now, it's Halie's turn. She says "Learning to fly a plane?" I tell Halie "no" as well. When I reveal my plan to become a Massage Therapist, it doesn't take much explaining. My mother, 'Granny', has been one for several years. "Oooo! Free backrubs!" Catie says. Halie says, "No! I bet we'll still need to pay her, even though she is our mom." Alrighty then! My bags are packed in preparation for a Guilt Trip!
So I figure that I've got at least two willing(if somewhat small) guinea pigs in my house while I'm studying Swedish Massage. I'm hoping that DH will be willing to quiz me on Anatomy! *wink wink*


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin

1. I am a natural readhead, just not this red.
2. DH is my first true love.
3. I breathe a huge *SIGH*of relief when my kids go to sleep.
4. After 30+ hours of labor, I know that the pain is only the beginning.
5. I know the pain from my c-section recovery prepared me for anything.
6. I know that even at my ideal weight & 10% body fat, I'm still not a size 6.
7. I'm looking forward to grandchildren (not soon).
8. I haven't even started a college fund.
9. I'm not sure my kids will go to college.
10. I find it easy to pick apart my parenting style.
11. I think everyone should have to check groceries and/or wait tables in college.
12. My husband will eat anything I cook. Not the same reaction from the girls.
13. I plan to go to Massage Therapy school.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Kraft Foods

I'm a member of Kraft Food & Family, and get a magazine once a quarter with great, simple recipes. Of course, all the recipes call for Kraft stuff, but I make substitutions. You can join, too, for FREE! Can't beat it.

Way Back Wednesday

Halie, December 1998
When I left the hospital back in December 1998, I had not a clue about being a mother. I had a baby, so now, that made me a mom. My daughter was born six weeks early, but showed no problems. Halie was 18 inches long and weighed in at a whopping 5 pounds when we were released to go home. I was nursing her confidently. After all, I was nursed, my husband was nursed! DH had to face reality: My breasts were designed by God to nourish my baby, not merely entertain him. He shared well. After three weeks of nursing, I suffered a devastating blow: Halie weighed in at 5 pounds, two ounces. WHAT? The pediatrician told me that she needed formula, and that I should give up breastfeeding. WHAT? I refused to give up nursing Halie, and asked for another alternative. The doctor told me that I could continue nursing, but offer formula at the end of each feeding session. He scheduled the next weigh-in for a week later. Being a new mom, I took the pediatrician's word as gospel. Bad decision, blind trust. I learned my lesson! After a week of breastmilk with a Similac chaser, Halie weighed-in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. So, Halie got the benefits of both for about a year after that! Look at her NOW!

Halie, July 2005

Halie is still very slim, much like I was before having three babies and being in the house all day, with the refrigerator calling my name. Long and lean. If only I had known what I was getting myself into seven years ago, when I saw the two little pink lines, then asked my husband, "How did this happen?" I can still close my eyes and be transported back to that day: DH put his strong hands on both of my shoulders and looked directly into my eyes. Then he said, "You see, Honey, when two grown ups really love each other, they get married, and this just happens."



The Boob Fairy

You have to visit my bro Justin's blog Tribalicious to read the whole story and understand the title!

The link from bro is to a photo of Justin showin' off his own sling for Aidan. Sure, my sister has a Maya Wrap, but why should she get all rights to lovin' on her son? Right on Justin!

Breaking news on Halie's Pants

Halie's Grandma was able to repair the jeans that Halie nearly destroyed. You should have seen the look on her face when she saw them lying out for school this morning. "WOW! Grandma actually fixed them? Whoa." Grandma sewed the left leg back together using clear, plastic thread (it resembles fine fishing line), which is kind of scratchy against the skin. I agree with Grandma in hoping that Halie's sensitive skin gets irritated just enough to remind her to appreciate her clothes! I'll let you know.


7 Things Meme

I consider myself tagged by Sugar Mommy, because I've done some other memes, but not this one. So, as Buffi says: On With The Show!

7 Things To Do Before I Die:

1. Watch my daughters marry
2. Visit Ireland
3. Take another cruise
4. Write a book about my accident and recovery
5. Test for a motorcycle license
6. Finish my education
7. Drive a sports car - fast

7 Things I Cannot Do:

1. Eat Just One of anything
2. Be a passenger in a car without getting carsick
3. walk anywhere in my house without Rosie following me
4. Run, unless I'm in danger
5. Turn my head all the way to the right - ouch!
6. Go more than one day without blogging
7. Drive a sedan (too many kids)

7 Things I Can Do:

1. cross my arms behind me and touch my own shoulder blades
2. Eat dessert first
3. Enjoy a sunset
4. snuggle with my daughters
5. feed a meal to my family that requires more than just the microwave
6. Make my Italian Grandma's lasagne

7 Things I Say Frequently:

1. "Rosie, get down. "
2. "Is it broken, bleeding or on fire? No? Then you can work it out. "
3. "You are my favorite Halie/Catie/Rosie in the whole world!"
4. "What were you thinking?"
5. "Do you know where your shoes are?"
6. "You haven't even tasted it yet!"
7."Please go to the Thinking Spot. "

7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex:

1. Dark hair/blue eyes
2. Strong shoulders
3. Sense of Humor
4. Nice smile
5. Intelligence
6. a personal relationship with Jesus
7. Confidence
Isn't it amazing that my DH has all of these qualities?

7 Songs I Know All the Words To:

1. 'Hush Little Baby'
2. 'He Reigns' by Newsboys
3. 'Personal Jesus' by Depeche Mode
4. 'How Great Thou Art'
5. 'Amazing Grace' (all the verses)
6. Three's Company theme song
7. 'Reborn' by Rebecca St. James

7 Celebrity Crushes:

1. Matthew McConaughey
2. Aidan Quinn
3. Matthew Fox
4. Ed Young (our pastor)
5. Dylan Walsh
6. Harrison Ford
7. Viggo Mortenson

Feel free to copy and paste for your own post, simply change the 7 Things on each list (obviously) or I might report you as a stalker.

Fall Fest for DYD

As a team, we gathered last night to honor the volunteers that make up most of our DYD team. Two members on our team have a catering business (read: I offered to mention them by name, but there is no need for more business at this point), and opened their home and their kitchen for our Fall Fest. The meal was spectacular: Crudite & cheese as appetizers, Pork Loin, Brie and Raspberry Tarts, mini Quiches, Pumpkin Soup, and dinner rolls, and for dessert: the Much-Adored Chocolate Fountain, along with all the treats to dip in the chocolate. I've posted a snapshot of the delectable chocolate treat just to give you a clear picture. This year, there was a white chocolate fountain in addition to the regular chocolate one. I've also posted a team photo, where I am seated in the bottom left corner. Whole Lotta Woman with Bright Red Hair - can't miss me.

Our DYD Holiday party last year was one that I (and many others in attendance) will not forget. When DH saw the chocolate fountain for the first time, he was mesmerized. Soon, he was asking for a cup to hold under the running chocolate. Later in the evening, the team was playing the Greedy Grab Gift exchange, and when my husband's turn came around, no one could find him. After glancing from room to room inside the house, DH suddenly appeared at the front of the room, mouth smudged with milk chocolate. He blurted out, "That might be a great game you're playing, but did you know

DH served as babysitter for me last night, and thus missed out on the great game of Greedy Grab Gift Exchange, as well as the splendid, catered dinner, and of course, the Chocolate Fountain. As I was preparing to leave, DH handed me a Tupperware container, saying,"This says it holds 2.1 cups. I want 2.1 cups of chocolate, not just 2 cups. Oh, and would you grab me some of the pretzels and marshmallows to dip in it?" So, I went to the party with a 2.1 cups container and a quart-size baggie in my hand. Our team members/hosts made sure that I did not forget to gather goodies for my DH, both chocolate and a heaping plate of our dinner. I cannot remember the last time my DH was so grateful. Gotta do this more often!


Rosie Photo Update


Rosie discovered one of her sisters' new toys today. One that was purchased for Catie as a reward to reaching the door to The Castle. I failed to capture Rosie smiling and looking into the camera, but I did manage to snap some good ones as she enjoyed Catie's electronic dancing doll game today. It made me jubilant just watching her - God's precious miracle baby

Beautiful Family

Justin had updated his blog with new pictures of his son. My sister, Kelly, has posted her birth story, minus all the gory details. Here are two of my favorite pictures, one of all three members of the Nygren Family, and one of Aidan crashed on his mommy, showcasing the tiny bell necklace that I gave my sister at her baby shower.


Castle Update

I promised an update on our new Castle Behavior Chart, more than two weeks ago when we started it. The girls moved up and down the 'stones' on each path, asking to make their beds several times a day in an effort to move up one stone each time. Yesterday, Catie finally got to the drawbridge, or door, of The Castle. This morning was Halie's moment of glory. They got to choose where/what/who the chosen activity involved. Over lunch today, DH and I explained that each girl could choose to include all of us, or only one (adult supervision is required). Halie and Catie decided that they wanted to put their money together and buy an Easy Bake Oven. Catie referred to it as a 'foodmaker', saying, "We could use a foodmaker to fix food that we actually like!" As we continued to eat the soup that I had prepared, I was not insulted about my cooking. I had merely warmed up a can of Progresso Chicken and Wild Rice soup!

So I logged on and found that the oven is only considered safe for children 8 and up. AWWW!! Rats! Halie and Catie can't have one (please read my sarcastic inflection). I didn't have one growing up and somehow, I managed to survive. So DH and I took the whole famn damily to Big Lots to choose toys that are in our price range. Halie and Catie both chose princesses - I know. BIG SHOCK! I thought I might have a heart attack from NOT SURPRISE!


Pants Update...

Grandma offered to attempt to repair the jeans that Halie destroyed. Talented seamstress that Grandma is, she pointed out how Halie had torn the crotch along the zipper on the jeans, and that was not easy to repair. Halie's wonderful Grandma is going to attempt the repair so Halie can wear them to school at least once, which would satisfy me immensely. My sweet sister commented on the 'Good and Bad' post, telling me to use duct tape to hold the jeans together, and make Halie wear them to school that way. Believe me, I DID think long and hard about that option. If Grandma is unable to rebuild the jeans, I've all but decided to use that particular option. Update to follow...

Halie came home today with deliberate stripes of yellow highlighter on both thighs of another pair of jeans. Any ideas about getting her to appreciate her clothing? I have already though about :a) sending her to school in the ripped/stained clothing, b) sending her in a uniform, c)sending her in only her underclothes. I'm listening to your suggestions.


I need a fix...BAD

Halloween Candy stash dwindling. Daughters will be suspicious if more of the already sparse supply disappears. I need a fix. Just a mini Milky-Way, Hershey bar, Snickers, a Tootsie Roll would do... At this point you could hand me dirt and tell me that it was crushed chocolate Oreos - and I'd eat it, tasting Oreos the entire time! I am so addicted to Sugar. 'Holiday Season' for us is from Halloween to Valentine's Day. It starts at Halloween each year, and I'm wondering why do I do this to myself? Why do I do it to my kids? Each year, they know that their buckets will be raided for chocolate as they sleep in a happy sugar coma on Halloween Night. DH and I plunder the plastic jack-o-lanterns, munch without ceasing, disregard caloric intake and nutritional value. I wish that eating candy made me so ill, just once, that I'd never be tempted again. Much like I regard Jose Cuervo Tequila. There's a T-shirt that I'm certain was designed in my honor: One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor. All it took was one night for me and Jose - my twenty-first birthday. I don't remember past the second shot, but I'm glad that I stayed home with DH. Just once I'd like to have a Sugar Blackout, followed by a Sugar Hangover the next morning. Like the Tequila, I need a horrid sugar experience to change my attitude about it.

Already a Star

Aidan has three Grandmas! Lucky boy.
My mother, Justin's Mom holding Aidan, and my other Mom, Rainie(left to right)
As Justin says, Aidan's already a Badass. I feel sorry for my nephew - if he ever does anything wrong, his father plans to show him the pictures of his surgical delivery in all their graphic splendor, then read Aidan the Riot Act. "I know you're only three, but look at what your mother went through for you!" I'm so glad that Justin's on our side.
Sweet Aidan might think that his early days were spent dodging the paparazzi, since his room was packed with adults wielding cameras. My entire family converged on the Maternity Ward at the same time, and managed to squeeze into my sister's room without using Vaseline or a shoe horn. I got to visit with nurses who helped me with Rosie when I delivered her in a similar fashion back in 2003.
I'm so proud of my sister for being both educated and prepared for Aidan's birth. She seems to be comfortable with him, and knew exactly how to comfort him when he began to fuss after Daddy's diaper change (mad props to Justin - you handled the poopies with skills) Kelly reports that Aidan's latching on well, and eating to his well, which fills my Lactation Consultant heart with great pride. I'm just filled with pride for Kelly, Justin and Aidan anyhow.


He's Here!!

Aidan Patrick Christopher (last name here) was born this morning around 7:30AM. He is 20 inches long, and weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces. Kelly and Justin have been at the hospital since about 10AM yesterday, and are desperately in need of sleep now. I'll go to visit after I get the call letting me know that Kelly is ready for visitors. Aidan has been much anticipated, so I'm sure that our entire family will be there - quite a reunion ( as if we don't actually live within the DFW area and see each other all the time). We're hilarious when you get us all together.
I promise to post some pics of Aidan, with his parents' permission of course. My mother called me this morning to say, "Congratulations Aunt Erin!" It just hit me - WOW! I have a nephew.

New Nephew is on the way!

I know that my sister is in labor, at the hospital. My next post will be about my new nephew! Please keep my sister, Kelly and her husband Justin in your prayers. Thank you in advance for joining me in prayer for the new family!


Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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