Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself...~Norman Wesley Brooks

From all of us here in the House of Bananas.

" I swear Mommy I don't know how that happened !"

Pickles has some issues with electronics. That means that anything electronic that he touches will break, mysteriously in his hands.
It's never his fault. He never knows how it happens. It just does.

And usually not just with electronics. Almost anything he touches is doomed to break somehow. He's like a hurricane in a thirteen year old body.

And whenever something happens to get destroyed/damaged/maimed his standard answer is; "I swear Mommy, I don't know how that happened !"
I hear that phrase ALOT. Sometimes more than I'd like to.

Yesterday I was sitting in the living room watching tv, all he was doing was standing (he wasn't moving at all) in the middle of the floor holding a box of Whoppers candy, next thing I know Whoppers were flying through the air and one just about hit me in the eye. (Thank Goodness, I wear glasses)

I took a moment to recover and then asked him, "What the heck was that ?"
His answer... " I swear Mommy, I don't know how that happened."

I know he's at that big goofy awkward stage...but sheesh....

A wall in his bedroom has a dent/crack in it. He doesn't know how it happened.

His playstation 2 got broken. He doesn't know how it happened.

The plastic container we keep dog food in is cracked. He doesn't know how it happened.

His backpack ripped down the side. He doesn't know how it happened.

His mp3 player stopped working. He doesn't know how it happened.

A calculator was broken into a million pieces on the floor of his bedroom. He doesn't know how it happened.

The base of a vacuum cleaner got broken. He doesn't know how it happened. (Probably because he bounced it down the steps, on his way to clean his room)

Some of his video games don't work. He doesn't know how it happened. (Probably because he was sliding them across the carpet and rubbing them together.)

Thank goodness, he's such a nice person and a great kid or else I probably wouldn't buy him anything. ever. again.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Party 2008

My sister Judy delighted kids and adults alike with a wonderful Christmas party yesterday. Tons of good food, wonderful entertainment, and great fun. It seemed like the one thing the kids loved doing the most was running. They ran in circles, they ran back and forth, they ran left to right, they ran right to left and they slid across the floor. They only time they settled down was to do their talent show, eat dinner, make their snowman craft project, decorate Christmas cookies and play Bingo.

Then they ran around some more.

The party is always great fun and it only gets better every year.

Here are some pictures...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Great Room Switch

We spent the weekend cleaning Granny's room out, repainting and getting it ready for the twins. They are so excited. We went to Home Depot and picked up some paint. (Pink and Baby Blue) and they painted yesterday. They've been moving their stuff down there ever since.

Did I mention they were excited ??

But not as excited as 'Cole who is finally getting her own room. She's done most of the work. Right now she's taking the bunk bed apart. Yes, you heard me correctly. She's up early (8am) taking the bunk beds apart. I was so surprised.

Everything should be finished by 11 am.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank Goodness it's Almost Friday

It's been a rough week. I'm tired. I feel beat down.

Everyone is doing ok. I had to read the kids the riot act because of the mess they create everyday while I'm at work.
They're only home alone 1 hour in the morning and an hour and a half after school. Everyday this week I've came home to some sort of crazy mess. Yogurt dribbled down the side of the refrigerator, pancake syrup on the living room carpet, puppy chewed ornaments off the Christmas tree, toys scattered everywhere and other stuff I can't even think of right now.

But... we had a little talk Wednesday night and when I came home Thursday the house was CLEAN !! Dishes done and everyone was sitting watching tv. I was in an INSTANT GOOD MOOD. It was a wonderful thing.

I'm all caught up on the laundry and the housework.
My Christmas shopping is about 70% complete.
Looking forward to a nice peaceful weekend.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanks and Warmest Regards

This has been a trying week in our family, but we made through. I could not have done all that I needed to do without the help and support from many people. I have never planned a funeral before and I hope and pray that I never have to do so again.

Firstly, let me thank all of the people who read and/or comment on my blog . Your support and prayers have been like a rainbow after a storm.

To my Sister, Thank You. I would have been totally lost without your advice and guidance this past week. (even though you had no idea what you were doing either) I am forever in your debt.

The funeral itself was full of tears, full of joy and full of love. I was touched by the words of the many people who spoke at the service, people who knew my mother and those who didn't.

And now I begin the task of adjusting to life without her.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Day But Today

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Today that is how I feel, right now at this moment.

Yesterday was rough, but I made it through.
Today was not bad.

I went to work today because I needed a normal day. A day like every other day.
My relatives are coming up from Georgia.
I'm planning a funeral and I have NO IDEA what the heck I'm doing.

I have tried not to allow the grief of others swallow me up. (That happened yesterday) I know what my mother would want. I hear her voice inside my head saying "What the hell are you crying for !?! I'm the one who's dead."

And she's right.

Today she was with me. I felt her spirit touch mine and it gave me strength.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Can't Sleep

I feel like I've been electrically charged.

I knew she was tired. I could see that she was too tired to fight. Everytime I went to see her she was a little further away.

I feel some sort of weird mixture of sadness and relief.
I'm glad she doesn't have to be in pain.
But now...she's gone.

The last thing she said was that she loved me.

I only cry when I stand still.


My mother passed away tonight.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Granny Update

I wish I had good news. But I don't. Granny went to the rehabilitation center yesterday and today they had to send her back to the hospital because her blood pressure started dropping during dialysis. Tonight they moved her back to the ICU because her wound (from the open heart surgery) isn't healing and may have become infected and she's unresponsive.

It's so hard to see her like this. I know she's scared, but she always put on a brave face for me. I went to see her Sunday and we had a nice conversation, I updated her about things at home and told her how much I missed her. I asked her if she was ready to come home and she shook her head no. I feel like she's starting to give up.

It's so hard to focus on Thanksgiving. I feel like my mind is in a million different places.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Movie Night and Other Updates

We had a nice family movie night. We watched Kung Fu Panda, which was surprisingly good to me. We also watched Speed Racer, which was just ok. We made these cookies, which are easy and fun.

I had the house to myself for a few hours Saturday, 'Cole went bowling with her friends and all the other kids went to a birthday party. I tried to watch a movie, but just couldn't relax. I ended up vacuuming and dusting.

The kids are doing well, still adjusting to not having Granny around. The new babysitter is giving me a slight headache. Overall she's doing a great job, but we've had a few issues. (things getting broke, turning the thermostat down so we came home to a cold house)

Nothing major, just small annoyances.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It seems like it was just summer a few weeks ago. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love cooking, so I get to do two of my favorite things... cook and entertain people.

It's going to be a little strange this year, I'm used to Granny being in the background watching me cook and offering advice.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


First off I wanted to thank everyone again for their thoughts and prayers. It's hard not to feel like I'm traveling this road alone. (I know I'm not...but still)

It's been a long week.

Granny is doing ok. But I can tell the difference. She cannot walk at all, probably from being bed-ridden for the past three weeks. It was decided that she'll go into a rehabilitation center for a while to regain her mobility.

She won't tell me how she feels about this, but she's telling everyone else that I "don't want her any more" and that I'm "sending her away".

And it's breaking my heart.

The only thing I want for her is for her to be happy and the only place she'll be happy at is at home, but I can't take care of her here. This house isn't made for wheelchairs and even if I put ramps in outside, we still have stairs inside. She'd need someone here twenty-four/seven.

When I went to see her on Thursday, I fed her dinner. Talk about a surreal feeling.

She kept picking up the utensils and looking at them like she had never seen them before. She couldn't recognize her refection in a mirror.

She's so confused about things.

And so am I.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


We went to visit Granny today and I was surprised when I saw her sitting up, relaxing. The doctor stopped all medications except for insulin and a mild painkiller. Boy, did that make a difference.

She still got out of breath easily, but she was able to hold a conversation. She had been sitting up in her chair before we got there.
It was wonderful !

It still looks like Granny has a long way to go. The doctor was talking about a month or two of rehabilitation therapy before she'll get to come home.

Thank you everyone who sent prayers and please keep them coming as we pray for Granny to get stronger so she can rejoin us at home.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can You Imagine.....

Walking into a hospital room to find your mother strapped to a bed ??

When I woke up this morning I never, never, never dreamed I would encounter such a thing.

Two days ago my mother could at least form complete sentences.
Today she didn't know where she was.
Her entire vocabulary was reduced to about 10 words.
She kept trying to pull all the wires and IV's out of her.
She kept trying to pull her gown off.

Two days ago she was laughing and joking with me.
What the heck happened in TWO days ??

God, Give me strength.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Update on Granny

Well, Granny had her heart bypass surgery Monday. I wish I could say she's doing better.
I wish I believed it.

Tomorrow they're going to give her a pacemaker to help regulate the beating of her heart. Earlier today the two upper chambers of her heart stopped beating for a short period of time. The changed her medication and she looked pretty good this evening when I visited with her. She didn't eat much, just said she was tired and not hungry.

The house seems so quiet without her here.

I just don't want her to be in any pain.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pray for Granny

Last Friday I had to call 911 for my mother (AKA Granny) because she was having trouble breathing. The paramedics came in, took one look at her and hauled her off to the hospital.

Today she had a procedure (cardiac catheterization) to send dye up into her heart to see if anything is closed off.

And it was.

Monday she goes in for bypass surgery.

Her kidneys are failing because of her uncontrolled diabetes. The heart surgery may be too much for them to handle and she may end up on dialysis.

She's got a lot of fight left in her.
I just hope it's enough.

Today my heart feels heavy. I almost broke down crying in Wal-Mart this afternoon. Which is completely NOT me.

Everyone's been so kind. "Just let us know what we can do." they say.
Heck,I'm not used to asking for help. I wouldn't even know what to ask for.... besides a miracle or two.

I feel like my best friend is about to go away and never come back.

Friday, October 24, 2008


'Cole to the twins : "There's a booger on my television. You guys are gross."

Neighbor kid to Pinky:" I love UDF ! I love UDF ! It's my most favorite place ever."

Daisy to Pinky: " I wanna kill some. How come you think you get to kill all of them ?" (Discussing flies and/or gnats that have invaded their bedroom. )

Pinky to Daisy: " What did that cough medicine taste like"
Daisy: Like rotten cherries."

Pinky to Rowdy (the dog) : "Come on Rowdy you aren't supposed to be in the kitchen when Mommy's cooking."

'Cole to the Twins: "Ask Mommy if I can have a q-tip if feels like there's little people talking in my ear."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why SOME teens don't need a cellphone

Yes, that is my cell phone bill. Yes, that is Pickles' portion of the bill. For a phone he only had ONE WEEK.

I'm still stunned. (and more than a little bit peeved)

I went over the rules about cellphone ownership with him. He was not to download anything or go online. I did get everyone on the plan unlimited text messaging. His little "girlfriend" was sending him music downloads and ring tones. His excuse was that "he didn't know he was downloading" when he accepted those items.

He is very VERY lucky that I have become a much calmer parent over the years, because seriously.....I wanted to snap his head off.

I only got him the phone because he walks almost two miles to school and for afterschool activities that would cause him to come home late.

The day we brought the phone home Granny warned me and I quote "Don't know why you did that...that boy don't know what to do with a phone."

Turer words have never been spoken.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Picture Perfect Monday

Pinky and Rowdy

Pinky and "S" at playing High School Musical Sing It! at the Slumber Party

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Last Day of Vacation

I wish I could say I'm well-rested. But I'm not. lol
Friday night the twins had a sleepover party for their tenth birthday. Five girls ages 11 to 7. They polished their nails and played Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore and High School Musical Sing It! For the Wii.

I have to say if you don't have these games (and you own a Wii) you are missing out on HOURS of fun. Even the grown-ups who came to get their kids couldn't resist picking up the microphone. Best money I've spent on Wii games so far.

Anyway, I'm still trying to recover from staying up with the girls. Today I visited one of my favorite places (The Home Depot) to look at some flooring for our main bathroom. I went to lunch with my sister and her boyfriend. It was a lovely last day of vacation for me. I'm ready to go back to work.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mommy-Alone Time

I'm off work this week for some Mommy-Alone Time. So far it's been a beautiful thing. (except for the laundry that I needed to catch up on) I spent yesterday reading a book outside on the patio. I watched Rowdy chase butterflies around the yard. It was divine. No one looking for me, or asking me anything for SIX whole hours.
Today is Granny's 70th birthday, so I do have to run to the store this morning. For her birthday dinner we're having lasagna, salad, garlic bread and she wanted Paula Deen's Is It Really Better Than Sex Cake.

I do have to go to Open House over at the middle school tonight.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the children are on their merry way to school.

Yay !

Monday, September 29, 2008

Visit from One of My First Foster Kids

This evening I got a surprise visit from my first foster daughter. She is now a lovely eighteen year old young lady.

I was so completely speechless as I looked at her. My mind drifted back to the first time I laid eyes on her. Seven years old, being moved from a foster home she had been in since birth. Her hair was matted in thick braids and she was so lost and forlorn looking. A tiny wisp of a child. She came with all her belongings, seven years of stuff tossed into two trash bags. Clothes that clearly were not hers and toys that looked like they were scavenged from a dumpster.

I took her shopping our first evening together. We went to Sears. I bought toys and clothes and shoes for her. On the bus ride back home she laid her head against my arm and sighed contently.

She was with me two and a half years. I gave her her first birthday party, her first pair of glasses, sat with her while she had minor surgery. I read to her, bought her her first bicycle. I loved her as if she were my own.
She brought me so much joy.

I looked at her today and it was hard to look at her.
It made my heart hurt.

Someone made a decision that caused her to have to leave my home, so she could be with a sibling.
It seems like it was so long ago and yet it feels like it happened yesterday.

I cannot change the past, but it's days like this that I wish I could.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pickles and the Cellphone

Last weekend we were at Sam's Club doing our mid-month shopping when a row of cell phones caught Pickles' eye. All aglow he steered me to the kiosk to look at them. I've been needing a new phone for quite a while now, so I was interested.

Saleslady: "We're having a sale on our smartphones, they're free with a two year contract!"
Mommy:" Swwwweeet."
Pickles: *drool*

So I looked over all the smartphones and I chose a cute little red BlackBerry Pearl. The saleslady then asked Pickles if he had a phone, (he didn't) and then she asked me if I wanted him to have a free smartphone.

So I looked at Pickles and then I looked at the phones. Then I looked at Pickles again....then I looked at the phones again. This went on for a few minutes. Pickles was trying to look as sad and pathetic as a 13 year old boy could possibly look.

But see...I know my son. He has no sense of responsibility. He doesn't take care of things. But.....he is a good boy. He is respectful and kind. Helpful and polite.

So after reviewing the House Rules Regarding Teens and Cellphones with him.....

I bought him a phone.

Jump to today....
Today I was on my way home from work (almost to the house) when guess who runs down the street to meet me ??

Pickles:"Hey, mommy how was your day today ??"
Mommy:" Great, as always."
Pickles: " Probably didn't have a busy day today...right?"
Mommy (Suspiciously): "Well, I did have a class this afternoon, so no I wasn't that busy."
Pickles:" Hey, we had an incident at school today."
Mommy (even more suspiciously):"Oh...?"
Pickles:" Yeah, somebody broke into my locker and ...."

For the past three years Pickles' lockers have been broken into EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. MULTIPLE. TIMES.
Why would you put the phone in a locker ?? You might as well drop the phone in the middle of the cafeteria during lunch time and yell "Free Phone !".

You already know what he's going to say. I know you do.
The phone is history after ONE week. Just ONE Week.

I'm just glad it was free.

He thought he could get NEW phone immediately. Sorry kid, too bad, so sad.
Pickles is out of the phone business, until it's time for an equipment about two years.

We had a long heart-to-heart talk about how sometimes people will covet what you have and will do anything to get it. That's why you don't go around bragging and showing off your nice things. Enjoy the blessings you've been given, without being boastful. Hopefully he learned something.

Thank goodness it was free.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Things Kids Say (September)

Granny: Daisy, what is on your face ?? Go put some soap and water on a washcloth and wash your face.

Daisy: I can't wash my face with soap and water.

Granny: Why not ?

Daisy: If I use soap and water, I'll have to close my eyes....then I won't be able to find my face.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Broken Bone

Pickles was playing football today, in a field near our house. Somehow during a tackle he was slammed down hard and broke his collarbone.

He did really well at the hospital. I thought the x-rays were going to kill him, because he was in so much pain.

But he's ok. He's ok.

I guess we'll see how he feels in the morning and then I'll decide if he should stay home or go to school.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Home Alone

I got to spend a Saturday morning home....ALONE ! Granny went to pick apples with one of her friends and the kids all went to the library.

I watched a little tv, did a little dusting, started a pot roast in the slow cooker, vacuumed the livingroom and relaxed.

It was heavenly. Everyone should try it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Fall Fix Up List (AKA the list of stuff that probably won't get done)

My house is a mess. Not a messy mess, but a need-to-fix-some-stuff mess.
There are so many projects that are swirling around in my head, I feel like I'm most days. I'm just so bogged down in the day-to-day stuff I just feel like I'll never get ahead. So I plan on making a conscious effort to beat down my to-do list.

Kathy's To-Do List
Paint bathroom
Install new tile floors in bathroom
Re-paint walls in stairwell
Replace front screen door
Get new hot water tank installed
Replace living room carpet
Paint kitchen

I'm getting tired just looking at the list.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Top 10 Favorite Back-To-School Websites

School will be starting soon ! (Yay !!) It's been a wonderful summer, but now it's time to get back to the business of school.

During the school year, the kids attack me with tons of homework-related questions, so I've compiled a list of sites I use to help me to help them.

1. EAI Education- Sooooo much stuff, reasonable prices.

2. Scholastic- We've got some really nice workbooks from this site and check out their bargain bin for some great deals.

3. English Irregular Verbs - Hey, you just never know. Every year I have to help a kid with some irregular verbs on a homework sheet. It's good to be prepared.

4. Easy Testmaker- Why yes...I do give pop quizzes. :c)

5. Brighter Minds Media- Computer Games. Some of the prices are really good.

6. MindWare- I love games that make kids think. This site also has books and puzzles that will inspire your child's mind.

7. Software from Shhhhh....don't tell anybody. has great prices on computer games.

8. Steve Spangler Science- Science class sure has changed a lot since I was in school. Everything seems so rushed. This site has stuff to inspire the scientific side of your child.

9. WebWiseKids- Want to teach the kids about Internet safety in a unique and fun way ? Go to this site and click on Programs. There are some interesting looking games (based-on real life scenarios) that will get your kids thinking and hopefully open up a dialogue about being safe online.

10. Book Adventure -Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes.

Have a great school year !!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Cuteness

Awwww....Binky and Rowdy napping together.

Our Newest Family Member

Introducing...... Rowdy

Doing his most favorite thing in the world...sleeping.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Great Big School Suppy Hunt

It's almost time to go back to school !
back to school !
back to school !
Yay !!

Today Pickles and I headed out to Wal-Mart to pick up some great school supply deals. We ended up with:
55 - 1 subject notebooks @ 5 cents each.
6- packages of colored pencils @ .88
4- packages of 24 crayons @ .88
2- Backpacks for Daisy and Pinky @ $10 each
12- Folders @ .15 each
4 - loose-leaf packs of paper @ .50
GRAND TOTAL - $35.35 + tax

We still have 360 pencils from the sale at Staples last year and we still have plenty of pens, glue, glue sticks, protractors and rulers, also from last years sale.

So if you're looking for a GREAT deal on supplies Wal-Mart has it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Yesterday was Pickles 13th birthday. Wow ! Where has the time gone ?!? He was just 8 years old when he and his sisters first came to my home. It seems like a million years ago. We celebrated with an outdoor video game party and cookout.

I like this kid, and not just because he's my kid and I'm totally blessed to have him in my life. I love his spirit. He has such a kind and gentle soul. He can be goofy and silly and sensitive all at the same time. He drives me completely insane with his curiosity (and questions) sometimes and then he goes and amazes me with the profound things he thinks.

Son, my world is a better place because of you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Things Kid Say (part 3)

Pinky: "Mommy could you please put some tobacco (Tabasco) sauce on my meat."

Pinky: When I grow up I want to own a port-a-potty company. All my port-a-potties will be pink and they'll smell good too."
Mommy: "Pinky's Port-A-Potty Co. ?"
Pinky:"And they'll have pink toilet paper and pretty pictures on the walls."
Mommy: "I'm not sure guys will like using a pink port-a-potty."
Pinky: "Well, they can just go use those nasty green and white ones then."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When You Realize Your Child Is Different

I think yesterday I reached that point....or maybe I already knew and was in denial.

There was a group of 9-11 year old girls playing with Daisy and Pinky yesterday. The visiting girls were chatting and playing cards. They were talking about little girl things like Hannah Montana and jumping rope. Pinky was able to follow the conversation pretty good and was laughing and talking appropriately.

Daisy kept getting into each girl's personal space and started questioning them like was was a police interrogator. She was asking questions like; "Who buys your shoes for you ?" "Where's your dad at ?" "Do you get everything you want ?" As I watched I could tell the other girls were starting to get uncomfortable, they slowly started backing away from Daisy, who followed and kept getting really close. Finally they made an excuse and left and didn't come back.

Even 'Cole, who was sitting in the house, watching them out the window, noted that it seems like Daisy has the social skills of a Kindergartener.

Daisy is always the one who complains about not having any friends and it was interesting to watch this interaction yesterday.

I sat down with her and talked to her about personal space and about asking people personal questions. I don't think she understands how her actions affect other people.

I guess it made me realize how different Daisy is from other girls her age. She can be funny and delightful, but she can be really intense and in your face. She wants to Definitely something to work on.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Working at the Dog Wash

We had a lovely day today. It started with a quick trip to the pet shop for some pet cleaning supplies. 'Cole and Daisy went with me.
Of course, you know there's no such thing as a quick trip to a pet shop with kids. The girls had to ooooh and ahhhh over every single animal in the place. I'll admit I came really close to buying the most adorable yellow kitten, but decided against it.
We ended up getting some bunny shampoo, doggie shampoo and conditioner, a pet hair clipper set and some dog treats. 'Cole bought a special dog treat for her dog Casey, a cupcake-shaped cookie for dogs.

When we got home the real work began.
Team One was Pickles and 'Cole washing Casey while I held his leash (to prevent escape) Pickles does NOT do well with anything dirty and Casey was one dirty dog. 'Cole just dived right in and soaped him up, rinsed him off and he was done. Team Two, Daisy and Pinky were in charge of brushing and combing. That did not go so well, but it was funny to watch them chase Casey around trying to coax him into getting brushed.

Team One started the real work on Shadow who was a bushy mess. Shadow is part English Springer Spaniel and part Black Labrador Retriever. His undercoat was insane.

By that point Team Two was getting bored and fidgety, so I sent them out front to play. Shadow was not in the mood to cooperate, so I had to get down on the ground and baby him until he relaxed. 'Cole and I gave him a through brushing and cut out a few mats.

'Cole continued working on Shadow while I cooked dinner and he looked pretty darn good by the time I was done cooking.

Everyone ended up pretty doggone tired and I'm soooo glad we won't have to wash these dogs again for a few weeks.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere

We had a great time at the new Zoombezi Bay Water Park up at the Columbus Zoo. 'Cole and Daisy both ended up with a sunburn across their cheeks and noses. (that is the only place I forgot to put the sunblock)

I've been busy trying to find activities to keep the kids from being bored all summer. Most of the summer camps are too expensive, so maybe we'll try a small weekend camping trip. The kids are looking forward to going to see the fireworks for the 4th of July and going to the Ohio State Fair. Pickles turns thirteen next month and I'm giving him a surprise party.

We had a huge water balloon battle on the last day of school. All the neighborhood kids were in it. There were kids with Super Soakers, cups and water guns. One girl even brought an empty vegetable oil bottle to fill with water. I ended up wet even though I was trying not to. It was crazy fun. Everyone must have had a good time because they're still talking about it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Family Fun Trip- Memorial Day Weekend 2008

We gathered up the gang and decided to head off to Kings Island Amusement Park down in Mason, Ohio.

Our little group was made up of Myself, Daisy, Pickles, 'Cole, Aunt J, Uncle R, Cousin R and her four kids A1, A2, A3, A4 and Uncle R's son A.J.

First off, let me start by saying I did not expect to get sticker shock from an family field trip, but my goodness EVERYTHING in that place was expensive. $3.50 for a bottle of water. $6.70-something for a Funnel Cake. It was insane.

Now on to the good stuff...

We had fun ! The day was perfect. The weather was especially wonderful, you couldn't ask for a better day to go to an amusement park. The children were well behaved and we only misplaced a few of them. (But we found them rather quickly, thanks to the matching t-shirts).
Some of the lines were long, but the kids didn't complain.
Cousin R, Daisy, A1 and A2 rode a roller coaster called The Beast. I thought Daisy would be terrified, but she was all smiles when she stepped off.
We stayed at the park until closing and watched the fireworks show as we drove away.
I can't wait until we plan our next family fun trip.

Monday, May 12, 2008

And Nothing But The Truth

Finally !!
Pinky admitted to taking the earrings.

We had a nice calm family discussion about why lying is wrong and why we don't take things without asking.

She admitted to taking them but it was like pulling teeth...and there was no remorse. None at all whatsoever.

And that worries me.

At least Daisy admitted that it was sometimes hard for her to tell the truth, and she seemed like she was regretful. But it could just be an act.

I've always felt like I was in tune to my children. I can tell when they're lying, happy sad or trying to be sneaky. I thought I knew them like the back of my hand.
But I looked Pinky in the eye and I could not tell if she was lying or telling the truth.

We've got to work on these issues before we hit the teenage years.

Pinky's Gone Bananas (or maybe not)

Today when Granny was checking book bags for contraband she found a pair of 'Cole's earrings in Pinky's book bag.

When I came home from work I tried questioning both Pinky and Daisy. Pinky blamed Daisy and Daisy blamed Pinky.

The earrings were in 'Cole's jewelry box on the top shelf of the closet, it would take some work for a small person to get up there and get them.

The only thing I'm sure of is that either one person committed the crime and the other had knowledge of it...or they both worked together.

It doesn't really matter, they both are grounded and writing sentences for me.

And from now on the book bags will be downstairs, by the front door.

I was exceptionally calm and didn't show any emotion. I get the feeling this crime wave is an attempt to get attention. Hopefully once they see that they aren't getting the attention they want hopefully things will get back to normal in the Bananas Family.

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day weekend. Saturday Granny went to the casino with my sister, so I got a nice break from her and she had a wonderfully fun day.
The kids and I went out to lunch at Red Robin. The kids really didn't like the food, I was surprised. (I liked my meal). My sister gave me a lovely yellow tree rosebush. I can't wait until it blooms. The kids made Mother's Day cards for me, Pinky and Daisy gave me some flowers they grew at school. I love the homemade cards, every year I get something different and the kids' creativity shines through.

Sunday I went out to lunch with my sister and her boyfriend. Afterwards we did some shopping. My sister took me out for a driving lesson, I thought I did pretty darn good. I need the practice because I think I'd like to get my license this year.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Been Caught Stealing

We've gone through the past few months in relative peace and calm. The kids have been settled and there's been no major blowouts...until today.

My phone rang while I was at work today. It was the elementary school. It seems that Pinky took one of my credit cards to school and it fell out of her pocket during lunch. An alert teacher contacted me to let me know what was going on.

I don't even think I feel angry. I think I'm mostly just insulted and disappointed. I do everything for my kids, they have so much. I give them my time, my energy. They are blessed beyond words. She has no reason to steal. There was nothing she could do with the card at school anyway.

So why would you steal ? And why would you steal from me ?
When I asked Pinky those questions she said she "found" the card on the floor of my room. Even IF that was true (all my cards are in a case that sits on my dresser) why WHY WHY would you take it to school ??

She didn't have an answer for that.

I don't have any answers either, but she'll have plenty of time to think about it while she's doing hard time (extra chores) for me.

I think the thing that keeps bothering me is the why. I don't understand her reasoning. She has her own money. I don't feel like she took it to use it. Did she take it to show it off ? To pretend it was hers ?

I have no idea.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Have You Seen My Socks ??

On March 11th I ordered 25 pairs of socks. As of today May 4th, I can only find 9 pairs.

I'm starting to think they grow legs in the middle of the night and wander away.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


"The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies, my love" - Celine Dion 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'

Today 'Cole turned 14. She has been my daughter since she was 4 years old. I cannot imagine my life without her. She has brought me so much joy. I look at the young woman she is becoming and I stand amazed. She has overcame so much, she has a fighter's spirit and a dreamer's heart. A beautiful person, with a little teenage goofiness thrown in for good measure.
Even when she's being a teenage pain in my butt, I can look at her and see a future filled with wonderful things.
My love...I hope you have a wonderful year.

"When I see you smile
I can face the world, oh oh,
You know I can do anything
When I see you smile I see a ray of light, Oh oh, I see it shining right through the rain
When I see you smile
Oh yeah, baby when I see you smile at me" - Bad English 'When I See You Smile"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Note To Self

Next time you have Baby Doll Bath Day please remember NOT to give a full 32 oz. bottle of shampoo to the small children. They WILL use it all. The bathtub WILL be completely full of bubbles. The small children will be covered in bubbles, as will the bathroom floor. It will not be a pretty picture.

And remember...
You cannot be mad/upset with the children because you were the idiot who gave them a full 32 oz. bottle of shampoo.

That is all.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Top 10 Favorite Cooking Websites

I love to cook. My biggest problem is figuring out what to cook. So when I'm standing in the kitchen, looking around lost and confused, I head to my computer to browse around these sites.
Happy Cooking !

Menus4Moms- What could possibly be better than to have the menu, recipes and grocery list right there in front of you ?? Nothing. This site is great lots of family-friendly recipes.

1. AllRecipes- One of the first recipe sites I found many moons ago. Still one of my favorites.

2. Williams-Sonoma- While dreaming about expensive cookware, I stumbled upon this company's recipe section and I've been hooked ever since. So lovely.

3. Joy of Baking- many sweets, so little time.

4. Food Network- Granny's tv is usually on this channel most of the time.

5. The Pioneer Woman Cooks- This is a new favorite. Step by step instructions, pictures and humor...who could ask for anything more ?

6. MyRecipes- This site is ran by those lovely people who publish Southern Living and Cooking Light. Nice sized recipe collection.

7. Just Slow Cooking- No frills, No pictures. Just tons of recipes for the slow cooker.

8. Bed and Breakfast Inns Online- Nothing like a good breakfast to get ya going. Also has some lunch and dinner recipes.

9. - 15,000 recipes. Dinner time heaven.

10. CopyKat Recipes- Recipes from your favorite restaurants (and more).


Taste of Home

Family Circle/ Too many advertisements, but still an OK site.


Whole Food Market - Recently found this site and started looking through the recipes.

Betty Crocker - I couldn't forget Betty. My first cook book was a Betty Crocker cookbook. Sigh.....such memories.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Old People and Kids

Someone recently asked me what was harder...taking care of children or an elderly parent.

I have to say they are both difficult.

Dealing with my mother (age 69) is sort of like being in a class of preschoolers. They can't do things for themselves...but they really really want to.

Dealing with my children is like being the ringmaster at the circus. You have to keep your eye on everyone or the entire program can be a disaster.

Over the past few years I've watched my mother slowly change from the person I grew up knowing, to a person who is very much dependent on me. Her favorite thing to do is cook, but now it's hard for her. The new stove confuses her. Recipes confuse her. Her creations just don't turn out like they used to.

As frustrating as it is for me, I know it must be hell for her.
To be a prisoner of your own body and mind.

The kids love to do things for her and when they are home she doesn't have to lift a finger. They wait on her hand and foot.

And when she's not here (hospitalized) they miss her intensely.

But I miss her even when she is here...because now the roles are different. Now I'm the caregiver and she is the child.

I cherish every moment we have together, becacuse I know how fleeting time can be.

Book We're Reading At Bedtime - The Best School Year Ever By Barbara Robinson (Chapers 3-4)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Throwing Balls in The House (And other Sunday fun)

Today was great. After MONTHS of bickering and daily fighting between kids, we had a NICE quiet family day. It was so peaceful and relaxing. No one had to go to time-out, there was no arguing at all.

I fixed breakfast for everyone this morning and then we were off to Target for some Easter shopping. They had some games on sale , so I picked up Connect Four and Cosmic Catch.
We played it together and had so much fun. Definitely not for parents who spaz at the thought of a ball being thrown in the house, but everyone was calm and a good time was had by all. The game itself is really cool, it comes with six handbands and a ball. Each band is a different color and the ball recognizes each color. The ball speaks each color and you lightly toss the ball to the player who has the handband that matches.
After playing the game we sat down together and watch Bee Movie and ate popcorn. Daisy was excluded from this movie, because of the way she behaved during the last movie. Everyone else was nice to each other and enjoyed the movie.
By the end of the day I felt rejuvenated. Life is not perfect, but today felt like a wonderful dream.
Things had been really stressful around here. The littles just weren't responding to redirection or discipline. The name calling and fighting was insane. It's been pretty intense around here.
Book We're Reading At Bedtime- The Best School Year Ever By Barbara Robinson

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Ebay Socks Update

Just got my order for 25 pairs of socks today. They are excellent quality. Very soft, thick and warm, I was actually suprised.

I was expecting dollar store quality...but these are 100% better.

Total price ending up being about $25 including shipping.
Also I've noticed on the auctions that you might not get the same brand of socks everytime.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Oh, The Weather Outside is frightful....

Snow-Covered 'Cole

Pinky making her cold face.

Pickles was attacked by a snow drift.

Daisy jumped head first into a drift.

And Since There's No Place To Go....

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it snow !

It's been 30 years since we had our last blizzard and lo and behold we've got an almost-blizzard this weekend. The snow looks absolutely beautiful. I'll take some pictures later. (I have to find my camera) There's about 10-12 inches in our area with some nice 2 and 3 foot snow drifts.

The kids are itching to get out in it.

Last night the kids did arts and crafts in the kitchen. Later today I might pull out some board games.

This looks like a day for just relaxing and watching the snow fall.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


With four kids in my house you know how hard it is to find/keep socks.

I found an e-bayer that sells SOCKS !! In bulk ! (we're talking 36 pairs of socks with a starting bid of $5.97 !!!) I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself.

You know you've been a mom too long when the thought of bulk socks gets you excited at 7:50 am.

Here's the link

And I'm off to win some auctions. :c)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Feeling Better

Except for a cough, I feel pretty good. Thanks Kimmie for the home remedy suggestion, I'll remember it next time someone in the house gets sick.

Last night was Parent Teacher Conferences for the little kids. They are doing well. Pinky is experiencing some tween cattiness. The third grade girls have started bickering and gossiping about each other and are disrupting the classroom. There's also a boy who seems to be the cause of a lot of the drama. the teacher asked me what I thought, I suggested some team-building activities (having the girls do a project together that would promote co-operation and teamwork). She said she'd give it some consideration.

Anything has to be better than sending them to detention.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have You Seen My Lung ? (Day Two)

I actually feel better today. My throat still hurts and I probably coughed up my other lung last night, but other than that I feel much better.
I am fever free and I can breathe out both nostrils.

The only thing helping the sore throat is hot tea with lemon and honey.

So I'm just sitting around watching the snow fall and trying to relax and recover.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Have You Seen My Lung ? (Day One)

I'm sick.
Of course, you know mommies are not allowed to be sick. Things have to be done and NO ONE else knows how to do anything.
I feel like someone took a weed whacker to the inside of my throat.
And don't even get me started about the cough. Sometime last night I'm pretty sure I coughed up a lung.
I spent the entire day just laying around. Trying not to do anything.
I did end up having to toss a pot roast in the slow cooker. But I didn't really even want to do that.
'Cole and Pickles braved the cold weather and walked to the store to get some lemons, honey and apple juice for me.
I've been disinfected everything, trying to keep the rest of the family from getting it. So far so good.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Who Are These People (And why the heck are they so mean)

Maybe it's because of the weather. Maybe it's cabin fever. I don't know what the deal is, but my house is aflame with angry words, name calling, hitting and almost anything else two (or more) people can do to one another.

Every interaction leads to some sort of sibling fight.

Eating meals is a nightmare.

Pinky, who is grounded has managed to start at least three arguments just within the last two hours. Now she is sitting in time out pouting and complaining about no one liking her.

Actually the only two people who are getting along are 'Cole and Daisy. I'm so shocked. 'Cole actually polished Daisy's toenails and played a game with her. Now they are quietly drawing together. I can't ever remember a time when they've acted sisterly toward each other.

We went to the store one day last week and 'Cole was actually walking with her arm around Daisy's shoulder. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

The weather is supposed to be a little bit better tomorrow, so hopefully we will get out and see a movie.

This mom has an idea called Secret Sibling where each kid has to draw names and is responsible for being/doing something kind for their chosen person. I love this idea and can't wait to give it a try. Hopefully it leads to a little more good cheer and a little less sibling craziness.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Things Kids Say

Pinky was eating breakfast this moring and the sunlight was beaming in through the window blinds. She said "Mommy, could you please turn off the blinds ."

Friday, February 8, 2008


I had my doubts about the school year in regards to Pickles. In the five years he's been my son he has never passed a math class. I've always believed he had he ability, but not the maturity level.
The report cards came out and he has a C.
I'm so proud. He still plays around a little too much, but he starting to retain some of the information.

His reading/language arts teacher is great,too. We communicate by e-mail and it has immediate results in her class. All she has to do is ask him if she needs to e-mail his mom and he straightens right up.

I'm so happy to see him have some success. Hopefully it will change the way he feels about school and improve his self-esteem.

Oh My Goodness...

I recieved a suprise phone call earlier this week from the elementary school. It seems Pinky (who normally doesn't get in trouble) wrote an obscene question to a boy in art class. She was lucky she didn't get suspended.

I was even more surprised when I learned what the boy wrote back to her.

We sat down together and I let her know her punishment, and I explained how serious the situation was.

I don't even know what would make her ask such a question.

I'm still stunned.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

An Ode to Natural Consequences

My children don't really have a lot of chores to do. Bedroom cleaning, pet care, trash removal and kitchen clean-up are their biggest chores.

The kitchen clean-up chore is the biggest (and seems to be the most difficult) chore for them to deal with. All I ask is that the dishes are washed, the floor swept and the tables wiped off. That's all.
I informed the kids a while ago (maybe a month or so) that if I came home from work and the kitchen clean-up chores weren't complete I would not be able to cook dinner. Well, they hemmed and hawed about it, not taking it seriously. Darn kids.

See, Pickles and 'Cole get home from school at about 3:15 pm. Daisy and Pinky get home at 4:15. I get home at 4:45. There's PLENTY of time for the chore to be completed. But, no.... they eat their snack, they talk about their day, they do their homework, and they talk about their day some more. No one gives any thought to the nasty kitchen. (Pickles has an issue getting the food in his mouth...but that's a WHOLE other post)

Thursday when I came in from work, the breakfast dishes were still in the sink. I was home late (6:00pm) because I had to pick up a prescription for Granny. I didn't raise a fuss. I didn't yell. I didn't lecture. I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. I made sandwiches and gave everyone potato chips and fruit.

I called everyone to wash up for dinner and you should have seen the looks on their faces when they saw dinner. They immediately knew what had happened and tore into each other like a pack of miniature wolves. (Pickles was especially funny because all he kept saying was "I can't believe it. I just can't believe we aren't getting hot food for dinner.")

So I'm happy to say that since that day I have been enjoying an extremely clean kitchen and a sink NOT full of dishes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

De-Lurking Day

Hi, if you stop by leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Top 10 Favorite Shopping Sites

I love online shopping. I love love love it.

I have a special folder of favorite sites that I have shopped at or want to shop at. There is nothing more relaxing (to me) than sitting at my desk, with a cup of hot cocoa and shopping. There's no crowds, no irate customers, no disgruntled's a beautiful thing.

Even though the holiday shopping season is over we might as well get an early start for Christmas 2008.

1. Oriental Trading Co. - Planning a party ? Want some cheap arts and crafts for the kids ? This place has all that. Very affordable. A lot of products to choose from. Shipping can be slow around holidays so order early or pay for expedited shipping.

2. WebClothes- I once got 10 pairs of girl's jeans from this place for about $4 a pair. The clothes are discount store quality, with some nicer brands (Carter's) thrown in. They usually have clearance sales at the end of each season, so there are some great deals to be had.

3. Williams-Sonoma- Everything on this site is droolworthy for people who love to cook. Unfortunately the prices are insane. I have a list of things I'd love to buy from there. The site does have a good recipe section.

4. Wake Up Frankie- What a heck of a way to make a pre-teen/teen age girl happy. Everything on this site is sofreakincute. 'Cole wants the Tag Your Name comforter and sham. It's a bit costly, but very unique.

5. The $15 Clothing Store - Quality stuff. Lots of name brands. Everything $15.

6. Steve Spangler Science- Some of the coolest science stuff I've found online. Teaching tools, videos and more.

7. The Old Schoolhouse- I just bought the Times Tales Deluxe product from this site and I am totally impressed. If your kids need help learning their upper multiplication facts it so easy and Pickles, who doesn't retain math facts easily has been able to memorize

8. Gamewright and MindWare- Kids like toys. Parents like toys that make kids smarter. Gamewright and MindWare sell toys that make kids smarter. Oh yeah, and they have fun stuff, too.

9. Junior's Most Fabulous Cheesecakes - Shhhhh....don't tell anybody. This site is a treat for mommy. Sure, mommy is supposed to be dieting, but she can have a treat...can't she ?? Can't She ?!? I swear I put on 10 pounds just looking at the website. I love cheesecake.

10. Carol's Daughter- Haircare products and beauty products. We've tried a few things from this company. I do like their haircare products. We've been using Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner, Mimosa Hair Honey and Rosemary Mint Shampoo. My hair is starting to look healthier and the products smell WONDERFUL.

Honorable Mention- Book By You- I love this product. The stories are wonderful and the kids really enjoy reading the book. the downside is pages started falling out of the book the first week. Thank goodness for super glue. They also do a romance book for mommies.