Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My sweet niece, Isabel

My sister got this note from Isabel's teacher - sooo sweet!

"I wanted to let you know (in case you didn't) that Isabel hadbrought in $10 and given it to a classmate who had mentioned that her family was "kind of poor." That comment may have been made because ofthe novel we're reading. The classmate then told Isabel that she wasn't needing the money ("not very poor"), but Isabel insisted that she keep it. That's where I first became involved yesterday. The classmate asked me to return it to Isabel, so the three of us got together and the money was returned after thanking Isabel for her very kind-hearted gesture. Isabel put the money in her backpack to take home. She seemed embarrassed, so I tried to downplay it, but I did want you to know."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School and an itty bitty baby!

Today started out interesting: Brian worked overtime last night on "d.u.i. project." - which means the department got a grant to allow officers to work overtime looking for drunk drivers. He planned to work from 8pm until 1 am . . . climbed into bed at 5:30am. Yikes. I kept waking up, checking the clock, knowing what probably happened! (You get used to this) Anyway, at 5:30am I got the run down on his belligerent drunk he pulled over at midnight. (The whole ordeal took until 5:30am.) To put it briefly, she was throwing pills out the back window as he was following her with lights on . . . not pulling over. This makes it a felony stop - gun drawn. . . then he got to listen to her complain about how incompetent cops are the whole drive to the P.D. (for breath test - which she refused) then to the hospital (for a blood draw to check for drugs) then all the way to the jail. . . PLUS - she was complaining that she couldn't walk because of her sciatic - so he had to drag her everywhere he took her. Oh, the life.

So, this morning was normal. Then at noon, Emily had her first full day of pre-school. (since she was sick last week.) I put Madeline down and was in HEAVEN! I hardly knew what to do with myself. I cleaned off my island, surfed the internet, etc.

Then my neighbor called. She is due in October with baby #4. "I think I'm in labor," she says. So, I got her kindergartner and 1st grader off the bus after picking up Emily. I made spaghetti for my 4 children.

Then I went to pick up my latest purchase from craigslist - a cute little shelf to keep the girls' art supplies on.

I returned to a report that baby Tolen Rain had been born. He is 4 lbs. and was on oxygen when they called. So pray for baby Tolen! I also returned home to Brian out back with all 4 kids playing in the sand box. We gave them each a popsicle, then brought our 2 in for baths. . .

Oh: Emily LOVED pre-school today. According to her: She played outside, but not on the swings. She learned about the letter "A." Her favorite part was dinosaur fruit snacks with apple juice. (a girl after my own heart!)

And that's a wrap!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Grass and guests

Brian mowed the grass today for the first time in at least 6 weeks (due to lack of rain.) I have to say, I hate it when he mows, as it leaves me alone with the kids AGAIN - as I spend most of my life. So, I have not missed him mowing! But it does look nice!

I took a nap this afternoon. Then, our friends we visited in Michigan are in town and came over. Emily and Gracie are the same age, so they played. Stephanie is just awesome. We visited and she gave me organizational tips!

My book I am reading is really good, by the way. I'm about half way through.

Oh, on Sunday:

Emily: Should we do what God says?

Me: Yes

E: Jonah didn't.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

TJ Maxx

Today I took the girls to church in matching dresses. I do this quite regularly, but today they must have looked especially cute. Everyone was oohing and ahhing over them. Maddie was visibly excited to be dressed like "Ommy."

We went to lunch with our small group after church.

Then Brian got off early at 1:30pm today. We rested, then I left and hit Dollar Tree and TJ Maxx. I love those stores. I bought some fun stuff at Dollar Tree. Then, I just love TJ Maxx. I typically love browsing their home stuff and kid stuff. But today - I looked at clothes. Uh-oh. I LOVED IT! They had so much cute clothes in my size. It was t-r-o-u-b-l-e for the budget. I think I'll try to pass some of it on to my mom and dad for Christmas gifts for me. Anyway - I highly suggest you check it out.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

So far, so good

Emily seems to be healthy - and no one else is sick . . . yet. I'll keep you posted!

Today has been a lazy day at home. After lunch, I filled up the kitchen sink with water and lots of dish soap, some bath toys - and set the girls up on kitchen chairs. They stood there and played for a LONG time! I highly recommend it! I kept telling myself, "it's just water." And it wasn't a big deal to soak up.

Afterwards, I gave them a bath and took a shower myself, so we are all clean!

I've told you all that Emily needs constant interaction / entertainment. . . so today I started on a plan. . . (I think the idea is from Sarah DV) I set a pampered chef timer and tell her that if she plays in her room for ___ min. that she will get a treat afterwards. It pretty much worked for 30 min. this morning. I would like to work up to 1 hour in the afternoon during Madeline's nap. We'll see!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Still Sick. . . .

Emily woke us up at 1am throwing up (all over her bed). We thought she was better - obviously not! We were up from about 1-2 with her sick. Then it started over at 4am.

I was having anxiety issues. I just was not dealing well with her feeling so bad. I felt so terrible for her. This tiny body dry heaving, was breaking my heart!

Anyway - Brian took the 4am shift. Emily was awake and chipper at 7:45 (of course!)

She seems to be better this morning - but obviously after last night - we are treading cautiously!
Pray that they rest of us don't get this!!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Emily missed her first full day of school today! She threw up for about 2 hours this morning. I think Brian and I were far more disappointed than she was! Ughhhh.

Around 11:40 she seemed to perk right up and feel better.

I ran some errands today. Kohl's has some GREAT kid's deals. I would highly recommend you stopping by for summer clothes for next summer! I didn't go crazy. I had a $10 coupon I got in the mail. I bought 13 items and spent $13 (on top of the coupon.)

Next, I went to the library and found a novel to read: The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I'll let you know. I also picked up a few dvd's for Emily.

Then I went to a local antique mall and wandered through their craft area. I am just so bad about wanting things when I go out. . . It seems much easier and certainly cheaper if I just stay away! (anyone else?)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fun day

Today, Brian's mom visited us for awhile. She took us to Chic-fil-a for lunch - then for a Goodwill run, which is always fun! We bought some fun stuff for the girls.

Then, my cousin (who is a first year teacher in Brownsburg) came over for dinner tonight. We had tacos and some delicious cookies (I will post the recipe soon!) Towards the end of her visit Emily said, "I love her!" So, hopefully she will visit again soon!

Brian is interviewing for a promotion at work, so he has been studying policy stuff that they ask about. (He is really just interviewing for the experience of it, not expecting to get the position - it is tomorrow morning) I ran to the grocery - and there you have our day!

Tomorrow is the first time Emily goes to school for the whole 3 hours. I'm sure she will have much fun to report!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Loooong Day

We had fun at the Colt's game last night. (If you know me well, you know I am NOT a sport's fan - and that is an understatement) But I was excited to realize (Brian told me) 1. this was the Colt's first home game and
2. the Bears were their opponent in the Superbowl (I didn't remember). It was just fun to be there. We only stayed for the first half. We got a bucket of popcorn as big as Emily. Oh yeah, and we got DRENCHED on our way from the parking garage to the game. Delightful!

Today was quite uneventful - but I didn't sleep well last night, which left me ill-equiped for my day! The kids were quite good today, but I just didn't feel like I had today "in me." I was tired and very unmotivated. (Unfortunately this describes me most of the time, which I HATE!)

Anyway, the girls got along well today. Madeline is saying "Emmy" (pronounced like mommy without the m - "ommy"). It is pretty much her first word when she wakes up and her last word at night. She LOVES her big sister! I will give her a snack and she will hold out the other hand and say, "Emmy?" wanting another one for sister.

I sorted out the girls treats for the cruise. I have bought some disney treats on sale and at dollar tree to give them throughout the cruise. I am also going to put a new toy in each of their backpacks for our travels. (things I bought them for their birthdays, but will give them early.) Madeline is getting a cute little plastic baby with a high chair and clothes that pop on. Emily is getting a view master with some extra discs. (I think she will LOVE this!)

Well, it is almost time to give the girls a bath and pass them on to Brian for bedtime!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Go Colts!

We (all 4 of us) are going to the Colt's pre-season game tonight. I'm worried about little, mama's girl, Maddie - but Brian says it will be okay! :) (That is pretty much our life!) Anyway -I'll let you know how it goes.

The last few days have been pretty dull. We found out that Emily's teacher is miss Karyn. She goes again on Thurs - then next week starts going every tues and thurs.

Brian worked a lot of overtime over the weekend, which is tiring for both of us! This weekend he works all weekend at his regular job, BUT he has some overtime saved up and is taking off early on Sat and Sun which will help!

Bonnie, Brian's mom, is coming to visit us on Wednesday. . . I think that's all the excitement for this week.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fun activity to do with your kids

1 1/2 c. warm water
2 c. white glue (about 5 normal sized containers - got it for .15 a bottle)
1 1/3 c. warm water
3 t. Borax detergent (Walmart has is it by the laundry soap)
food coloring

1. In a large container, combine the food coloring, 2 cups white glue and 1 1/2 c. warm water

2. In a second container, combine 1 1/3 c. warm water and 3 t. Borax.

3. Pour Borax mixture into glue mixture and gently lift and turn the mixture with a metal spoon until about a tablespoon of liquid is left.

4. Flubber will be sticky for a moment or two. Let the excess liquid drip off, then the flubber is ready. stretch it, bounce it, roll it and store it in an airtight container.

Flubber is an example of a non-Newtonian substance (it appears to be a liquid and a solid at the same time.)

also - check out this website for other fun ideas!

Our new table and chairs

We have Brian's digital camera (for work) home this weekend - so I am taking advantage! I wanted to post a picture of our new to us / refinished by my mom and I - table and chairs. Remember, this was $100. I am posting our old one to sell on craigslist tonight for $100 - It is my first attempt to sell things on there. (Why start when I'm so good at buying?!) :)
Edited: The table sold this morning to the first viewers!!! (She only had $90 along - but that makes our new table a $10 deal!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Emily's First Day of Pre-School

Today was Emily's first day of "Pre-Cub." She is attending 3 year old pre-school at our church. They have to wear uniforms, which is annoying - but quite cute! She announced that she did not want to go to school. (She has done the same with dance class and swim lessons. It is SO frustrating!) Anyway, we made it there. She only went for an hour today for the teacher's to assess their levels. She said they asked her colors and shapes. They had a snack of gold fish. They played simon says. She loved it!

Later today, during nap time. . . I was trying to nap while the girls did. . . Emily managed to poop her pants - make a mess trying to clean it up - and pull a towel rack out of the wall. I was ready to kill her! This child needs constant supervision and interaction. Suggestions any of you mom's out there? I was just so mad 1. at the mess 2 that i can't turn my back or rest!

Emily in her uniform and pigtails!

On our way to school!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Home from the Lake

We're back! Tuesday was a water-filled day. I took lots of fun pictures of the girls. Emily is just a fish. She didn't even want to be on the boat, because it got in the way of her swimming! My dad gave Brian lessons on driving the boat. (I think I could have since I've been riding / driving since I was 8 or 9!) Madeline liked sitting on the steps of the water playing with a watering can. We went out to dinner, then returned and hung out. It was a good day. Today we woke up, took things slow - then ate with dad at Arby's before returning home. It is good to be home. We are all worn out and grumpy!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Live from Brownstown, Indiana

We are at the library in Brownstown doing email. Sad, isn't it? :) We had a good day today. We didn't get to Dad's until noon. We had lunch then hit the water. Unfortunately, when I thought about this trip, I did not figure in cranky, unpredictable children! I just pictured us all lounging by the water . . . wrong! Emily is great - she has a life jacket on - and just jumps off the dock a million times or swims around happily . . . but miss Madeline - She wants her MAMAAAAA. She wanted me swimming with her at all times. Well, I didn't want to swim at all times. It only takes a few fish nipping at me for me to high tail it out of there! Anyway, we then took a boat ride to appease Maddie - which she whined most of the way through! Little fart! Then she and I and papaw went up to the house and played. Later I was able to sneak away for a nap!!! Yay! Maybe it will be a vacation! (I also finished the magazine I brought - already!) Tonight we ate at a pizza buffet and are returning back after email.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Skipping Out

I should be at church right now, but I woke up late and didn't think I had the energy to get myself and both kids out the door on time. My mom left early this morning, so it's kind of nice to have a slow morning of "just us." Brian is working today. He expected to get off early, but someone else isn't coming in today, so once again our plans change!

Tomorrow we are going to my dad's for 3 days. He lives on a lake with a boat and wave runner. We don't feel like we go there and take advantage of it enough - so we planned a 3 day mini trip! I keep freaking out that I will be bored there, but Brian says that's okay! I just get tired of being outside, and my dad lives alone - thus, not a lot to keep me occupied there. I'm planning to bring photos to organize and put in albums and magazines.

Emily, I think, was born to live there. She rides on the boat with both arms out, embracing it all! And that kid is part fish. She had like 8 splinters from dad's dock after one visit. Run, jump, swim, repeat. :) This time she will be wearing swim shoes!

After having my mom here, my house is the closest to order it has been, maybe ever. This house is just sooo big, that I find it very hard to keep under control. (Plus, I never claimed to be an organized domestic diva) But I was telling Brian how it is so frustrating, that even feeling the house is pretty good now - there are still TONS of things I COULD do. Ughhh. In fact, many of my very organized friends would probably go into shock if they came and saw my version of order! I just get so overwhelmed by it so often!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Capitol Grille

Tonight Brian and I went on a very expensive date . . . expensive, but not for us!

We did a mystery shop at a swanky restaurant downtown - the Capitol Grille. . .

(A mystery shop is when you evaluate a restaurant and then get reimbursed a pre-determined amount for your meal)

We had $150 to spend - yes, you read that right! Believe it or not, we spent $161 - paying $11 for shrimp coctail, 2 steaks, 2 sides, a coke, a dessert, and a bottle of wine (required for the shop, so we brought it home to give away!)

Anyway - I just had to tell you all about our upscale night.

Friday, August 10, 2007

More visitors!

Jill and George and his grand daughter, Riley, came for dinner tonight. It was fun to have them. The girls are so cute together.

I ran a million errands this afternoon. The traffic was sooo frustrating, that I didn't get all of them done that I had planned on.

We officially ate on our new table tonight! The smoked turkey was great! (ask me if you want the recipe!)

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Hello out there! I didn't feel very good during the night, and I spent a lot of the day in bed trying to feel better. . .

Mom and Brian took the girls to the pool and library today.

Madeline is so cute calling my mom "yaya."

Emily and Grandma made brownies. Emily loves doing fun stuff like that with my mom.

Mom and I bought the fabric to make these tonight at Joann's. We are making them for Emily's birthday party. (they won't have names on them, though. . .)

The kitchen table and chairs are officially done once they dry from their final coat of polyurithane.

Poor little Madeline has a bad diaper rash.

That's all from here!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ya Ya visits

Maddie is calling my mom "yaya" which is sooo cute!!!

We are having fun with my mom here. She got here for lunch on Monday.

We are working on refinishing the table and chairs Brian and I bought off of Craigslist. It is going well. I am also getting little jobs done while mom keeps the kids occupied.

Last night at 9pm the doorbell rang . . . and it was my Aunt MaryEllen. She is moving my cousin to the Avon area (Rachel got her first teaching job in Brownsburg). It was fun to hang out with her, unexpectedly. . . She was here until 1pm today.

Tomorrow she has her colonoscopy, so she has gotten to do the fun prep today!

Brian has had to work late both yesterday and today. It is almost 9pm and he is still at work! Ughhh.

Luckily tomorrow and Thursday he is off.

Tomorrow Steph is planning to come and spend the night. . . Brian's dad is also stopping in for a brief visit - This place is HOPPIN!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

We're home!

Saturday was beautiful and fun! We spent 5 hours at the beach of Lake Huron. . . all the perks of the ocean, without the salt! What a great thing!!! The girls had fun swimming and playing in the sand. (I think Emily was meant to live by the water!)

We were worn out! I got sick Sat. evening. . . it was like my lunch never digested. Anyway - I am feeling better today.

The drive home was brutal. . . . I am not cut out for 6 hour trips with children by car . . .

Thanks so much to our hosts, the Mannings!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Brian's Trip Down Memory Lane

Today we stopped in Ann Arbor on our way to visit friends in Port Huron, Michigan.

Brian lived in Ann Arbor from age 3 to age 11. It was so fun for us to visit: His old house, His old church / school thru fifth grade, an old pizza place, etc. It was especially fun to have our kids play on the playground he frequented!

The drive up here seemed like it took FOREVER. . .
1. I am stressed in the car with my children

2. Brian's driving scares me.

3. It was a 4+ hour trip

I knew when we saw a sign that said, "Canada 9 miles" that my stress was justified! We had, in fact, almost driven out of the country. (This is where we were supposed to be - we weren't lost!)

Tonight we went and watched boats float by across from Canada as we ate dinner in Port Huron. It was beautiful, and the kids enjoyed themselves.

Tomorrow we plan to hit the beach!

Most of all, it is fun to spend time with friends who are "where we are at" meaning - parenting kids about our kids' ages. . . they have all the right toys, cups, etc - and we can commiserate!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Emily`s stay at Cousins' house

From Guest Blogger Isabel, my 8 year old niece:

I liked having Emily over. It was fun, she really liked are pet rabbit and hedgehog. We have been waiting for her to come and she is finally here!!!!!! Unfortunetly she is going home tomarrow because she is going to Michigan I wish she could stay longer but she has to go, noooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Okay I am done, goodbye.

From Caroline

Guest Blogger: My ten year old niece, Caroline:

It was fun having Emily stay at our house. I liked going to the waterpark and playground this morning with her. We went to the playground today. I played with Claire (My friend). I like playing with Maddie too!
My camera got wet so I can't take pictures.

From Caroline Braun

At Cousins' House

We are all at cousins' house! Brian, Maddie and I drove up today to meet up with Emily! What a fun reunion it was! We missed our big girl!!!!

We had dinner, then we all went to a park for the girls to play. Madeline had Isabel as a constant helper and companion at the park. Emily and Sophie stick close together.

After we got home, Brian and I gave our girls a bath. Emily started to have a "my mommy is here so I can melt down now" fit, but recovered after her jammies were on. They are watching "so you think you can dance" with aunt Susan now.

Tomorrow we journey on to Port Huron, Michigan!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Quiet Day at Home

Today my friend, Erin, and her little Hannah came to play. We let the girl play and had lunch together. It was fun.

emily is still having fun at cousins, though my sister said she is starting to look exhausted. . .

I tried to get more done around the house. I am just exhausted, too!

Sorry this is boring.

We are going to Michigan this weekend to visit our friends, the Mannings. They have kids about Emily and Madeline's ages. It should be a nice treat!