My son's Sunday School teacher approached me on Sunday and said that my son has invited her to our house several times and wanted to know if it would be ok if she and her teenage daughter stopped by for a bit on Tuesday. I told her of course and made arrangements to get in touch the next day. I e-mailed her on Monday and told her I didn't want her to feel obligated to come over. I know she works and has a family of her own and I didn't want her to feel pressured. She told me that she wanted to come and she thought it must be important to my son since he has asked her more than once. I can't tell you how this touched my heart as a mother. This woman cares about my son, about his feelings, and values him as an individual so much so that she will go out of her way to show him he is important to her.

My son was thrilled that Miss Nancy was coming over. He painted her and her daughter pictures and asked me to make bows out of yarn. I wasn't sure what he wanted, but he decided that Miss Nancy, her daughter, me, and both of his sisters should all wear bows. He and Daddy shouldn't b/c "boys don't wear bows." At the time I was holding the baby and trying to clean house, I did my best to make a bow with one hand. His response,

"Mom, I wanted a good bow."

I said, "I tried, ask Dad when he gets home."

My son started watching for them to come about 30 min before the arrival time. He eagerly greeted them at the door while Daddy made bows (Daddy does a better job than Mommy at bow making it turns out). He presented Miss Nancy with a yarn bow which she allowed him to scotch tape to her shirt. She oohed and aaahed over it as well as the picture he had painted her. She got down on the floor and sat and talked to him and his sisters. She brought a family picture of hers and showed him her kids and husband and even shared a prayer request for her son. She listed while he showed her cards and toys. She remembered details of things he had told her in SS and asked about them.

"Can you show me the cross you made for Jesus that is by your bed," she asked. (I was touched that he had told her about that... he had made it at Easter time. I was even more touched she remembered and asked about it). She sword fought with him and fell down when he stabbed her. After talking, listening, and playing for a bit, she and her teenage daughter excused themselves.

As my son waved goodbye to them out the window he said to me,

"Mom, I really like Miss Nancy"

"I know you do, bud"


"Because she is nice," I said.

"Yea, and she has a nice smile," he answered.

2 weeks before SS started there were no teachers signed up for my son's class. I prayed that God would provide someone to enthusiastically share God's Word with him. Nancy has done so much more than just shown up Sunday mornings and taught a Bible story. She searches him out in the halls at church and says hello. She noticed when we missed SS and only showed up for church and would search my son out to say Hi to him and bring him his papers or crafts. Time after time she has shown that she truly cares about him. Her visit made a huge impact on me. Seeing someone take a genuine interest in my son truly touched my heart. I am so grateful the Lord has placed her in my son's life. I am glad he has godly role models outside of our home to look up to and to teach him about our Lord. I am thankful that he has had such positive and warm experiences at church that make him look forward to returning.

For my Thoughtful Thursday, I thought I would write to let all the Sundays school teachers out there know that their investment can make a difference. I know Nancy certainly has - in both my son and I. Thanks "Miss Nancy"

Thoughtful Thursday:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings of a stay at home wife and mom with three kids. While my days are seldom “normal” enough to leave me without a “post worthy” moment (i.e. read here), I intend to take some time on Thursdays to highlight something from my week that’s a little more “thoughtful” and significant. If you had a post from this week, or choose to make a specific “Thoughtful Thursday” post, please feel free to add a link to your post in the comments section. I’d love to hear what others are learning. (Oh, and please don’t feel like you have to have a blog or post a link, to leave a comment ;-) )
We are THAT family is hosting a blog carnival which lets us share some flashback pictures and anecdotes. I thought I would use this as an excuse to pull one of my countless unphotogenic pictures from the archives. Maybe they can finally be put to good use.

My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We went to a small Christian school with only 44 students in our graduating class. Because our last names were on opposite ends of the alphabet we never had home room together. Because he took all the smart "math" classes and I took all the "smart" English classes, we never had a class together. Ironically enough we were both named Most Congenial in our Senior Class but the two of us had only had two conversations up to that point of high school.... prior to having our photo taken for the year book.

Since I was editor of the yearbook, I was making sure that no unphotogenic pictures of me appeared in that years edition. Those of you that know me well, know that is no small feat. This was back before digital photography so we had weeks between "photo shoots." We had to have our Most Congenial Shot retaken 4 times for the yearbook.

In the first picture my eyes were closed. No problem, retake the picture.

This time we thought we'd go for something cute, so he picked me up in his arms.

(slight problem here b/c I was wearing a dress and this picture was X rated)

This is the third picture. Cute huh, both smiling, all good... wait...

look closely at my hand, particularly my finger. OOPS!!! Can't post that in the yearbook!!! Not as Most Congenial!!!.

I was so embarrassed when I went to get Scott again from class to take another picture.

"I thought we already took that picture," he said. "three times..."

"Yea, there was a slight problem," I replied.

"Again?" He asked. (Keep in mind I had never let him see, or explained to him, my un-photogenic mistakes from before).

Finally, we got it right. And boy did we get it right..... 11 years later here we are happily married with TONS of would be great pictures IF ONLY my eyes were not closed.

Here's Looking at You!

To view previous Wordless Wednesdays, click here .

Or go to 5 Minutes for Mom to see what other people have posted!


Keeping three kids happy while waiting at the doctors office is a difficult task. Usually we get through the waiting room without a problem... the kids can rearrange the chairs, roll around on the floor, take magazines off of the shelf and occasionally sit quietly in my lap and read a book. It's that tiny examination room that presents the problem. I know they keep the place clean but the bottom line is that doctors offices are where sick people go and I would rather we keep our germs to ourselves. To accomplish that I let the kids pick toys (or costumes) from home to bring and play with while we wait. Typically we bring matchbox cars, magna doodles, or some other SMALL item they can play with QUIETLY while keeping their hands occupied. Once our pediatrician comes in I bring out stickers and crayons to entertain the kids who are not actually there to see the doctor. Notice I didn't say stickers, crayons and paper. Each doctors office comes will a large sheet of germ free paper on the examination table, right off the roll. They think its a TON of fun to stick stickers all over that sheet. It gives the kids a big surface to write and play on and the staff doesn't care because they just rip the sheet off and throw it away after we leave anyway. Sometimes we've even drawn roads on the paper for the matchbox cards to drive on. This typically works well for me and it keeps them playing on the paper. However, even with the costume and my bag of tricks, our well visit this week was QUITE EVENTFUL. If you have a minute to read about that circus like experience, click here. I think you'll find it worth the read.

To find out what works for other people, visit Rocks in My Dryer.
My oldest and youngest had well visits today. Our trip to the pediatrician's office was a circus act in and of itself. I made the appointment for 8:30a.m. The nice thing about early appointments is that we don't have to wait long in the waiting room. The hard part is that it takes an insane amount of work to get the three kids fed, dressed (they can't exactly show up in dirty underwear and pjs) and in the minivan by 8:10...not to mention the fact that I usually try to look presentable myself which means I have to actually shower and do something with my hair. Thanks to my wonderful hubby we were backing out of the driveway by 8:19. Thanks to the fact that the office clock is slower than the minivan clock, we were only 3 min late.

I wish I had a picture of how we looked as we walked into the office this rainy morning. I was carrying the baby, and holding my 2 year olds hand as well as my purse, my diaper bag, and my bag of tricks (toys, crayons, stickers to occupy them in the waiting and examination room). Straggling behind was my son dressed in his camo pants and shirt, wearing his superman "goggles" and his red cape and carrying his Lighting McQueen umbrella. The funny thing about that umbrella is that the girls and I get more wet than normal waiting for him to put it up and take it down. Oh well, he enjoys it and we are used to getting wet b/c I never bother with an umbrella... I'd need a third hand for that and if I had that I am sure one of the kids would just end up poking me or each other in the eye with it!

We signed in and sat down. As soon as we are seated and got the books off the shelf and the kid chairs arranged, our name is called, which means it is time to gather it all up. My little superhero leads the way down the hall. My two year old is in the middle calling for Dr Hackett. Mommy and baby and our boatload of stuff were trailing behind.

Time to strip the baby to be weighed and convince my son to take off his shoes and cape for the scale (I don't really know why the MA was insistent the cape had to come off for this.. how much could it weigh really?). I was able to convince my son to brave standing on the scale and then attempted to put my baby on the scale without her falling off even though she was trying to grab my shirt the entire time. Not sure how accurate her measurement was, but she said it was good enough.

Next on the agenda was holding the hot compress on my baby's heel so she could get a heel prick. Not too hard. Holding her down for the heel prick while the MA is squeezing her foot like crazy to get the blood out (next to impossible)! Changing my baby's diaper is like bull fighting. I am not exaggerating. She is constantly flipping over and flailing the entire time... Now I am attempting to hold her still while someone squeezes blood out of her. The whole time I am convincing the other two that "it is ok." Meanwhile my 2yr old is watching wide eyed and saying over and over "uh-oh" "uh-oh" b/c she sees all the blood on the baby's foot. My son is singing "Jingle Bell Rock" (not sure why he thought that song would comfort his sister but it was a valiant effort).

The MA then takes my son off for his vision and hearing tests.
....Flushed Poop.....

Yes, you read that correctly and if bathroom talk/humor is not your thing, then I suggest you skip this post.

The following incident actually occurred in my house today. Sometimes I wonder, "What will I write about in my blog today?" Or I worry if I will have enough stuff to write about to keep blogging far into the future... then things like this occur, and I think, "Well, that's today's post!"

After going potty this afternoon, my son excitedly called me into the bathroom.

"Look Mom, my poop looks like Mickey Mouse!"

(It actually did, big ball with two little balls on top..)

"That's cool honey," I replied, then I wiped his butt and did the unthinkable....

I flushed the toilet. (What WAS I thinking, this was a work of art here!)

The tears came, "Mommy, you flushed the toilet!"


"I wanted to show Daddy!" (clearly poop like this NEEDS to be shared with the world)

I instantly got down on his level, looked him in the eye and apologized. I didn't realize he hadn't shown Daddy yet. (Who would've thought that one day I would be asking forgiveness for flushing poop down the toilet?)

Daddy came in the room then and was quickly filled in on the situation. His response, "Don't worry bud, maybe you'll make mickey mouse poop another time and I can see it then." (We encourage our children to truly strive for the best in life, push them to the highest levels...) It was all I could do not to laugh out loud right then.

I don't know if poop like this comes around twice, but if it does I will be sure NOT to flush before everyone in the house sees it first!
I think all of the nice spring weather has thrown a wrench on my meal plans... last week we ate hot dogs three times in 5 days... the weather was so stinking gorgeous that we had to grill and all I had in the freezer was hot dogs, so the kids were VERY happy. When my 2 year old sees hot dogs in the fridge she says, "hot dogs daddy make" (Truth is Daddy makes anything that is on the grill, but hot dogs is the meat of choice for the kids) Anyway, here's to more than just hot dogs!!!

I started a policy at our house a few months ago which said, "Dessert only on Weekends." My son is a great policeman on this and will ask throughout the week, "Is it the weekend yet?" If I serve dessert during the week, he often calls me out on it, but always happily partakes. I must confess the last few weeks I have really gone lax on this policy... it was his birthday, or we had company over, or ummm we had leftovers..... Yesterday, the excuse was, "Mommy just craved chocolate." I wanted some chocolate. I know what you're thinking. I had a weak moment and opened a bag of Oreos. Nope. There were no Oreos in the house (remember, its wasn't the weekend). So, what is a girl to do? Turns out some sugar accidentally fell into the mixer. It's curious but if you add some oatmeal and a little choclate you're almost ready to eat some no bake cookies. The no bake part is important. How can someone go so far out of her way to break the very rule she created? Not me. I'm a woman of principal, I certainly didn't bake. Does that make it any different then opening a bag of Oreos?

So I got busted on this too. After dinner my son asked if he could have a cookie for desert. My husband, intending to support my policy, replied, "No, it isn't the weekend." I then had to confess... "Um I kinda made some cookies." BUSTED! I had no excuse, I didn't accidentally grab the butter, pour the oatmeal and mix up the cookies....

Mothering takes a lot of hard work and a lot of late nights. While I only have four years of experience to look back on, I'm pretty sure it is moments like these that I will cherish when I'm old and gray.

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a Mother's Day Photo Contest asking bloggers to post a picture that defines motherhood; I knew right away that I had to recycle this previous Wordless Wednesday. It's hard to capture the happiness my children have brought to my life, but this picture comes pretty close. Click here to see others mommy moments or to enter yourself.

I fear I have become a gadget person. I don't know how or when it happened, but recently I have noticed the signs. Two weeks ago when on my date night with hubby, we had some extra time after our Toys R Us date, so I asked if we could run in the mall to look at the new iphone at the apple store. Yes, you read that correctly. I asked my husband if we could go look at technological equipment that I knew we couldn't afford and weren't going to buy, just b/c I wanted to play with one. This is not good.

My fascination with the iphone started last month when I saw my husband's cousin's itouch. He was showing us how you can scroll through pictures and albumn covers and even zoom in and out just by using your fingers. Prior to this I have been totally against PDA's. I have prided myself on the fact that I keep a mental calendar. Ask me when Flag Day is, I can tell you. When is the first day of summer, got that too. Hey honey, what are we doing on the 21st of next month... "ah let me see, that is a Wed... you have a sailing race.." When my husband got a used $40 PDA a few years ago, just for fun, I rolled my eyes and complained. "Why do you need a PDA when you have me?" Eventually he stopped using it b/c the battery didn't work right and he kept losing the info and having to rely on yours truly. But this itouch, this is different. They lulled me in with the pictures. In case you haven't picked up on it yet, I LOVE taking pictures of my kids. I've got them scrolling through on my screen saver, and digital picture frame, in addition to lining the walls of my hallway. The iphone would allow me to carry around GIGS of pictures AND videos of my kids to look at whenever I wanted. AND I can check e-mail, compulsively check my blog for comments, listen to music, talk on the phone (imagine that using a cell phone for actual phone conversations) and even check the weather! All this and I can carry it around in my pants pocket. It's awesome! Maybe I could even remove the useless calender function to leave more space for pictures :-). Of course, my husband pointed out the fact that it costs more than an actual laptop. hmm.....small detail I thought.... and THIS proves that I have become a gadget person. We're in trouble!!!

Last week as we were running errands the Christian radio station played one of those 60 sec minisermons. The person was speaking on 1 John 4 and read the passage which states, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

Son: " Mom, why did she say we don't love God?"

Me: "They were saying that we didn't love God first, but that God loved us and then we loved him."

Son: "Well I have always loved God. Since I was a baby I knew that He was my Savior."

Me: "How did you know? Who told you?"

Son: "I just knew"

Me: "What did He save you from?"

Son: "My sins"

Me: "What is sin?"

Son: "The bad stuff we do"

This conversation touched my heart on many levels. Since before my children were born, it has been my prayer that they would know Jesus as they Savior from a young age and that they wouldn't ever know a day where they didn't know him as their Lord and Savior. We've had several conversations over the past few months about death, Jesus, sin and my husband and I are both convinced that our son recognizes he is a sinner, knows that He needs a Savior and knows that Jesus is the one who took the consequences for his sins. My son's statement have showed me that God has answered that prayer in His life. It was awesome to hear him say, "Mom, I've always known that Jesus is my Savior." I thank God for that answered prayer. It is a thrill to watch the Lord working in his life.

Thoughtful Thursday:
Those of you familiar with my blog know that my posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings of a stay at home wife and mom with three kids. While i suspect my days will seldom be "normal" enough to leave me without a "post worthy" moment, I intend to take some time on Thursdays to highlight something from my week that's a little more "thoughtful" and significant. God is such an integral part of the way I see the world that my "Thoughtful Thursdays" will often reflect on the Lord's work in my life and in the life of my family. If you had a post from this week, or choose to make a specific "Thoughtful Thursday" post, that relates any significant development/observation in your life (spiritual or not) please feel free to post a link to that blog entry in the comments section. I'd love to see how others are developing as well. (Oh, and please don't feel like you have to have a blog or post a link to leave a comment ;-) )

I have been singing the praises of oxiclean for some time now. It has gotten poop, tomato sauce, mud, and spit up out of my clothes for years. This Easter I REALLY put it to the test. We were dying eggs with the kids. My two year old had just plopped her egg into the red dye when she tipped the mug to peer into it and check out her handiwork. I am sure you can imagine where the story goes from here. I thought the shirt was a goner, but we decided to try and soak it in oxiclean just in case.

Oxiclean worked for me, hope it works for you too! Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesdays!

Tonight I was out all evening. I met a friend for dinner and then went to a steering meeting for my MOPS group. My wonderful husband stayed home with the kids. He made them waffles for dinner and they had a super hero night. My son received a Super Hero Starter Kit for his birthday which included an instruction book, real cape, eye masks and shield stickers. My son has been wearing his cape for days and my hubby has been teaching him how to be a super hero.

He taught him how to ward off the bad guys in order to protect the girls and I. The training session on Sat was a hoot! Tonight they had a movie night where they wore there eye masks, capes (Daddy had to don a towel) and watched The Incredibles. I instructed them to take pictures since I would be out.

When I got home and looked at the pictures, I couldn't help but think that I am married to Mr Incredible! He works diligently to provide for our family without complaint. When I want an evening out with a friend or have a meeting at church he NEVER complains about coming home early or watching the kids while I am gone. In fact he encourages me to go. He makes me feel so cherished and loved. I have never doubted his adoration for me or our children. The minute he walks in the door he greets all of us with enthusiasm. He truly plays with the kids (I think he was just as excited if not more excited about the toys my son got for his birthday as my son was). He convincingly falls on the floor when injured in battle, cooks dinner in the play kitchen, and sings his very own ballads. He is an INCREDIBLE father to my kids and husband to me! I feel richly blessed.
That's right folks, the show is about to begin.... Welcome to the new and improved location of my blog. I certainly hope that you will stay awhile, get to know us a bit, and come back often to share in my Life at the Circus!! For new and curious readers you can scroll down and catch up on previous posts or find out the inspiration behind my title. Grab some cotton candy, pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!

I have really enjoyed having people stop by to check out my recipes. I hope you'll stick around awhile and learn more about the circus life here. It has also been a ton of fun for me to find new recipes to throw into the mix by visiting the other postings on Menu Plan Monday.

Here's what's cooking at my place this week!!

Monday: Another MOPS meeting for me which means Daddy and the kiddos are having pancakes again. (pancakes are one of my hubby's specialties)

Tuesday: With spring weather here, we've got to enjoy life outdoors, so we're having grilled hot dogs with a side home fries and baked beans.

Wednesday: We're having some friends over for dinner tonight. I think I will make Mexican Lasagna.

Thursday: Double Peppy Pizza (after watching BOZ, my kids now call pizza Double Peppy pizza when we put any sort of veggie on it)

Friday: I didn't have time to make the chilli last week, so we will give it a try tonight.

Saturday: We have a busy day here with a quick meal between activities. I plan to make up some pepperoni bread so it will be ready when ever. It is one of my husband's favorites and the kids enjoy it as well. You just make the bread dough in the bread machine, then roll it out real thin and sprinkle cheese and pepperoni on it. Roll it up and pinch the sides. Bake for 20 min at 400 degrees. It tastes good warm or cold.

Sunday: Hopefully this week I will remember to get the frozen chicken out of my freezer ahead of time so we can finally have roasted chicken with stuffing and canned peas. I keep forgetting so it gets put off to the next weeks meal.

That's the plan for the week. Often times it gets switched around a bit, but at least it is something to start with.
They warned me this would happen. I told myself I wouldn't do it. And yet, I did and they were right. Darn those "experienced moms" who've been there and done that. Just last night I brought him home from the hospital and got up at least 8 times during the night to make sure he was still in the bassinet at the foot of our bed. During one of those middle of the night feedings I did the forbidden.... I blinked...... and now the baby I kissed goodnight is four years old!! How could it have happened so fast? I was just learning how to nurse in public without flashing the world and now he's flying around my backyard like a super hero protecting me from bad guys. At this rate I will be attending his high school graduation tomorrow. How do I bottle up these moments? How do I make time stand still? I want to slow down, it's going by way to fast.

I know I am tired. And by the end of the day I often want to rush through the bed time routine so I can have some peace and quiet before the day begins again. But I love these days. I love that my son wants to sit beside me at dinner and have me sing him his lullaby before bed. I love our snuggle time on the couch watching Curious George. I love his giggle when I say some silly word like, "but but" and his enthusiasm about planting seeds on his birthday. I love baking cookies with him and singing, "Sugar, dada-da-da-dada-Oh honey honey" when we measure and pour the sugar into the bowl. I dread the day when he no longer thinks my way of doing things is THE RIGHT way to do it, or when he no longer goes to sleep clutching that days most prized object (be it a sword, or pumpkin, or watering can). So the next time he reminds me we haven't had any snuggle time today and I am in the middle of e-mailing or unloading the dishwasher, I am going to remember that these moments are fleeting and I will revel in the fact that he still wants to share these moments with me.

Happy Birthday dear Son. I am so glad God made me your Mommy!

Nope, it's not my birthday... too late for Valentine's Day..... too early for Mother's Day. This was just an "I love you" gift. It was made of clear fishing line with little foam charms. My son was very proud to tell me that he had made it himself with a plastic needle.

When my son gave me this bracelet which he made, "because I love you Mom" my heart melted. I wore it all day. I wore it to the grocery store and while I made dinner. What can I say? I am a sap through and through. I guarantee if you looked at the bracelet you would see little worth to the foam charms and plastic chain. However when I look at it, I see the love behind the gift and it is truly priceless. I wear it with pride because my son made it for me as a token of his love to me.

How cool is it that our heavenly Father cares just as much about our love offerings to Him. They may be trivial in light of His resources but yet He stopped at nothing short of his Son to get us back. Unbelievable! We don't need to wait for Christmas, Easter, or Sunday morning to show our Father we love Him. We can do so today, right now, "because we love Him."
I weeded our flower beds this week with my 4y, 2y and 9m old. This is not an equation for efficiency, but we had fun....

We found an earthworm and I was really proud of myself for not going "eek" when I uncovered it in the dirt. Not only did I not shriek, but I feigned excitement and got my kids to be excited about it. My 2 year old tried to eat it (you have to watch her)! My son was enthusiastic about holding it. When he found out that you use them for fishing he said, "Oooh, I'll put it in my pocket so Daddy and I can bring it fishing." Hmmmm, guess I better start checking his pockets. He was very concerned that the birds would eat it if he didn't keep it. We found a nice hiding spot behind some flowers.

Despite the fact that I lack a green thumb, we bought some flowers at Wal-mart yesterday to plant in our front flower gardens. My kids were so excited! I even splurged and got them each a mini watering can. Does it get better than that? We spend several hours out front weeding and then planting and then, the best part, watering the flowers. We saw our neighbor who is about 6 years older than our son and my son eagerly invited him over to join us in our weeding. He kindly obliged and when he went to his shed to go get his tools my son admonished me to slow down on the weeding.

"Mom, don't pick all the weeds. We don't want to run out. We need to share them with Tommy." This made me chuckle. Running out of weeds isn't a problem I have ever experienced in my limited time gardening.

The flowers we were planting were called Impatients. Seemed appropriate as throughout the afternoon the conversation went something like this.

"Mom, are you done weeding yet? Can we plant the flowers?"

"Now, can we plant the flowers now? I am ready to water them."

"Hey mom, is it time now to plant the flowers? I got my watering can."

FINALLY it is time to plant the flowers. We begin with the first one of 18. By plant 2, it is...

"Hey Mom, can we water them?"

"When is it time to water them?"

"I'm ready to water them."

Finally we got them all planted and then they got to water them. It was pretty cute watching them pour the water from their cans. I also loved watching my daughter pat the soil around the plant... something about those tiny little hands patting down the soil, it was like a Hallmark moment or something.

Don't forget the baby. About half way through the process she decided she didn't want to be left out and she joined us, sitting on my lap. Digging the holes one handed was a bit slow, making the process take even longer. It was close to dark when we finished.

This morning when the kids woke up, my son told us he was so excited to look out the window last night to see his flowers. THIS is the part of gardening I enjoy. He also thought the flowers were thirsty and would need watering again today. Perhaps these plants have a better chance of survival than the last flower I brought home. Maybe green thumbs skip generations.
Yesterday when we were out running errands my son told me,

"Mom, I am going to be really good at nap time today."

I was in the midst of trying to find the things on my mental list and push the cart with three kids on it, so I muttered something like, "good honey" and continued on. My son was so excited because after nap time we were going to plant flowers in our yard. Later that day when I was putting him down for his nap (with his new watering can in hand) I told him I expected him to stay quiet in his bed during nap time. He replied, "Mom, remember at Walmart I told you I would be good at nap time today?" "That's right, well good."

As I closed his door and walked down the hall I realized that since he can "decide" that he is going to be good at nap time and he recognizes that he has decided to be good, then the times that he isn't good and doesn't obey, it is just as deliberate. He just busted himself. Bummer for both of us because now I must discipline him when he isn't good at nap time. To ignore it would do more harm than good.
This Wordless Wednesday highlights our very patient dog.

Note the ear pulling and stroller bashing.

"What Mom? I AM being gentle!"

For more of my Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

If you read my blog post from Sunday you know that getting my laundry washed, dryed, folded, and put away is a big challenge for me. Today I found a way to help speed along that process. Even though my kids have an entire toy room which they can play in, they begged me to let them play in the pack-n-play while I folded laundry. Yes, that is correct, I actually said to my two and four year old, "If you fight or hit each other in there, you will have to come OUT of the pack-n-play."

I didn't believe it at first either.

But they played with their hammers and legos and I was able to fold, sort, and PUT AWAY 3 loads of laundry. For an entire hour I was caught up laundry.. unable to do more because my washer and dryer were both running and 4 loads were waiting beside the washer.

The Pack-n-Play, that's my Works for Me Wednesday... hope it works for you too!!
Last night I got a chocolate craving. I didn't feel like doing a ton of work to feed this craving so I thought I'd bake some No Bake Cookies. Growing up this was often the cure for a chocolate craving with minimal effort. When I opened my cabinet to get out the sugar I noticed a sticky brown residue on the container.

"Uh-oh" I thought.

Upon further investigation I found molasses covering the entire shelf, the box of aluminum foil, the pancake box, the corn muffin box and still no molasses jar. Then I looked on the shelf above. The molasses had tipped over, dripped over that entire shelf, down the back of the shelf and gotten over all the afore mentioned items on the bottom shelf. With each discovery of brown sticky mess, I whined a little more.

Looks like my quick chocolate fix was going to be postponed as I set about cleaning up the molasses. So much for minimal effort. UGH! As I began cleaning up I wondered how long the molasses had been dripping back there waiting for me to notice. How many times had I grabbed something out of the cabinet not realizing that an enormous mess was sneaking up on me?

It kind of reminds me of sin. How often do we shut the door on a sin that is in our life, not realizing how it is growing and festering into a huge mess? When I discovered the molasses mess, part of me was tempted to just grab the needed sugar, shut the door and pretend the mess wasn't there. This would have done no good. The mess would have only gotten worse and eventually I would have had to clean it up anyway. It is far better to clean it up when we discover it then to let it slowly drip into a bigger mess. Sin is the same way. Rather than shutting the door and pretending it isn't in our life, if we confess our sin "God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now my shelf is clean, all the boxes were wiped clean and the sticky residue is even gone. Is the same true of your heart? Is there a sin you need to take before our Lord? He is ready to clean up your mess, all you have to do is ask.
Thanks to all of you who stopped by and read my site and my meal plan last week. It was fun to have some new visitors on my site! Here is this week's menu plan at our house.

  • Monday:Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs: Tonight is Mommy's Night out as I have a MOPS meeting so Daddy will be cooking breakfast for dinner tonight for him and the kiddos.

  • Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs: I like to make my own meatballs by taking ground turkey, bread crumbs, one egg, and Italian seasonings and mushing it all together. I then make them into little meatballs and broil them in the oven. One pound of meat makes enough for two meals so I freeze one batch of meatballs for next time! Then all I have to do is boil some water for spaghetti, open a jar of Ragu and Voila! Dinner is served!!

  • Wednesday: Harvest Steaks and buttered egg noodles with a side of canned peas. This is one of my kids favorite. They call ham, "the new meat" To make the kids ham, I just brown the ham steak on both sides and serve plain. To dress it up a bit for my hubby and me, I use this recipe from Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious Sept/Oct 07 magazine.
  • 1 med onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ham steaks
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
    • Saute onion and pepper in butter until crisp tender.. Remove from pan and set aside. Brown ham steak on both sides. Meanwhile in small bowl, combine cornstarch and apple juice until smooth; pour over ham. Bring to boil; cook and stir 1-2 min or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat; spread apple butter over ham. Top with onion. Cover and simmer 5-7 min or until heated through
  • Thursday: Chicken and Dumplings: This is super easy and my kids have been asking for it for the past week! Take 3 frozen chicken breasts and put in crock pot with 2 cans of chicken broth. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Pour cooked chicken and broth into large pot on stove and bring to a boil. Use a fork to break up the chicken into pieces. Mix dumplings using Bisquick recipe and drop onto chicken and broth. I recently startedd adding baby carrots and frozen peas to the chicken while in the crock pot in order to get our veggies in there too! A one pot meal and it is so easy!
  • Friday: Day Before Chilli Recipe: My husband had been asking me to find a new chilli recipe for awhile. I found this online and it was an instant hit. While it suggests you make it the day before, I have forgotten and made it the day of and it still tasted great!
  • Saturday: Homemade Pizza
  • I make the dough in the bread machine using this recipe:
    • For 2lb serving (this serves 4 adults plus 2 preschoolers with some leftover)
      • Ingredients: 3/4 teaspoon salt
      • 4 cups of all purpose flour
      • 2 tsp active dry yeast
      • 1-1/4- 1 3/8 cups water
      • 3 tablespoons of oil
    • Combine all ingredients into bread pan.
    • Select dough setting. (will take 1.5 hrs to make dough)
    • Preheat oven to 400.
    • Roll out dough and top with sauce, cheese, and toppings
    • Bake for 20 min
Sunday: Sloppy Joes made with Manwich and served with oven baked fries and sweet peas

Let me know if you end up trying any of these recipes. I'd love to know what you think!!
bane (bn) n. A source of persistent annoyance or exasperation

When talking about laundry to my husband, I typically describe it as the "bane of my existence." No matter how hard I try to get it washed, folded, and put away, I typically fall short of accomplishing all 3 of those steps. Most often I get it washed, dried, and dumped on to our guest bed (which my husband now affectionately calls his dresser). Then in the morning when my family is looking for something to wear, I run downstairs, rummage through the pile and when I am lucky, emerge with matching socks (or at least close) and clothes for them to wear. Often I go downstairs to discover that the load in the washer was left over night or sometimes nightS and I have to rewash the load (so frustrating). On a good day I get the clothes folded and sorted into piles and once on a blue moon they get folded, sorted, AND (drum roll please) put away.

This was NOT that week.

The pile started on the guest bed and it grew....

I then moved it to my bed thinking that with it on my bed I would be sure to fold and put them away before going to bed that night.

Instead the pile got transfered to an overflowing pile in a basket in our room. After a few days this basket was moved to my living room with the new rationale that with the clothes sitting on our couch I would be sure to fold and put them away b/c I would be looking at them all day.

They stayed on the couch for 3 days.
Yesterday I got them all folded and put into piles. Unfortunately, everyone was napping when this occurred so I couldn't get them put away.
As I sit and type this, they are sitting all nicely folded and in piles on our couch(of course my kids are awake, so we'll see how long this lasts).

THIS is why I should not have started blogging.


UPDATE: This post was originally posted at 6:42pm. At 7:30 pm this picture was taken.

With spring like weather finally here, we've been spending some more time outside. I took these series of pictures of the kids out on our deck. Note the sequence of events.

Baby is playing cutely in boat so Mommy decides to take a picture.

Big Sister notices and has to get in on the action and spotlight.

"Hey, don't leave me out!"

Poor baby is off to find something else to play with.

Note the steering wheel my son is using... this is why I can never find what I need in my kitchen!

My kids have been fascinated with my pots and pans using them for a variety of purposes... to pretend cook, to drive boats, as masks, as hats, as steering wheels for cars... I have found them in the couch cushions, in my sons bed, in the toy room, on the deck...
Oddly, I never seem to find them in my kitchen cabinet.

Tonight I had a hot date with my hubby. My son's birthday is coming up and we needed to go shopping for his present. Since we had to get a babysitter to watch the kids, we decided to take full advantage of that fact and we went out for dinner as well. I really enjoyed having an uninterrupted conversation with him while getting to hold his hand as we walked into the store. As we pulled into Toys R Us after our dinner out, I realized that the last time we went on a date we went to Toys R Us for our daughter's birthday gift. Funny how kids change things.... we now go to Toys R Us for our hot dates. :-)
In case some of my faithful blog readers are wondering why I didn't write any new posts yesterday, I want to assure you that I am still out there and still writing. Actually, I did lots of writing for my blog yesterday, it's just not ready to be unveiled quite yet.


I was conflicted with the fact that my blog was titled My Three Ring Circus while my address was a completely different So, my hubby and I set out to change it. I've been blogging for almost two weeks now, and we thought we should get it properly fixed early, before people bookmark the blog (hopeful thinking that I will gain a faithful following one day).

Of course, mythreeringcircus, my3ringcircus, 3ringcircus, thethreeringcircus, the3ringcircus and just about every combination of three ring circus had already been taken. But, we finally found an address we like. I spent yesterdays bloging time developing a detailed about me page, about family page and a more general blog introduction page. I'm hoping readers will stay and get to know us better as they visit the new site. It won't be all new with custom layout & formatting or anything (YET - We've only been at this for two weeks) but it will be more inviting for people who don't know me already.

Where is it you ask?

Well, even though my hubby stayed up WAY too late last night working on the widgets for the new site, it's still not ready for you to see. Hopefully, we'll unveil it soon. Don't worry, we will invite you all to the ribbon cutting ceremony. :-)

Until then, anyone care to make a guess as to my new title???

My son loves sunsets. He comes by it naturally as his father also enjoys looking at God's handiwork. One evening, several months ago, when we were looking out the window for Daddy to come home, he pointed out to me how pretty the sunset was. I told him that sunsets are like pictures that God draws for us to show us He loves us. I told him that just like he draws pictures for me and Daddy to show us he loves us, God makes the sunsets to show us that HE loves US (pretty amazing stuff)! I told him we should thank God for the sunsets. This began a tradition. Every time he sees the sunset he points it out and he or I prays to thank God for it.

One night a few weeks later Daddy was driving him to swim lessons and they saw a gorgeous sunset. Daddy relayed the following conversation to me when they got home. It went something like this.

"Look at the sunset!"

"Yea, it is pretty."


"Daddy, when I am in heaven, do you think Jesus will let me help make the sunsets?"

Pause while Daddy (who is a very technical person) started to explain to our 3 year old that God already set up the system for beautiful sunsets long ago....then he cut himself off.

"Yea son, I think He would."

"Good, because I love sunsets."

I love teaching our children about our awesome Creator God. I love enjoying His creation with them. I also love watching them enjoy His creation on their own. It's now several months later and tonight when my son looked out the window, he excitedly pointed out another beautiful sunset. "This one looks like a rainbow Mommy. I've never seen a sunset with so many colors."

Thank you God for caring for me and my family. We love you too.
Mom, I can dress myself!!

(Earlier this week I posted two other pictures worthy of a Wordless Wednesday - check it out HERE)

This afternoon my son asked if he could, "have some Charlie Brown candy". It took me a few minutes to figure out what he meant.

"Peanuts?" I asked.


Then I realized, "Oh Peppermint Patty?"


I think I may start calling them that from now on :-)
Today I took the kids to the grocery store and in addition to some much needed food, the older two each got a balloon with a lollipop tied to the bottom. The store has them for free at the check out. A nice bonus for everyone! After I unloaded the van, they were out on the back deck eating their lollipops while I putting away the groceries. I heard some commotion, so I went outside and saw my daughter staring up at the sky like this.

Meanwhile, my son was in hysterics crying, "My sister's balloon is gone!" I totally didn't even think about warning them that when they finished the lollipops to hold on tightly to their balloons.

I looked up and sure enough the balloon was gone. So being the compassionate and caring mother that I am, I grabbed my camera to snap a picture of the quickly disappearing balloon and the looks on my children's faces.

I thought it was rather funny that my daughter was more surprised than distraught. She was over it in no time flat. My son wailed on for several more minutes. He cried, "It's just like at the County Fair when I lost my balloon." "Please, please go back to the store for another one." I told him it was ok, look, it was your sister's balloon and she doesn't even care. He was worried about birds popping it with their beaks. He really wanted it to come back. Eventually, he got over it and we ate lunch. Next time, I will probably have them eat their lollipop balloons inside rather than outside.
I am a big fan of Oreo cookies. They are the only store bought cookie I buy and when I see them on sale I have a really hard time not putting at least one bag in my grocery cart! I have noticed that there are many ways to eat an Oreo. I never taught my kids how to eat them, yet each has his and her own preference. My daughter likes to open them up, lick out the cream, and then discard the rest of the cookie. She is the only one in our family who eats them this way. She isn't mimicking anyone when she does this. My son likes to dip his. He doesn't care what he dips it in. Usually it is milk, but last night his cup had juice in it when he was eating his dessert and he happily dipped the Oreo in the juice. My husband dips his in milk, he doesn't dunk it, just dips it in to get it a bit wet. I like to dunk mine. I put the cookie in the milk, hold it down with my spoon until the bubbles start going to the top, then pick it up with the spoon and eat it.. mmm, delicious. So, tell me, how do you eat your Oreo's?
I have found that I save a ton of grocery money as well trips to the grocery store, by making a monthly meal plan. I write on my calendar my meals for the month. Then, I make my grocery lists based on that and theoretically, I have all I need for us to eat for the month (with the exception of produce and milk, which I have to return to the store multiple times for). I found a blog which lets you post your weeks meal plan on Monday for others to see. Looks like fun to me and a great way to find new recipes to get you over those slumps of the same old meals. So, this is my first post on Menu Plan Monday. Hopefully, someone will find something yummy they want to try.
Monday- Fiesta Chicken: put frozen chicken breasts and jar of salsa in crock pot on low all day. Make rice and pour chicken and salsa over the rice, top with shredded cheddar cheese. Easy and everyone in my house loves it (even my 2 year old)!
Tuesday-My husband won't be home for dinner this night b/c he is volunteering at a homeless shelter. Since it just me and the kids, I will stick with something simple, like French toast.
Wednesday-Mexican Chicken Soup-I got this one from Sheila's post last week on To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. Sounds yummy so I thought I would give it a try!
Thursday- Jamaican Beans and Rice- also found this recipe on Sheila's post last week. You know my kids love beans, so seemed like a winner for our house!
Friday-Sloppy Joes (made with Manwich) and tater tots.
Saturday-My church is having a children's ministry volunteer appreciation dinner this night, so no cooking for me tonight!
Sunday- Roasted Chicken- whole chickens were on sale a few weeks ago and I bought one and stuck it in the freezer. Thought we'd put it in the oven, have some mashed potatoes and serve up a big, home style meal for dinner.
I'm only one week into my blogging adventure and I already had to skip a day. Yesterday was one of THOSE days. Those of you with kids, know what I mean. It started Friday night when all 3 of my kids woke at various points throughout the night coughing, moaning and generally not feeling well (thankfully, no puking occurred). The "night" ended for good at 6:20 when I was up giving my son water, then my daughter a nebulizer treatment for her asthma and as soon as I finished, I heard the baby crying for me to nurse her! What a great start to the day!

Yesterday, was one of those days when I was especially thankful that I am not in this alone and that God gave me a supportive and helpful husband (Even though I had to wake him up to get his help b/c he could sleep through a train going through our house). Once I woke him, he quickly helped and it was one of those tag team days... Me off to the pediatrician with one child while he stayed home with the other 2, then he stayed home with a different two while I took the baby with me to run errands. By the end of the day, we were both exhausted and fearing how many times we would be up that night, we went to bed early and exhausted and thus no post.

It's hard to complain when you know your daughter is suffering though a double ear infection while struggling through her asthma for every breath (it sure seems she has the toughest go of things). I know she deserves a lot of slack on days like that but it doesn't make the constant whining any less exhausting to be around. The one thing I do love about my job though is that the greatest perks can come on the most draining days. While standing in the pharmacy waiting for our perscription to be filled my daughter gave me the warmest, longest and most refreshing hug. Later that evening, she paused from her fussyness and gave me an unprompted "I Love You". It's common to think that mothering doesn't pay well, but the truth is we get paid pretty well for what we do. :-)
I walked in on my son weighing himself in our bathroom today. He said, "Woah! I gotta slow down, I am eating too fast!" I asked him where he heard that and he said, "Daddy, when he saw a 2 and a 0 on the scale he said, "Woah, I gotta slow down and stop eating so many cookies." (Please note, I got permission from Daddy to post this anecdote.)

Oh course, she wanted to get in on the action as well. I figured I should chronicle this, b/c not many girls actually WANT to get on the scale, then actually allow a camera present and then SMILE during the process... ah, to be young!!
A few weeks ago my hubby told me he had left me a surprise love note in the kitchen for me to find later. I thought perhaps he had done the dishes or something. When I went to the kitchen I couldn't find it. Every now and then when I thought about it, I would look around trying to figure out what it was.

The other night I was talking on the phone and doing some dishes when I looked at our window and saw a U. "Hmm... that's odd, I thought." As I continued talking, I kept looking up at the window and then I saw it... my love note. Do you see it?

You might be wondering how he did this. I am embarrassed to confess he wrote it in the dust on my window screen. Pretty romantic,huh? I guess it is pretty obvious that I don't dust my window screens all that often..... so often that weeks could pass without me noticing the writing on it. Now I have an excuse not to dust... it'd be a shame to erase my love note, right?
Our middle child really likes to put things in order. Before she goes to bed at night she puts each of her stuffed animals in a straight row beside her pillow. I've noticed recently that she seems to gravitate towards put things things into straight lines. When she plays with blocks she puts them next to each other in a row, like a road, rather then stacking them one on top of the other.

(Note this occurrence in the professional picture we had taken of the three kids... the only way to keep them all sitting on the mat was to put blocks down for them to play with... she was quite captivated by her road forgetting all about the photographer!)

The other night we went to a pizza party for the families in my Mothers of PreSchoolers group. When we were done eating the adults were all talking and the kids were playing. We looked over and our little organizer had rearranged the chairs.

Later this week I noticed her rearranging the magnets on our refrigerator. Each time it is always in a straight line.... I am thinking we may have a type A personality on our hands here!!