Sunday, May 31, 2009


There's something about the McDonalds that we frequent that sets Leeann's allergies off... in the late Spring/early Summer especially. Today she just started freaking out at McDonalds, and I was honestly quite annoyed because she just spontaneously erupts into rivers of tears so often (and usually for next to no-good reason), but we whisked the kids into the car and headed home.

When we got home I looked at Leeann and she could barely open her eye. It was puffy... really puffy. And there were hives surrounding it. Her eye swelled into a near perfect, puffy circle. When she opened her eye the whites of her eye were swollen and totally glossed over. It was bad.

So I gave her some children's benedryl and called Grampy (Leeann's bio Grandpa, who happens to be a head nurse), and he encouraged me to put an ice pack on it and give it an hour or so to go down before taking her to Urgent Care. So, Leeann and I snuggled on the couch while I held her ice pack over her eye and we had yet another talk about how she uses her tears too much so we don't always know if she's really hurt or really sad. And I apologized to her for not listening well when she said she was hurt. We had such a good snuggle that we both fell asleep. Two hours later she was still puffy, but it had gone down quite a bit and the hives were gone.

We were headed to a softball game so we took her by Grampy's house (so she didn't risk getting worse by whatever's floating around outside). Then we all trooped to our game which we won 15-8! We lost our first two this year, so it was nice to finally win. Rob scored 4 runs, I... um, didn't. I did get on base twice and hit it three times though. Hey, lets be honest, I'm happy if I connect with the ball!

Other than that, there's not a whole lot that's new or exciting going on in our world. We continue to trek along day by day as a family of 6. I realized the other day when I was writing the kids' birthdays down for something that Leeann and Logan have the same birth year and so do Hope and Titus. It's like raising two sets of twins two years apart. We're nearly 3 months into our adventure now. Things really are going well on most days. We, of course, have our ups and downs as always. School is almost out so it will be interesting to see how we adjust to a summer schedule. I look forward to not having to get up at 7:45. I know, that's pathetic isn't it?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In Honor of Mee Maw

This weekend the family gathered in honor of Mee Maw's Birthday (or, the weekend of her Birthday at least), to do gingerbread houses. For a number of years she's gathered all the grandkids together let them decorate gingerbread houses and eat as much candy as they want. The gingerbread houses were all set up for this year, but a snow storm prevented us from being up there at Christmas and then she was in the hospital, so we post-poned the festivities until this last weekend. So, in her honor we let our kids eat sugar until they puked (okay, only one puked, it was Logan... the rest of them were only on the verge :0), and decorate houses to their hearts content. This was Titus's first time doing it since you have to be 3 to participate. I'm sad he didn't get to do it with Mee Maw, but I'm glad he got to enjoy in the tradition anyway.

This was just one of the tables full of kids and sugar!

Leeann with Rob's Aunt Barb, Janice's sister. They were here from Indiana for the week!
Weston and Logan and their wonderful houses!
I felt a strange urge to decorate something myself and since I'm too big to have my own gingerbread house, I decorated my daughter instead!
And then some other people got involved and added some accessories.
Great Grandpa was especially proud of his art work!
Here's Leeann's finished product.
Here's a small glimpse into the chaos!
This is Titus's train. He got quite impatient and just wanted to eat all the candy. For every piece that went on the train 6 went in his mouth!
And this is the resulting sugar-coma that Titus fell into. He slept for an hour and a half, in a dining room chair. The kid wouldn't wake up for anything!
It was a super fun day. Gingerbread houses make for good memories. We, of course, all wished that Mee Maw had been there. We miss her. I miss her--a lot.

Family Pictures

These are some pictures that were taken on Saturday at Shelly's (Rob's sister) house.

This is Shelly's husband Chuck with all four of their amazingly awesome kiddos. They were seeing who could eat a twizzler first with no hands. Chuck won!
These are Rob's moms parents, Martha and Stan. They're coming up on 59 years of marriage!

We went through a lot of Rob's moms pictures over the weekend and there were a lot of pictures of different sets of cousins lined up from oldest to youngest. So, to keep with tradition we took another one. We're missing the Hansen kids, but this will have to work until we can get everyone on the same side of the United States!

And this is all of the Buhl kids with their families and Rob's dad and step-mom. Weston's there... behind Suzy... see? Shelly is amazing, she hosts all but four of these people when we come up. I want to be as hospitable as Shelly when I grow up (er, if I grow up!).

This is the position that Titus takes for most of his time at Shelly's house--on Josh's back! Josh takes such good care of the boys when they are up there. He runs and bounces and chases and builds and creates and even supervises sleep-overs with the boy cousins. You're the greatest Josh! I don't have any pictures of Leeann with Ashly and Amanda this time, but they do the same with Leeann, only with Polly Pockets and Littlest PetShop stuff!

And here is a picture of the next generation of cousins. KayLee, Landon, Josh, Amanda, Ashly, Weston, Leeann, Logan and Titus. These guys are a hoot together!

Grandpa Time!

We went up to Washington on Thursday of this week, and Rob and Titus got to meet Rob's dad, Steve, for lunch and some fun at a park near Steve's work. Grandpa took Titus to a place where he could see brand new Boeing planes take off. Titus LOVES planes (and trains, and anything else with wings or wheels), so it was a lot of fun for him! It was good, also for the boys to get some time together. Thanks GPB for taking the boys out!
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My little Picasso's

A couple of weeks ago I came upstairs to find Hope and Titus displaying some beautiful art work on the walls. And the doors. And the dresser. And the desk. And the bunk bed stairs. And the toys. And the carpet. And the window sill. And the other wall. And the outside of the door. And the end table. And the rubber maid container...

Yes, to say the least, I could have lost my lid... but I didn't. I stuck them both in time-out and took my aggression out on the walls with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (those things are amazing!).

If you click on the picture above it will get bigger and you can see a number of very nicely written T's on the bottom of the door. I have to say, I smiled to myself and was proud of Titus when I saw those... he hasn't yet written his T's on paper, so I was strangely proud of his creation!

Hope and Titus spent a number of weeks grounded from crayons since neither of them learned their lesson that time. They've both since tried fine-tuning their artistic skills, despite my best efforts to hide the crayons from them!
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This is a picture of our family along with Rob's mom in 2007. It was such an unforgettable amazing trip! We're sad that Mee Maw won't get to be there with us, but part of her legacy lives on in each of our future Disneyland trips. May they come often and be full of fun!

I went to Disneyland for the first time after I graduated from high school and spent 3 days in the park.

I went again after I graduated college and spent another 3 days in the park.

I went for 1 day in early 2007 as part of a children's ministry conference.

I also went for 2 days in late 2007 with Rob's mom and our family when we down to Southern California for Mike and Becka's wedding.

As we were on our way back from our last trip we decided that we were going to start saving and planning for our next trip. We determined that we wanted to go during a slow season (our last trip had been in August and it was hot and the lines were long!), during the Christmas Season so we could see it all lit up with Christmas lights, and for at least 5 days. I've had so many short trips, that we're ready for the do-all, see-all trip of a lifetime!

So we started to put money away, $5 here, $50 there. Anytime we had money left over in one of our budget categories we'd skim a little off the top and put it in our Disneyland envelope. We've put nearly every gift card we've been given for the last year and a half into our envelope to use on our trip. Most money that we've been given as a gift, or that we've earned above and beyond our regular pay-checks have gone into the envelope too. Lo and behold, thanks in-part to a nice tax return this year our trip is fully funded and we're still 6 months out. We're SO EXCITED!

Okay, the kids and I are excited, Rob is OBSESSED! I truly don't think there's been a day that's gone by that Rob hasn't used the word Disneyland at least 3-5 times. He watches the Disneyland planning video for fun--often. He watched it 8 times this Friday and Saturday alone!

We were able to finalize some of plans yesterday, including a super, beyond incredible price on a hotel suite thanks to connection of one of my best friends. So, we'll leave by train after church on November 29th and it's going to take us 28 hours to get there. We'll spend 6 days in the park, and we'll have several down days relaxing by the pool too! We'll even get to enjoy Titus's Birthday at Disneyland!

The dates are set, the money's saved... and we're counting down the days (er, months!) Disneyland, here we come!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just Say... Yes?

If you are currently a mother with children of any age living at home you might find yourself in the same predicament I find myself in all-too-often. Saying 'no'. For no good reason, just because that's what I usually say when one of my many children ask me for something. It doesn't usually matter what they're asking for, my knee-jerk reaction is constantly 'no'.

"Can I have a Popsicle?" No.

"Can I watch a movie?" No.

"Can we go outside?" No.

"Can we go to the park?" No.

"Will you come look at this mommy?" No. Not right now... with tears beginning to form on Leeann's face I realize that she's wanting me to come look at something that she worked really hard on, or something really thoughtful that she did. Or worse yet, something she made just for me.

I spend so much of my days just trying to keep things in control that I'm beginning to realize that I control too much. Rob pointed this out in his sermon yesterday, that he spends so much time trying to teach our kids that the world doesn't revolve around them, but they usually end up teaching him that the world doesn't revolve around him. Funny thing, the world doesn't revolve around me either.

There's been a counselor coming to our house several times a week and she's working on me with doing short periods of child-centered play time. It's hard! I have to play with them without directing anything. I can't suggest anything, or even ask questions. I can only respond to them and what they're doing. I'm supposed to PRAISE appropriate behavior (That's terrific counting!), REFLECT appropriate talk (You are building a beautiful red tower!), IMITATE appropriate play (You look like you are having lots of fun, I want to build a beautiful red tower just like you) DESCRIBE appropriate behavior (You drew a very nice smiley face) and exhibit ENTHUSIASM (Wow! That's great!).

All the while I have to ignore inappropriate behavior unless it's dangerous or destructive, I have to avoid giving commands (direct or indirect), avoid asking questions and avoid criticizing. I have to avoid all uses of the words NO DON'T STOP QUIT and NOT.

This is intended to help me enhance my relationship with the kiddos and to help increase their self-esteem. You may think it's easy but grab your nearest child and give it a whirl! In my first session with Hope I found myself asking her questions constantly. It's so hard to just sit back and let any of my kids lead the conversation and the play time. I am officially one of the most self-centered people I know!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I decided to boot my home computer back up this morning and see if I could get on the internet since I heard the conficker virus had self-destructed or something like that (I'm not a computer geek by any means, I just heard it on the radio one day). Anyway, I'm on the internet at my house which I'm really excited about... I haven't checked my email since Sunday morning and I'm having withdrawals! It's running as slow as a slug, but hey, I learned that today probably isn't a good day to go play at the park before we headed out today. That was good!

Leeann and I got to go to Brenna's house last night and watch the 3 hour Biggest Loser Season Finale. It was lots of fun, but Leeann only kept those cute little eyes open until about 10:00. She was so cute! I enjoyed some time with some friends, and escaping bed time!

Well, honestly, I've got more browsing to do, so this will be the end of my posting for now. Just thought I'd let you know that I'm (hopefully) back on-line!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mother of the Year!

Thanks to a 'nomination' from Rob's Aunt Barb, I am now a proud recipient of the "Mother of the Year Award." I thought it had escaped for one of a million reasons this year, but apparently I finally made it! Thanks Aunt Barb!

The End of Blogging...

... for now anyway.

I regret to inform you, my faithful viewing audience, that my posts will be few and far between for at least a short while. All 3 of our computers are dead.

My battery finally gave out on my lap-top and we refuse to put any more money into the pile of junk.

My home computer has the conficker virus and I can't get it off until 1.) Someone smarter than me can look at it. And 2.) I think I need to find my copy of Windows (and we've moved 2 times since we bought the computer so it could be anywhere!) in order to do the proper updates since the version of windows that is on my computer apparently isn't genuine, I need our code from the original windows to get it to update.

Rob's laptop got the blue screen of death 2 days ago for the second time in a week.

So, we are in a bad spot as far as computers are concerned, hence the fact I probably won't be blogging much in the near future. I'm not quite sure what our plan of action will be. Remember, we're trying to set aside any extra money to pay off Rob's student loans. Argggg... Rob uses his for work so I imagine that will be the first to be replaced.

Unfortunately, until my blog magically starts making a significant amount of money, my need for daily blogging doesn't register as far up on the priority list as Rob's working. Bummer huh? I'll try to sneak updates as I can commandeer other people's computers (like I'm doing to Aunt Pam's right now!), until we can figure something else out.

So, thank you for being a faithful reader and I'll try to get up and running as soon as I can!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Gorgeous Kiddos

Photo compliments of Precious Portraits!

We took Hope and Logan to my friend Eroica's to get some pictures of them for a Mother's Day gift for their mom. We decided to take a couple of shots of my kiddos too and this was the very first picture. It captures their truly happy faces so well that it melts my heart! I love these two little munchkins. They are amazing kids so full of life and love. I am one blessed, blessed mommy!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mother of the year escapes me again!

So, today we carved out our afternoon for Leeann's kindergarten orientation. Rob took part of the afternoon off of work, Nanny is going to be here to watch the other kids... we're rip roaring ready to go!

The only problem is, apparently kindergarten orientation was yesterday. Whoops! As if I haven't already felt like enough of a failure to school aged children by all the shenanigans involved in having Logan in school. I can somewhat justify it since it's not like I got to jump into this thing from the beginning. Now, I apparently won't be jumping into it with Leeann from the beginning either because I wrote the wrong date in my calendar. Nice! Yes, the Mother of the Year award escapes me again!

Today marks the 2 month anniversary of having Logan and Hope here. In some ways time has flown by and in other ways it's crept along. Well, perhaps I should go now, and figure out what to do with my day now!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dancing Kiddos

Since I can't post pictures of my siblings on my blog (and therefore didn't take any pictures), you'll have to use your imagination to paint this picture in your mind:

7 kiddos (if you include Landon), dancing around my living room like wild maniacs to a Kid's Bop CD from a McDonald's happy meal they got this week. Freakishly dancing to the same 5 songs over and over again for more than an hour in a really small living room. They ended their dance-fest with a 2o minute display of their talents on my living room rug. They lined up and took turns one-by-one doing their best moves on the rug, mostly some variation of the summer-sault.

I was exhausted just watching them. I so wish I could bottle up even a fraction of that energy to use for myself! It was so cute, but perhaps, you'd just have to have been here to get the full effect of these adorable children!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Attitude Check

There's nothing like a few (childless) hours with a good friend and a couple of amazing teenage girls that we get the pleasure of hanging out with, coupled with an amazing Bible study about an amazing woman (Esther), in a cozy cafe with a yummy drink... to give me a much needed attitude check.

Rob took all four kids to a Birthday party today while I spend some time with Brenna, Kimmee and Kelli. It was so good to have even a few short hours on my own today. Then Rob took Logan to run some errands and I got some much-needed stuff done around the house. I almost feel like I'm kind of on-top of a few things around here.

I was determined today to have a better attitude than I have had recently, and it's amazing at how much of a difference that simple determination seemed to have made.

I have sweet kiddos. Titus asked me tonight if he could "be with me" while Rob and I worked on some finance stuff at the table while the kiddos were watching a movie. He just sat on my lap for a few minutes with his blanket and bear. I love that!

Leeann takes the cake though. About 10 or 15 minutes after all the rest the kids were asleep Rob headed upstairs where he heard Leeann crying. She told him that she misses Mee Maw. She said she was sad because it means that Hee Paw is lonely. She is such a thoughtful, sweet, compassionate, caring little girl. I love my kiddos. Today, today was a good day!

Computer Woes

My laptop gave me the blue screen of death with some words scrolled acrossed it temporarily, then booted up. I'm wondering if it's at the end of it's life span. My battery no longer charges so it only works if plugged in. I'm just waiting for it to crash.

My desktop ended up with the conficker virus last week, so I can't get on the internet. It just keeps directing me to buy a software that I know is intended only to steal my information. Seriously, I can't go anywhere on the internet, so I haven't turned it on in a week.

Somehow my speakers stopped working on both my desktop at home and at work. Strange eh?

My problems are minor in comparission to Rob's though. His computer crashed this week and only a small number of his files were saved before the hard drive was wiped clean. 6.5 years of work are on his laptop. Uh, I mean, were on his laptop. We never back-up our computers and this is the price we're paying. Rob is currently at Costco with Logan picking up an external hard-drive so we can back our computers up finally.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Rough Week

This week has been kind of a rough one around our house. Nothing out of the ordinary per se, just more of the same-old, same-old... and a lot of it! I was commenting to Rob tonight that I'm just tired of being frustrated. I seriously feel like I do little more than correct behaviors, break-up squabbles, redirect kiddos and clean up messes. ALL DAY LONG! I feel a little guilty saying this, but I'm not enjoying motherhood a whole lot at the moment... and I don't like that! I love them all to pieces, I just feel like I'm constantly irritated. I need an attitude check, and a really long time-out!

The good news is that we have hired a nanny however, and she's a skilled one at that. I really like having an extra person around the house and find it especially delightful when she's doing my laundry and my dishes :0) I'm still trying to figure out how to make the best use of her and her time with us, so hopefully we'll settle into a good routine over these next couple of weeks.

In other news, Mother's Day is coming up. Let me tell you how I feel about that. Or, perhaps I shouldn't... I'm not sure I'm in the mood for a good cry tonight. I feel like I think of Mee Maw a hundred times a day. A sight, a sound, a word, Jo-Ann's, fabric, crafts, Disneyland, phone calls, Dr. Pepper, silly shoes... she's still everywhere. 3 months later I'm still mad she's gone. Isn't that pathetic. I'm mad... mad of all things. Argg... see, I told you I need an attitude check!

At the moment I'm once again enjoying the sound of quietness while everyone else is in bed. Our whole marriage Rob and I have been committed to going to bed together whenever possible, but these last few months I've enjoyed staying up later from time-to-time just to hear nothing. The sound of silence is such a rare commodity around our house that I feel an intense need to consume it whenever I can!

So, there you go, you've officially been filled in on the contents of another exciting chapter in my crazy life. Until the next time...