7 Quick Takes Friday

1) So in just over 6 hours I will be on vacation! I am so excited, this is my first real vacation since before I was pregnant with Shelby. Not just a weekend trip, a real vacation. We are headed to Emerald Isle for a week with my parents and 2 of my 3 brothers. Yes, I live 20 minutes from the beach but Emerald Isle is much different culture-wise from the beach I live near and is very special to my husband and I.

2) My kids are not at all co-sleepers. They like their own beds, thank you very much, but when I woke up to come to work tonight, there was Joey, in our bed. I hope he’s not sick.

3) Shelby is so ready to go back to school. This last week has been our first rough one with her all summer. She has been on a destructive tear all over the house and nothing seems to make her happy. She wants to go outside, but let her go outside and she wants to be in. Sometimes we forget kids need vacation too! After next week, only a couple more till she goes back full time!

4) Will is major into copying things. Major. He is the first one of our kids to imitate animal sounds before his second birthday. Right now there is just one. Whenever our dogs start barking…

5) Please lift up Lerin and her family and Karen and her family in prayer.

6) Does anyone else feel overwhelmed by Twitter or Google Reader? I’m sure I’m completely alone in these. The reader feels as though it demands me to look at it far more often than I would care to. Twitter, I find too restrictive. I still have my account,  but, I almost NEVER log in.

7) Just in case you missed it, Betty Beguiles is hosting an awesome Shabby Apple giveaway. I had to share again, because I love the styles and who doesn’t love a giveaway moms, am I right?

Come Visit Jen and check out everyone’s Quick Takes!


Thankful Thursday Part Deux

Okay, please ignore the fact that my mother is holding a knife and looks possessed in that picture. It was taken at my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary party that my brothers and I gave them in 2008.

My parents, like most parents, would do anything to help their children and have. But unlike many of my friends’ parents or a lot of parents I know today, my parents made us in charge of our own destinies. I wasn’t homeschooled or sent to Catholic school, but that didn’t mean my parents didn’t make sacrifices. They attended every single play, performance and game. They instilled in us that we better have our homework done, but they never hovered. To rephrase an old allegory: they taught us how to fish.

Like all parents, they were never perfect, they made some mistakes, but rather than dwell on them, they learned from them. That’s an example I take to heart when I realize I screwed my child up, yet again. In fact there is a running joke with my mother about how something she did is “coming out in therapy.” Someday I will probably be hearing those same complaints.

The long running joke with my father is to call him “coach.” I have three younger brothers (I’m the only girl, yeah, it was rough, I won’t lie). All of them played some kind of sport at all times when we were growing up. And my father was always a coach. One year my father adamantly told us that he was not coaching anyones teams anymore. That was final. Until one stormy summer night when he left to go with my brother Ben to baseball practice and the phone rang. It was thundering and lightning at this point and a little boy’s voice on the other end of the line answered me, “Can I speak with Coach Oeser?”  I was taken aback for a second not sure who he was asking for when it dawned on me, he was asking for my dad. But wait, my dad was out of the coaching business. After informing the kid that he had already left for the ball field, I hung up and asked my mom, “Is Dad coaching Ben’s baseball team?” Her reply, “I dunno, maybe.” When he came home that night, he was greeted by my mother, “Hey Coach!” His secret was out.

My parents taught me a lot about life, faith, marriage, religion…not all of it conciously. It reminds me that every day little eyes are watching me and learning.

Thankful Thursday

1. Vacations

2. Perspective

3. Shrek

4. Stories about politicians that you can laugh at

5. True friends who stand up to someone who attacks you before you realize you were attacked (I have stealthy friends)

6. The Office again–when there seems like nothing to laugh at in life, I have Michael Scott to turn to

7. Sales

8. Eggplant Parmesan

9. The prayers my friends are willing to spare for people who are strangers to them

10. My husband



1) I made it through 2 days while Jeff flew to Denver and back despite having worked the night before. The kids had a great time although they did ask constantly for Daddy.

2) I got all 3 kids to Wal-Mart and back on Saturday. It was a pretty uneventful trip which is a major success for us!

3) I found all kinds of great deals at the grocery store and Walmart this week. I pretty much stumbled into them, but I was awake enough to remember, so I thought that was a success!

Cheer your fellow moms on!

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that. ~Danielle Bean

I’m Kristen: And my kids watch television

I am in awe of the many moms I know who don’t have televisions in their homes or don’t have kids who watch tv. That would include my mom. I’m still trying to figure out a balance in my home.

I have one big strike against me: his name is Jeff. My husband switches on the television to watch “news related programming” (ie Fox News or the Today show) as soon as his eyes open. And I’m still at work when my kids wake.

During the summer when the heat index is 114 degrees and the humidity is 100% we have an additional challenge, limited outdoor time. But what about the rest of the time?

Unfortunately tv is not going to be gone completely in our home anytime soon in part because Shelby has to have some complete decompression time and the best way that happen is jumping on the trampoline watching Spongebob. (My kids are amazingly fit thanks to the trampoline and their general restlessness despite the amount of tv they watch.)

But I am desperate to find ways to reduce what they watch.  We have coloring books, bubbles, tons of toys, and we’ve tried board games (the restlessness gene works against that last one). On weekends, when I am home and get up with them, I leave the television off for as long as I possibly can. Weather permitting I put them outdoors when breakfast is over when the temps are nice. For as long as I can because it won’t be an option later. Then, of course, at some point, Daddy is up and sports are on. For this reason I try to plan all family outings for as soon as Daddy gets up and as long as kids can tolerate.

But, I don’t want to get rid of it altogether. Joey’s vocabulary is ever-growing thanks to Baby Bumblebee and he’s learning Spanish courtesy of Dora and Diego. Not to mention, he loves Animal Atlas and any type of nature show. There are some things that I just can’t provide him that type of access to.  I wish I had more means, but I don’t. Joey has also been more creative in his drawing and storytelling too and since he doesn’t like sitting for reading, I pretty much have to assume Nick Jr and Sprout are helping us in those areas.

I don’t think we will be getting rid of the television anytime soon, but balance is what we are striving for. First order of business, get Jeff on board. Second, work out a schedule. Third, change the climate enough that my kids can always play outside…