Bumps and Bruises

A list of Mark's current boo boos:
  • A bruise and scrap on his forehead from running into our glass TV stand.
  • A scuffed nose from tripping on the sidewalk, which also took a major amount of skin off his knee too.
  • An abrasion on his cheek from falling down our deck's steps.
  • A cut on his lower lip from tripping over Steve's shoes by the front door, which I also left a nice small chip in his front tooth.

I think that's it -- for now! So not only do I mother two boys, but one is on his way to looking more and more like Rocky Balboa after fighting Apollo! Can anyone relate or is my son the biggest clutz ever?


Finger Lickin' Good

French toast is still a big hit in this house. We are on day 4 of it!

Also on our family's schedule today: having Steph and her kids over!!
We are praying this works out since our last two attempts were thwarted because of a child's illness (curse that pink eye, Steph). Oh, I've been praying the third time is a charm!! Also, I have been honored with a Rockin Girl Blogger Award. That put a smile on my face this morning.
Thanks, MorningSong!!


Crunch Time

Last week Matt's rookie baseball season came to an end. This week swimming lessons wrapped up on Wednesday. To my surprise I found out Matt can continue lessons for 3 weeks in July starting on the 9th. While I would gladly welcome an easier schedule, I've decided to sign Matt up again. He is having a blast and we'll all survive 3 more weeks of aimless Target visits and quick grocery store runs for Matt's sake!

There will be time for playdates with friends and their kids. Going to our local park's "splash pad" and having a nice picnic lunch. Traveling to a neat children's museum by a the beach. Maybe venturing out to the water park now that Matt is an expert swimmer -- or so he thinks! Steve may even grab a couple NASCAR tickets so he and Matt can have quality father/son time trackside. We'll make time considering there are 2 months left of summer vacation. We better plan wisely!


Wordless Wednesday: They Just Can't Wait!!

Celebrating Mark's 2nd birthday last week.


Leggo My Eggo? Ok, you can have it!

Recently I decided to try Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread Mix hoping for a good find. Let me just tell you, it's the best gluten free bread thus far!! I make it in our Zojirushi bread machine and it turns out totally delicious every time. Those of you who eat gluten free bread understand how difficult it is keeping it moist and plyable. It also tends to crumble quickly and the shelf life is short. But this one is moist, very gluten-like and keeps well! Pamela's also makes a kick-butt pancake and brownie mix which also come with alternative recipes for chocolate cake and muffins. How awesome is that???

That said, this morning Matt requested French toast for breakfast. I popped in an Eggo waffle for Mark and started working on the French toast. As I started plating it Mark wanted a try. I gave him a bite. Immediately the Eggo waffle was pushed aside (thrown off his plate actually) and he asked for "Matt's toast". So I had to put another slice on the griddle for little Marky too and both plates were cleaned off. Goes to show you Matt doesn't miss out on much sticking to a gluten free diet. (Plus, mom throwing in her spice of love helps!)


It's All Good

Another busy weekend is done. Thanks to Saturday's clouds and all-day rain, Matt's rookie ball picnic was rescheduled to Sunday. We already had plans to go to a friend's house Sunday. So double the parties. Double the fun. Double the food. Double the conversation. At the end of the day I was double tired!! (But the boys had a ball!)

Some great news: My dad went in for his cancer screening check up. He is doing well and everyone is very happy with his progress. TOTALLY CANCER FREE! God is good and saw our family through such an ugly time.

Can I admit something? I know this blog is titled Glass Half Full, but there are days when I dwell in the half-empty. When stress is on the rise and my kids are giving me whines and moans.

"I don't want that for lunch, mom!"
"Mark wants you to put his shoes on, again!"
"Why does the bathroom look like a monsoon hit?"

You would assume I would be struggling now that Steve is working so hard and I started wearing different hats around the house. My attitude is good -- give or take the times I wanna retreat to the bathroom for 5 minutes of peace! I know there is an end to all this craziness. I am content. We have good health, a house, food, family and friends. Isn't that what matters anyway?


Friday's Challenge

To iron the enormous pile of clothes I've put off for two weeks.....

.....in the process of doing that avoiding the countless amount of Duplo Legos on the floor.....

.....while Matt quizzing me on who will win the next NASCAR race with his Matchbox cars.....

.....making frequent stops in the kitchen to snack on some corn salsa w. chips and sip some iced tea.....

.....humming a Wiggles tune on the TV as Mark dances around me.....

.....and smiling the entire time!!!


Think Again

Being pregnant with Matt was easy. No nausea. Very little backache and pain. I could work on a project for hours without problems. Walk for miles without needing a break. Matthew came a week late and I felt I could be pregnant with him another month. It was a great experience.

Then there was Mark.

I joked that it was a “real pregnancy”. From the beginning I had several food aversions. Morning sickness not only visited my first trimester, but the second and third. Acid reflux kept ringing my front door and not even Tums helped. Steve and I vacationed in San Francisco during my fifth month and while on our Alcatraz and Napa Valley wine tour I was having a hard time keeping up with the group. “I have to sit down again!” On another occasion while running errands, Mark caused me to pass out at our local Wal-Mart. I went down like a sack of potatoes!

So everything was telling me that Mark was probably a girl. I admit wanting a boy. Not only do I relate to boys better (having brothers myself and all male cousins with Matt to boot), but the idea of recycling our baby items made better sense. I started to talk myself into the idea of having a girl. Accepting the colors pink and lavender. Realizing I may have to purchase toys that aren't geared towards Thomas the Train and Go, Diego, Go -- you know like Cinderella and Ariel. Oh the thought! Steve and I always talked about having two kids, so whatever God gave us was fine. It's all His plan, right?

I prepared myself to see this girl at my first ultrasound appointment. There I was. On the table. The technician started to sweep the device over my belly. Steve and Matt were there too. All of us looking at those black/white images -- scribbles and scrabbles of stuff if you ask me! Saw the heart beat. Then we saw “it”. The tech didn’t need to explain what “it” was. Mark let us see everything. I was shocked. A BOY!!

Matt screamed, “It’s a boy! I’ll have a brother! I wanted a brother!”

Steve looked at me and said in his confident tone, “I knew it was a boy all along.”

I was elated watching my boy. Another son. My Marky! We left and started to plan for Mark to arrive. Pulling out the baby gear. Washing Matt’s old stuff. It just goes to show you no two pregnancies are ever alike.

Mark is two today. Two years. Just like that! We’ve conquered sleeping thru the night. Those cranky hours between 3-8pm are a thing of the past. The highchair is stored in the basement. Bottles packed away. It’s bittersweet, but I look forward to watching Mark grow up. Attending his baseball games –- maybe basketball games for that matter! Witnessing him graduate preschool. Having heart to heart talks like I do with Matt now. He’s already showing a comical way about him. And better yet not buying diapers anymore with potty training yet to come. Oh joy!

One night Steve and I were watching “The Sound of Music” and the boys came into the family room. Matt made it perfectly clear the movie was for girls and made that gag-sound. “Turn it, Dad!!” Mark followed with his own gagging sound and gave our TV “the hand”. In that moment I pondered the idea of what it would have been like having a girl. To watch my chick flicks with her. Maybe play a little Barbies or buying a dress with a big bow on the back. But....and this is a huge BUT....I’ll take the hugs, kisses, sports and , yes, even the gag-sounds over “The Sound of Music” any day!

Happy birthday, Little Man!!!


Good Eats

MorningSong tagged me to reveal 5 favorite local restaurants. And let me also add that we lean towards places that cater to a gluten free diet since our oldest son, Matthew, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 2. Let me begin:

1. Chipotle (my latest find and favorite) Not only do they cater to a gluten free diet, but their food is so fresh and yummy. Get the "burrito bol" and fill 'er up!

2. Culvers Their burgers are juicy and hot-of-the-grill fresh. They also cater to a gluten free diet (dedicated fryer for French fries) and with every kid's meal comes a free scoop of frozen custard with sprinkles -- a child's must have. Beats any fast food!

3. OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE They have a separate gluten free menu. What more could Matt ask for? He never turns down their "ribs on the barbie" or baked sweet potato with brown suger.

4. chilis I am not a huge Chilis fan, but recently they also jumped on the celiac friendly bandwagon and created a gluten free menu. Hi-5 to Chilis!!!

5. Potbelly This place may not have a lot when it comes to gluten free items, but I sure love their vegetarian sub with hearty mushrooms. Usually I am a meat eater with subs, but this one rocks.

And while we are on the subject of good eats, O Mama Mia's Cucina is having a spectacular coffee giveaway -- right up my alley! My fingers are crossed!!

Wordless Wednesday: Mooseheads


Just Another Day

Sunday was special (Father's Day), but it ended up like any other day around this house. Steve worked on his studies. I did laundry. NASCAR was on (hurray for Carl Edwards!!). We attended church as a family. The boys played with water balloons. You know, just a typical Sunday. Sometimes I feel Steve gets the short end of stick during Father's Day. His birthday (June 19) falls around that day. He's used to combined gifts and yummy eats all at once. He commented about feeling a year older on Father's Day and it's not even his birthday yet! But there were some points that made Dad's day special:

Matt presented Steve with a homemade card and I made some photo frames for his office -- some of his all-time favorite snapshots!

Our church organized a "Dad's Fest" and served eggs and sausage after service. They played country-like praise and worship and did a cute top 10 list. We laughed a lot and thanked God over and over again for the men that lead our homes.

We ordered take-out and went out for ice cream. Steve will never turn down a trip for frozen treats no matter how full he is!

I try to do special things for my dear hubby on a daily basis, but I fall short. Don't we all? I know my greatest Mother's Day wish is to have that kind of support every day not just on a "Hallmark day", but my family disappoints me too. We all have faults!

So my prayer is to find ways to bless Steve on typcial days. To encourage him. Let him know this family appreciates all his hard work and sacrifice.

I will end this. Anticipating tomorrow when Steve celebrates his 37th birthday. We have nothing planned but a softball and baseball game after dinner. Steve has a paper due this week. Work. Ironing. Swimming lessons. Just another day? We'll see......



Peanut Butter & Jelly Boats tagged me. Let's go.....

What was I doing 10 years ago:
1. Steve and I had been married for almost two years and we rented a home for less than a small apartment.
2. Working as a dental assistant.
3. I had no desire to start a family yet. Steve and I were enjoying our freedom, but that all changed 3 years later.
4. Sitting at my parents' kitchen table when we heard about Princess Diana's crash and couldn't imagine she would die a few hours later.
5. Driving a black 2-door 1992 Ford Escort

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Carribean Brown Rice Black Bean Salad -- so fresh and yummy!
2. Cereal
3. Coffee ice cream
4. Chips and FRESH salsa like tomato or avocado/corn
5. Krispy Kremes -- delish, but sinful!

5 songs I know all the lyrics to:
1. Most praise and worship
2. "I Can Only Imagine" Mercy Me
3. "Dancing Queen" ABBA
4. Any Wiggles song known to man!
5. Does the "Star-Spangled Banner" count?

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Tithe our gross earnings and give to those in need
2. Have no mortgage
3. Travel with our family
4. Have our boys' college education taken care of
5. Invest well so Steve could retire early

5 bad habits:
1. Talking too much and listening less often.
2. Not being patient with my kids when I need to let them take their time
3. I don't read much besides the newspaper/magazines. The last time I read a book was Where the Heart Is (8 years ago!)
4. Not using sunblock when I've learned the hard way too many times!
5. I have to watch TV while falling asleep.

5 things I would never wear again:
1. A string bikini
2. Any pants/skirts with pleats
3. Shoulder pads
4. Nylon jog suits with chains and tassles print

5 Favorite Toys:
1. Barbie
2. Strawberry Shortcake
3. Book with 45's to read along with
4. MUSIC!!! (Disco Duck, Rock 80, Thriller)
5. Dress up clothes which consisted of stylish stuff my mom and Aunt Jane gave me.

MorningSong tagged me with another meme. Stay tuned......


Summer Schedule Thus Far

Get out of bed when Mark wakes up, which can be around 9am some days. (I thank him over and over again for this since Matt was born an early bird.)

Staying in our PJs until lunchtime.

Swimming lessons for Matt from 1-1:50pm every day for three weeks. I use this short time to run to the grocery store or Target. I usually have a good 30 minutes to power shop with my little Marky.

Home around 2:20pm. Mark goes straight upstairs for his nap, which leads to......


Dinner around 5-6pm. (This all depends if Matt has a baseball game or we tag-a-long to watch Steve play softball on Tuesdays.)

Play inside/outside until the boys' bedtime which is flexible thanks to no school in the morning.

Watch a movie or, better yet, press the "DVR" button on the remote control to see what's recorded. AH -- a quiet night with my hubby on the living room couch. There is nothing better. WAIT...maybe a bowl of ice cream in our hands too!

Tucked in my sweet bed falling asleep while watching reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Seinfeld".


Wordless Wednesday: YUMMO!


Pitching In

This summer Steve is taking a couple administrative courses in education. On top of that he has some positions to fill at school. He came home the other day stressed and maxed out. "How will I manage to keep all these due dates and conquer my tasks at home??"

Here comes Lori to the rescue!!

For those of you that have been visiting my blog for awhile, you will remember when I was stuck doing this job for 6 weeks. Well, in order to ease Steve's life so he can focus on his studies I am picking up the shovel once again and pitching in. I guess when I agreed to "for better and for worse" that also meant "when hubby needs the lawn mowed, I'll do it because I love him". I know I would desire the same thing if my life got hectic. Isn't that what marriage (love) is all about? Helping without complaining. Easing the other's pain. Being there through thick and thin.

Steve called on his way home from work asking that I fill the lawn mowers tank so he can get started. I played along with him. "Sure thing!" When he arrived home he was so relieved the lawn was manicured by yours truly! Instead, he used that extra time to play with the boys before hitting the books. He thanked me over and over again. It's a nice feeling.


That's a Wrap!

Today kindergarten ends. Seems like yesterday I posted this about Matt. Another bittersweet moment in our family. Time cannot be repeated. But as I think about what has passed I welcome the future. I wonder how my relationship with Matt will grow? What our family will explore together. God only knows, but I can't wait!!

He brought home a book entitled My Year in Kindergarten. It contains all kinds of pictures and writings from Matt throughout this school year. I thought about sharing one particular page which sums up Matt’s thoughts and sense of humor.

Now I am not sure where "bbq pork market day" came from, but he thought I would laugh at it. What a joker!!! And he was right -- I laughed out loud! (We found out he was copying off a Market Day box in the classroom.)

Here's to you, Matt: JOB WELL DONE!!!


Wordless Wednesday: "The Birds"

Seagulls on top of my parents' roof


You can address me as......

So how do you teach your children to address adults? Mr. or Mrs. so-and-so?

Do you go by a first name basis? Do you practice both?

How about Mr. or Miss "insert adult's first name here"?



I don't know what it is about summer, but my mood is enhanced. Every sunny day brings joy. Even though my boys quarrel, it seems like we have more space during these warm months. When moments are tense, just open the back door and let them out. They can run wild without messing the house.

The ease of going on a simple errand. No coats. No boots. Just slip on a pair of flip flops or Crocs and we are off. From our church's parking lot to the building is a hike. I prefer a warm breeze than cold gusts of wind during our stroll up the sidewalk, wouldn't you?

I can go on and on. Trips to the park. Evening family walks. Going out for ice cream. Ordering an iced coffee. The warm sun can be calming. No matter what is going on in my house, I can step out and instantly be cheered up by it.

As I gazed at the sun this morning, it reminded me of God's light and dwelling in it.

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1John 1:5-7

Thank you, God, for allowing the door to be opened. To be free. To be with You in Your light. It covers me. Gives me peace. I pray I listen to it. Obey it. And that Your light, through me, attracts others to the giver of life: JESUS