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Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Where, Oh Where Has My Little Time Gone?"

Oh where oh where could it be? With my nights cut short and my days cut long.... ha! Thought that was funny. But, then again, I crack myself up when others just sit and stare... Anyway, I digress.
My official first day of school went rather well, considering I made the girls "tuck and roll" instead of walk them into their class. Emily was rather miffed about this. Morgan was nervous. But, I had to be at work early that day and I had already taken Drew to daycare and SaSa to High school. I didn't take their picture on the first day of school. Well, I did, but it was AFTER school. They were still cute. They're my kids after all. I'll probably make a first-day-of-school fuss again when Drew goes to kindergarten. I did make a special breakfast bread for them. Neither of them ate it. They wanted Frosted Flakes. I didn't have any. They wanted Pancakes. Too bad, I didn't have the time. They got toast and Corn Chex...with like five spoons of sugar in the bowl. See? I'm a good mom. A bad mom wouldn't let them have ANY sugar.

Mo Monkey is playing the violin this year. She's so funny. I think Karma came to visit me...she is so LOUD when she practices. I don't remember being that loud. Plus, I've played the violin so I am trying to teach and not criticize. This is very difficult for me.
Emily has already introduced herself to the school staff, including the new nurse. Emily loves the staff at her school and enjoyes the fringe benefits of her visits to the office.
For instance, when she walked to the office to tell the secretary she had missed the bus on the first day of school she was allowed to get a sucker from the candy jar while the office staff fell all over themselves trying to flag the bus down to wait for her. Last year, the nurse kept Pop Tarts in her office for those with an "upset stomach". Emily was often plagued with an upset stomach last year.
Morgan (as usual) was very excited and loved, loved, loved her new teacher and wants to do everything very well.
Emily loves... well, we don't know what Emily loves.
The girls also had their first Girl Scout meeting. We love Girl Scouts. I can almost smell the Thin Mints....
Drew started his new school. He loves his teacher's whistle-necklas. She uses it often. I think he sees it as an object of power. He's asking for one all the time now.
SaSa is a little overwhelmed by the new American High School. In Germany they don't have extra cirricular activities like sports or cheerleading. Not even Student Council. They don't have a graduation ceremony or prom. Yuck!!!!
Well, that's enough for now!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Count Down to Victory!

The 2009-2010 school year begins August 20th. I am so thankful for this for so many reasons. I know summer isn't officially over YET, but we are winding down and I can smell the scent of fresh crayons in the air. Let me pause to count the blessings of the new school term...

1. LESS DAYCARE COSTS! Don't get me started talking about my internal struggle with someone other than myself raising my child. I think about it daily.
2. A MORE ORGANIZED HOME! Children at home with a 16 year old babysitter = a really messy house.
3. New work hours! Yes ladies and gentleman, I am now working 32 hours a week. Perfect hours for a mommy with school aged children. 9-3. I drop them off at 8 go back home and put on my make-up, drink a cup of tea, watch the morning peace and...quiet. Then I'm ready to face the day.
This is such a fabulous arrangement that I will have to think very seriously about keeping these hours even when the recession is over and my boss announces that I am welcome to work 40 hours again. I think I will say, "No thank you."
So, the point being to this is that I will be able to attend all of my children's Monday Morning Assemblies. I will be able to get back to the school library and shelve books and keep in touch with my new found PTA friends.

Okay so these are the top 3 reasons I cannot wait until the school term begins. Yipeeee!

Oh, P.S.- Morgan did not come out of this summer vacation entirely unscathed. She came back from a visit in the countryside with a tick hitching a ride in her ear canal. We had to make a trip to the E.R. The whole ordeal was very disturbing for myself. Morgan took it like a champ. She screamed bloody murder but didn't move a muscle. You would have had to knock me out with a heavy sedative and strapped me down to the bed if you had told me you were going to dig in my ear with a, "small scalpel". What??!! Okay, I have to stop thinking about that right now...

Lights Out!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bratwurst anyone?

Well, call me crazy, but we are adding one more to our family. Hold your horses everyone! We are just hosting an exchange student from Germany for a semester. We are very excited. She seems to be a very sweet girl with world travel experience already. We've been e-mailing back and forth for a couple of weeks. Her written english is pretty good. We haven't spoken to her yet. She should be here at the beginning of August. Not a whole lotta time to clean out the spare bedroom closet. I will miss having a room just for folding laundry. Maybe this living situation will force me to finish an entire load of laundry in one day. I'll work on that....right after I brush up on my limited German vocabulary. AL-VEETER-ZANE UNT GOOTEN NACHT! (That was the phonetic spelling of "So long and Good Night!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Does God think it's funny when...?

For all of you parents out there.
You know when your kid says something funny because he confuses the English language? Like when my 3 year old announces he wants to go see Erin with you. Only you don't know an Erin. Then you discover that you think out loud and say that you're going to go "run errands". So, you giggle when you solve the verbal puzzle your 3 year old has given you.
You think it's cute.
You call your mom and tell her the story.
You tell co-workers.
If you're really industrious you immediately write it in his baby book.
If you're like me, you wait a couple of weeks and blog about it.
Anyway, so now you have a reference for what I'm talking about.
The glimpse God gives you of your child and his ever-expanding world.
I wonder if God thought thought it humorous when tonight I made the realization that I am really a full-fledged, PTA member, carpooling, ER visiting, M-O-M.
No, I haven't been in a state of denial these past 9 (choke, gag, cough, sputter, inhale, hack) years. I think I've just come to the age of parenthood when I can remember being a 9 year old daughter and what I thought and felt about my mother in the exact same experience I had this evening with my now 9 year old daughter. I am at the age in my parenthood where it scares me because I know my children will remember my every action and reaction and my children now have their own point of view. Yes, this gives me a little chill of responsibility. I have blossoming young daughters. It's time to put my game face on.
My childhood flashback was of my mother doing laundry.
So there I was tonight, opening up the dufflebags from my daughters' first church camp experience. The smell of wet, souring bath towels wafted through the room. I gagged. I remember coming home from church camp and my mother yelling at me from the garage (a stupid place to put a washer and dryer) to unload my dirty laundry immediately. I remember being annoyed with her. I had just spent a week running, swimming, socializing and getting sunburned. Didn't she care that I was tired? I'm being totally serious about this.
Tonight I have an understanding of why my mom gave me so many dirty looks.
Tonight I've added one more reason of why I love my mom.
Tonight I've added one more reason of why I love being a mom.
So, I'll leave you more experienced parents now to giggle about my epiphany. I have to go now and give some dirty looks to my kids.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Really, No pressure at all....

Okay, so I receive an invitation in the mail about my upcoming 15 year High School Class Reunion. I run through a list of emotions in about 6 seconds. This is easy when you are born a girl. Increase that ability X 2 if you also have ADD. Ha!
1. Excitement 2. Anticipation 3. Nostalgia 4. Curiosity 5. Reservation 6. Concern 7. Panic 8. Control 9. Calm 10. Resolve 11. Determination.

Right now I'm at # 10- Resolve. I know I need to make some serious changes in my water in-take and consistency of aerobic exercise. I think I will have to sacrifice some time with the family to jump start this little project of mine..... But good grief! It's been like 105 degrees lately. I don't want my children to find me passed out on the garage floor from heat exhaustion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sum-Sum-Summer Time!

I've heard several child "experts" say that the best thing your kid can say to you in the summer is, "I'm bored". I've read about and prepared for this summer's KID activities with the focus and attention I would usually give to preparing a bowl of ice cream. Which, if you know me, can be pretty intense.
I' pretty excited by the fact two weeks of summer vacation have gone by and my KID activity resources haven't been exhausted yet! This happened last summer and I still don't quite know where I went wrong... This summer we are making our local VBS rounds, keeping them constructively busy from 9-12 this week. Next week they are taking Summer Spectacular classes. Summer Spectacular is fabulous. The kids get to make their own choices on which classes they would like to attend.
Mo Monkey chose Irish River Dancing, Celtic Arts and Crafts and CSI for Kids. I love her. Lula Bug is taking Irish River Dancing (with sis) Ballet and Cheer leading. I hope they take naps everyday when they come home from class....good, long, non-mess-making naps.
I have supplied them with glitter glue, Popsicle sticks, yarn, pipe cleaners, scrap paper, bead making kits, pot-holder making kits, needle point kits, water colors, sidewalk chalk, sprinklers, stamping projects, community service projects for our grandmother-figure neighbor, blah, blah, blah....
I gathered all of these objects in front of them one evening and had them make a list of everything they thought they could do with these things. A brain storming session!
Now, whenever they say, "I'm bored". I reply "That's GREAT! Go get your list!" Saying this makes me feel clever. Of course, it can backfire on me. I'm still thinking of potential flaws in my system.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I love the smell of sunscreen in the mornin'!

We started the Memorial Holiday with a Wedding! Yes, my dear friend Mike from the OC finally, FINALLY tied the knot to the beautiful Miss Wendy. It was really nice. Other than the part where the minister called Wendy "Lisa"...I totally wanted to laugh, but I restrained myself. Really, I did. He kept messing up so half-way through the ceremony he threw his book of notes on the floor and said, "I'm really glad this isn't being recorded."
Immediately after the wedding Saturday, I drove across town to watch my little girls "Bridge" from Daisy's to Brownies and from Brownies to Juniors. They've made several good friends and had a lot of fun with Girl Scouts this year. We'll be doing it again next year and going to a weekend retreat this summer.
Sunday we went to the ZOO with the Willmon's and cooked out. It was yummy! You can't go wrong with Salmon on the grill! Salmon is Emily's favorite!
Monday we woke up LATE and worked on the back yard ALL DAY. Mom and Dad brought watermelon over and it was delicious!
Tuesday...Ahhh the first official day of summer vacation. I have tons of things planned for the girls and they probably won't do half of them. They are pretty creative and like to come up with their own forms of entertainment. The first of which is a Lemonade Stand. I'll have to take a picture of it. They are quite the sales people. They wanted to sell one dixie cup of lemonade for $1. I talked them into lowering their price to a quarter. They made $2.80 on Monday. I know, it doesn't seem like I can count. I can. Sometimes. An old guy taking a walk gave them some change saying it was a tip. He didn't even take a cup of lemonade. Not that he could have passed our house without small children running out into the street, knocking him over with a big foam-board sign shouting, "ICE COLD LEMONADE ONLY A QUARTER! THAT MEANS IF YOU GIVE US A DOLLAR WE WILL GIVE YOU FOUR CUPS OF LEMONADE!" I mean, who could pass that up?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's about time!

On April 15, 2009 at 2:21 p.m. we welcomed Robert Andrew into our family. This photo is of the whole family at a "shower" given by my work. It was awesome! Notice the MONEY Tree to our left. That was the best gift EVER! We really appreciate everyone who contributed to the Day Care fund! The tree was actually a hybiscus shrub that we lovingly named "Carol" (after my boss).

We have been settling down a bit at home. Drew was already pretty much aclimated to our routine already so not much change there. I think Lula Bug (the now-middle child) made the biggest adjustment. We've assured her she will always be our baby girl. This pleased her momentarily......

"My son" doesn't quite roll off the tongue yet but it sure sounds great!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dear God, Thank you for all of the new baby baby horses and baby frogs

These were the first words of Emily's prayer tonight. She had already re sited The Lord's Prayer and went directly into her prayer without taking a breath. Impressive. I think she prayed for every species of animal known to man and a few species I've not yet been made familiar. I was about to verbally prompt her to say, "Amen" but I'm glad I didn't. I remember praying for every family member I could recall and only when I started praying for teachers past and present did my mom gently sigh, queuing me to end it. I think the important thing though, is that I remember her being there. Each and every night. I'm very thankful for that memory.
I have to remind myself of that when I'm very tired or if I'm in the middle of folding socks and I hear, "MOM! Come pray!" coming from the girl's room, I might really be hearing the voice of God leading me so that I continue to set the example I so desire to set.
You wanna know what I'm really excited to tell you tonight? Our adoption date has actually been set. It will be final in two weeks. I'm kind of stunned actually. I was giddy and tearful when the news arrived but then I turned into "Git-R-done" mom wanting all of the cosmetic things done to the house all in one week. Let me tell you, it AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. But, in true Sisk Style, it will get done, though probably in phases, and of course not one complete room at a time. Hee Hee. I wish all of my awesome ideas came with an awesome amount of cash, but alas, I am the "starving artist" and I only paint for fun and family...when they're lucky.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring is in the air...and in our closets!

We put up two ceiling fans this weekend. (Thank you Pa-Paw!!)I don't know why, but completing this task put me in the mood to do a little Spring Cleaning. This ritual makes me feel unbelievably productive. Giving me a "Look what I did all by myself" attitude that I can bring to work with me and gloat over with my co-worker.
I started in the girl's room of course. Beginning with the closet I had the girls sit on the floor and give me a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down to each piece of clothing. Painless for all parties.
We get to the shoes. The ease of the clothing toss was NOT to carry over to the shoe toss. Why? Because I have an Emily. For some reason, Morgan does not see the need to hold on to shoes that no longer fit. Maybe because the shoes don't actually leave the closet after she outgrows them, they just move on to Emily and she doesn't feel the emotional loss that Emily apparently feels.
I'm not kidding people. We often purchase the same style of shoe for both of the girls for the sole purpose of delaying the drama I am about to describe to you.
Picture if you will, me holding two IDENTICAL pair of black knee-high Sketcher boots with mock lacing up the back with pink beads on the end of the laces, also featuring a side-zip closure.
These IDENTICAL PAIR of boots were carefully chosen in August of '07 at the Grapevine outlet mall in Texas. These boots have a 1" heel. These boots make exactly the right sound when walking on a hard surface. These boots ladies and gentleman, were not just made for walkin'. They were made for Emily.
I (casually) say to Emily that the size 12 boots are too small for her and how awesome it is that she will fit into the size 1 boots. I glance up to see a look of what can only be described as "searching panic" on Emily's face. "Searching" because her facial expression quickly changes to a look of "My own reality is the ultimate truth."
I have seen this look before. This isn't going to be pretty.
She says HER boots aren't too small. Then she says she likes them snug. Then she says Morgan's boots don't fit, they're too big. They look different. She likes hers better. They're not the same.
I make a crucial mistake.
I actually hear myself say,"You know Emily, there are little children in Haiti that don't have ANY SHOES at all. Aren't you glad your biggest problem today is that you have so many shoes you have to give some away so you will have room for them all?"
She's still crying.
I regroup.
I say, "You don't really care about kids you don't know and you don't care about anyone Else's problems because you are seven and right now this is terrible that you are being asked to part with something you love."
Emily sniffles...and nods.
Emily says, "I just don't think you understand."
I scramble.
I ask her if she would like to call aunt Danie because she is a little sister and maybe she would understand better.
Another sniffle...another nod.
Phone call is made. More tears are shed. Temporary solution is reached.
The size 12 boots will be put up onto the top shelf of the closet where she can see them and know they are there. This Fall, we will revisit the boots and decide which pair is most comfortable.
I know, I know...I caved. I argued with a seven year old. I made a deal. I compromised. I undermined my own authority. Blah, blah, blah.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I wonder if the apostles thought Jesus was funny.

Seriously folks. I wonder if, after time and time again, Jesus said,"I told you so." the disciples laughed, or if they got irritated with Him. I don't mean to sound in the least bit sacrilegious or anything. I just know that Jesus was a human being and I know that every human being has a sense of humor. Was He funny "Ha Ha" or "Aw, man!" or "I almost peed my pants" funny. I wonder if He played any miraculous practical jokes. I can see it now. Simon Peter yelling, "OKAY, WHO PUT MY SANDALS IN THE TREE?" I mean, you would automatically know who it was, but would you really want to catch yourself saying, "I'll get you back for this Jesus!"?
The reason for my curiosity in the sense of humor of the Almighty is this:
Through the loss of our jobs 8 years ago, we sold our home, moved into my childhood home and began going to church with my parents at CH. Through the loss of a job in Colorado my friend Jessica moved here and started going to church with HER parents at CH. Through Jessica I'm hired for my dream job (though not dream hours). We discover through OUT OF TOWN relatives there is a local lady looking for a family to adopt her grandson. We discover this Local Lady actually works in the SAME BUILDING I work in. We get to know each other and we are now in the process of adopting her...and her grandson.
So I have the dream job, dream family and then I find that I'm torn between this dream job and spending more time with my family. It was becoming more and more stressful to juggle the demands of three kids, Girl Scouts and Kung Fu with a 9-6 work schedule. EEWWW! So, what do I do? I tell God that I want to have my cake and eat it too. This is the really funny part. He gives it to me.
He has blessed me with an economic crisis. Oh yes. A blessing. I know, I know, many people are out of work and are truly suffering in the U.S. I'm not down-playing the sadness of their situations.
I was just called into the bosses office today and asked if it would be possible for me to cut down to a 32 hour work week, working 9-2:30. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? YOU MEAN I WOULDN'T HAVE TO FIND DAY CARE FOR TWO OF MY KIDS? You mean you would like to provide me with daily social interaction with adults, health insurance and a really good ice machine? You mean I would be able to greet my children at the door every day and be able to help them with homework and get a REAL dinner on the table before 7? Hmmmmmm......All this for a low, low price of 32 hours a week. What should I say? Can I phone a friend?
This is totally awesome. I actually shed tears in this little meeting with my boss. They were happy tears of course. Talk about answered prayers. I've been able to see the "God-incidence" in many, many situations in my life but never this specific.
We've been so anxious to have the adoption finalized before now and it was like God was saying, "Would you simmer down so things will fall into place EXACTLY how you would like them to?".
I will leave you with a quote from the lyrics of a children's Bible song.

"My God is so BIG
So strong and so MIGHTY.
There's NOTHING my God cannot do."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Birthday Cha-Cha

Today is Rob's birthday. Happy Birthday! Rob is so great. He could have slept in and had the whole house to himself for 8 hours. Instead he chose to escort Morgan on her 3rd grade field trip. They went to the Science Museum. He was even thoughtful enough to send me a picture of Mo via phone. I love technology. When I came home from work we all went to out to eat Rob's favorite...Mexican Food.
On our way home, Emily and Morgan sang Happy Birthday to their daddy. Morgan sang while Emily made fart noises with her armpit. This is not a new talent, and one I rarely tolorate.But tonight it was kind of funny because they were singing the "Birthday Cha-Cha-Cha" song they sing at school and Emily really can keep a beat with the uncooth noises she can make with her hand and armpit. I was slightly impressed...but only with her rythm...not the actual noise.
At home my parents came over with a Cookie Cake and we sang "Happy Birthday" again. Yes, Emily did the Cha-Cha-Cha armpit thing just for my mother and dad. I'm sure they were quite impressed.
He got $$ and an autographed ball cap, miniature football and piece of paper all signed by Rob's favorite Dallas Cowboy, Mr. Roy Williams. (Thank you Nanna,PaPa and MiMi!)
I've met him personally on several occasions and he's very polite. He doesn't act like a "spoiled celeberity" at all. He has a nice car too, except the car has curtains and I think it makes it look like a fleet vehicle for a funeral home. I'm not being tacky, that's just what it looks like to me. I was told later by someone that it's a very expensive car. I told that someone I am much more impressed by things like kitchen gadgets and flower-shaped post-it notes.
I hope Rob had a good Birthday. If I had lots of money I would have sent him on a manly getaway to some Hunting,Fishing,Martial Arts,Video Game,Gun and football camp. But, he got a day with his daughter, Mexican food and Cookie birthday instead. We love you Rob!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

And we're STILL waiting

I have decided to abandon MYSPACE seeing how I never, ever keep up with it. Kind of like keeping up with this Blog thing I guess. I still need to load my pictures I have taken with my phone onto my PC so I can post some of them here. My old digital camera can't hold a charge anymore so I've resorted to using my phone as my primary way of capturing my fond memories.
Speaking of fond memories, tonight was so awesome. Our church hosted a Father Daughter Banquet. This was our first banquet of this type and I was asked to help serve for the event. Honestly I found this an easy way to spy on my family and make sure my hubby had both eyes on my Emily. I'm not stereotyping middle children but she sure can think fast on her feet and we are usually one step behind her. Especially in public. Morgan is more of an observer and she likes to sit back and watch the show. This was definitely the case tonight.
This is pretty much how Emily's evening went:
3 p.m.- Choose outfits
3:30- eat snack and brush teeth
4:00- plug in clothes iron, curling iron and flat iron
4:05- brush out hair, put on clothes, look up hairstyles on Internet
4:20- Have breakdown over realization that mother gave away favorite party dress because she says it was too small. Then tell mother you can't wear anything that has the color black in it. Even though the only dresses you own that do NOT have the color black somewhere on the dress are more appropriate for 100 degree temperatures.
4:45- Conveniently forget how to put on tights to delay putting on the dress mother has suggested.
4:47- Quickly remember how to put on tights to keep from being grounded from wearing favorite sparkly shoes to school.
5:00- Concede to the fact you DO look pretty amazing in sister's red dress from last Christmas and enjoy the great twirl action.
5:07-Insist you truly could not hear mother's voice beckoning because the act of twirling in the red dress made really noisy "wind" and it was so loud you could only hear yourself singing as you twirled.
5:08- Have hair curled up in a flip.
5:09- While having hair done,suggest wearing mascara would make your outfit complete.
5:13- Decide having mascara on your eyelashes was smelly, uncomfortable and very, very distracting but not wanting to hurt mother's feelings, you tell her you just can't describe it but you just don't want mascara on anymore.
5:15- Start crying because mother points out you wanted the stinky mascara on in the first place and she points out that not all choices we make turn out the way we want them to and she doesn't have time to wash it off because she has to drop off Drew and be at the church in 15 minutes.
5:17- Console yourself and wipe off mascara with wet washcloth.
6:10- Arrive at church in red dress and favorite short sleeved, cropped, hot-pink sweater in 24 degree weather.
6:11-Hear mother ask daddy why you are only wearing a short sweater and daddy respond by saying, "I brought them in what you put on them."
6:15-Pretend you are on the red carpet while you wait to have your photo taken with daddy. Run from imaginary paparazzi while leaping up and down the church foyer steps.
6:37-Served lasagna, try to pick out ALL of the green "specks", not trusting anyone around you that tells you the offending specks are just Italian seasoning.
7:00-Laugh and shout, "Hey Bread Girl! I want some more bread!" When you see mother serving other tables french bread.
7:15-Laugh hysterically when you're caught trying to put the clear, decorative beads in Morgan's ice water.
7:30-Along with all of the other daughters you are ushered upstairs to learn basic dance steps while the daddies stay in the make-shift ballroom to hear a guest speaker on the importance of the relationship between fathers and their daughters.
8:00-Come back down stairs and take turns with Morgan waltzing with daddy.
8:06-While taking a water break you notice mother weeping sentimental tears over the scene before her. Remind yourself to make further inquires at a more convenient time.
8:07-Go back to the dance floor and for the next hour and a half dance wildly, mimicking everyone you see only stopping for water and/or the occasional m&m.
8:19-Learn a fabulous new dance. It's called the "YMCA". Mysteriously, others have already heard of this dance.
9:00-Conveniently forget how to buckle your shoes when the party is over because you're just too tired from dancing to lift a finger.
9:15-Arrive home and collapse onto the bed having had a marvelous evening.

This diary of Emily's evening is strictly from first hand observation. I cannot know exactly what was going through her head at every moment. But from experience, if I ask her, she'll tell me. Straight up.

My favorite scene from the dance floor was of Emily and Rob in a mock-Tango. Too, too funny.