Friday, January 31, 2014


How great is this picture?! Metta loves Ike.  She loves him A LOT.  
almost as much as she loves me.
Her affection for me kind of makes me crazy, though,  I've never had a kid who reaches for me constantly.  Cries at my feet to be held.  Whines until I give her the attentions she wants! and  worst of all- if she wakes up in the middle of the night- she screams 'MOMMY!!' instead of Daddy.  Ugh.  Good thing she has cute red pigtails.

Tonight she's on the kitchen floor- coloring something.  And just look at my house.  another ugh!  I should be more embarrassed- but I'm too tired. and sick.  I cursed myself by saying that I hadn't been sick in years.  And now I'm stuffy, stiff, and headache ridden.  And I haven't seen Kent in a few days :)  Plus- cleaning definitely makes me feel worse!  It will have to wait (for what, I'm not sure).

Monday, January 27, 2014

we've all become meteorologists.

Seriously I think I check the temps about 40 times a day just to see if it's going to be as cold as 'they' keep saying it is!

Our lives right now are revolving around the weather.  mostly it's because we are always playing the waiting game to see what's going to be cancelled and what's not.  I have loved having all of these extra days with Zeb at home- so the school cancellations don't bug me!  the 2-hr delays-however-KILL me!!  They mess up my gym schedule- which can get pretty inconvenient considering I teach so many mornings.

We just got the call a few minutes ago that school is completely cancelled tomorrow.  Zeb is happy to head out and about in the cold with me- so I'm happy to have him home!   We say our prayers every morning walking to school- and during this morning's prayer- he said: "thank-you for this great weather that we love so much".   Whenever Metta sees snow she shouts: "It's SNOWING! yaaaaay!".  And today Ike told Kent: "it's not cold at all today.  I want to wear shorts to school".  These are surely my children.

.5 degrees (can you measure degrees in halves?!).  feels like -18*

*For any and all fact checkers- I am not claiming that these temperatures are 100% accurate- I'm just posting what my phone says :)

The only cancellations that really bother me are church cancellations. We only had 1 hour of church this past sunday- instead of 3. And I was so disappointed!  Is it crazy that I love three hours of church?!  I love to be there.  I love the learning, the teaching, the fellowship.  And I love having that much time every Sabbath to be AT church.  Luckily Kent was home that day- and we fed the Sister Missionaries- so I had a great day.

Besides becoming a junior meteorologist- Metta is also becoming a pro screamer.  Every time this phase rolls around I add a tally to the row of reasons I don't love children.  uggh.

 Here's her splotchy face after a 20-30 minute cry it out session.  I sent this pic to Kent and he responded with some serious concern.  He wanted to know if the spots were all over her body - or just her face.  Ha!  not a rash- just a temper tantrum.
Kent has worked some brutal shifts lately- so for the few minutes that the kiddos get to see him- they suffocate him a little bit :)

Metta rarely wants to sit with him- so this picture is a rarity.  She's kind of a momma's girl.  
Ike is still a daddy's boy 100%.
Zeb is pretty independent.  He's so funny.

I was putting on my makeup in the car yesterday when a conversation between the boys ensued.
Ike: "why are you doing that mom? what are you putting on your face?"
Zeb: "Don't worry, Ike.  It's working.  It's making her look not so old".

Thanks, Zeb.  I'm glad it's working.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the 'affle waffle.

Our used snow days have now exceeded the pre-planned ones!   Zeb and Ike woke up pretty happy to the news of no school today.  We were all pretty excited that we got to sleep until 8!  It felt like a perfect Saturday.

We celebrated by recognizing Zeb's achievements from this last quarter.  On Friday he got these awards- but I didn't see them until getting his backpack ready for school last night!  Last quarter he was Physical Education and Music Student of the quarter :)  Plus he had perfect attendance.  He was pretty excited to be the only one in his class to get so many awards.  I'm pretty proud of him.  He's a great kid.  Probably the best kid around- in fact.  How did I end up with such amazing rugrats?!
To celebrate- we checked an item off our Ohio Bucket list.  I've resisted it for almost SEVEN YEARS.  
Since being in Ohio (both Toledo and here) we've lived just a few blocks from 'The Waffle House'.  Nicknamed by many as the 'awful waffle'.  They all look the very same.  small. ghetto. straight out of the 70s.  orange vinyl furniture inside. And whenever I see the place - all I can think of is the Kidd Rock Brawl that happened in one.  
Kent has been dying to go the entire seven years.  I finally caved today.

The boys were in PURE heaven.
Greasy biscuits and gravy. bacon. waffles. hashbrowns.
Ike is trying to go cross eyed here- but wasn't exactly successful.  It's his new thing for pictures.

I got grits.  I love grits.  But they were extra greasy.  luckily they were cheap. so I didn't feel bad not finishing them.   That was the one redeeming quality of the place.  It's pretty inexpensive.  They even have a dollar menu! 
I'm really hoping there's no Waffle house wherever we move next- because I know Kent is already planning a time to go back!

Monday, January 20, 2014

every day should be a holiday!

There's a rumor swirling around outside that we may be getting a mild snow storm tonight while we sleep!  It's supposed to be wonderfully cold all week, too. So the snow should add to what we currently have and make for a lovely winter wonderland.  and possibly a school delay or cancellation.
We had Zeb and Ike home today for the MLKjr. Holiday and had a great time.  I'm not sure I can keep up the excitement if we all have another full day off tomorrow!

I asked Zeb who Martin Luther King Jr. was- and he told me that 'He was the 13th president of the United States or something like that.  And he made it so black and white kids could sit next to each other at school.'
It's always so funny for me to hear how my kids interpret what they've been taught.  And just what happens to stick or not stick.

I had to work this morning and I taught a full  bootcamp class using the Step.   I'm not coordinated enough to do full step routines- but I'm good with some short routines and then a lot of other cardio/plyometric stuff with the step.  I love teaching bootcamp classes.  Definitely my favorite because I can change it up so much.

After the gym- we woke up Kent. He's on the dreaded/torturous nights.  blech!  He worked 85+ hours in the past 6 days.  SICK, huh??  It's definitely my least favorite of his months.

We headed over to the 'other millers' and let the kids sled in the back yard.  It's a perfect setup.  The hill is pretty puny- but we don't have to help them hike up it over and over again.  And they are fenced in with no roads so we just sat inside and chatted while they froze :)

I have a busy body personality which means even on Holidays like MLK day- where there isn't any specific tradition we've created - I still feel like I have to do SOMETHING to make the holiday worthwhile.  So- spending time with great friends made my day great.  I have really awesome friends.  I'm a lucky gal.

Metta seemed to agree with my sentiments.  We'll take ANY reason to party and play.

To top off the fabulousness- we went to Young's Dairy.  They were celebrating the weekend with 1.49 cent kids meals and ice cream cones.  Their ice cream is DELISH.  oh- and Kent loves their fried cheese curds.  they kind of make me shiver and cringe.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

the toxic marshmallow.

I'm pretty grumpy tonight.  that's allowed every now and again, right!?  
But- it is snowing.  and I am pretty happy about that.  unless, of course, it makes the roads bad and church gets cancelled.  grrr.  Let's hope it doesn't happen.

I really do think that falling snow is one of the most beautiful sights.

I took this picture one of the days this week.  and I just love it.  Metta yells 'yeehaw!!!' whenever she sees a horse.  she couldn't get enough of 'sandy- the one cent pony'.
Today we went to a friend's birthday party at Boonshoft- the children's museum.  It was a BLAST!!!  we got to do experiments, play at the museum, hang out by the meercats, and eat great cake :)  
Ike did happen to eat a piece of a marshmallow from one of the experiments and the worker PANICKED.  He went off about how the marshmallows were stored in the same cabinet as MANY CHEMICALS and how he needed to go and spit it out quickly.  Ike had already swallowed it!  maybe they shouldn't put a giant opened bag of toxic marshmallows in front of kids at a birthday party :)
Even after the experiments he was so worried.  He told me I needed to watch him closely and let them know if ANYthing happened!  I guess I am the most unconcerned parent on the planet.  I wasn't worried at all.  I'm not worried now.
Here he is an hour or so later with a meercat.
He's in bed now.  Maybe I should check to see if he's breathing.

The coolest part of the party was when we got our very own PRIVATE planetarium show.  It was pretty cool.  Metta was TERRIFIED of it all.  

Let's hope things get better tomorrow.  I need to be cheered up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


 She is INSANE.  a wild little creature.  Today she got put in time out at the gym for TABLE DANCING.  seriously. I'll walk into the kitchen and find her dancing up on the island.  I've never had a climber.  Heaven help me!!!

Here are three ridiculous pictures from the last three days.

Breakfast.  Bananas dipped in Ketchup.  yumm-o. delish.

This isn't actually her duck faced selfie- it's her on demand grumpy face.  If you make her mad- she'll purse her lips, drop her head down, and give you the stink eye.
 She continues her diet of wet wipes.  She loves to suck on them.  Shove 2 or 3 at a time in her mouth.   She'll also regularly blow her nose on them- and then do those things.   She's -amazingly- a very good nose blower.
I love her to pieces.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

oh man, it's been awhile.

I've dropped the blogging ball.  
But- I'm back now.

This past week I've been pretty busy. doing a lot of stuff. work. kiddos. church. and helping out some friends in need.

The Wrights are an Air Force family we met here in Dayton.  We love their entire family.  Kresta and Justin are some of our great friends- and their kids our our kids' great friends.

They moved about two months ago to DC-  but left their house on the market- unable to sell before moving.  The Polar Vortex that struck the country last week wreaked havoc on their empty house. Pipes burst and filled the home with water for more than a day before they were found and shut off.  For several reasons, homeowners insurance won't cover the damages.  And it's estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

this is frozen insulation coming through the collapsed garage ceiling.

the walls were covered in ice. the floor was like an ice skating rink, even the carpets were frozen solid!

The Wrights have always been a family focused on serving others. They are members of our church and still have a lot of friends here in the Dayton area.  When we heard about the catastrophic destruction- so many people jumped in and starting helping.  The interior of their home has been almost entirely gutted.  Carpets, drywall, ceilings, insulation, flooring, appliances, and more.  It's currently drying out.  I change the dehumidifier water out three times a day :)

This family needs help. and they deserve it.

We've also set up a Facebook donation site.  Monetary help is obviously what they need the most!  If you're able- please help out. Even if it's only five dollars.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

facebook implosion!!

It looks like tomorrow Zeb gets to go back to school!  I'm not entirely sure why school was cancelled today - it was down right toasty out! we got into the 20s. and the wind chill kept us above zero most of the day.  It was really cute to see his face this morning when I told him the school had just called and cancelled AGAIN!  he was pretty excited because he knew that I was headed to chic-fil-a with Ike and Metta for a friend's birthday party.   I tried getting a pic of the boys- but they never sat still long enough to get one.  plus- I've decided the older my kids get- the fewer pictures I take of them. younger kids are cuter, I guess.

This weekend is supposed to be 50+ degrees.  just outrageous. and very unwinter like. but since the school districts have already used ALL of their preplanned snow days- I suppose we may have to go straight to spring.
Plus- I don't think facebook can handle any more extreme weather.  I feel like there's a pretty tight correlation with people's facebook craziness and being snowed in.  If we had another snow day -facebook and all it's jibber jabber was going to implode!!

Oh- and finally. One last picture for this post.
For some INSANE reason I was asked to coach our ward's (church congregation) young women's basketball team.  Oh my goodness.  I have NO athletic agility.  I canNOT play basketball. I can't even dribble in a straight line or make a basket that isn't a granny shot.  SERIOUSLY.  
Luckily I love teenagers.  
tonight was our first real practice.  and saturday is our first game! YIKES!!  it's going to be crazy.  Thankfully there is a girl in the ward who plays high school ball who is willing to help me coach and teach them some real skills.  
This picture is HIDEOUS.  I'm trying to teach them how to set a pick.  Only I look like my hands are shriveling and I'm about to die.
Wish me luck.  the girls, too. we all need it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

chocolate covered cinnamon bears.

It's freezing cold.  like -lungs burning when you breathe -cold. wind chills into the -30s. and I still love it.  and I'm even pretty excited that my kiddos are getting another snow day tomorrow!  we spent time at the gym today, played the wii, made cool structures out of our stick and stack tiles,  and got some cleaning done.  Even though I think they are wimpy- I really do love snow days (as long as I can get out for a little bit and they don't cancel any parties!).

And check out the snow IN our house!  I guess it's just 'frost'- but it's pretty thick.  And I'm going to call it snow.

to finish off an almost perfect day- I'm eating my chocolate covered cinnamon bears that I got for Christmas and watching tv while bundled up in a blanket.  If Kent weren't on call- the day would be PERFECT.  

Mom and Dad- send more chocolate covered cinnamon bears!  I need them.  
 If you've never had them- you're missing out.  they are DIVINE.  and since they don't sell cinnamon bears this side of the Mississippi,  I can't even make them myself.

an early achiever...

She's entered the terrible twos. officially.  and a couple months early even.  My children are so advanced.
Yesterday she went 'girl gone wild' on me when I had to remove her nightgown and get her ready for church.  yikes. stomping feet, screaming, trying desperately to rip off her dress, brought to a grand finale by a full body throw to the ground and an even louder leg kicking arms flailing murder-screaming tantrum.  All I could do was walk away and laugh. And remind myself that this is developmentally appropriate behavior.

She continues to be my most eccentric child.  she cracks me up and keeps me entertained. She's my happiest and friendliest kiddo, too.  I really do love her.
She slept like this ALL night long. and does so regularly. Her one hidden hand is covered by a mitten.  She loves her accessories. 
Somebody at church told Kent yesterday that she's unruly at church and needs to be kept in her seat.  She's not loud by any means- but she is an escape artist.  I told Kent next time to send that person my direction and have him relay that same message to me.  I'll give him a response (not nearly as kind as kent's)  and then hand her off to him and he can sit with her the next few months years and give toddlers a try.
I am at church every Sunday-for all three hours- never fail.  At least half the time without Kent for that matter!  Cut me a break. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

we ate and ate and ate

Nannie Annie and gramps flew into to town just after Christmas so we could enjoy some holiday time with them!  it was lovely.  Besides the day we took my kids to get shots.  I hope my parents can forget it happened. I'm trying to block it out of my memory.  Zeb and Ike FREAKED. lost it. they were possessed by little pint sized demons.  #1 worst moment as a parent to date.  uggh.

Other than that- it was super.  A couple of nights- we got a sitter for all of the kiddos and did dinner.  The first night we went to the hibachi and ate sushi and caught broccoli pieces in our mouths :)  It was way too much fun.  I love all of these blurry action shots.  I have the best family members.

my mom loves to photobomb.

How many times can you eat at chic-fil-a and still love it?  I think the answer is infinitely. Their food is so dang good.  It's the only place I'll indulge in fries.  and dipped in polynesian sauce?!  pure heaven.

we went with Nannie Annie and Gramps several times. 

three crazy cousins.
the most adorable little metta ever.  she may still be in her favorite pjs- and look a little bit like a rugrat- but check out her smile.
milo- the barfer- with gramps!
my kids' favorite thing about gramps and nannie annie in town is the hotel pool.  They went swimming every day.
I really ought to take my kiddos swimming more often. they love it.

they also loved the gifts.  Zeb did his very first ENTIRELY by himself hard lego set.  No help whatsoever. He loves legos- but usually we work on them together.   One morning I got up pretty early and came downstairs to find him in the dining room working away at it.  He was so excited about it that he couldn't sleep.

We also went to the Zoo lights in columbus.  Yikes. it was INSANE. busier than Disneyland.  we could barely move our stroller through the crowds.
and we didn't get to see any animals (besides a big brown bear's sleeping bum pressed against a widow) because they were all in for the night.  we did enjoy ourselves, though.
trying to see a polar bear in the giant tank.
they did have a big light show around the lake in the middle of the zoo and it was pretty amazing.  really cool.  and almost worth fighting the crowds!!

after the zoo- we stopped at jason's deli for dinner.  I highly recommend the place if you've never been. so much to choose from.  all of it was delicious! 

and there's FREE ICE CREAM.  all you want.  the chocolate was divine.

my goodness- we ate out a lot!  here's one last pic of miss metta.  At the restaurant Shish- writing on their chalk board.  It's a new place in dayton and it was so so delish.  It's Mediterranean food- falafel, shish wraps (shawarma), tabouli, pita, hummus, etc.  Kent and I have already been back again one time!

Life is now back to normal- and Nannie Annie and Gramps are gone!  thanks for everything!!

 School starts again monday- but I have a feeling it's going to be a snow day.  temps are predicted to be down to -20 and lower with wind chill!  I can't wait :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I'm waaaaay behind. on everything.

Our laptop broke- and can only stay on for about 15 minutes at a time.  Which makes blogging rather difficult :)

But- Christmas has come and gone.  and I took plenty of pictures.  here are a few.

I love Christmas eve.  the traditions make it one of the best days of the year. 

first tradition:
FOOD!  of all sorts.  we get takeout from every type of restaurant imagineable and just go crazy.
chinese, thai, italian, pizza, mexican, and indian this year. and diet cranberry sierra mist.  
so so tasty.

We had my sister Laney- her family- some missionaries from our church- and my pal, jackie, over for the evening.   Here's Jackie and baby Milo.  he barfs a lot.

2nd tradition:
christmas eve gifts.

the kiddos get pjs. we read luke 2. watch a short nativity movie.  read some christmas books and send the kiddos to bed

adults get to open one present.  the pixie pal.  all of the sisters, spouses, my parents, and my aunt rosemary draw names of each other and we have to give a gift that we MADE.
we have to skype the gift opening and giving so we can all be present!   it's usually pretty funny because none of us are very good at making things :)  This year Clair- my brother-in-law- had me.  For some reason the family has chosen to torture and mock me with the world's ugliest picture of me.  They all have it set to pop up when I call.  They've posted it on facebook  I look like a toenail.
So- clair furthered the tradition of ridicule and made a poster called: "It runs in the family".  Of cousins and siblings with the ugliest fat faces they could muster.   thanks, clair.  It's hanging on the fridge.
Kent may have gotten the best gift of all.  Laney cleaned our van for him. with the help of Jackie.  and it was RIDICULOUSLY dirty. and FREEZING cold outside.  She claims she saved our marriage by getting it done.  we are both grateful.
I had laney for 'pixie pals'.  She just got hired at the YMCA in Buffalo so I made her a book of all of my workouts so she could use them for her classes there.

Tradition three:
wrapping the presents!  I love staying up late with kent or my sisters or whomever will do it!!  I love presents.  I love wrapping. I love being up late!
almost finished.
2 am. Santa has arrived!!  and yes- I realize this picture is RIDICULOUS!  there are so many presents.  Keep in mind- it was Christmas for TEN people. and I love opening presents so much that kent wrapped things I already owned just so my pile looked impressive :)  He knows and loves me all too well.
Christmas morning and day were wonderful.    My favorite gift was tie dye socks from Kent.
Metta is pretty obssessed with her Dora nightgown and pillow pet.
and her dora hat.
the boys wanted this crazy expensive wii game.  74.99??!  no way.  but with black friday and coupons- I got it for 27.  they were very surprised!   and with characters from gramps and their aunt, kristy- these two had a perfect Christmas.
the barfer and his mom.  Milo got one present for christmas.  he seemed upset about it.
Kent may have been the happiest kid of all.  I was going to surprise him with this piano- but his mom had the same idea for our family!  so - we went in on it together and got Kent and kiddos an awesome weighted key- full size- electric piano!  He plays it every day.
To top off the best day ever- we got to face time my family- while they skyped my baby sister in Brazil.  We only get to talk to her TWICE a year! she's there as a missionary for 18 months for our chrch. and she cried the whole time :)  and laughed, too.  She is really happy.  and still  a little homesick :)  But I think she's going to make it.  Thankfully she's healthy! send prayers her way if you get a chance!

 Merry Christmas!!  I'm blessed beyond measure in every way.  I'm so grateful and so happy.