Mom Fail #1,384,292


I had dreams and ideas 16, 17, 18 years ago:  I was going to be a GREAT parent.  I mean, my parents were okay, I knew I was loved … but I was going to do it BETTER.  My kids were going to be polite and respectful and we weren’t going to yell and I was always going to be kind to them and we were going to be incredibly close and we’d always put God first and we’d sing songs and bake cookies …


Ha ha ha.

The older I get, the more I understand (and appreciate) my parents … they were just trying to do the best they knew how.  They didn’t live in the age of blog posts that gave you “10 Ways to Incorporate Love and Acceptance in Your Family” or sermons and books on “Growing Kids God’s Way”.  I’ll preface this with the fact that I am THANKFUL, very THANKFUL, for bloggers or authors or pastors who write these things and share what they know, what they’ve learned, what they glean from God’s Word, but in the end, we are all just trying the best we can. Right??

Tonight my older girl is going off to a slumber party with her basketball team.  It’s supposed to be a night of smiles and friends and food and giggling … and I sent her off in tears.  Mom Fail #1,348,292.


Part of it is HER fault … I woke this child up extra early today knowing that she had to pack for a sleepover and put the finishing touches on teacher and classmates’ gifts.  But she forgot something:  something VERY important.  And as I went to tell her good-bye tonight – after not only skipping dinner to go to the store to buy Rotel queso dip fixings and chips for her party but also sitting through her ballgame AND having worked all day AND not eating a proper lunch because I had a few Christmas gifts to buy during my lunch hour – she says, “Mom, I don’t have ______.” 

ME:  (((( blank stare))))

Her:  “Um, MOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OM, I don’t have my ________.”  

ME:  “And so………………….if you really need ________, then you can come home with me and have ______ but I’m NOT – I repeat – NOT going out now to buy and bring you ________ at your slumber party.”  

Her:  ((((tears)))))  Mom, don’t YELL at me.

(for the record, I wasn’t yelling, I was being ADAMANT.  There’s a difference.)

We talked it through, and she’s going to survive without _______ … and I made it a point to hug her and say “I love  you.”  But why oh why do *I* feel so badly?!?!  I’m NOT a better parent than my parents … In fact, tonight I feel worse.  Shucks, Daniel’s mom probably would have gone and gotten _____ AND some chocolate bars to lovingly bring to her daughter who is at a sleepover in the next town over, at the expense of her own rest – with a smile on her lips because she could serve her child.  (my mother-in-law is a saint, by the way …)

I’m sure there are ways I could have handled it better, and I *know* my daughter could have handled it better.  But why don’t we?!  I’m so so so tired to this pattern.

I guess I need to google a good blog post about “10 Ways to Communicate Effectively and Sympathetically with Your Teen Daughter”.

Someone, please tell me we will survive the next 3 years ….



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A Little Hello

get-attachment (3)Hello, Little Blog and Friends who stop by …

I’ve missed you.

I’ve missed my life a little bit lately – the Hausfrau life.  Not that my job stresses me out … in fact, I really like it!  If I’m gonna have to work, THIS is the job I want!!  I love my little office – my little world where I live inside my head and wonder about all the people whose medical equipment or flu shots I am doing the billing for.  I’m wondering why their parents named them what they did (Kymbrly?  Shaaron?) … or if the girl really loved the guy whose last name was Laughinghouse that much that she’d take his last name as her own (that one is probably a HIPAA violation that I shared that!!).  I look at dates of birth and see who is my age, how old people’s children are, and how far apart they had them.  I wonder about families whose have people with 2 or 3 different last names in them … and I make lists in my head and think over scenarios and remember good times and pray a little here and there.

So, other than work, there isn’t much to tell.  I mean, yes, we’ve been busy.  And the ironies of my life continue:  dead car battery in the old Buick – 2 years and 8 days past the 2 year warranty of the previous battery!!!  Merry Christmas, Daniel … you’re getting a car battery this year!!

There have been a few more “fun” moments … for example, my mom sent us a big box of salt-dough ornaments!!  If you look at the picture above, the stars on my berry wreath are salt-dough, baked, and painted gold.  We also have some that are painted white.  If I had the energy I’d write out the “recipe” my mom used … but I’m sure if you googled it, you could find out!  My mom sent beautiful, fancy little wire hangers for the ornaments as well – and thus, she saved me getting teacher gifts this year!!

Annie-Belle is my giver.  She made sugar cookies for all her classmates and teachers to be given out tomorrow.  And as an added bonus I made “Oreo” cookie balls.  Simple but YUMMY!!  (again, google the recipe if you don’t already know it, if interested – basically crushed cookies, cream cheese, covered in chocolate or white almond bark).  I used the Aldi peppermint-creme  cookies for one batch – and Target’s generic version of Oreos for the other.  And for the record:  I am picky about my Oreos, but Target’s Market Pantry chocolate-creme-filled cookies are pretty good!!

Tonight Daniel is working until midnight.  It has been a long time since he’s had to do a double-shift (16 hours) like that … but we continue to be thankful for the extra income (so we can afford things like the car battery without using credit).  God provides.

And I’m going to bed.  Gone are the days when I could wait up for him.  This reformed night owl needs her sleep especially if I’m going to make it through this Christmas season.




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Christmas at Our House

Is it really Christmas time again?!  The temperatures around here have been hovering in the 50s and 60s…Not very Christmasy at all.  I have attempted to get into the mood by doing some decorating around the house.  I do love having a real mantle for the first time ever!!  I even bought some wood to burn if it would ever get cold enough and we were home long enough to enjoy it … maybe on Christmas day?

We have a wood burning fireplace but Daniel has said we won’t be using it much … too much work, I suppose?! … but I grew up with a wood burning fireplace in the living room, and I want to relive that smell and that cozy feeling!!  (not so much cleaning out the ashes, but we do have a 16 year old and a 14 year old who can help with that!)


Our tree is up in the dining room … kind of  an odd location, but since the living room and dining room are open to each other, I guess it is ok.  The bay window is the perfect place for a tree – except no one else gets to see the twinkly lights unless our back-fence neighbor peeks over!  The only windows of our house that face the street are the 2 kids’ bedrooms.

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We got this artificial tree over 21 years ago.  Our first tree as a married couple, purchased in Lacey, Washington!  It has traveled across America and over the Atlantic Ocean with us!!  And now, it – like me – is showing its age.  It is saggy and broken in places … but we still fluff it up and try to cover the flaws!

Every year I look for a bargain tree to replace it at the after-Christmas sales … but I can never bring myself to pay the money these stores require for a fake tree!!  Even during a big sale!!  And so – again – kind of like my family keeps me around year after year, I keep this old tree!!  ;)

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We will light the 3rd candle on our advent wreath this Sunday … I wish I could say our family had a more thoughtful or purposeful way of celebrating the Advent season, but we don’t.  I just light the candles and that’s that.

Sometimes I wonder if our children will remember Christmas being meaningful because their mom was always so worn out to attempt the traditional things like gingerbread houses or daily, appropriate readings or songs.  But I do the best I can … we bake cookies when we can – and I made fancy treats for Miriam’s class this week as it was our turn to bring snacks:

BUT talk about Pinterest fails!!  Miriam told me the boys in her class thought our snow-man cheese sticks were GHOSTS!  And Honeynut Cheerio Christmas trees require a fast work if you’re going to shape 16 “trees” into cones AND stick on mini M&M decorations!!!  THIS is why I don’t do crafts often … Exhausting!!  (The best & easiest treat was the triangle-cut peanut butter sandwiches – tuck 2 pretzels in the long side for antlers, 2 raisins for eyes and a red mini M&M for the nose in the face of the bread.)

The big kids already had their school Christmas concert (Annie Belle sang a SOLO !!  and Drew sang the tenor part in a quintet).  The church cantata is this Sunday evening; Daniel is at an extra practice right now.


So, yes, it IS Christmas … and whether or not I’m ready, whether or not I’ve done much of the shopping I’d like to (or have the money to do it!!) or if we get any cookies baked soon … it doesn’t change the fact that Jesus was born … and we can celebrate that every day!

I’m so thankful that God’s work doesn’t rely on ME!!  :)



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/30/2014



My FAVORITE part of “30 Days of Thanks” is that it ends on MY BIRTHDAY, November 30!!  For some reason, I have just always loved my birth date.  I’m thankful I was born on the very last day of the month, not just somewhere in the middle!!  It’s just a good day to have a birthday.

I am in good company – others born on November 30 are:

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874), author of the Anne of Green Gables series

Mark Twain (1835), humorist … and I do love a satirical sense of humor!!

Winston Churchhill (1874), known to be an introvert (!!) but a great leader – and also a man of dry wit.

My own birthday this year was fairly quiet.  My one request was a few hours to myself!  And I used them to clean the bathrooms, mop the kitchen, and vacuum.  Those are things I just don’t accomplish when I have 3 children and a husband wandering in and out and all over the house!!  So, I wasn’t really disappointed with that.  I also caught up on laundry.  For the day anyway …

My family did take care of me in more birthday-like ways as well.  My Annie-Belle baked a yummy and very pretty cake:


And **SOMEONE ELSE** baked me something, too … but I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes; so here’s what happened:

My mom said she was sending me a package for my birthday.   And it did arrive.  She then said she was sending something else too – but I forgot what she said it was, so when ANOTHER package arrived last week, I assumed it was from my mom.  I mean, really, who else sends ME things that I didn’t order or pay for myself?!!?!?  :)

Anyway, on my birthday, I opened my mom’s gift:  a lovely bracelet … and a card.  And then I opened the second package, which had been at my house for several days, just sitting on the counter.  And it contained a baggie of crescent rolls …

At first I was baffled.  My mom had actually sent us Thanksgiving cookies last week too, so I thought maybe now she was sending the rolls too??!?!?!  But then I saw that the handwriting that said, “Happy Birthday, Conny” was NOT my mom’s … and I looked at the return address on the package and realized my sweet bloggy friend Melanie had sent me home-baked crescent rolls from her home bakery from which I covet all the products she and her family make and bake!!!!!!  And if I had thought about it:  she DID ask for my address not so long ago … and I joked about the fact that she might be sending me one of their many homeless kittens, thinking she was just going to send me a Christmas card.

(Irony of the Ordinary Hausfrau #1,345)

Anyway, the crescent rolls were salvaged by warming them in the oven for a few minutes.  They might have tasted even better had I eaten them the several days before when they actually arrived … but never the less, I enjoyed the treat.  :)

So, I was not forgotten on my birthday … My hubby also got me the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook (Food from My Frontier), potentially because HE likes everything so far that I’ve cooked from her blog recipes!!  ;)  Actually, I did request it.

And thus ends another November … and here in NW Arkansas, the temperatures today took a dive waaaay down into the 20s for this first day of December!!!!!  There was an ever-so-light dusting of snow on the roof tops this morning!!   Which is about to kill everyone because on Sunday, the high was in the 70s!!

Anyway … thank YOU for sticking with me, if you’re reading this!!  I am thankful for my friends who keep up with my blog – even when I’m obviously just rambling or facing writer’s block!!  I am thankful to have a place to remember my days … and to share them with anyone who is willing to listen.  :)


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/25-29/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dGood intentions gone bad … story of my life!!

Blog series that poop out at the end … happens every time.

But “better late than never” is occasionally my motto … although, occasionally my motto is just “give up and take a nap”.  But in this case, I’m finishing “November’s 30 Days of Thanks” and vowing to NOT take on any more blog challenges … well, until the next good blog challenge comes along!

So, last week:  it is somewhat of a blur.  Daniel took the day off on Tuesday to go to MiMi’s Thanksgiving program at school.  It broke my heart to not get to go this year … but Tuesdays are my “pharmacy day” and requesting time off or taking an early lunch effects the entire crew so as the “newbie” I opted to NOT even ask.

So, MiMi was “the weather” in her program … You heard right.  We got a note sent home a few weeks back that stated:  Your child’s part in the upcoming Thanksgiving program is one of the following:  Indian, pilgrim, weather (and WEATHER was circled).  Please dress your child in an appropriate costume (or something like that … actually, it was stated very nicely – no pressure … but still, THE WEATHER??!!).  Thankfully, we ran into the teacher another day, and she explained that Miriam would be holding a huge snowflake at one point in the program and later a sunshine.

So, I found a shirt MiMi has that says “Hello Sunshine” on it – she also wore her rain boots (because that girl LOVES her rain boots) and a scarf.  That seems appropriately weatherly.  Pics are on my hubby’s phone … but she WAS “totes adorbs” – just believe me!!

Wednesday the kids were off school, home alone, as Daniel and I had to go to work.  They all had assignments to do though to get ready for our Thanksgiving trip!!  Soon after getting off work, we drove to my in-laws’ house.  We arrived about the same time as Daniel’s youngest sister and her family.  They came down from Montana … via Ankeny, Iowa, where they picked up their oldest son’s girlfriend that he acquired while he was attending Bible college there last year (the girlfriend obviously still is a student).  ANYHOO …

We had a nice visit with Daniel’s family.  Dinner was good.  The cousins had fun getting reacquainted.

This is what happens when Viking blood and German stock intermingle – you get a bunch of pretty tall kids (my husband’s family is mostly Scandinavian and my brother-in-law is German, as am I … though I am not so much TALL as I am “sturdy”).  The boys are all at least 6 feet or taller.  The girls are 5’9″ and down to 5’7″ … and the girlfriend was 5’2″.  :)  Then of course, we have littlest cousin – and who knows how tall she’ll get.

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Anyway, Daniel and I had to work on Friday, so we left Thursday evening.  Sadly, I work up with a bad feeling that I was going to have a migraine on Friday … and sure enough, by noon I was in full migraine mode at work.  Thankfully, the pharmacy was staffed, and I could go home early and go straight to bed!  2 1/2 hours of sleep was just what I needed!!

Then on Saturday we decorated the house for Christmas!  I also made our own turkey dinner because I say the BEST part about Thanksgiving dinner is left-overs – and we didn’t get any on Thursday!!  (not with all those kids around!!)  We also raked leaves and did all those “catch up” cleaning things around the house.

And so, in conclusion, I’m thankful for Thanksgiving – I’m thankful for family, my own and extended.  I’m thankful for turkey – and left overs!!  :)





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30 Days of Thanks – 11/24/14

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dToday I’m thankful for a pretty uneventful, non-irony-filled day!!

I went to work … settled in to my little office, which by the way, I LOVE (put up pics of the family today and my certificates and college degree, which I never thought would mean much of anything – ha, in frames I got at Dollartree) … and after peeking into facebook world, I started my morning tasks of making sure yesterday’s faxes went through (we do electronic faxes which go thru our computer not thru a fax machine).  Then I see if any electronic faxes came IN.  These are usually related to CMNs (certificates of medical necessity), which are required by insurance companies for certain medical equipment before they will pay for it.  The doctors have to fill out certain information … and I’m figuring out what docs are speedy and which ones just take their sweet time (or just are extremely busy??!).

Then onward to billing for the flu shot clinics our team has held over the last month.  There are literally hundreds of patients and shots to log.  And meanwhile, I did a little check in the ERLs (electronic rejection letters) so see which insurance billings were kicked back for mistakes/ineligibility.  Mostly they are things like the last name Gowen should have been McGowen – or a birthdate of 1966 should have been 1961.  These are usually easily fixable, but require a little research.  I think it is kind of like a puzzle though – and I feel pretty accomplished when I “fix” something!!

Lunch – I ran errands and came home for a quick sandwich.

Then more flu shot billing … yeah, pretty much 3 hours straight.  (With a few facebook breaks in between!!).

Tomorrow is my pharmacy day so I won’t be quite so self-sufficient.  No facebook checks or snack breaks!!

Daniel got asked to do overtime tonight until midnight, which is a blessing.  Even though I’m working now, the extra dollars sure help us stay on top of the bills.  We’ve come to realize it going to take us about 5 years to catch up from all the damages from the last 2 1/2 years of being so behind the financial power curve.  It is kind of like losing weight:  weight and debt accumulate so quickly  … but the removal process is slow — and usually pretty tasteless.

Anyhoo … today I’m just thankful to have had a fairly “normal” day.  No surprises, good or bad.  And now, it is time to maybe make a difference in this horrible pit of dust bunnies and dirty laundry and scummy bathrooms that I call “home”.  :)




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30 Days of Thanks, 11/23/14, Part III

This is a part 3 of THE IRONIES of AN ORDINARY HAUSFRAU started in the previous 2 posts…..

So, today, Sunday, the ironies of my life continued.

If you know me well, you know I suffer from emetophobia.  This is the fear of vomit.  Since becoming the mother of 3, I am a little bit better, but I am far from cured.  I used to have nightmares about people around me vomiting, and I couldn’t get away from them … and any talk of such illness just makes me – well – sick.  Even now, writing this, I’m just slightly queasy.

Thankfully, God has been very kind to me in this regard.  And I pray He continues to be.  We’ve had a few run-ins with stomach flues and spontaneous vomit, but overall, compared to what some parents have dealt with, I have been spared.

Today, we were running late for church … which at our church really isn’t a big deal as EVERYONE just seems to kind of come and go as they wish.  And the first hour of our church is what is called “family hour”, starting at 9:30, is kind of a random time.  We arrived at 10.

As we entered, a little boy came running out of the auditorium doors … his hands over his mouth … and you guessed it!!  He’d just thrown up all around the back of the auditorium.  :(  Nothing says WELCOME TO CHURCH like a trail of fresh vomit … *sigh*

Poor kid.  And to beat all, his MOM was on stage singing A SOLO!!  Actually, I was watching her, and she was so oblivious to anyone that she finished her song, went and sat down in her pew, and someone had to tell her that her son was violently ill at the back of the church!!

Ugh.  What a way to start the day.  I guess I should feel more sorry for that boy and his mom than for myself.

Ironically, the theme of the sermon during the main service was THANKFULNESS.



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30 Days of Thanks, 11/23/14, Part II

Continuing to dwell on the ironies of my life this weekend, I could tell about how we lost MiMi at the mall on Saturday.  Yeh, that wasn’t fun.

Annie-Belle had spent some of her birthday money on a new shirt at some little boutique store, and I was watching the transaction at the register.  Meanwhile, MiMi decided that was taking too long – and apparently decided she wanted to go on to the “smelly store” (Bath & Body Works) two doors down.  Of course, we didn’t know that .. and so Annie Belle and I spent the next 10 minutes in an absolute PANIC, looking for her.  Sadly, the girls at the register were basically oblivious.  I asked them for a phone # to mall security, and finally, when they found a number, turns out it was not a valid number.

The girl from the fitting room, where we had been earlier, WAS helpful, and she helped up look in all the clothes racks in case MiMi had hidden herself in one of them.  I need to write a note to her manager and commend her!!

So, if you’ve ever lost your child in a crowded place, I’m sure you know that you begin to think the worst.  I was already seeing Miriam’s face on milk cartons and the “lost and exploited children” board at Walmart.  I was going over how to tell my husband that I’d lost our child … and meanwhile, while I appeared calm at least outwardly, Annie-Belle was bawling.

She stepped out into the mall to look around, and apparently the nice lady at Bath & Body and the “balloon man” stationed outside of it had already called mall security about the little girl wandering around their vicinity.  One of the security officers saw Annie Belle crying and asked if he could help her, and she explained her little sister was lost.  Thankfully, he was able to say that they’d found her.

Happily, MiMi was found … she gained 2 balloon flowers from the nice balloon man – and a new friend in the Bath and Body Works clerk … but once we got over the shock and relief and excitement, I definitely made very, very sure that she would definitely think twice about ever leaving my side at a busy store again.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/22&23/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dThis weekend I’m thankful I have a sense of humor (or at least I think I do??!).

I am beginning to think that I need to rename my blog:  The Irony of an Ordinary Hausfrau … My life just seems to be full of best laid plans gone all wrong in the most incredible of ways!!

Friday night, for example.  It was a long week – it was Daniel’s pay day … and we felt like we needed a treat!  And so, we decided to take the family to Steak & Shake for dinner ($4 meals … yeah, that’s in the budget!).  Well, most of NW Arkansas seemed to have the same idea!!!  S&S was crowded, a line waiting almost to the front door.  BUT we had nothing better to do, so we signed in with the hostess and waited.

It wasn’t too bad.  The wait was about 15 minutes and our name was called.  Some other folks who were waiting too even kind of cheered for us.  So, I hurried up to claim our seats … and the hostess said, “OH WAIT … you have FIVE in your party?? .. OH… UMMMM… Never mind, your seats AREN’T ready.”  So, back to waiting we went for another 10 minutes or so.

At this point, we were asked if we wouldn’t mind a booth, even though there were 5 of us.  But we said we’d take whatever we got.  So, the hostess offered what I understood to be A CHAIR at the end of the table.  So, MiMi and Annie-Belle piled in one side of the booth, and the boys piled in opposite of them.  And I waited for the promised chair.  When the hostess came, she was carrying a HIGH CHAIR!!!!

Well, we thought we’d make the best of it and tried to get MiMi into the high chair, but considering she is almost 5 years old, she just didn’t fit!!  Instead, I squooshed myself in with the girls and we ate our dinner.  In the end, I think I was just thankful that they got our order right, and we were able to eat.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/20&21/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dI’m sooooooooooooooo happy it is Friday.  Now that I’m working, it seems like the time if FLYING!!!

And after a few nights of insomnia, I’m ready to cuddle down in my flannel sheets and NOT set the alarm clock in the morning.

SO thankful for the WEEKEND!!!!

We really don’t have any set plans.  Drew will be working concessions at the last Razorback home game of the season (The Hogs face Ole Miss) … This game will be on TV the same time as Daniel’s Hawkeyes face Wisconsin, so I foresee channel changing at regular intervals.  Tennessee is playing Mizzou … but I don’t even know what time.

I plan to do a little cooking, a little cleaning, a little bit of laundry … and a whole lotta nothing.



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