A University Tour

I have no idea what happened.

I have no idea what is happening.

I have no idea what will happen.

I just know that time marches on.

I don’t even know what to feel.

The big kid and Keith are going on a road trip to look at a University about 13 hours away.

I am unsure how this is happening so fast.  I wish I was a time traveler so I could go back to the good times, the funny times, the sweet times and watch it all again.  I wish I could go back to the times I was frustrated, and annoyed, and short-tempered and remind, or is it forewarn myself, of this day, remind myself not to sweat the small stuff.  That almost all of it is small stuff.

In an hour they will load up with stuff for the weekend and drive up to this school that will snatch my child from me and send home a man.  {Ok I know not now…  being a bit dramatic, but college does that, you send off your child and welcome home an adult.}  I know that he is only going to look at this university.  I know I have said  “that boy NEEDS to go A W A Y to college”  I know he will love it.  But today, I am not ready.  Last weekend I was ready, today, not so much.

He is interested in film, in producing, writing, special effects.  This university has all that to offer, amazing faculty and an excellent program.  A program with internships that will get his foot in the door of where he wants to go.  This is what he wants and I realize that it is not all about me.

So if you see me the next few days and my eyes are puffy and red, realize that the hormones of having a senior and the hormones of being pregnant are a little more than this mama can take.  It seems a lot of sweet tea and some dark chocolate might help.

Oh and remind yourself to not sweat the small stuff and most of it really is small stuff.  Maybe smelly laundry small stuff but it is small stuff.  Maybe forgotten mac-n-chees container in school locker for 2 weeks now small stuff, but still small stuff.  Maybe forgotten homework or lost dress shoes, or a broken arm, or legos in the washer, toys on the floor, bike in the driveway, but it is mostly all small stuff.  The heart issues those are harder and not small stuff, keep fighting and working on those things.

Off to pack a goody bag for the big kid and his dad, as they begin a great adventure.  Please pray for safety as they travel and clarity of mind for both of them.  Keith meets with the financial aid department and C will attend a few classes, hang out in the dorm and spend the night on campus.  Pray for this mama who knows change is happening.

Go hug your kids because tomorrow you will be packing one of them up for college, it is just that fast.
jen

What to Name Our Baby?

A few weeks ago I asked the kids if they could suggest some baby names.  It seems once you hit #7 you kind of run out of names.  Well, that is actually not true there are plenty I love still but Keith has poo-poo’ed them.  I have tried since the first child to get the name Atticus or Finch {you know, from To Kill A Mockingbird}  I have offered up the name Scout {or Jean Louise, also from To Kill A Mockingbird} Yeah those have been axed every single time.  Every. Single. Baby.  He never read the book, I loved the book, he never watched the movie, I felt the movie was a pretty good interpretation of the book. I face booked the names one more time to him the other night.  He was watching a game I was playing on nameberry.com .  His reply “When will you quit suggesting those names?”  My answer “When we have a baby with those names.”  Maybe if he misses the delivery I will put the name on the birth certificate.  Or when he goes home for dinner or the night.  He does not stay the night, shoot with E he actually did not even come and visit me one of the days I was in the hospital.  So I guess he’d better be there more or I may get my way after all.

Anyway the big kids chimed up with names, I am certain they were trying to top each other in ridiculousness.  But through this you will see why I will not be using any of their suggestions.  The more normal names were suggested by the little kids.  I think our favorite choices were given to us by little A.  She suggested Shrek or better yet Donkey.  Yes she is serious it is not a joke to her and if you ask her what the baby should be called she will tell you Shrek.  If you keep asking she will tell you Donkey.  While that is a funny movie she actually has not seen it in months so I have no idea why she has chosen those names.

Pheidipies~because he ran the first marathon

Minerva~it is Athena’s roman name and Minerva McGonagall

Harry {Potter}

Rennie {Muldoon}

Tybalt {Romeo}

Benjamin

Sara

Little Olivia {from Olivia the tv show}

Justin~Other~Overholt

Jeffery Jeffery Jeffery {I 4 years old}

Bartholomew

Mulan

McKenna

Severus ~Albus Severus

Luna ~ Love good

Peter Pettigrew

Peter Parker

Artemis

Use

Thor

Spider-man

Huckleberry

Hiccup {the dragon trainer}

Clive {Bigsby}

Haymitch

Katniss

Gale

Pieta

Temperance {bones}

Nicholas and Ledropthe

Margot/Edith/Agnes

Eponine

Gavroche

Caspian

Mufasa

Aladdin

Rapunzel

Shannon {this could be boy or girl name says E}

Brittany or Brittani

So there you have it, a lovely collection of names from my children.  While the normal names are not bad they just are not in the same style as the other names of my children.  So unless we come up with anything better this baby will be known as Shrek Overholt.  Can’t wait to put that on his/hers school registration papers.

Any name suggestions are gladly welcomed.  I am sure as we get closer to the actual due date I will be more desperate in the search.  I tell each child that I will put the name they suggested on the list.  Makes them feel good even if we cross it off the list at least it was a name suggestion.

Also In case you care or are feeling hungry the baby is about the size of a Papaya.

Go hug your kids, time is marching along give someone some love!
jen

p.s. if you have a name suggestion that is not one of the above names please send it along!  It has to be better than some of those suggested names.

Things I Don’t Want To See

Confession
I was looking through Face Book.  Ok actually I was snooping though pictures, you know if you “like” someones picture and they are not high privacy settings I can also look though your pictures.  I shouldn’t but then they should put up more privacy.  I can’t comment on them usually, but then if I did they would know that some crazy person was snooping on their stuff.  I don’t do it all the time, only when I am killing time waiting for a realistic bedtime.  Anyway, there are things I just don’t want to see.

Pregnant pictures,  Ok yes I do want to see you and your big belly with the heart hands and the sweet little shoes or name blocks on your belly, but open skin, not so much.  I am pretty positive that your 15-year-old son will be mortified at those pictures.  I guess that is a great way to keep them humble, and embarrassed, and want to dig a hole to hide, is to show your half-naked or eluding to your half-naked pregnant body.  Trust me they do not want to think about that at all.  And trust me most of your friends do not want to see your mostly naked pregnant body either.  We glance and smile but mostly feel awkward.  Also the pregnant “funny” picture where you stand back to back with the father and his belly is poked out one way while your pregnant belly is poked out the other way is slightly disturbing.  Trust me.
Now by all means get these done, seriously what time of your life can you pull off a big belly?  But keep them for you to enjoy, keep them along with the boudoir pictures in a private location, we are glad you are pregnant and we are glad you have enjoyed the amazing thing your body is doing.  Seriously growing a baby is AH-MAZ-ING but we don’t need to see it too.  So go hire a  photographer and get some sweet pictures to show us then get some romantic pictures to enjoy with your husband or baby daddy… your glowing pregnant body is for him to enjoy, so enjoy.

OK so technically it is my fault when I see those pictures because I was snooping but I’m speaking for your friends now, since they don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Duck Face Bathroom/Drivers seat pictures.  Ok like singing in the bathroom or car our voices sound great, in real life not so much.  I guess the same can be said for the lighting in the bathroom or the car, all that light makes us look better but to take so many duck face pictures we don’t need to see your dirty car or filthy bathroom.  Trust me, almost everyone is looking at your surroundings because once you’ve seen one duck face car or duck face bathroom picture they all look the same.  And some of you live in squalor in your bathroom germ fest, no wonder you get sick!

Yes I know those can be helped I can choose not to look at the pictures and most times I choose not to but sometimes I have a little too much time on my hands but not enough energy to get up and actually do something so I snoop.

Make out couples.  I don’t care how old a couple is I don’t care who they are, what they look like or what they choose to do when they make out.  I just do not want to have to view it.  We have been out to eat and listened/watched as couples make out.  I am the one that complains to the manager about you.  Take it to the car people!  I get disgusted watching a couple play tongue tag or some such game while standing in line.  Yes we are all bored standing in line but there has to be something more socially acceptable than making out in line.  Talking, texting, standing quietly…  see I have given you 3 options already.  Sadly I am seeing this more and more.  Couples who can’t keep their hands from roaming while standing right next to me in line.  I wonder if I start gagging will they stop?  Maybe us “older” folks should make out in line, then they can be creeped out and grossed out and see how nasty it really is.  Maybe that is the answer?

Body Parts meant to be covered.  We don’t want to see them, I have no interest in seeing how short your shorts can be.  Here is a little FYI if your pockets are longer than the shorts, they are just too short, when you sit and your skirt comes up so high that we are not sure if it is skirt or shorts, it is too short.  I don’t want to see your belly hanging out from under your shirt and I don’t want to see your crack!  This is hard to avoid seeing, walking through the grocery store and Sam’s club this weekend I saw a lot more of total strangers than I ever wanted to see.  This does not make you a better person, it does not make you more smart or spiritual, but it does make you look better.  Changes nothing in your heart but makes your physical self look better.  So go with a more flattering look wear shorts longer than the pockets and skirts that cover your booty when you sit, keep your belly tucked in.  You just look better.

So there you have it, things I don’t want to see.  What about you?  What are the things you see but don’t want to see?

Go hug your kids and remind someone why you love them.
jen

Wednesday Fun and an Update on Baby #7

Sunday Night is pancake night.  Honestly I am getting tired of pancakes, but the big kid loves them, one year left then O will get to choose Sunday night meals.  I don’t care what it is as long as it is not pancakes!
This week I made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes while they were cooking R was setting the table.  This is a bit of our conversation during meal preparation.  Like most conversations R is the child M is ME
R~Mom, you should call those girdle cakes
M~What?
R~You should call them girdle cakes because you cook them on your girdle
M~Honey that is a griddle
R~Well whats the difference?
M~A girdle holds in fat a griddle is where you cook food
R~Ok then you should call them griddle cakes

Spelling Test
In 2nd grade Fridays are spelling test day.  Because of E’s teacher they all actually take a pretest and then get new words for the Friday test.  Working the same concepts just more practice.  Anyway, as I was saying Friday is spelling test day.  I ran into E’s teacher at the football game that night.  Here is her story.
“Today while I was giving the spelling test we were on the 3rd or 4th word when a little hand went up.  I asked what was the problem, the child replied “Do we have to spell these words correctly?”  “Yes honey you need to spell the words correctly.”
So that little girl… Yeah she is all mine.  Spell check is my friend!

Toothless wonder
Last week during my 31 party the little girls were “sitting” on the couch, some how while sitting little A accidentally kicked E in the mouth, causing her wobbly tooth to bleed.  You know mouth injuries, they bleed a lot.  A whole lot!  E about lost it with the amount of blood.  No worries we got her all cleaned up and her wobbly tooth was just hanging on, but only just hanging.  I thought for sure it would come out soon.  Nope my kids have sheer will power when it comes to wiggley teeth.  They will leave it alone until the tooth just falls out.  {This tooth has been wiggley really wiggley for months now}  Finally on Sunday night E decided to let her aunt pull the tooth.  After calming the poor scared child down {she ASKED for Ellen to pull the tooth} Ellen pushed it back to give it one more wiggle and the tooth fell into her hand, no need to pull it at all.  She now had a sweet little smile with a cute gap in her mouth.

Vocabulary words
J~”Mom my vocabulary words for today were toppled and erupted.  Want to know the sentences I used them in?  Toppled, I toppled over my desk.  Erupted, I erupted a ton of throw up.”  Lovely son, just lovely.

Pregnancy update
Baby is growing, as far as the sonogram tech can tell the baby is about 12oz and about 10 inches long.  The baby is now the size of a pomegranate, and wiggling about all the time.  We choose to be surprised at the gender and now the dr is going to be surprised too, since baby 7 kept ankles crossed.  There was no getting a good look at “the parts” it looks like baby 7 is a feisty one

Pregnancy Funny
Ok I have been going to this same office for my babies for 18 years now.  I really like the staff, the doctors, and the nurses.  I have been there for 2 different remodel projects, and 5 different doctors from the office have delivered my babies.  A few of the staff has been there the entire time, I love that about the office.  Every single visit at the office they give me a plastic cup with my initials written in sharpie on the cup.  They have a handy door in the restroom, after filling the cup you open the little door and slide your sample into the door and shut it.  Today I had my sonogram and then went back to the waiting room, kissed Keith good-bye and waited for my next appointment.  I had to “go” so I asked for my cup, thinking I would just eliminate one more step in the visit. I headed back to the restroom and talked to my favorite nurse on the way.  I went into the bathroom and proceeded to “fill the cup” and then it happened.  I dropped the cup into the toilet.  sample and all.  I could not stop and I began laughing all alone in the restroom, with a plastic cup sporting my initials floating in the toilet.  I knew I could not leave it there, for one it had my initials on it, they would know it was me, and for another reason I would be ticked if I was trying to go and could not because the toilet was clogged.  So after I finished I had to reach into the toilet and pull out my cup.  I put it in the trash and washed my hands twice before I felt clean enough.  Then like a failure walking the walk of shame I went back into the waiting room, the receptionist said something to me about going to the bathroom, so I walked up to her and whispered “I dropped the cup” she burst out laughing, then I told her I had to fish it out of the toilet and she could not stop laughing at me.  While I was waiting I texted a friend who said the only thing that would add to the hilarity would be if little A was in the bathroom with me, watching it all go down.  I can only imagine the questions she would have had.  Yeah very thankful that she went to a friends today!

So there you have it a pregnancy update and a little hilarity to your day.
Go hug your kids breath in the smells of fall and tell someone you love them!
jen

My Sales From Just Between Friends

I promised and today I will deliver,  I know some of you are anxious to see how I did in the Just Between Friends Sale.  Like I said yesterday it was a lot of work.  Not hard work but time-consuming work.  The things I sold were mostly in storage so after the boxes ready for the sale were moved there is no real difference to the amount of stuff in my house.  My sisters storage room, on the other hand, has less things in storage.  Hopefully by the week’s end we will have all my holiday things out of her storage room.  She is waiting for Keith to have a free week or two to put a wall up in that room so she can have a separate office.  She has a lovely entry room that she has tried to use as an office but it just does not work out how she wants.  She is hopeful that moving her office into the front half of the storage room will free up the entry room, making it an excellent place for baby girl’s play room.  {Keep praying for that baby, pray for the mama who has lots of choices to make, and in society which is not always kind to people who have different opinions}

Just to torture my friend AM and my friend at The Coop, I will not put up the $$ I earned in an obvious manner, you must read it to find it!

So like I said yesterday Keith and R took all 860 things to the sale and hung up, put away, and took care of the 830 that passed inspection.  All the while I stood for 4 hours and checked other people’s things to be sure they passed inspection.  If you have more than 20 things for the sale and you only get 3 things pulled that are not appropriate for the sale you will become a perfect consignor which means that the next sale you can skip the check in process.  Of course there are still “team members” who walk around checking things on the rack and if they pull 3 of your things that are already hung up then you lose that perfect consignor status. I did not earn perfect consignor’s status.  I did get to assign that status to a few consignors and that was exciting!

I had fun checking things for people, mostly because the checkers were all cheerful I enjoyed visiting with them all between checking.

60613_10202614841438480_200908595_nWhen I left on Wednesday night the place looked like this.1239791_10202614842638510_1466039194_nToys as far as the eye could see.1236078_10202614846918617_464967934_nMore toys and the racks of clothing in the back ground.1240000_10202614848438655_1449725367_nBouncy seats and swings and outside toys.560539_10202614848878666_372496058_nAnd racks and racks and racks of clothing.  I wish i could find a better picture to show you the clothing.

Every brand of clothing and every price you can imagine, from Gymboree to Strasbourg, from Wal-Mart to Nordstroms and everything in between.  Prices varied from $1.00 to $25.00 {there could have been higher on the strollers I just did not look at them}  Seriously this was the most things and variety of things I have seen.  It was way better than a yard sale, it was clean and tidy, organized, and air-conditioned.  There were also venders lined up selling everything from 31 {My Thirty One gifts} to kids magnetic elastic belts.  My friend was there selling Wrap It Up.  {I’ll post more on this later but it is fantastic if you want more info let me know I can hook you up with my friend}

The email we received the night before the drop off said that there had been 40,000 tags made for the sale.  Of course not all 40,000 things made it in the sale but still that is a lot of things in the sale.  There was a lot of clothing.  I hope that they take the advice offered by many to add in at least 1 if not 2 more racks for the clothing it was just too difficult to look at the clothing when it was so jammed into the rack that you could not look at the things.  I shopped early and went back to shop at the end.  The final day of the sale there are many things priced half off.

{OH I forgot to mention, as you tag your items, you can choose to collect your unsold products or donate them to the charity that your local JBF supports, or you can choose to not donate.  You also have the choice to reduce your items the last day of the sale.  If the tag has a star the price will be full price until the end.  If there is no star then the last day of the sale they will be reduced to half off.  Most of my items were both half off and to donate.}

On Sunday evening I went on my profile to see what I had made.  I was glad to see so much money but also a little surprised it was not as much as I expected it to be.

My {estimated}grand totals

{This is the listing on the website, but they did tell us that only the things scanned would show up, the other items that had to be keyed in would show up on our final report.}

860 items tagged, 830 items put into the sale, and 393 items sold

I spent about $50 in stuff for the sale, hangers {I had awesome friends donate hangers for the bigger things but baby clothes had to be on baby hangers…} a tagging gun and safety pins.  I spent the money knowing that I would be able to replace that money with money I made on sold items.

My check from JBF will be an estimated $904.93
{included in that amount is the things my sister sold and the toys the kids sold}

I am glad for the money and freedom from all the unnecessary things.

So the big question is will I do it again?  Yes.  Yes I will.  I had a great time getting things out of my house and my sisters house, I had fun selling things we no longer need/use/enjoy.

Actually I will be putting the things in a sale the first weekend of October.  The next big city over is having a sale, a few of us are going to carpool/clothing pool?  our stuff over and then others will do the pick up.  I hope to sell the things I choose not to donate and the things I was just too tired to get in the last sale.  I hope to have about 100 things to put in.  Since most of the unsold things are still marked I only have a few dozen tags to make.  Ellen, will you come help me again?  It is much easier to do this as a team.

What will I use the money for?  I will be using it to help pay for Christmas.  No it won’t pay for all of Christmas, but it should pay for a large portion of Christmas.  {Thankfully the little kid things are cheaper than the big kid things} And I have a friend who has offered to work my booth at the Guatemala Malnutrition Center Christmas sale.  I just have to decide if I have the time and energy to make enough for the sale.

What about you?  Have you participated in a Just Between Friends Sale?  Check it out if you see one advertised in your area, they carry everything necessary from pregnancy to size 18 boys and size 16 girls.  Seriously, books, toys, clothes, musical instruments, sporting equipment,  everything you can thing of.  And some things are just worth a good laugh when you see them.  And of course people watching is great fun!

Go hug your kids and tell someone you love them.
jen

My Experience with Just Between Friends

Last year in little A’s ballet class one of the moms was tagging items for a Just Between Friends Sale.  I asked her what exactly a JBF sale was.  Her response, a gigantic consignment sale.  After learning the dates I realized I could not go so I did not give it a second thought, until the spring.  Spring time came and again she was talking about the sale, I roped my sister into going with me.  It was gigantic.  I ended up getting some sweet smocked things for the little girls at what I felt was a great price.  They had everything, every brand and just about every price range!  When we were leaving my sister said “you should do that next time.”  So I signed up for their emails and registered to sell my things.  I’ve done e-bay for years and years but this sounded easier.  No shipping {which seems to be everyone’s biggest issue on e-bay}, no taking pictures, no stacks around my house. {Which is a funny thought as the preparation for the sale went on}  I began with the stack of e-bay behind my bedroom door, boxed it up and started boxing up things the kids outgrew that I was not interested in saving for the next child down the line.  Boxing them up in preparation for tagging for the sale.

In August I had a plan.  I would go through all the outgrown clothes in boxes and bins and bags and stacks in my sisters storage room.  We spent 2 Saturdays going through every single item of clothing and shoes.  I discovered a few things.  1 Uniform shirts are like rabbits I swear they were breeding and every time I pulled out another stack to look through there were uniform shirts.  I took about 50 to school to the Used uniform closet for the next sale, and yet I keep finding more uniform shirts.  2 We both looked at the clothing and remembered times when each child wore the outfit.  3 clothes left in storage show the stains better.  4 some of my kids had a lot of clothing!

Once every article of clothing had been touched, sorted and tossed into a donate, sell or keep pile, we had the task of putting the keep clothes into large plastic boxes for later.  It was not all that much work considering the amount we pulled from the storage room.  We took out about 10 boxes and bags of clothing.

1239972_10202614830438205_1743966688_n

In the beginning, the boxes lined the wall of my family room.1236068_10202614831118222_240733254_nBoxes stacked on top of boxes.  By the end boxes lined the family room, the dining room and every space in-between.

We began pricing the items for sale, according to the Just Between Friends website.  {which by the way is so user-friendly we loved it}  They recommend pricing no more than 10 items at a time, saving,  {always save trust me!} then printing.  The tags had to be printed on white card stock and were printing 6 to a sheet.  We decided to list in stacks of 6, fold and stack and print the sheet to place on top of the stack.  The days after tagging I would cut and pin and later cut and use a “tagging gun” to tag every item.  This proved to be the easiest method.  O wanted to cut the tags and place them on the stacks of 6, but my fear was some child bumping those stacked tags and making a huge mess of pricing.  We spent 2 weeks tagging clothing and shoes 3 or 4 evenings a week.  Every night we went to bed with stacks and stacks of clothing all over my family room floor.  We would quit for the night when there was no more room for me to sit on the floor.

After most of the items were tagged I just boxed them all up, to hang on hangers and sort by sizes the Monday and Tuesday before the sale and drop off.

We took another Saturday, made the kids all go to my sister’s house to go through the toys.  And boy did we go through toys.  I must say O had nothing, she tossed or donated most of her toys as she outgrew them.  She has 3 containers of things to save, 1 box of doll things and 2 boxes of playmobil.  R who we thought was our pack rat, really is not.  He whittled down to only saving 1 box plus all his playmobil.  C on the other hand…  Pack rat might be a good description.  He has boxes and boxes of legos.  Yikes at last count it was 6 Nike size 13 shoe box sized plastic containers and 5 large storage containers of just legos, and 1 more container of Toy Story toys.  I was willing to keep all outgrown playmobil and legos, no problem but the bins of other toys… they had to go.  He was cracking us up trying to choose how to put all his “other” saved toys into 1 box.  He did it but had to play with every toy in the process.  After the task of toy sorting we spent a few evenings tagging the toys.  A handy tip for helping the kids get rid of toys, the entire site is computerized so I told them IF their items sold I would give them the money for their items.  Poor little kids were searching for things to sell, but kept coming up empty handed.1002224_10202614832238250_1105197405_nBoxes of toys stacked on top of boxes of toys.1176381_10202614833158273_1866417443_nLaundry baskets of toys.1237960_10202614840038445_1339931277_nMore laundry baskets of toys.

After all the tagging the Monday evening, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning of the sale we hung clothing on hangers.  They are precise in the requirements, hangers must look like a question mark ? clothes must be hung so they would not fall.  As we hung items we sorted them by size.

All told we spent a month getting ready for the sale.
Out grown clothes at home
Out grown clothes in storage
Price and tag clothes
{this took 2 weeks}
Our grown toys at home
Out grown toys in storage
Out grown “things” at home
{this being bottles, cute plates, bedding…}
More odd outgrown clothing I kept finding
Movies, Games and Books
Price and tag things
{this took almost 2 weeks}
Hang up things and sort by size
{2 plus days}

Why did it take so long you ask?  Well, simple I had 860 items listed for the sale.  You read that correct eight hundred sixty items.  All put into the computer, price, tag, hang up, deliver, be checked, sell and pick up the leftovers.  {Another great thing about JBF, it is a well oiled machine.  there are “team members” who work every part of the sale, from checking items for defects/flaws/stains/recalls to packing up the things at the end for you to pick up.}45530_10202614839518432_1605543190_n-1Monday night before the sale we began packing things up and putting them on hangers.601513_10202614840318452_1796360756_nThings had to be packaged in such a way that they would stay together and not get lost.15068_10202614841078471_364133755_nEvery corner and wall of my dining room was filled with stuff for the sale.970161_10202614841918492_570112444_nHanging and sorting station.541822_10202614838398404_1543703583_nBoys clothing took up the entire end of the table.  Girls clothing was everywhere else.1239596_10202614837918392_736314493_nWhen Keith and R came home from school I had boxes and boxes sorted by size ready to be loaded into the van541829_10202614842278501_908760322_nAs they were loading I was still hanging things up.  Eventually I quit and decided to let things go until the next sale

We were 2nd shift workers, the more time you were a “team member” {volunteer} the more benefits you received as a consignor.  We, Ellen and O and I worked 12 hours total, but shared a 4 hour shift so I had a profit of 70/30 instead of the 60/40 I also did not have to pay my $10 consignor fee, and because we made it to 12 hours I was able to shop before most people.  The only ones who shopped before me had volunteered more hours.

What I don’t have any pictures of, is Keith and R taking 4 van loads back and forth.  We were 3.5 minutes from the location of the sale.  But they loaded and unloaded the things, then stood while all 860 items were inspected, then took all 830 {that passed inspection} and hung them in the appropriate size and gender sections.  The guys worked so hard for me with no reward.  I’m not going to lie, R had a great attitude the whole time.  But by load 3 Keith was over it, and load 4 I think he actually growled at me when I said “thank you honey, I love you”  Yup pretty sure he growled.

Tomorrow I will show you pictures of the actual sale, and give you my results.  I know you are thrilled with this!

What about you?  Ever get involved in the Just Between Friends Sale?
Go hug your kids and check for a sale near you!
jen

A Little Candy and Chick Fil A

This week our local Chick Fil A’s have offered free breakfast.  I don’t know if every CFA is doing this promotion, but ours are.  And you all know how very much I love CFA!  If you do not know that you must be new to my blog.  Welcome, I’m Jen and I love CFA!

As I was saying… FREE BREAKFAST
FREE
As much as I love CFA I love FREE even more!

If you care this is our schedule:
Monday Chicken Burritos
Tuesday Chicken Egg and Cheese Bagel
Wednesday Chicken Minis
Thursday Spicy Chicken Biscuit
Friday Chicken Biscuit

I have loved the chicken burrito for a few years now, so I was very glad to get that on Monday.  We took care of morning business, a chiropractor appointment and then breakfast.  Yum If you have not tried one I would encourage you to try it.  Unless you HATE green or red peppers but ours are sliced long so you can pull them out.

Tuesday Morning 3 of the kids were up and dressed by 6:30 so we could go get breakfast before getting dropped off at school.  Let me say even YUMMIER but H U G E as in no one could finish them.  The 2 little kids ate the rest as an after school snack.  It was great but if you are only a little hungry than it is too much!  I was surprised at how good it really was.  Loaded with protein so if you are looking to add more in your diet.  The bagel was really good too, soft and toasted just right.

We had a little snafu on Wednesday morning waking up so I dropped 2 kids at school early, the other big kid chose a tardy and went to CFA with J and E.  It was chicken minis and what is not to like?  Ok E is not a fan of the little biscuits but the rest of us are.

Today J and E were up and ready to leave the house at 6:30 for the spicy biscuit.  J is a fan of spicy sandwich and E is not.  She did manage to eat about half of hers before her mouth was “too spice” to finish.  I love their spicy sandwich but have a hard time convincing my stomach that spicy chicken is a breakfast food.

Tomorrow is the chicken biscuit and they all are wanting to go.  This business of getting up and out of the house at 6:30 is for the birds.  I’ll be glad for next week and no early depart times.

Now I love a free breakfast but I cannot eat so early, on the mornings I have taken the kids I don’t get anything for me or little A.  We go back a few hours later, enjoy our morning and play a while on the play place.  I am sure there are some tacky, greedy, people who are going from the North CFA to the South CFA or how ever they can to work the system getting 2 or more free breakfasts out of it.  But that is dishonest, same with taking your CFA cup home rinsing it out and taking it back in for free refills.  We all know that free refills are for the day of your visit not the week after.  Those people are tacky and greedy too.  Come on people if you want a drink buy the cheapest and enjoy the refills that day.  Don’t blow it for the rest of us honest people who are doing things right.  I have no problem when you buy the “refill” cup the plastic logo cup that entitles you to free refills but to take the paper or styrofoam cup and reuse that… yeah tacky.

Halloween Candy is out!  Yahoo!!!  We are a big fan of candy corn and the day I posted the full pumpkin jar the kids took FOREVER before they read the blog and saw the pictures.  We still have candy corn, had to refill the jar but we still have it in there.  Sadly the lid is in 2 parts and R said “no amount of orange sharpie is going to fix that lid”  I plan on gluing it together next week.

I love a good candy corn and when I saw some new candy corn products at Target I had to share.  I am sure that both of these products have been out for a few years, I just discovered them.  Actually I know that one has because for the last 2 years I have seen pictures of the bag on face book.  But I have never tried either product.  {I tried and the pictures will not rotate please don’t hurt your neck looking at my amazing picture taking skills!}

530552_10202582885399599_791873361_nS’mores Candy Corn.
Many of you know S’mores are my favorite!  So when I saw the S’mores candy corn I thought “Score”  2 favorite things in one!
That afternoon we had a mini taste test.  The S’mores were yuck.  I was shocked at how NOT like a s’more they really tasted.  They did not taste anything like one.  I even gave it a 2nd try taking 2 of them at once thinking maybe the one alone was not strong enough.  Nope.  Not good.  The bag has been sitting hardly touched by anyone in the house.  It might be time to send it to Keith’s office and let the teachers enjoy them.

1186348_10202582885039590_1919440364_nM&M Candy Corn.
This was a the one I have seen pictures of all over face book.  When we were in Target buying more hangers for the JBF sale {I’ll do a whole post on Monday I know you can hardly wait!}  I saw them next to the bags of candy corn.  Bought them, brought them home and waited for kids to arrive.  We all tried them.  While I am not sure how much they “really” taste like candy corn they are really really good.  Those have been enjoyed more than I thought they would.  But I guess candy corn and chocolate, what is not to like?

Have you tried either?  What do you think about them?  And what is your favorite CFA breakfast?  Mine is still the chicken burrito, while little A really loves their cinnamon minis.

Go hug your kids, life is just too short.  People are always saying “I wish I could say I Love You just one more time,”  one more hug one more I love you!  Go and give someone a hug and an I love you today!
jen

A Long Week

This week was a long one,  oh I know technically it only had 7 days, but when you don’t actually sleep all night any of those 7 days it seems a lot longer.

To say I am thankful it is over is an understatement.

It was a relief to begin a new week.

A fresh start, new mercies, and less pain.

Why was my week so long and more importantly why didn’t I sleep?

Back Pain.

Or more accurately rib pain.

Sunday, wing night!  I had an ache in my back, knowing my chiropractor was closed on Monday I went to bed on an ice pack.  I woke up an hour later and paced the house, practiced lamaze breathing, and panting, I paced for 3 long painful hours.  I finally was able to sit on the couch, feet propped in front of me while I leaned forward with an ice pack on my back.  I dozed for an hour on the couch, or lost track of time with pain.  I paced and breathed until it was time to get up.  I honestly never remember being in so much pain.  Labor was easier.  I gave up and called my chiropractor’s emergency number.  He treated me, told me I pulled out a rib.  Good grief if someone breaks a rib I will be way more patient and understanding.  I iced my back all day Monday, that night was not actually any better,  I was able to sleep for an hour or so before the pain would wake me and torture me.  Ice was doing nothing and the only pain medicine I can take is Tylenol.  Yeah that was not the trick either.  Back to the chiropractor on Tuesday and boy did it hurt.  Cracked back to almost in place I hung out with an ice pack all day.  That afternoon I texted a friend who is a licensed massage therapist.  She could not come that night, but in all honesty it would have hurt too bad for her to even touch me. Wednesday I was feeling slightly better she came and gave me a massage, the good and bad pain was rough.  Thursday I thought I had turned a corner, but by mid day I was hanging out with my frozen blue friend.  Thursday night I paced and practiced breathing.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday I saw my chiropractor again.  I cannot even begin to describe the pain but I do not want it again.  I’ve already been to the chiropractor again today and will hopefully not see him again until Thursday.  Since last week Saturday I have not slept for more than an hour at a time.  I cannot lay on my side but flat on my back or flat on my stomach or my favorite spot at the dining room table, pillow on the table leaning over and sleeping.  Being pregnant and not wanting to sleep face down makes that not really an option, and flat on my back is not that comfortable.   Half way though the week the left rib was feeling better and the right one opposite the injury pulled out.  Torture I tell you torture.  Now they are taking turns going out.  What caused this pain?  I have no idea but I wish I knew.  Since last Monday I have not done a thing in my house, no laundry, no dishes, hardly any cooking, no picking up, wiping off, or even general tidy.  My family has stepped up to do it all for me.

My arms still ache, and I am still icing my back, but I hope to be fully better soon!

On top of the back torture, on Thursday while I was sitting in the most comfortable position, {leaning over the dining room table} I noticed I was hot, sweaty hot, stuffy house hot.  I checked the air and it was not blowing.  I called Keith home, this tired pregnant woman could not handle the heat.  He went to look at the unit and declared it “frozen up”  It had ice jammed in the machine.  How can it freeze up the temperature shortly after read 102 on my back deck.  Too hot to have actual ice jammed into the machine.  I know nothing about air conditioners, I only know that I need one to be comfortable.  I decided to bail on my house, took little A both of our pillows and went to my sister’s house to nap.  As soon as I got there Keith called to tell me that the air conditioning people were on their way.  While I relaxed on her couch with the cool air blowing on us, she had a knock on her door.  I opened it to a man offering his company’s service on air conditioning maintenance and repair.  I was so shocked at the irony I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, I may have startled him a tired, hot pregnant woman, with her mouth hanging open not saying anything, he stumbled over his feet as he beat an escape down her driveway.  After a little bit cooling off we went back home to wait.  And sweat, and wait.  The air guy came and told me that it is old and tired I only hope he was talking about the unit and not me.  But our machine is running on his last life, it is old and runs all the time so I am sure it is tired.

On top of the bad things of the week, I went shopping for a pirate shirt, boots and belts, a pair of tap shoes, and had a lovely 31 party at my house on Saturday.  A long time friend came over and we spent a few hours laughing and talking.  Mostly laughing at my kids.  It was a great weekend I just wish it was no  so painful.

What about your?  How was last week for you?
Go hug your kids, we were reminded this weekend again how short life is.  Don’t keep any record of wrong doing!
jen

We Have A Winner

Ok I know that the contest was yesterday and a good blogger would have had the winner up first thing this morning…  Well, guess what?  I am apparently not a good blogger…
Or I had a lot to do first thing today.
What?
What you ask was more important than announcing the winner???
Ummm showering.  Yes my general hygiene was more important than the big announcement.  Ok you’ll give me hygiene, then lunches, my kids are funny they like to eat, so I had to assemble lunches, and wash out J’s thermos since he never, and I mean NEVER empties his lunch box when {I should say IF} he remembers to put it on the counter.  Let him do with out you say.  I have, that did not work, but made him sick.  It is too hot and he is too small to go without.  Ok so hygiene and lunches, what about morning drop off?  Yeah I have to take the kids to school, funny thing is most of them love going.  It is picture day for elementary and that took some time to actually fix J’s hair since he looks part lion when he gets up.  Ok so everyone was accounted for, and all approved.  Thank you.  Of course today Keith scheduled an oil change.  It was long overdue, so that took up time.  Then I had to make a Sam’s run.  We did not have chocolate powder for our milk today and THAT my friends in an emergency.  How could chocolate powder be an emergency?  Let me take away your coffee and then we can talk.

SO without further ado…  {thank you Shakespeare}

1175595_10202525786852171_756991011_nThe Bag1239398_10202532528060697_1154932334_nThe Names1234382_10202532528580710_953658298_nNames in the bag1006048_10202532528940719_1730404812_nThe adorable name drawer999195_10202532529300728_1979507788_nTa Da!!!
Is it you?  Can you tell?1173802_10202532529580735_570153948_nIn her excitement of opening it she tore the top but we can all see that Marsha Lazenby is our winner.  And for those of you who missed her comment..
I don’t have a 31 bag yet and am a teacher so winning would be my favorite fall thing. I also enjoy candy corn, pumpkins, and Bath and Body Works fall candles. Bought some new scents yesterday!
Well congratulations Now you have a your very first 31 bag.

For those of you local readers all 7 of you {See DM I counted you!}  I am having a First Glance At Fall 31 party at my house on Saturday, with oreo balls, pumpkin muffins, and some more sweets.  10-2 see you there!  Marsha Lazenby let me know how to get this bag to you!!!

Happy Kids999221_10202532528420706_998054852_nWhen they notice I will have some happy kids.  I wonder how long until they see them?

Go hug your kids, the need your love.
And again I was reminded how short life really is Please tell someone important that you LOVE them!
jen

300 Posts, A Contest and a Request

300

THREE HUNDRED

WOW

300 times I have blogged.

Now for those interested in statistics.  My biggest hits {or clicks} are on the following blogs:

An Adoption Story, Just the beginning.  That blog day it was clicked on 368 times.

Wow that day alone 368 people read my sisters adoption story, 368 people were asked to pray for Ellen, the birth mother and baby girl to be.  Please please please keep praying.  Baby girl’s room is ready.  She has the sweetest crib, she has lovely gray and yellow bedding from Pottery barn, she as the sweetest Moses basket in pink toile, so many sweet new clothes hanging in her closet that Ellen might have to change her clothes two times a day.  And she is loved more than anything, yet we don’t even know her.  She is chosen by God and will be part of an amazing story.  Please keep praying.  And as always If you know of any young lady who just is unable to keep her baby girl for what ever reason, point her to that blog so she can link up to Ellen’s profile.  We are always ready for a road trip up to gather our baby girl.  {Ok again I realize she will not actually be mine, but she will be OURS.  Grandma’s are ready to rock, and read books, aunties are ready to spoil and cousins are ready to play with her. }

What I have been up to and Pictures of the Willy Wonka Set.  THis is my next most popular blog, while it did not have a ton of hits in one day, it consistently gets hits every week.  I hope the pictures and ideas have been helpful to other schools.  In a few weeks we will begin to paint the set for Peter Pan and I will again post pictures.  C is Captain Hook.  He is thankful since Hook does not fly, while Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael will all be flying, his feet will stand firmly on the ground.

A Letter to the cute Blonde Girl at Chick Fil A

Go Big For God and Other Things That Bug me

A Princess and a Boy

A Warning for My Son

Those were some of my more popular blogs, check them out if you get a chance.
My blog has been read in 96 countries but blocked in 6.
I have 24,371 visits to my blog, with 1,447 comments.  Keep the comments coming I love reading them.
So there you have it.  A 300 post old blog and I still love it.  There have been times when I just don’t have it in me to blog, and other times when I have so much to share my mind races.  I have loved it and will continue on until I no longer love it.  My very first blog was December 10, 2011.  I have no idea when my last blog will be, if you stick around we can ride it out together.

A REQUEST
Unless you have been living under a rock you have been made aware, through social media, churches, or public media about the tragedy of Human Trafficking.  About the Sex Trade, and Sex Slaves.  This is a serious problem all over the world but sadly it is happening just as often in America.  What can you do?  What can I do?  RIght now there is not actually anything I can do.  I am fulfilling God’s plan with my life right now so I cannot actually jump up and organize anything to fight.  But I can of course pray.  And I can ask you to do this.  My friend Kelly, has started our local chapter of LOVE 146, {the number is the actual number of a young lady sold to sex traffickers, she was treated as a piece of junk to auction off, not as a human, made in God’s image}  Kelly, heads up the local chapter and organizes events to get the word out, to protect and to help rescue young people who are trapped.  Yesterday while she was looking for something on VERIZON FIOS for her sweet 2 LITTLE children to watch she came across porn publicly available right on their site.  Not just porn but teen porn.  Designed to draw viewers in to desensitize them to the tragedy of porn, the fear and in humanities of it all.  Not only that but anyone can watch it.  Potentially exposing our children, and teens to porn letting it become an addiction and a problem.  Needless to say Kelly was outraged, here is her face book post.  “I stumbled upon this today as I was trying to get an episode of Calliou on demand for the kids from #verizonfios. You know what fuels demand for domestic minor sex trafficking? When uneducated mainstream companies allow “teen” porn to be marketed and distributed. It’s also called child porn and it’s illegal. The average age a girl enters into prostitution is 13 years old. Whether the girls on these videos are of legal age or not, it is a VERY blurred line (thank u, Robin Thicke) which #verizon should consider before offering it in their services. I was disappointed by their response when I spent 30 minutes talking to two different people who said no one could address this I had to file a complaint with the Federal Commission Complaints Department. Come on, as human beings can’t we do better and work to protect our teens from exploitation instead of profiting from it?#poorformverizon #endit

She sent this message out on face book last night.

 Hey friends! Could you take one minute to sign and share this petition toVerizon FiOS asking them to take corporate responsibility and stop fueling the demand for child sex trafficking by offering “teen” porn marketing young girls FIOS ON DEMAND. Thanks so much!https://www.change.org/petitions/verizon-fios-stop-making-pornography-using-teen-girls-available-on-fios-on-demand?share_id=SIIoJXmlmi&utm_campaign=twitter_link&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

If you would PLEASE take a minute {I think it took 3 minutes from my life} to fill out this petition.  At least VERIZON will know that some people are SERIOUS and have a huge problem with teen and child porn.  I would really appreciate it.  I know the children that are kept from this will appreciate it too.

A CONTEST1234852_10202525787812195_386246598_nOne side of the bag1239986_10202525787252181_1989149222_nThe other side of the bag.

I have decided that I will draw a name from anyone who comments today about your favorite thing about fall.  And I will draw a name (or a child will draw a name) from the bag, unless I can figure out how to do it electronically.  SO go ahead and tell me your favorite thing about fall and you can win the cute little summer snail bag from 31.  Details on the bag: 1 long outside pocket, 2 end pockets and 3 pockets along the other side.  The bag is about 7x5x8 {the inner bag} O uses her bag to store markers, scissors, and colored pencils in the outer pockets, with craft paper inside the bigger pocket.  A friend keeps hers in the car using pockets to hold sunglasses, tissues, and other “car things” in a neat and tidy place.  It makes a great diaper holder for the family room, putting powder and creams into the pockets with a box of wipes and diapers inside the bag, or a great knitting bag with pockets to store your yarn and the inner bag to keep your latest project.  It also makes a great teacher gift {last years teachers got this exact bag}  I filled the outside pockets with diet coke {first grade teacher} and sharpies, while I filled the other bag with dark chocolates and post it notes {3rd grade}  So If you want to win this super cute snail bag, make a comment on today’s blog about your favorite thing about fall.

Now as always, go hug your kids they need your love, and tell someone you love them.  Life is just too short!
jen