Monday, December 22, 2008

A (Job) Hunting We Will Go

Dear Career Builder,

Thank you for your list of job recommendations. I had no idea about the endless employment possibilities an elementary education degree gave me. Teaching, child care, and positions that require any ol' degree were within my reach, I knew. However, now I have the confidence it takes to pursue these other positions you are recommending I try:
Physical Therapist
Electrical Designer
Nurse Practitioner-Urology
Helicopter Instructor Pilot
And oh, so many more
Thank you for believing in me, dear Career Builder. It makes all the difference.

A Future Helicopter Instructor Pilot

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Funny Story, Zoo Visit

Happy Birthday, Kelliebeans!
I feel like something is missing without a silly frog cartoon or Peanut birthday card for you, but I didn't put up a calendar this year and missed birthdays and cards for everyone. (Hmm, I have an idea for a New Year's Resolution...) Thankfully, there's Facebook, so I at least know it's your birthday on the day of. I'm thankful to have such a positive, loving, FUN, creative, nurturing, and all-around-great cousin and role model in my life. I hope your day is wonderful from start to finish.

Tonight, Aaron went in to check on Olivia after she went to bed. She was quiet and in bed but still awake (of course). He leaned over her to give her another kiss when she saw him, but she put her hands up on his chest to stop him before he could. She demanded, "What are you eating?" She didn't believe him when he said nothing. Then she responded disapprovingly, "CHIPS." Daddy was so amused she was checking up on him and could tell by smelling him what he was snacking on. She was not happy with him, but perhaps she can have a few chips to snack on tomorrow. I'm not lined up to work in the morning, even though I keep logging in to see if any sub jobs have been posted for Tuesday. I hope nothing shows up. :-) I want to lounge in the morning, hang with my girlie, and rest my toe. I ruthlessly slammed it into the door frame tonight and am walking funny. Yeah, I'm seriously lacking in gracefulness.

On to the zoo visit...Livy, Kolten (her former classmate from daycare), and Kylie (Kolten's new little sister) spent a day at the zoo and were thoughtful enough to bring Tiffaney and me along for the ride. Visiting the zoo is probably my favorite thing to do with children, though B&N book club meetings are pretty special, too. While at the zoo, we had a blast with each other. There were babies all around! Kylie was ever-so-popular with Big Bro and Liv (and another random kid who tried to love on her). OK, and me, too. I enjoyed every chance I had to coo at her and hold her. Such a calm, patient, mild infant. Just like Olivia and Kolten were. (Big HA to that one!!) There were also lion and tiger cubs and some giraffe babies, but they paled in comparison. I am really quite in love with all three babies in my life right now. Every thought of them makes me smile. I got a little off track - here are the zoo pics!

The rhinos and orangutans were cuddly, Livy worked to pacify her little friend (and scared the mess outta me in the process), and the look-alikes each napped during our visit. Have you ever seen such gorgeous red hair? The kids were all so good, and Olivia even took herself for a walk while holding the tail of her leash, I mean backpack. Yes, I'm the mom who uses a leash. I mean, backpack. In my defense, I'm convinced it's far more humane and safe than a stroller in Liv's case. She loves to walk, but I can still keep my little runner safe from leaving my sight even when I blink.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Here are two questions Livy asked me today that made me giggle and feel all warm and fuzzy:

1. What is your name?
We work on telling people, "My name is Olivia." She took it the next step today, and asked me what my name is.

2. Do you love me?
So Uncle Adam thought her life would be more complete with a singing purple dinosaur each day. This afternoon she was running around singing "I love you...Won't you say you love me, too." She followed it with, "Momma, do you love me?"

I must go now. She saw me sitting too long and spread hand soap all over my arm. I'm pretty squeaky clean!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Life

Well...maybe this is not the best time for 30 posts in 30 days. At least it got me posting a bit more for a short while! I've gone back to work almost full time as a substitute teacher and am spending a lotta time on job hunting/app-filling-out/shmoozing/dropping off resumes/etc. That doesn't leave much time for blogging fun. My "extra" time is spent on domestic things, watching "Litha" - as Livy calls our 4-year-old weekend friend, planning fun activities, and having family quality time. OK, OK, I also sleep a bit more now (this is taking some adjusting!) and sometimes (oftentimes) I just fall into a vegetative state that leaves me unable to put sensible sentences together. So this is just a quick little post to record some of the things going on that make my world go round.

~Livy is now in to explanations. She says, "...beeeee-cause (gibber,gibber,gibber,gibber,gibber)." The other day, I was trying to get her pumped up to see Miss Babysitter. When I asked if she was excited, she said she was not "beeeee-cause...I wanna Daddee." Wow. Melted his heart. She got quite a bit of Daddy the next morning before he had to drop her off at the sitter's house.

~Current childcare situation: This has been a topsy-turvy roller coaster ride. Her sitter is not close to my jobs, and has not completely worked out (partially b/c I've worked for several weeks and have yet to receive a paycheck). So Uncle Adam is spending the next week and a half with her. Daddy's day off is Monday, so she's with a parent Saturday - Monday. Then we'll have two weeks for Christmas Break when she will be with MOMMY. Then I'll take her to a Christian Daycare center if we can swing the price tag. It's hardly more than in-home care, and I am way more comfortable with this place, plus it comes with a couple glowing recommendations. The main financial drawback is that I pay even when I don't have a job lined up for the day. I've been pretty booked up, though. We'll see.

~My little girl is READING! Well, maybe not to the naked eye. She's actually 'prereading.' (My college of ed profs would have loved this post.) She's enjoyed looking at books for a while, but a couple weeks ago she started to pick them up, point to the text, and tell a story while following the lines of text with her index finger from left to right. It's so CUTE! I can understand the story sometimes, but sometimes she gets so carried away, I just can't keep up. Her favorite letters are O and B, and she's pretty good at recognizing O,K,P,A,B, and C - the first three and her initials. Potty-training has been slowed by me returning to work, but she eagerly "potties" when I take her and can go an entire afternoon w/o accidents when I'm with her. She's excited about "big giwl pannies" and flushing. She'll also point out triangles, ovals, circles, squares, hearts, and stars. All right. I'm finished being THAT mom - you know, the one who goes on and on about how brilliant her child is. (Well, finished for now.)

~Our past couple days have been filled with such a sweet bundle of joy as we've been able to meet and spend some sweet moments with Baby Levi and his Mommy. Olivia was so excited to see the baby and talked all about him on the way to the hospital. She even wore her Dallas Mavs cheerleader outfit w/ her snowboots and scarf, and she (and her dad) bought a soft teddy bear in a bunny costume, balloon, and personalized baby basketball to bring the new baby. When she saw Stef, she got all excited and forgot about the baby for a moment as she was asking where Fifi was. Sorry Honey - no dogs in the hospital, not even Phoebe. I'd love to post some of the silly things my friend said in her drug-induced fog, but I should check with her on that first. She was pretty funny yesterday, but she's making sense again today.

~Fortunately/Unfortunately, Aaron was actually able to join us to meet this little guy as his employer has cut his hours by almost 25%. My, oh, my. I guess that's what happens when your stock is so low and has even dropped to TWO CENTS! What will happen? Who knows. Not him or me. Thankfully, God does. We just have to trust Him and do our best to live faithfully for and with Him, as much as can be possible.

Wow. That was long with lots of rambling. That can happen at midnight:thirty. I am now off to bed, for I have a classroom full of unruly 5th graders (three classes, actually) that are just dying to act out for this sub. You remember those days, don't you? At least these kids know my name - yesterday, Kindergartners called me Miss Fishingrod. No lie. I shall drink my doubleshot of espresso in the morning, and with God's help, I will be victorious. OK. I really need to go to bed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another cause near and dear to me

I'm excited and privileged to participate in Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run, *ahem* jog/walk, for the second time in three years. (Last year's cold season got the better of me.) I proudly walk in memory of a dear family friend, Bonita, who grew up with my mom and was like an aunt to us; and in honor of three other very special people: my Mom, whose strength, kindness, and character I can only hope have rubbed off a wee bit on me; a former student with Juvenile RA (the cruelest form of Arthritis, I think) who has left a lasting impact in my life and in my heart; and my bestie's mom-in-law, one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Feel free to visit my personal site and even make a donation if you so please, and remember to thank God for your health and for living without chronic pain, if you're so blessed. Thanks, one and all!

Visit my personal page here.

Fun stuff

Here are a few fun projects to do with your kids (or someone else's!) on a rainy day. I'm ALL ABOUT projects, activities, outings, and special events to share these experiences with my daughter and any other Lovelies we can drag along with us! Enjoy, and let me know if you try one of these. I'd also LOVE to have some other activity ideas if you have some favorites!


1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Food coloring

Mix cornstarch and water by adding water a teaspoon at a time until mexture is a thick paste. Add a few drops of food coloring to mixture.

Colored Glue

Add a few drops of food coloring to glue and mix well. Use colored glue to paint a picture.

Painted Macaroni

Mix dry noodles with 3 tablespoons of water and a couple drops of food coloring in a container with a lid (or secure Ziplock baggie). Shake well. After noodles are dry, they can be used for art projects or jewelry making.

Homemade Bubbles

1 quart water
1/2 cup dish soap (Dawn works best)
2 Tablespoons glycerin
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Stir ingredients gently. Let mixture set for a few days before using.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup water
food coloring
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix other ingredients separately and slowly add to the dry mixture - stirring until dough forms. Knead until smooth.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Political Side

OK, so last night I revealed my nerdy side in my sleep deprived state (and no, I wasn't running around, I'm just THAT clumsy). Today I'm posting about FOCA (The Freedom of Choice Act). I'm not here to tell anyone what to believe on this matter - unless you ask :o) - I just want to share what I read with anyone who feels like I do about it. The following was taken from the Fight FOCA site.

Barack Obama’s promise to Planned Parenthood: The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would eliminate every restriction on abortion nationwide.
• FOCA will do away with state laws on parental involvement, Partial Birth Abortion, and all other protections.
• FOCA will compel taxpayer funding of abortions.
• FOCA will force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.
This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support, such as:
• Requirements that women be given information about the risks of getting an abortion
• Only licensed physicians can perform abortions

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bedtime...or is it?

7:10 - Bath time
7:25 - Dry off; jammies on
7:32 - Find the leftover mac 'n cheese Mom forgot to clear off the table and eat it
7:40 - Blow dry the hair
7:46 - Brush teeth; final potty break; trim bangs..."No, Honey, you don't get a turn at this. I'm sorry."
7:54 - The Child hands out reading assignments for Dad, Mom, and Self.
7:59 - Prayers, hugs, kisses
8:05 - Daughter learns how to turn on the light in her room. Lots of excitement.
8:08 - Light is now off. For good.
8:15 - Ah, peace. Quiet. Is our Girl asleep?
8:20 - Mad rush from her room to the bathroom. Something about pottying is muttered. Mom goes in to monitor. Cinderella Barbie has stripped down to her tiara and is sitting over the bowl. Daughter is quite proud of this one. "Love has to go potty." Oh, no she doesn't.
8:30 - Sheepish Girl reemerges from room. "Can I have a hug?" Very sweet puppy dog face. Quick hug. NOW BACK TO BED. Looking at t.v., "OH, I wanna watch game!?" Mom says no; Dad caves in to pressure. She's good. Really good. Livy commentates: "Circle!...Uh, oh...Yea!...Go Sooners!"
8:40 - Back to bed. (Mom is scowling at Dad, though she does regret not capturing the moment with camera.)
8:44 - Kid runs out of room with pjs mostly off, dragging behind one foot. "I'm WET." Jammies and wet diaper quickly handed to Mom before nakedly running to bathroom. Successful potty break.
8:48 - New diaper, jam-jams back on, back to bed, back rub with a very firm hand so Child can not escape.
8:55 - Mom heads back to computer to record events from a hairy but fun night.
9:08 - Mischievous child comes into living room with outstretched hands for a hug. Denied. Returned to bed with door now shut. Tears. Mom sighs. Sooners make a touchdown (on the DVR).
9:09 - Quiet. Longer sigh from Mom.

9:20 - Mom checks on Child to find her sneaking around her room. Mom considers tethering said Child to dollhouse toddler bed. Mom settles on a bit of hair-tousling and hopes she's not setting family up for crazy bed times for the next two weeks.
9:25 - Child locates heartbeat. More excitement. Mom is proud but seriously hopes blog post is nearing an end.
9:30 - Mom awakens to Little Girl stroking her cheek. She's touched and has no fight left in her. Goes back to sleep in hopes of setting a good example.
9:55 - Mom wakes up but can not move due to countless cricks in body. Mom wiggles herself into upright position to see Sweet Daughter FINALLY sleeping. Like an angel.

Friday, November 28, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things!

Most of Livy's favorite songs are from The Sound of Music. Every time we're in the car, she sings, "So, Do, La, Fa, Mi, Do, Re. You can sing most any thing." Sometimes she gets stuck on this line, or maybe it's just her favorite, but she sings it over and over and over and...(you get the idea): "Me, a name I call my sewf." Like a broken record she sings it. It's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. So, since we're always singing these songs and the song about our favorite things, I thought I'd make a Favorite Things list.

Olivia's Favorite Things
2. Hugs, kisses, and snuggles - but only if she's in the mood
3. Independence - "I got it. I got it."
4. Babies - She LOVES her 3-month-old cousin and two-month-old friend. She also loves her baby dolls and takes great care of them.
5. Singing and dancing. I'm sure she carries a tune better than I can. I'm also surprised at how well she knows lyrics to so many songs.
6. Fwens. (Friends) She often tells us she wants to go play with friends.
7. Animals - feeding ducks, riding elephants, zoo visits, catching frogs, etc. Seeing and interacting with animals really makes her happy.
8. Milk. Yes, I already mentioned that one, but she loves it so much it should be written twice.
9. Playing pretend. She dresses up, pretends to go shopping and "bye-bye," and carries a purse while making important phone calls.
10. Chicken (asks for it for breakfast), chips, oatmeal, rice, cheese, yogurt, bananas, apples, mandarin oranges, but she's not especially interested in too many sweets.
11. Chocolate, the exception to #10.
12. Playing with Daddy. He can get smiles, giggles, and laughter out of her than I ever could. Tickle Monster, Airplane, and "I'm gonna get you!" are some of her favorites. She

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Go Team!

Our date night on Friday took place at the AA Center where we watched the Mavs beat the Grizzlies. I haven't watched much basketball in the past several years (by not much I mean none), but I really enjoyed them when Dirk, Finley, and Nash were on our team. At least we still have Dirk to watch. I knew I'd enjoy the experience of being at the game, but I was surprised at just how much fun I had actually watching the game. I think when Aaron and I have more money than we know what to do with, I'll buy him season tickets in the section we sat in. That way, we can share some of them, so other people can have a blast like we did. Thanks for thinking of us, Abe. What a neat early Christmas gift. Aaron took 1.2 million pictures, which is actually far less than he takes when Livy is the subject, but I will only post a handful.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Let me explain...

OK, I'm shooting for 30 posts in 30 days, but maybe not once a day. :o) I did post twice in one day (although I removed it later). So I'm still on track, right?

Well, today will be short - my home is a wreck, my giant leaf piles are patiently waiting to be bagged, I'm going on a mouse hunt (though going on a 'bear hunt' is so much more fun) and Livy and I need to dance to some of our favorite songs while we watch The Sound of Music. I couldn't ask for a better day!

If you're reading, I'd love to hear what your day looks like. :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shock and Awww

(The Mavs game/date night with hubby was a blast! Thanks Abe, sitters, and sitter offerees. More on that later.)

My oldest bro-in-law Adam is one blessed and lucky guy! He has met the woman of his dreams and even managed to sweep her off her feet. Melinda is quite lucky, as well; Adam is a pretty neat guy. These two Torah-studying, multi-language-speaking, neice-entertaining, steady-going, zoo-visiting, Israel-touring, soon-to-be-Fort-Worth-residing (I hope!) love birds are now engaged to be married, and the Big Day is May 17th.

I was extatic about Melinda from the start, so I continually pestered Adam with an endless stream of questions about her and their relationship. (I play the role of the annoying little sister effortlessly, even w/o prior experience.) After their relationship took a turn for the serious, I began asking about the big question, the ring, etc, and Big Bro eventually made known his plans of proposing. I was more than honored one day while visiting my father-in-law when Adam asked me if I wanted to go with him to look at bicycles. Well, we began our journey and somehow ended up at a jewelry store. Livy slept on my shoulder while I watched Adam select this special ring. He chose a simple but elegant diamond solitaire and started trying to get in touch with Melinda's father to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. Once he got in touch with him, Adam made a trip to meet him for lunch in San Angelo and received his blessing to marry his daughter. After lunch, Adam hopped on over to Midland to surprise Melinda as she was getting off work.

**Aside - When we were asking Adam about his proposal plans, he told us he would surprise her at work. I said, "Oh, Shock and Awe!"
He said, "Well, I can't afford 'Awe,' but I can 'shock' her!" We decided he was utilizing the 'Shock and Awww' technique.**

Melinda got off work and walked to her car as she would any day, only to be scared half to death by some strange man jumping out of nowhere. Shocked, she certainly was, and it took her several moments to even process that her boyfriend who lives several hours away and who she had no plans to see that week was there at her car. Once that thought started to settle in, he got down on his knee and asked her to marry him. She was so stunned that he had to ask her again to get an answer. She responded with a resounding YES!

Us Penrods are thrilled to have a new addition to the family, and we couldn't have asked for someone more perfect and wonderful for Adam.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm smiling, giggling, and even jumping for joy today! Here are a few reasons why:

1. My nice bro-in-law bought the hubby and me tickets to tonight's Mav's game - really good seats, too!
2. The mechanic called - he can't get the car to act up. Seems our original problem is mysteriously fixed!
3. Livy went to sleep stroking my cheeks and hair, gently tucking loose strands behind my ear.
4. I had no baby sitter today and couldn't work. I just HAD to stay home with my girl, and boy, did we have fun.
5. I'm super excited about welcoming a new member to the family in May. I can't wait to have a new sis-in-law!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dear Family

Dear Husband and Daughter,

I have not been keeping track of the memorable and wonderful things going on in our lives. Blogger's Block, exhaustion, and fear of the near impossible task of choosing my favorite photos from the 1,000s we take keep me from logging some wonderful stuff. To make up for this and catch up, I am going to try to post once a day for 30 days. This is Day 1. I wonder how far I'll make it. I will begin this journey by posting pictures from a few days ago. It was when Livy dressed as Cinderella and people gave her candy. Really, it was only a few days ago.

And here we are...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Come What May

God speaks and moves in us through so many avenues. I've felt His presence in the beauty of His creation, the power of the Scriptures, interactions with strangers, through prayer and meditation, when holding a sleeping child. Here lately, I've been completely moved by the lyrics to this song. It was written by the worship leader at my church, Matt Boswell, and is based on Psalm 42:11.

Come What May

Verse 1:

this blessed assurance is rest for the weary
and strength for the weakness of man
prone to chase folly yet hungry for mercy
by grace you restore us again

come what may my heart will follow
come what may my song will be
i will sing of the cross where my dear saviour died
and trust in his wonderful name
come what may

Verse 2:
safely you lead me through shadows of danger
into cathedrals of love
Spirit imparting such peace everlasting
peace that is more than enough

Verse 3:
though i have questions that go without answers
my hope in you is secure
sorrow and pain fill my soul like an ocean
but Christ be my strength to endure

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Fall!

Livy and I have visited a couple pumpkin patches lately with some dear friends and family. The first visit was with Aunt Becky and our little friend. Our cousins Jessie and Jackson met up with us for the second one. Jackson is almost 8 weeks old and is as sweet as can be! He didn't make a peep the entire time, and he let me hold him as long as I wanted (which was quite a while because he decided not to join Olivia in the bounce house this year).

Olivia just loves her Aunt Bucky, unless she's asking her to smile for the camera.


Jackson posed with a pumpkin that outweighs him and his Mommy. We won't talk about how unbelievably amazing she looks, especially for having a seven week old. And if we do, we won't be jealous at all. (So this is what one can look like when they don't put on 67lbs. during a pregnancy.) I just joke - way to go, Girl.

"Please don't lay me in the baby pumpkin bin again. I do have an image to maintain, you know."

This is the best shot I got of Liv with her baby cousin, "Dackson." Oh, how she loves him. I'm a bit afraid of her being around him, but she is so gentle. She'll make a great big sister one day.

Olivia, I'm afraid you are actually attracting birds to the patch. You are too cute, My Love.

When Aunt Becky asked her to smile, Livy gave her the most irritated, snobby scowl I've ever seen. I just caught the tail end of it on camera, but it was hilarious! Hopefully it's not a glimpse into our future, say, 11 years down the line.

We tried to duplicate it. We could scowl and eye-roll with the best of them.

No pumpkins here, well, other than those two - just a sweet picture:

Aaron can't take a Sunday afternoon nap without Livy wanting to "go to sleep" with him. Funny, she never actually goes to sleep, but she does have a fun time giggling with her Daddy. I don't think he minds. Not too much, anyway.