Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sorry so long...

A lot has happened since...oh I don't know June! Ha! Well, I may not have time to catch you all up, but I did want to say; on our way home from school yesterday we spotted pieces of a climbing play gym in someone's trash. We made the loop and stopped to double check that it was ok for us to claim it. No one answered though they were clearly home. Since it was taken apart and very dirty, and it was obviously in the trash spot, we loaded it into the trunk. Turns out it is a Step 2 Kangaroo Climber priced about $100 regularly! Yahoo! Now that is a find.

We are enjoying having hubs working from home. M is doing tremendously in school! Still have to learn to tie our own shoes...but that girl LOVES math. W is growing like a weed and is soon to start potty training. My how the time flies! We have recently enjoyed a visit from the Young parents and a vacation at the beach with the entire FOO of Hallquist's and their offspring! Looking forward to some immediate family relaxation and interaction time. On that note...I'll bid farewell.

Check out the link of mine and M's find: http://fleetfarm.com/catalog/product_detail/lawn-garden/outdoor-play/swing-sets/step-2-naturally-playful-kangaroo-climber?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bsearch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct%20search

Friday, July 09, 2010

Home Alone

It is rare that I am ever home alone. EXTREMELY rare. Other moms and dads know this feeling...and I'd venture to guess moms even more than dads. Now let me clarify. I am not alone. My barely 2 year old son is upstairs in his crib trying to fall asleep, but my 5 yr old daughter is on a special date to the planetarium with her dad, so I have this sweet quiet moment of "me" time till they get home.

I hooked up my ipod ready to let her rip so that I could use the "me" music for motivation to straighten the den, playroom, and maybe make it to the dishes and laundry. I sense I'll head for that next, but while I have the brief moments to myself, I thought I'd update my blog and enjoy my music.

When it's just me I tend to gravitate to Death Cab for Cutie or Coldplay. When I was alone in the car picking up the kids (to and from the grandparents house) I found all these old CD's and just laughed and enjoyed The Cure, Tori Amos, Bob Marley...among others. Funny. I really dig some Martin Sexton too thanks to my hubs and our friends Jeff and Charay from Nola.

I'll give the super quick version of what's going on these days. The summer is truckin along rather quickly. I didn't prep for the summer like I did last year planning summer camps and vbs', trips, and such. We have been to a vbs locally and another at our church next week. We have not done a single summer camp, but we had planned to learn to swim...then M broke her wrist. She got the case off after 4 weeks this past Wednesday. She was dressed entirely as wonder woman. I mean from Head to Toe! Wig to boots. It was awesome.

The kids bdays came and went. We went to Birmingham and interacted with the inlaws and cousins. We watched fireworks. I have red hair now. Had it done June 20 something. I like it. It fades quickly but I like it...and so does my hubs. We enjoyed a night of Modern worship as a precursor for what's to come at church. LOVED it. One of my closest friend's sons was hit by a car, but thank the Lord he lived. Hashing through the mess of life right now with her. Praying alot.

Watched one of my best friends go through divorce, custody battles, and it still goes on. I thanked God a lot and prayed even more for my hubs today as he has to be enjoying his job...his dream of working for himself coming true. And the added perk of it being in a field related to his hobby and life long interest. Thank you God.

We had family photos made! They were awesome and I think worth every penny for the professional photographer...Jana Candler. Thanks girl! Gearing up for the joint Bday party/Gabba fest next weekend! It should be something amazing! Also gearing up for cousin camp. Only one cousin joining us for the week this year, but hopefully as the kids get older this can be a tradition that they all look forward to! We have kept busy with Dr's appts and trips out of town. After cousin camp it my settle down a bit, but then we only have a month to prep for school and our eldest going to K5...Yikes!

Gonna go get into cleaning mode and knock this out so that our Saturday can be a sweet family time free from house hold duties.

Lord, continue to walk close by us...or rather that we would walk right alongside you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


W dropped his Muno, second favorite Yo Gabba Gabba character in Walmart while we were shopping. We retraced all of our steps never to be found again. He was a LOST TOY and hopefully found a decent home. But my little buddies birthday is in a week and we were hoping to complete his little plush toy set. Has anyone else seen the prices of these silly guys! Yikes! If my little man didn't love them so, I'd sell ours! To replace Muno the minimum price I found was $45! We never had Toodee, so we wanted to get her. We'll see about that. I did find a woman who handmade Muno and he looks awesome, so we may be able to get him that way. Having said all that, you can't even find party supplies for all that! I'll have to make them all I guess! Here's hopin!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Always Ask

I've been out to the couponing loop for a little while now. Really since the move. It requires more organization than I can usually muster if other things in my life are out of whack. But I have every intention of climbing back into coupon world here by the end of the month. So, having said that, we have been shopping mostly at ALDI. It's my go to place when a) even with the coupon it's still cheaper there or b) I don't even have time to think of coupons.

We are trying to make our lives, across the board, a little bit healthier. I'm not obsessed with organic this and that; cage free, grain fed... I appreciate it, but find that it can generally blow my budget out of the waters quickly! Still, we are trying to deal mostly with the large amounts of sodium that we and the kids are taking in and trying to help them make better choices with snack time and meal time. Tired of every version of cured processed meat that we can find. So, we are gradually weeding out those things and thanks to aunt Minnah, we are going to do a little deceptively delicious. I'll be working on purees momentarily.

All this to say...there were some staples that we needed from the whole foods nearby and I was also aware of their current "fill the grill" deal that included tons of hamburger, hotdogs, and ribs for just $20. So we were headed there to get that and any of the vegetables that ALDI does not carry. I lucked out in that they had lactaid on sale which made it regular price of anywhere else. So we got 2 of those. We did the fill the grill which saved us $7! I decided to ask before I got started cause I'm always getting really great coupons from Earthfare and we were going to have to make an extra trip to get those free items...but they have just started honoring those coupons that I have been receiving via email! Hooray! So, I received 6 free ears of corn, 2 free pork chops, and $2 off per lb. ribeyes...which looked incredible and will be a very exciting addition to our father's day celebration! I was so excited about my tons of savings from competitor coupons that made my trip equal in price to that of ALDI except that I got 5 meats, 2 specialty soaps for m, tons of veggies, and types of meal and flour, and the list goes on.

It's hard to save money at the whole foods store usually...certainly not in the way you can at Publix, but because I asked I was able to save at least $25 today using competitor coupons! Yay! On to the purees...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Took One for Team Mom


The Sun rose too early!
W was up before M!
I knew he had a dental appt at 9am a good ways away.
I knew a Dunkin Donuts was right across the street from the dentist.
So, little miss broken wrist got to choose breakfast and naturally chose Donuts.
So we throw ourselves together in a hurry...
3 people dressed.
No shower for me.
wash my face, brush my teeth, basic makeup and last night's outfit
diapers, wipes, blankets, sippy cups, xrays, purse
To DD...running late but that's ok.
W didn't eat much.
Neither did M.
Pack it up and make it to dentist in plenty of time.
Put M's temporary cast back on before play time.
She's pouting again.
W hates the dental experience.
We try the frozen yogurt...thinking yogurt is different then ice cream so his lactose issue may be ok.
We have to run home to get my phone which had been left behind, as I remember hearing that sound in the middle of the night of it falling off and under the bed. Forgot to retrieve it!
Supposed to be waiting on a call about the ortho for the cast.
Leave kids in car, in drive.
Retrieve the phone.
Sure enough...missed the call.
returned call and they tell me my appt is in 15 min. clear across town again!
We take the interstate, but let them know we'll be running about 5 min. late.
On the way, W looses his breakfast and the 2 spoonfuls of frozen yogurt all over himself.
We keep driving.
M sweetly soothes him...without touching him mind you cause she is grossed out.
We get to the parking lot, leave the car running so the air will stay on while we strip him down and dress him again.
Both kids are ready to go in, as am I, so I close the doors and go to open the driver door to turn off the car, but it's locked...with the car running! SERIOUSLY?
It took very little thought for me to grab up everything and the kids and head in for our appt.
I checked in at the desk, call J.
Thankfully, he didn't hassle me about it (he had no idea what had already gone on that day).
The woman informs me that I have to fill out paper work...even though M is already in the system.
Takes me a year to fill out the top form as I'm trying to keep W away from the doors the open automatically.
He was behaving pretty well actually...he's just almost 2.
He manages to slowly run into an old man with a wheelchair. Very slowly. And I caught it all in the middle as it was occuring.

The man completely ignores me as I apologize and check to see if he is ok. He doesn't even acknowledge me. Then he says to the front desk ladies that he has a sharp pain in his knee from where the wheelchair hit him and that in his day people disciplined their children!
Oh the things that I could have said! Like do you have kids? Were you the one taking them to their appts when they broke their limbs? Did you have to fill out 8 pages of paper work before they would even see you? Did you clean up the puke off of your children after their dental visit and before the casting and just before you locked the keys in your car while it was still running?! Thank goodness in my day there are cars and cell phones and moms that let stuff like this roll off their heavy laden shoulders so that they can confidently and with conviction raise their children.

Yes, I said 8 pages of paperwork. After I was 4 or 5 pages in, the woman rearranges what I have left saying that if I would just fill out the last 2 pages, they could get M back!
Really?! Could we have tackled that first! But she was nice and encouraging and said she could tell I was a good mom and that I was doing a good job.
Finally, we are back in the casting room.
M picks bright pink...of course.
W plays drums with the traditional round sitting stools for the dr.s and two long paper towel rolls he found in the trash!
After chasing his fast self down the hall a few times, I decide this is an acceptable activity.
J unlocks the car and gives my key to the front desk ladies.
We leave!
Get in the car.
Let M pick our free movie redbox...Alvin and the Chipmunks
and head home to eat.
We eat...nap (hallelujah)
I then use tons of left overs to make some pretty great stuffed bell peppers.
I'm in my pjs at this point, but m has asked to go to the cupcake cafe.
I get everyone ready again.
We get there and the cafe is closed.
Plan B...walmart has way cheaper cupcakes and Brobee shirts and Princess PJ's.
As we arrive we see the neighbors outside catching fireflies.
We share a cupcake with John Lake and M enjoys catching bugs with him.
Me and Kelly have easy conversation and J gets to meet the Sheriff her hubs.
So, a new relationship has begun to bud.
Everyone is asleep. Clean. No fussing with the cast.
And I have a new Mom story to tell about the day the man accused me of being a bad mother and have undisciplined kids.
Ironically, W was so good after all that! Ahhhhh.
Breathe out and breath in!
Goodnight and Happy Bday Grandma Katie!

Been a Whirlwind!

It's been a whirlwind couple of days! Well...I suppose if I were honest, I'd say more than a couple of days! Been a whirlwind couple of weeks!

Quick rundown has me recounting going out of town in the middle of the night with my mother to see my sister and her fam. Doing the Hallquist Furniture Exchange Program thing again. Thank goodness for it. I hauled a ton of furniture and reinherited some of it for a small amount. Thanks mom and mer and Geoff! Rain, a hotel stay outside of ATL. Luckily, my mom was late enough that I didn't entirely miss Uncle Patrick's visit! He is a bit like Santa...cause it is a bit like Christmas when he comes with presents and lots of food! Unfortunately, while I was gone the entire family came down with a fantastic cold that hubs is still getting over! Praise the Lord, that I didn't catch it when I got back! Must have missed the contagious period somehow.

You can imagine the state of the house when I returned with all of them being sick and having a guest. So, I've been desperately trying to squeeze major house keeping into the pretty full schedule that was last week. We were also blessed to find out that my local BF was awarded custody of her daughter after a bit of a battle! That being exciting meant that I had another child all week! The girls played really well together though...only got on each other's nerves a little.

Had our friends over, 3 boys, a mom, and a dad. Me and the mom got to it on the sewing machine while the dad wrangled the kids. Excellent birth control I might add keeping up with 6 kids 5 and under! We knocked out some fantastic chiffon panels for the modern night of worship. We had rehearsal Tues. for that, rehearsal for 4th of July stuff Wednesday, Thursday was a free night and J, the kids and I did the Mice on Main hunt and spent a little time mingling in the Thursday Night Alive crowd. We found all the mice...one was particularly tricky! But M had tons of fun.

W recovered from a weekend of illness and lack of sleep (dad had some trouble getting them to actually nap). We still haven't repaired his bed from that weekend I was gone as he apparently was jumping up and down in it and entirely busted the bottom out! Pack and Play is working marvelously. He has been pretty delightful. He's testing but often practices obedience which catches me off guard. He get rewarded for that behavior!

Saturday I was to appear as Snow White-like Princess for a mission outreach. That a.m. J had to run to ATL for a trade show where he was to meet some clients. The kids and I went to the park outside M's new school. No one else was there. No big deal, but seriously, keeping up with W who's now almost 2 is tricky enough. I'm quite thankful, really, that M is pretty much big enough to do most things by herself. Not the monkey bars apparently. She and I had practiced a few times and I had stood ready as she let herself drop off the bars. Well, she tried it herself when I was clear across the playground chasing W down a rock ledge. I hear her say rather calmly, "Ummm. Mom? A little help here please?" I let her know that I'm coming but I think she can handle the drop. No way I'd have made it on time. She held on as long as she could and says she just slipped off the bar. And fell on her bottom catching herself with her hands. She starts screaming! And says "I broke my arm!"

I'm all calm and reassuring. I don't think you broke it. Can you move this? Can you wiggle this? Your o.k. Shhh...the neighbors are coming out and watching. You're o.k. And seriously some passers by really stopped and watched the whole ordeal not that they came to help or anything. So we calm down and take some Motrin. We are going to wait till the drama passes and reassess. She wasn't herself, but I've seen her carry something pretty far, so we continued to wait the rest of the day. I had to get a back up for Snow White-Like Princess (Thanks B!), and J didn't get home till 7 that night.

M woke me up Sunday morn at 6 am! She must be feeling bad. She tells me its worse and it does look pretty swollen. So I skip church and prep to deal with the broken arm before rehearsal for the modern night of worship at 4. Unfortunately urgent care doesn't open till 1 on Sundays cause of the southern bible belt thing. We waited this long and avoided the whole ER thing...we could wait a bit longer. So we did. And we did the urgent care thing. They remembered M from the head injury/staple thing! The Dr. was awesome reminded my of my working days at Hales Pediatrics! They let her take home a real xray that was a discard cause they had to redo it. They cut off the name, but they said it's for her dr. kit. The Dr. said she felt certain M would be a dr. one day! I would be thrilled.

Temporary cast was a total drag and the sling! M was a mope the whole night. Bless it! It was real plaster and very heavy. Plus her med had worn off. But the night of modern worship was AWESOME! Loved it! And she made it through. Picked Moes for dinner of course and is now milking it for all it's worth! We've had cookies and cupcakes, popsicles! You name it! Xray revealed a nice break on one of her arm bones...close enough to the wrist that they call it a broken wrist. Which the Whirlwind had stopped then, but today was one of those mom days for the books!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Down the Commode...

Well, Lily has gone on the porcelain express. That didn't take long. I believe I googled the situation a few days too late. I was a little concerned when he/she was hangin near the bottom all the time. Apparently, Lily was constipated and thus lost buoyancy. Always was a greedy little gal when it came to the food. I'll be prepping for a water change and tank cleaning tomorrow. Just what I need to be worried about with the in laws coming tomorrow afternoon and a spa party on Friday night. Eventually we'll have to get her friend, Philly, a new buddy so they can join in the fraternal bond of tank hood.

On a side note, my shoulder and neck pain is back. A few visits to the Chiro helped, but I don't have the cash flow those guys would like for me to sign the plan! Ha! Will be doing further research for other options to remedy my issues. Oh the joys of getting older.

Had a wonderful time enjoying M's Music and Missions performance/presentation tonight. I do think my favorite part may have been the procession in while playing kazoos! Pop would have been proud!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Busyness is one of my least favorite things. Don't get me wrong...I understand the idol hands make idol hearts thing, but I don't like to feel like my time is not my own. I have been trying to maintain balance though my scale seems to try and tip in the direction of busyness now and again. So, pray with and for me as I attempt to do God's bidding, fulfill my duties with and for my family, maintain a business of my own, and find time for sanity and Gini maintenance.

Today was Tuesday with M. One of our last, sadly, and I had to spend it almost entirely dragging her from store to store in search of spa and rockstar supplies. I had to use the easy time...the time w/o W for collecting party supplies for my next 2 parties. This spa party is going to be awesome and not too expensive. I managed to find supplies for 9 foot baths at the dollar tree. I gathered up numerous favors at Wilson 5 and 10 and the dollar tree. Such neat ideas really.

Of course, M and I went to Moe's! It's her favorite! She also purchased a mouse costume at Wilsons. So she wasn't entirely bored. We rented where the wild things are...which I don't really recommend for any kid. The material was all too grown up and depressing if you ask me, not to mention that it sort of encouraged animalistic behavior in children w/o and resolution to the issues portrayed. M barely watched it and though I thought the costuming and such was fantastic, I found myself struggling to pay any attention.

We had a New Orleans supper, and played together, cleaned together, and the kids are in bed. Time enough for me to blog, write up a letter for a friend, work on some business related administrative stuff and sew up some shoulder heat packs for the party! At least with all this spa stuff, the downstairs smells very soothing and relaxing!