Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How unfiling led to counting

Today, I unfiled. Is that even a word? Well, its a word now! I volunteered today at Arkansas Children's Hospital. They assigned me to a department of the hospital that we have not visited (and hope we never do!). My task was to take a list of names and unfile the charts for those patients because they have not been patients for a while now and need to be archived...or something along those lines anyway. So, see, I wasn't really retrieving files...I was unfiling them!

I was there for several hours. The files are in alpahbetical order by last name. I started with "A"...and made it only to the "Ch's". While I stood there looking at the mass amount of files, it occurred to me that this is only one department...and look at all these kids they have treated. Given, some kids may have only come for a one time consultation and not needed any further care. However, some of those files were super thick and it doesn't take a genius to know that the thicker the filed...well, you get the point. And once again, I found myself caught off guard by the magnitude of impact that this hospital has. Its just freaking astounding and stupifying all at once.

While waiting for my "assignment" to come retrieve me from volunteer services, I joked with them about how we are familiar with cardiology, urology, the ER twice, and several visits to the after hours GPC clinic.

The file room was quiet. It was just me and a temp working in there and the temp was busy listening to his mp3 player while he kept busy. The work I was doing wasn't a fast paced task. Its not meant to be. You don't want to pull/archive the wrong file! I was forced to slow down to a pace that eluded me on most days. I was even able to find a blessing in that...and I am pretty sure that I heard a gasp of relief flow from my brain.

While I was filing, I was reminded of our blessings. I need to count them more often. While at one point life threatening, Kale's heart condition has been treatable. He was only briefly a urology patient. There are so many kids who visit that hospital so frequently that they know the lay of the land there. They are patients in multiple clinics. They know more medical terminology that some first year med students. Once again, God reminded me to count my blessings, reminded me of what is most important, and humbled me all in one moment.

When I left, I thanked them for the opportunity to help. I think it befuddled them a bit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nearly getting paid to shop

Lately, I have been hitting some good bargains. This is what a few of my recent receipts looked like:

Target: 4 packs of diapers, 2 Gerber Fruit Twist boxes, 1 package underwear, 1 bag of Cheetos, 2 boxes of Target fruit chews, 3 boxes of something else Target snacks (don't remember), 1 bottle of Euricin lotion, 4 bottles of Dial shower soap, 15 boxes of 30ct Rolaids.

Total before sale prices: $116.33
Total savings: $66.24 (of which $61.55 was saved with coupons!)
Total after sale prices/coupons: $62.50

Kroger: 1 box of Cheerios, 9 bottles (20oz) of Sobe Lifewater, 1 bottle of Nesquik syrup, 1 family size Stouffer's Lasagna.

Value of coupons used: $11.14
Coupons values that doubled: $4.35
Saved due to Kroger sale: $16.80
Total Saved: $32.29 (89% of total price)
Total Spent out of pocket: $4.27

Kroger: 9 bottles of Sobe Lifewater, 1 small package of M&M's

Value of coupons used: $5.79
Coupon values doubled: $4.00
Saved due to Kroger sale: $7.11
Total Savings: 16.90 (104%)
Total Spent: -.61 and then.... .17

Yes, they owed me money. That is why Kale got a small package of M&M's. I had to get to the side of $0 where they were making money. They were baffled at how they owed me money. I knew why, but kept my trap shut because it never works out well when I try to explain it to them. So, instead of working any longer to figure it out, they just pulled .61 out of the drawer and then rang up the M&M's separately...and I had to come up with .17 for the difference. Then Kale and I got out of there lickety split!

Then there was today...where I went to Walgreens (2 separate stores) and bought 12 bottles of Vitamin D gelcaps, 3 bags of Pull-Ups, and 3 packages of Peeps (which I don't even like!). Here is how that worked out for me:

Spent: less than $7 total including tax
Received: $60 in register rewards of which $15 was spent on the Pull-Ups...so I still have $45 in register rewards.

If anyone needs some Vitamin D gelcaps...let me know. I have given away 3 bottles already, but that leaves me with a 3+ year supply.....

Not much lately

I haven't posted much lately. Not because there hasn't been stuff to post. There are always cute pictures or stories from Kale. There is always a story or two about how I drive my husband insane (and not in a good way). There is always something.

Yet, lately, I have been going so fast that I don't slow down enough to let it all out. Thus, there is a circus of stuff going around like a merry go round in my head. There are so many "have I done that?" and "is this taken care of?" and "what deadline is next?"....so I never seem to have, correction: make, time to just blog the fun stuff lately. Hopefully, that will soon change.

Between work deadlines, vacation planning, work travel planning, and all the craziness that my brother has going on this summer....my poor head.

I took some time this past week and weekend to just enjoy my son. Well, more than usual. I enjoy him every day. Some days, he doesn't enjoy me so much. You know, on those days when I ask him to obey, tell him something he doesn't like, don't let him play in the water hose because its too cold out, etc. Yeah, on those days, he hates me...at least for a few minutes anyway. Back to this past weekend. He and I enjoyed a few days last week with an absentee daddy because he was working out of town. One afternoon, I did what he will soon not let me do with him: I took him to Target, Kroger, and then to Moe's. See, he was EXCITED to go to those stores. Target has toys. Kroger has carts with cars to drive. So, yes, he was excited to go shopping with mommy. Moe's was pretty much empty and we enjoyed a quiet dinner with common 2 year old conversation...which is pretty much about whatever happens to catch his attention at the moment. Saturday brought a trip out that included a garage sale, haircut, lunch, and Kroger (he wanted to ride in the cart). We had a good day. It was relaxing. My little boy is just big enough to enjoy time with mommy without being so big that he rolls his eyes at the idea of spending time with mommy. Ahhhhh...I know these moments are fleeting.

I know this is probably just rambling and such...but see, this is my mind these days. Moving, jumping, jerking from one thing to the next. A much needed vacation is coming. I won't say when, because the entire internet does not need to know when we will be on vacation. But, don't worry. When we return from vacation, things will only get more hectic. Slovakia, a wedding, and the arrival of my brother's child awaits on the other side of vacation. AND, if God answers a prayer the way we hope, then there is the possibility that it will get even more hectic somewhere in the middle of all of that.

I am pretty sure that my sanity is long gone! Check back this fall to see if it has returned!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I can't make this up...

I seriously can not make this stuff up. I just got out of bed to blog this so it will not be forgotten.

Kale came to join us in our bed early tonight. He came wobbling into our room wanting more milk at 10:30pm. He refused the idea of returning to his bed. As I tried to go back to sleep, Kale finished his milk and then started talking in his sleep. I have no idea what he said, but then he started singing. Again, no idea what he was singing. Apparently Ep either understood him or wanted him hush, because he started making noises back at Kale. I started laughing so hard that I snorted. This caused Ep to grunt at me. Kale obviously thought this was funny because he laughed out loud in his sleep. Seriously, they were BOTH still asleep. Snoring ensued, from both of them. It was quiet for a few minutes before Kale said something else. Then Ep said "huh?"....and then the snoring returned.

Y'all, I am as sober as can be...and there is no way I can make this stuff up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


All I can say for this video is WHHHEEEEEEEE! That had to be what he was thinking. I thought he would pause at the edge of the driveway. I thought wrong!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Who are you? Who is he/she?

I am not sure where I am headed with this. There, you were warned.

I think we have all been there. Someone mentions something that a friend, family member, co-worker, etc said or did and it just leaves you wondering if you heard them correctly. You might wonder if the two (or more) of you are talking about the same person. Heck, you might even ask that exact question.

How many identities do you have? I like to think I only have one identity. Whether you run in to me at work, home, the store, or at a garage sale....you will get the same person. I am WYSIWIG--what you see is what you get! I don't do well with censoring myself or living behind facades. If you don't believe me, just ask my husband, mom, dad, brother...I could go on with that list. I am blunt, I will tell you what I do/don't want, and I will stand up for those not standing up for themselves. Most times, I couldn't NOT be this way even if you paid me. Its just who I am.

Who are you? Do you have different versions of yourself depending on who you are with or where you are? If you asked 10 people in your life to describe you, would they come up with a similar list of traits?

I know that there are some people who can turn on/off their multiple selves depending one who is looking, listening, etc. I am sure that there are times that this ability is a great asset. I am also pretty sure it sends their friends in circles trying to figure out who the real (insert name here) is...

When I hear about someone's son/daughter being arrested and charged with a violent crime, I wonder if they knew thier son/daughter was capable of committing that crime. Most times, you will see a quote that "thats not who my son/daughter is" and usually its followed with "my son/daughter is not capable of doing that". Yet, it seems that the evidence usually leads to a different conclusion and that son/daughter was very capable of doing that. I don't think its uncommon at this point for the parents to start blaming the influence of friends, spouse, or whoever else they can for what their child has done. I have portrayed this on a larger scale, but really this runs true within friendships and families all the time. We want to blame anyone but our child for the way he/she is behaving. It seems this is an easier route than just accepting that he/she has flaws and that those flaws sometimes cause pain.

What about you? Do you let everyone see who you really are? Do you accept your friends, family, and co-workers for who they really are? If you are a parent of a child young or old, do you accept them for who they are or do you blame thier negative traits on the influence of others? Have you told your child(ren) that you love them for all of who they are...not just for the good stuff? Have you allowed them to relax and be themselves around you?

I think my paretns learned early on that I was going to be outspoken, sassy, and argumentative. If they had any doubts, I erased them during my teen years. Through it all, my parents taught me to use my traits to the best of my ability. I try. I might be outspoken to a fault at times, but I sure as heck will be there standing up for others when they won't stand up for themselves. Every once in a while, my sassiness gives me and my husband a good laugh...but there are times when it also brings the opposite emotions. I try. For what its worth, I think we all try. Some of us need to try harder. Be yourself. Accept others for who they are. Accept that we are all flawed. Accept that sometimes friends, family members, or co-workers are going to make our eyes nearly fall out of our heads with disbelief...and at the end of the day accept that you just learned something new about that person (versus about their friends, family, etc).

For what its worth...I read something that inspired this post. So, if you think I am pointing a finger at you...I am not deliberately doing it. However, if you feel there is a finger pointing at you, then I hope you will sit down and think about that...

Friday, April 9, 2010

iPad giveaway from MckMama!

Hey everyone...in case you missed my tweet or facebook status update....MckMama is giving away a free iPad today. For more details, check out her post here: http://www.mycharmingkids.net/2010/04/little-ipad-with-big-purpose.html

For the quick version, follow the links in her blog to donate at least $5 to help babies, kiddos, and mommas who are living in poverty and need your help. For every $5 you donate, you get an entry into the giveaway. Its a win-win! Whoohoooo! Total donations so far are over $20,000!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kaleidoscope Book Review

Wait, before you decide that you aren't going to read this book review post, just wait! Do you happen to know an ordinary everyday woman who could use a little uplifting from time to time? Or do you know a woman who is always seeking opportunities to grow and stretch herself (think about brain and heart here...not the gym)? Well, now...keep reading...

I received a free copy of Kaleidoscope by Patsy Clairmont as part of the booksneeze.com site. If you are interested in learning more about booksneeze, let me know and I can explain it. Anyway, back to the review...

I have always loved the book of Proverbs. However, I have also always been overwhelmed with the book of Proverbs. Kaleidescope has helped me learn to take one proverb (or one chapter of Proverbs) at a time. Patsy uses her everyday life experiences and applies the book of Proverbs in a way that leaves everyone knowing that we all struggled, we all have room for growth, and that even one of the most riddled books of the Bible can offer us guidance. I loved Patsy's humor so much that I even made my husband listen as I read him a chapter she wrote. It was the one that referenced her purse and all the bamillion things that were in her purse...yeah, really, even your purse and its contents can be tied to the book of Proverbs! Want to know more? You will need to pick up a copy of this book and trust me when I say you will want your own copy...the questions at the end of each chapter will leave you writing comments to yourself in the pages of the book, underlining key points that glare out at you from the pages, and knowing that you will always be able to garner something new from this book.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter pics....a preview

Here is a preview of Easter 2010 pics...
The Hunting!

Inspecting the finds...

Second Wind

My precious dirty face boy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


We finally recovered enough from the weekend diet (aka: stomach virus) that we decided to venture down to our local mexican diner for some evening grub. We told Kale we were going to get cheese dip. He replied that we were going to eat mexican. The smart little man surprised both of us with that one!

We were sitting in our booth enjoying our meal when family was seated two tables away from us. A young girl was with them and she looked close to Kale's age. As a ploy to keep him entertained at the table while we finished our meal, I told him to say hello to the girl. What did our not a shy bone in his body child say? Oh yes...he looked square at her and said, "Hey BABY!"

To Kale's defense, his name for any child he doesn't know is baby. The kid can be twice he size and he will call the kid a baby. There is no distinction for him yet. Every child, young and old, is a baby. I am sure that many parents would agree with him and many kids would completely disagree, but back to the story...

I laughed. Kale said it again. HEY BABY! I am pretty sure that Ep wanted to crawl under the table. HEY BABY! with a wave this time. I thought it was hilarious. Everyone else was either smiling at him or just ignoring him (yes, this is actually possible it seems).

I have to give kudos to Ep. He has come a LONG way down the parental trail. Had the same thing happened two years ago, he would have probably snatched Kale right up and took off running with him out of sheer embarrassement. I would have had to box up our meal, pay, and try to catch them before he got 5 miles down the road to our house. I would have been lucky to catch them! And not in a MILLION YEARS would Ep have ever returned there to eat. But the parental path has taught him well and he just sat there while his son yelled HEY BABY at the cute little girl. Turns out, the little girl is two. If you ask her, she will tell you she is two but her fingers lie because she only holds up one finger while saying two.

Here is to cute kids and the never ending ways that they work on us as toddlers to prepare us for the mayhem that is the teenage years!