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Why Can’t My Family Be Like the Duggars?


We’ve all seen the show.  You know what I mean.  You see the mom and the dad with big grins on their faces, all their kids have smiles, and their all dressed.  Heck, they even all do chores and are happy to do it.

The holidays and winter are upon us which means my children will be forced to spend time together.  I have to tell you I secretly wish for year round school because all three of my kids together equals the action of a three-ring circus and not in a good way.

Just the other day, there was a huge argument over who gets to eat the last bowl of Frosted Flakes.  It was so loud and went on for so long that I have now banned sugar cereal from the house forever.  We shouldn’t be eating that stuff anyway.

This morning the tween had an early morning tryout for the math team so he was up with the queen.  Could we do one morning with two kids and no arguing?  Of course not.  The tween had to find out why the queen was taking so long to get dressed.  Does it matter how long it takes the queen to get dressed?  Nope, he was just stirring the pot.

Last night we had some takeout rather than a home cooked meal.  Can we all eat at the table, talk about our day, and have a nice evening?  Nope, we have to argue about who took food from someone else and who’s job it will be to put away the ketchup.

Every car ride causes squabbles about who is sitting where, who is allowed to sing, and how loud everyone is allowed to breathe.  Does this ever happen with the Duggars?  Not according to their show.  Assigned sitting in the car is a wonderful idea…something we had not too long ago.  Thinking it may be time to bring it back.

All I want for Christmas is a drama free, happy kids, and smiling parents for a full 24 hours.  How great would that be?  It would be so great that TLC would be knocking on my door wanting to film the perfect family.

I love my family and can’t imagine life without them but sometimes I need a break from the chaos.  After I’ve gone through the house and turned off fifty million lights during the holiday season, you’ll find me wearing a parka (it’s cold in Northeast Ohio),  sitting in my car that is parked in the garage, sipping my Diet Coke, and dreaming of being a Duggar family.  Someday we will be just like them…less the dresses of course!


Get Your Rake On!


As I’ve said in a previous post, we moved recently.  Our recent move has put us into what my kids might consider a forest but is really seven our eight really big trees.  They’ve lived a lavish life of little or no lawn care into the mother of all yards.  We didn’t even own a lawn mower until early September…seriously not kidding.

We move into the forest with just one rake and a little want to be that’s been duct taped back to life. We’ve sent the teen and tween out together but  usually ends in an argument with no leaf pickup.  We’ve sent just the tween out and that ends in a rake as a light saber as he performs the stroll and does a flying leap off a bench.  It was pretty cool to see him out enjoying himself but the leaves were gaining on us.

I decided to step up the raking and included the queen who is eager to help.  Notice the use of WAS.  She and I  spent three days working on leaf collecting and it has gotten us nowhere.

Yesterday I decided what our house needed was a second rake and more of those brown lawn bags.  Seems our town will collect the leaves but only if they are in brown bags.  They have to be in the bags not a big pile because the town doesn’t own one of those leaf sucker uppers that our past town had.

The queen and I had done a lot of raking and bagging on Tuesday and when I mentioned a trip after school yesterday she was ready to head to the local hardware store because they may just be selling cool duct tape at discounted prices…no dice on a good tape sale.

Before getting in the car the queen noticed the yard where we were working the day before:

Queen:  MOM, have you seen the yard?!  Are you kidding me?  Why did we do all that work because today you can’t even tell we picked up three bags and the teen bagged three too!

Me:  I know we’re out of bags so we need to get some more.  And, I think we may have become a two rake family.

Queen:  I sure hope Lowe’s has a good deal on tape.

Me:  Me too but we’re on the lookout for gloves, bags, and rake.  As a side note, I decided the gutters on the house needed to be removed of leaves too.  I’m not a real get her hands dirty kind of gal.  My dad and the two Lowe’s employees (who don’t even know me), got a good laugh out of my thinking I was going to do the gutters.

We make it home with our purchases and the best rake Ever.  The queen says it’s great because the leaves don’t stick.  She raked a little and I tackled the ladder and the gutter.  Just saying, gutter cleaning is nasty and would have only removed one little chunk had it not been for the queen who told me to man up because I was screaming about having leaf juice spray on my face.

There are still mounds of leaves in the yard.  So many that the neighbor brought over the number of a landscaper who uses a leaf sucker upper as they continued to make a row of leaf filled plastic bags to line their yard.  I think they are secretly trying to keep our leaves out of theirs.  They only have pine trees at the very edge of their property…their bags are all filled with our leaves!

I still am not a fan of anything to do with outside work but I have really enjoyed the time spent with the queen and tween over a pile of leaves this week.  So, get your rake on and spend some time with your kids…they grow up so fast!  If you happen to be tree free, you are welcome to bring your family to our home we have plenty of leaves to share!

Just Another Dirty Gym Uniform


I don’t know about your house but I really think my family looses their minds over the weekend.  It is always Crazy Town when Monday hits.  Recently, my tween comes down carrying his gym uniform wanting to know why I didn’t wash it.  Probably because I didn’t know he had brought it home.

After a quick lecture from him on hygiene, I suggested he wear it another week and bring it back again next week.  I know Bad Mommy of the Year Award.  He throws it in the bag and waits a week to try again.  This time when he mentions washing the uniform I’m in the middle of putting dinner on the table but I stop everything I’m doing and throw that thing in with some Tide.

As my family tries to eat dinner and talk over the washing machine, I know in the back of my mind Monday will be smooth sailing.  He’ll be so excited to have a clean smelling uniform!

Flash forward to Monday:  Hey Tween, don’t forget your gym uniform.  It’s all ready to go.  Don’t want you to be without it.

Tween:  I don’t need it until Wednesday.  We only have gym Wednesday and Friday.

Me:  Are you serious?  Thought last week you were all worked up about not having a clean uniform

Tween:  Mom, we’re all in middle school.  We all smell bad.  I can go a few weeks between washing that thing.

Do you hear that banging?  It’s just me hitting my head on the kitchen granite.

Have a great week and be glad there’s just one Monday a week!  I hope it’s a smell good one too!  If it’s not, your secret is safe with me.


I’m Back!


It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since my last post.  It is amazing at how fast life goes when living with a teen, a tween, and a wannabe queen.

We’ve moved…not to a new blog location but to a new zip code.  Moving can sure keep you on your toes and make you realize you have stuff that you don’t even know you own.  How this still happens after four moves in six years I do not know.  I think the moving companies forget to leave boxes so they just replace them with another family’s belongings.

Even though we have a new city, new zip code, and new schools we’re still the same crazy family that we’ve always been.

Halloween is fasting approaching and I like to be well stocked for the little darlings that come knock on our door and ring the blasted door bell which doesn’t work.  Well, the door bell does work but only when I’m home alone several days after a visitor has come and gone.  Yes, it’s a little freaky every single time it happens.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like to be a last-minute candy buyer.  Secretly, I like to eat those little chocolates and pretend I’m not eating them.  My Halloween candy stash is the subject of today’s little chuckle.

The queen was working on a school project yesterday and was messing around in my laundry room (aka candy stash) looking for some supplies.  She sees we have a nice selection and someone has been into that candy.

Queen:  Hey Mom, did you know there are bags of Halloween candy in the laundry room?

Me:  Yes, I know it’s there.

Queen:  Did you know someone’s been eating all that candy?

Me:  Hmmm

Queen:  Well, aren’t you going to do something about it?

Cue the chirp of crickets.

If you’re a secret Halloween candy eater, your secret is safe with me as I smuggle one more Milky Way, and a Tootsie Roll, oh and maybe a…

Sparkles Too


imageLast week, you may have remembered my post about glitter clothes attacking the rest of my every day laundry.

Imagine my surprise when I attended the queen’s poetry reading to discover the poem to the right.

Nothing like a little matematickle to crack up a mom who had nothing better to do than blog about sparkles in the laundry.















imageHere sits the queen in a glitter shirt with a beret (made by me) that she can’t stand.  Not only do I have time to blog about laundry but I can also whip up props that my children decide they don’t like.

It wasn’t until recently that I knew there were such things as mathematicals and cinquains.  Cinquain happened to be on the spelling list a few weeks ago.  Yeah, second grade is a little more advanced than it used to be.  It’s okay, I had to look it up too!

Birthday Bash or Reality Bust


There is nothing more exciting than being seven and getting an invitation to a birthday party.  What can make that invitation even more exciting is when it includes make-up, pizza, sparkles, and cupcakes.

The queen was recently invited to attend a party at a really great venue where for a price per girl there is lots of fun for two hours and the mom doesn’t have to clean and then re-clean.

A wonderful goodie bag came home with a price list and services provided list.  Of course the queen was on the throne explaining how her next birthday party had to be at the same place.

No problem, right?  Big problem.  The problem is it costs $22.95 per girl (before cupcake, juice box, food and lip gloss station).  Then there is the issue of number of girls in class, neighbors, and Girl Scout friends…that number can get pretty high.

We are a one income family of five with a teen headed to college in three years.  Are we completely strapped for cash?  No, but do have to pay attention to what we spend.  A trip to the grocery lately can easily set you back $150 and that is just for the everyday basics for four or five days.

The queen has come up with lots of ways to have this party:

  • invite but tell them they have to pay (NO),
  • invite, pay half, and they pay half (No),
  • not serve pizza (could help),
  • don’t serve anything to drink (probably not going to work)
  • give up allowance for two months (this will pay for almost one person)

Of course the queen wants to know how it is one family can afford this and others can’t.  Welcome to the world as the rest of us know it dear queen.  Your parents appreciate you are getting older but hey we want to retire someday too and preferably not to your living room sofa.

This week, the queen has decided it is time for me to go back to work.  I explained that my going back to work would keep me from volunteering regularly at her school and her Brownie troop would have to find a new leader.  She says it’s time…she’s in the second grade now and really what is it I do all day long while she is at school.  Something tells me she spoke to some kids at lunch and realized that some moms and dads both work.

There is nothing quite like a real life economics lesson slapped smack in the middle of parenthood.  That degree in business education comes in handy when dealing with these delicate issues.

My questions to all the readers out there…do you share with your children what the family can and can not afford or is willing to spend on activities?

The Queen’s Throne


I’m probably going to be the next mom on Dr Phil being questioned for humiliating my daughter publicly but she is seven, doesn’t have access to my blog, and everything I say is true.  Plus, I told her I was posting a picture of her crazy room on my blog and she didn’t seem to mind and was actually quite excited.

The other night the queen was heading to bed.  I asked my husband if he would kindly tuck her in.  He agreed and the following conversation took place.

The Husband:  Oh, Queen, you are going to have to do something with this room!  The door almost won’t close!  One day you will be really sad that you didn’t get that Olympic medal for track.  You won’t get to run in a big race because you will have hurt yourself trying to get to bed.  You’ll be stuck working at Kmart for the rest of your life.

The Queen:  Why Kmart?

The Husband:  Ok, Wal-mart.

The Queen:  Why does it have to be Kmart or Wal-mart?  Why can’t it be Target?  Working at Target is probably pretty cool.  Notice she avoided the whole let me get right on the cleaning part!

Well, the room is still a mess and the door almost doesn’t close.  Guess I’m going to have to load up on Diet Coke, grab a shovel and get to work.


Dear readers, please share your tips and strategies for clean rooms.  I’m all ears.  I’m hoping this post will bring a visit from my mom who works wonders with little kid clutter–just ask the teen and tween.