Reunited and It Feels So Good

Liam got homesick on the last night of his vacation with his cousin. This is the picture my brother-in-law sent me that night:
Be still my heart!

Brother-in-law said that Liam wanted his Mommy that night. Oh, my fluttering heart!

I wanted him, too! I missed him so much!

And when we were reunited the following day, he greeted me with a big hug and a giant smile. I think he really missed me!

It feels so good to be a family of five again. And we are looking forward to our family vacation at the end of this week.

Former Fan

My last post's title is a key phrase from my former favorite TV show. I have watched Jon & Kate Plus 8 faithfully since its debut. For me, watching the show was fun because the craziness of their home made my house seem utterly peaceful. Their 8 kids running around made my 3 boys seem calm.

However, last season was certainly not as enjoyable, as I grew weary of all the freebies they received. I got tired of watching them go from one fun place to another. Do they ever stay home and just be?

Plus, was it just me or was Kate growing less patient with her family by the minute? Well, it's obviously not just me.

Unless you're living under a rock, you're aware that both Jon and Kate have been recently accused of extra marital affairs, and she has filed for divorce this week. Yes, I admit that I watched Monday's episode along with a few other Americans. But I am now done!

Watching the show has not set well with my spirit over the past several months. I couldn't quite put my finger on why I felt so uncomfortable watching it. Besides the fact that I hate watching a woman belittle her husband and children. That's bad enough.

But then I ran across this post written by Walt Mueller, a blogger who is a former neighbor of the Gosselins. And he has opened my eyes to help me further understand why I have to stop watching this family self-destruct. If you're a Jon & Kate follower, do yourself a favor and read that post.

This especially struck a chord with me:

Think too about the fact that when the cameras are on, we usually put on our best smiles and best behavior. . . and then think - long and hard - about what that best behavior has been on this particular show. Then, imagine what life is like and how people act when the cameras aren't rolling. After taking that all into consideration, we shouldn't be surprised by the train wreck that's taken the world by storm.

(I cannot get the italics to stop! The rest of this post is written by me.)

If Jon and especially Kate are putting on their best behavior for the cameras, then I shutter at the thought of what goes on when the cameras are packed away. My heart has always hurt for children who live in less-than-ideal circumstances. Obviously, the Gosselin twins and sextuplets are living in less-than-ideal circumstances, and I must do something. As Mueller wisely suggests, I'm going to stop watching and get busy praying for this family of my former favorite "reality" show.

It's a Crazy Life, But It's Our Life

We traded one child for another. Got tired of Liam and found someone who was tired of their boy, so we opted to switch.

Just kidding! Liam is on vacation with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. In turn, we have their 11 month old, Hudson.

I miss my big boy already, and it's only been 24 hours. But we're staying busy with Hudweiser and enjoying having a little spitfire to chase.

Would you please pray for my hubby? Rick is in the ER this morning with excruciating back/shoulder/arm pain. His dad, the orthopedist, said he needed to go to the hospital, so my mother-in-law took him.

If I'm not in the blogging world much this week, you know why...a toddler to chase and a husband to nurse.

Food Wishes

Rick and I have found a new cooking website that I though y'all might appreciate. It's Chef John posts a new recipe nearly every day, and he includes a video clip of himself preparing the dish. We have tried several of his recipes and found them all to be easy and yummy.

(You know I wouldn't send you a difficult recipe, right? Shoot, no! We have better things to do than fretting over a meal.)

To name a few, we have tried Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce, Chicken Stir Fry, and (our favorite thus far) Green Chicken Enchiladas.

Go on over the check it out for yourself. Come back to tell me what you're going to try.

WFMW: Bags for the Road Trip

As I mentioned last week, we will be heading to North Carolina via car (shudder) next month. This trip has been planned for quite a while now, and I've been making mental notes of different things to buy in order to make the road trip a little less hellacious.

One of my ideas was to give each boy a small book bag to hang on their arm rests to hold their loot (a.k.a. books, crayons, paper, and small toys). This is to prevent me from getting whiplash from all the neck-craning involved with pleasing 3 boys on the road.

If you've taken a road trip with young kids, you know what I'm talking about. "Mommy, I need such and such." (5 minutes later) "Mommy, I'm done with such and such."

In my non-crafty mind, I imagined that I would need my mom's help in sewing simple bags. But when I mentioned this to her last week, she suggested I check Hobby Lobby for cheap, already-made bags. She's a genius, I tell you!

A trip to Hobby Lobby proved her right. I found these canvas bags complete with handles and outside pockets for around $3 each.
I found fabric markers on the same aisle for something like $7.
The boys have enjoyed decorating their bags a little each day.
And my idea of hanging them on the boys' arm rests...voila!
I had hoped to show you a picture of the boys each smiling in their seats and proudly displaying their bags. Unfortunately, their stinky attitudes showed me that they needed an early bedtime. Anywho....

When we hit the road in a few weeks, my neck will be able to rest a little longer between the requests for "such and such".

What else might make this road trip bearable? I would love to hear your ideas! (I'm also planning to hit the dollar store for cheap toys so they can have something new every couple of hours. Of course, we have movies and music.)

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are That Family.

A Little Update

In case you have been wondering, ManEater is dead. Apparently, Tomato Horn Worms don't thrive without being allowed to ingest the entire tomato crop.

Liam was slightly upset by ManEater's death but not enough to need a funeral. Thank goodness! If we had to have a funeral for a worm, then we might also need some in-house counseling.

Besides that, Liam has moved on to collecting moths. We have two white ones residing in ManEater's home on my kitchen counter.

During the past month, I have had these creatures living on my kitchen counter: 1 tomato horn worm, 2 moths, 9 ladybugs, and countless rolly pollies.

When I think about these creatures living in my home, I have to laugh, because I'm not really a bug-loving kinda girl. I'm not really a girly girl, but I prefer bugs to respect my personal space.

But the Lord knew that I needed to be stretched, so he gave me a boy. And then He thought my world needed some more rocking, so he gave me two more boys.

I'm grateful for my boys.

But I'm also grateful they don't find snakes or mice to bring home.

Friday Funny

We had the threat of a tornado the other night, so the boys, Winston, and I headed to my closet for safety. My husband, the hero, decided to stay in front of the tv to watch the weather reports.

What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man! (Name that song and win brownie points.)

I have a few children's books in my closet for such stormy occasions. Books help to take their minds of the impending storm.

The first one I read to them had them laughing so hard they had side aches.

Have you read Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems to your children? If you haven't, they are seriously deprived children.

(I hate book reviews, so I'm not going to make you read mine. In college, I had to write fifty reviews one semeseter, and I will forever hate them. If you want to know what Knuffle Bunny is all about, click here.)

And when I say that your kids are deprived without Knuffle Bunny, I might be exaggerating. I don't want all two of you to rush out to the bookstore to purchase this light-hearted book and then be disappointed.

But if you want a good laugh, then let me tell you about this page in particular:
When I turned to that page, Jack said, "Look, Trixie has goggles in her hand."

I laughed so hard my sides ached.

And I didn't correct my innocent child.

A New Member

Now that we're on summer break, my brain has turned to mush and I hardly know how to form a sentence, much less a post. I've been contemplating what to post over the past couple of days.

Would you believe me if I told you that I lost sleep over what to post? No? Well, good, because I haven't lost a wink of sleep over this blog.

But this has caused me a great bit of night terrors:
That would be a 5-inch Tomato Horn Worm that was feasting on our tomato plants earlier this week. (And that's Liam's skinny, 6 year-old hand in the background for comparison.)

Liam, the lover of all things breathing, quickly claimed him as his latest pet, and he is now residing here:
On my kitchen counter. Blek.

I've affectionately nicknamed him ManEater, because with the amount of leaves he's intaking and waste he's outputting, he might as well eat a full-grown man. I can seriously hear him chomping on leaves as I type, and I am a good fifteen feet away from him.

I figure with such sharp teeth and such a large appetite, he could probably eat any one of us human residents at any given moment, so my sleep has been rather disturbed as of late.

Actually, I am not one bit scared of ManEater. But I am scared of his waste, which is larger than any rat droppings I've ever seen. (No, I haven't seen any rats around my house. If I did, y'all would be visiting my grave instead of my blog.)

So, when it comes time to clean out his home, I simply unzip the butterfly net, turn it upside down, and shake, shake, shake...shake, shake, shake...shake his booty.

And he holds on for dear life.

I'm not sure how much longer Maneater will reside in the CupRunnethOver home. If I can put up with his poor table manners and his messy bathroom habits, then he's supposed to turn into some sort of five-spotted moth. (I'm sure Rick will be quick to comment on the exact name of ManEater's future state.)

Anyway, if he turns into something pretty, I'll be sure to keep y'all posted.

If he doesn't eat me first.

And I guess I'll go ahead and label this post as "family", because Liam considers ManEater very much a member of ours.

Making a Book List

We leave in less than 4 weeks for our family vacation to North Carolina. Via Car. My blood pressure rises every time I think of two days on the road. If I could just blink and be there, that would be grand.

Once we get there, we'll be staying in a cabin on the Appalachian Trail. Sigh. My blood pressure mellows out every time I envision myself reading a book on the deck in 70-degree weather, while my children play sweetly at my feet.

Okay, so maybe not so much of the playing sweetly at my feet, but I am a-hopin' and a-prayin' they play nicely for at least one hour of every day, while I enjoy a good book on the deck.

Because vacation isn't complete without some good fiction, I need some suggestions. What are some must-reads in your opinion? (I will read a wide variety of fiction, but I won't read smut. I don't need my brain littered.)