Wednesday, November 30, 2011


As most of you know, we moved almost 3 weeks ago.  Although the move was an answer to pray and a very real gift from God, moving is stressful.  I am still looking for things and working through routines in a new-to-us, bigger home.  Let me give you an taste of what yesterday was like at our house......

I got up late.  My husband is on vacation so I didn't wake up until I had to get my oldest son up for school.  Abby (18 months) woke up at the same time.  We wake Lee and then drag downstairs and start the coffee pot.....and the laundry.  Lee comes downstairs to tell me that he can't find his coat and has no idea when the last time he had it was.  (we just came back from a thanksgiving trip :( )  He needs a hoodie clean because it is very cold and he walks about 3 blocks to school now.  Both of his hoodies are in the in the washing machine.  He is frustrated that I didn't have his hoodie clean and I am irritated that he has lost his coat.  I sit back down with my cup of coffee, irritiated about the coat, the fact that I haven't had my quiet time yet, irritated that my hard-working husband is still asleep, irritated that I have a huge list of to-do's to do today........then Abby tries to pick up my coffee cup and spills it all over the end table and my phone (thankfully it wasn't hot and didn't burn her).  I yell at her.  Frustrated that I can't even drink my coffee in peace, I get Lee's hoodie into the dryer (and dry before he needs to leave for school - go me!) and then take inventory of the kitchen.  The older boys "cleaned" it last night after supper.  But they didn't wipe down the counters or table, put away the clean dishes, or even wash all the dirty ones.  In their defense, they've never cleaned a kitchen before so I should have been thankful that they were trying to help.  Instead I was irritated that I was having to do it when my morning was already going so badly.  Then Abby starts taking stuff out of cabinets (we haven't installed child locks yet) so I yell at her again and shove stuff back in there.  I am unhappily washing dishes a few minutes later when Abby toddles up behind me and bites me on the butt!  (((Abby has been biting a lot lately and we are dealing with it.  Yesterday was the 3rd time in 3 days that she has bitten me.  Bear is usually the recipient of her teeth marks.  She also got a hold of her dad yesterday afternoon.)))  My screaming woke my husband and both the other boys.  Poor Abby got a terrible butt-spanking.  I felt terrible and my day was only getting worse.

In fact, my day did get better.  I was able to complete all my to-do's, have a quick fast food lunch down the street with my family.  The house was clean when the nice man came to install the internet and was still clean when our photographer came to do our family holiday photos.  I even had time to finish knitting a hat for Abby.  What was I so worked up about?????

Yelling: The Cause, The Casuality, The Cure  has been sitting on my computer since before our move.  I knew that I needed to read it for The Gabby Moms review group.  Even as I was screaming yesterday, I said to myself, "you need to find time to read that book!".  So this morning I got up a tad bit early and gave myself some time to read (after quiet time, laundry starting and coffee drinking LOL).

That is exactly what I felt like yesterday!  I also find it interesting to note that over the weekend I have put myself in time-out several times.  I needed help!

Lorrie gave it to me.  From starting my day with God, finding my triggers, adequate care of myself and my children, Lorrie encourages me not to give up.  This is a battle that I can - and will - win!  God is with me!!!!!!

I am looking forward to a good day today.  With God's help and Lorrie's encouragement, at the end of the day I will be able to look back with a smile rather than guilt.  If you would also like to end your day guilt-free, be sure to check out for this book (available for $12.97) and others to help you along your way to a peaceful home.  You can also see what other moms are saying about this topic and more at

***I received this product free (boy did I need it!) in exchange for a fair and honest review as part of the  Gabby Moms review program.***

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Much to Say

Happy Thanksgiving!

As usual, we are celebrating in my husband's hometown of Metropolis, IL (also home to Superman!).  We got here yesterday and are currently being lazy in our hotel room.  Norman's mom is fixing Thanksgiving dinner this evening and I can't wait to hang out with family.  Tomorrow will be the Shinn Family annual reunion and Christmas celebration.  Norman's younger brother from Wisconsin will be there with his family this year and we can't wait to see them.  We have so much to be thankful for this year..............

God always provides!  Beyond our wildest dreams.  I am so thankful for a faithful God, that is always there even when I am trying to give up.....He wouldn't let me.  My God is an awesome God!

Almost 2 weeks ago we moved.  Our new home is beautiful!  The only drawback is that it is in town, along the highway, so we are having to adjust to noisy nights.  I'm sleeping well but poor Norman isn't.  As I said, our new home is beautiful.  It is an older Victorian.  Downstairs there are 2 covered porches, kitchen, laundry room, dining room, living room (with a fireplace!), sitting room (with a window seat!), library (with a window seat!), bathroom and attatched garage (which we are using for storage at this point).  The staircase is ornately carved.....just beautiful!  Upstairs there is another covered porch (or balcony), sunroom (can we say sewing room?????), storage room, 4 bedrooms and another bathroom. 

Our church family was such a blessing.  We moved some boxes on Wed/Thurs/Fri and then they all showed up early Saturday morning and just moved us......I think there was a small bus, 2 mini vans, Norman's small car, 6 trucks, 2 trailers and 15 people.  By 3 Saturday afternoon we were 75% unpacked and settled in for the night.  I started the day so overwhelmed and ended the day so thankful for great friends. 

So, things are going well.  I have some pictures but they aren't on the computer right now.  I promise to post them as soon as I can.  We don't have internet at the new house until the 29th, so after we get back home there will still be a few days on "internet silence".  LOL  I look forward to catching up with everyone soon. 

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 05, 2011


What do you think?  As you can tell, we dressed as Smurfs for Halloween this year.  Lee was dressed as Gargamel.  I wanted to dress Sadie up as Azreal but nobody wanted to drag her along so we did without. 

The Gargamel outfit is a wizard robe and belt and then Lee is wearing a "bald cap".  His curly hair sticking out around the ears worked out perfectly.  Papa Smurf is wearing red sweatpants and a blue long-sleeved t-shirt.  For all the hats we took felt and cut out 2 triangles, curved the top "point" and then stuffed it appropriately, running a seam in the middle of the hat to keep the stuffing where it was supposed to be and help the hat to flop forward properly.  For Papa Smurf's beard we cut 3 layers of quilt batting in the proper shape and then sewed it to a piece of elastic which we safety pinned to the hat at the ears and then around in the back.  Greg and Bear (lazy and handy Smurf respectively) are wearing white pants (Greg's are sweats, Bear's are long-johns over sweats) and long sleeved blue t-shirts. 

Abby's dress is beautiful.  I think she will wear it to church on Sunday.  I actually put a zipper in something for once.  I used a bottom-weight twill for both dresses.  It works splendidly for Abby's dress but my dress kept sticking to my legs.  So it was bothersome, but in actuality the dress is shorter than I would have chosen because I needed to show off my blue legs.  I got the tights at I Love Colors, a webstore that sells tights in 56 colors (from infant to plus size).  These are great tights.  Nice quality and the colors are true to the pictures.  I was very pleased.  We are also wearing long-sleeved t-shirts.  Norman insisted that I make shoe covers in the appropriate colors for those who weren't wearing appropriately colored shoes.  If Norman is going to do something, he goes all the way.  That is why we are wearing body paint.

I would have been perfectly happy being smurfs with flesh colored skin, but oh no!  Norman bought face paint, so we painted our faces and hands.  It wasn't bad putting it on and I didn't really mind it while it was on, but it took forever to get off (it DID wash out of the white dresses though - amazing!)  Abby thought we were all funny with blue faces until it was her turn to get painted and then she didn't like it so much.  She HATED me scrubbing it off the next morning (yes, she and Bear and Greg all slept in their face paint.  They were tired.  LOL).  I noticed today, almost a week later, that she still has a little spot of blue inside one of her ears. 

A lot of people didn't get that Lee was Gargamel but a few did and we got a lot of positive comments.  Lee is already plotting what we can all be for next year.  I call that a success!