Sunday, December 28, 2008

the Christmas past

I just wanted to show you how my kids have grown in the past couple of years, especially Miss Sophie!

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Merry Christmas 2006


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Merry Christmas 2007


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Merry Christmas 2008

the Christmas post

I would like to start by saying I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. I LOVE Christmas music, Christmas decorations, the look of pure joy in the kids' eyes when they open their presents, the fact that it is Jesus' birthday, & receiving presents of my own (who doesn't haha), but I hate that I don't have the time to do everything like I want to which leaves me feeling rushed, anxious, & exhausted, the commercialism of Christmas, the fact that the kids' get so many presents that they open in 1/2 a second & then ask "is this all", spending SO much money to make it all happen, & the fact that I work in the hospital which never closes so I always have to work Christmas eve night or Christmas night. Now that I've got all that out of the way, let me tell you & show you my family's absolutely wonderful Christmas!!

PhotobucketChristmas eve I was off work (YEA!), but I did have to work the 2 nights before, so I had a hard time getting everything done that I needed to do because, after all, I did need to try to squeeze in a little sleep so I could at least moderately function! About 6pm we headed to my mom's parents' Big Mama & Papa's house. We usually just bring stuff to snack on there, & since I didn't have time to cook anything I was lucky that Super 1 had deli trays 50% off, so I got a cracker/ meat/ cheese tray to takePhotobucket
which was a big hit. We also had sausage balls, chips & dips, cookies, brownies, etc. Quite a few aunts, uncles, & cousins came so it was a full house & my grandparent's keep their heat on like 80, but luckily I thought ahead this year & wore a short sleeve shirt. My grandparent's give us money to buy the kids' presents from them, so we got them all Fur Real Friends newborns that make little noises & move when you feed or pet them - so cute! & the kids loved them!

PhotobucketAfter that we went to my mom & stepdad's Nana & Pawpaw's house for the kid's to open presents there. They had a blast! My favorite present that they got were sock monkeys, they all got a different colored striped one. Kalli's favorite was My Little Ponyville. Zoe's favorite was Littlest Pet Shop fitness center. Tad's favorite were pirate Legos. I think Sophie's was Dancy Dance Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba. They played for a little bit, then we headed home. I always get the kids coordinating pajamas so they''ll look good for the Christmas morning pics. I used to wrap them & let them open them before they went to bed, but they would get upset because it wasn't a toy, so this year I just gave them to them right before bed. PhotobucketIt took awhile to get them settled down to go to bed so Santa could come & I was so tired since I didn't get much sleep that day so I fell asleep for awhile. Theo & I got up at 1am to get Santa stuff ready. We always wrap about 1/2 the presents & just put labels on the rest & distribute them under the tree that way it takes them a little bit longer since they have to find their presents before they can open them.

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PhotobucketThen it was Christmas morning. We had told the kids they couldn't wake us up until 7am & I think they actually slept until 7:45. We put up a blanket between the living room & bedrooms so they can't see anything until we are ready. Then we let them loose like a herd of cattle to the Christmas tree. Wrapping paper was flying everywhere! Sophie was a little slow to get started, she had a low grade fever & had just woken up. Kalli's favorite was her cat Webkinz she named "snowy". Zoe's favorites were Littlest Pet Shop figures & Littlest Pet Shop game for Nintendo DS. Tad's favorite was Funkeys plush. I think Sophie's favorite was her singing Wow! Wow! Wubbzy. Then they looked in their stockings & saw that the plate of Photobucketcookies we left for Santa was empty except for a few crumbs. Then comes the really, really fun part where mom & dad have to open all the boxes of toys with all the twisted wires that had my fingers all twisted up in knots after about 5 minutes. After all the presents I reminded the kids what today was all about - the birth of Jesus. Luckily I just HAD to take a nap since I had to work that night, which was great because I was absolutely exhausted after all that fun!
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Monday, December 22, 2008

the time for Not Me! Monday



Here are a few of the things I did not do this week:

  • I did not plan my 2 year old's birthday party the morning after I was on-call @ work from 7p-7a, not have anything ready ahead of time, then get called into work & by the skin of my teeth they found someone to work so I could go home and actually get everything ready for her party & get a good night sleep because that would be absolutely absurd!
  • I most certainly do not enjoy watching Rock of Love Charm School & record it on my DVR because it is full of a bunch of non-wholesome women with no morals or values & every other word is bleeped out!
  • I really did not wait until last Saturday night to finish my Christmas shopping & still not have anything wrapped or ready with Christmas only 3 days away!
  • I definitely do not refuse to take my 4 kids into the store for short trips like picking up prescriptions so I leave them in the van, lock them in, & run in really quick praying that nothing bad will happen to them or they will kill each other while I'm in there!
  • I really, really did not never get around to sending out any Christmas cards this year because I'm so darn busy & maybe a little bit lazy!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Make sure you turn off the playlist at the bottom to get the full effect! Enjoy!

the busy week before Christmas

Tuesday was Tad's 3rd grade musical "Snow Biz". It was very cute! He had a small part as a fisherman, but we are so proud!
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Saturday morning was Sophie's 2nd birthday party @ McDonald's. We had a great turnout & with only a few small 2-yr-old fits I think she enjoyed it! The snowman cupcake cake was made by the wonderful Brookshire's in Whitehouse.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the Christmas tree

PhotobucketLast night we went to cut down our Christmas tree at Plantation Pines. It was FREEZING - literally it was 32 degrees, when it was like 70 degrees the day before, so of course we wait to go when it's freezing outside! This really was the only day we could go that I wasn't working or we had other plans, so we bundled the kids up & went. It was so cold, I don't think the kids enjoyed it too much, they ran off pretty quick to check out the play equipment on the farm. I think the part they enjoyed the most was going inside & eating a snack! Sorry the pictures are blurry, I was shivering & hurrying!
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Theo cutting down the tree (before)

Here's the decorated Christmas tree (after):
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Friday, December 12, 2008

the early morning

I guess we did have a few snow flurries, but I think they were after dark & I missed them! Boohoo!

I went to my mandatory meeting yesterday @ work, but before the meeting they were having a Christmas party where I won a really nice wreath, so I guess it was worth it to go to my meeting dragging miss Sophie along all the way. I guess she could have acted alot worse - when I picked her up she yelled "let me go mommy", then she grabbed an apple off the tray, sucked the juice out of it, put it back, & grabbed another one, & she was a little loud during the meeting, but at least I won a wreath!

PhotobucketAfter the meeting we trekked to the mall in her tiny jacket to buy a bigger jacket so CPS won't take her away from me - haha! We went to The Children's Place where she got this great reversible coat that was $39.50 on clearance for $14.99 woohoo!

Last night I went to CVS for some great deals!
-Huggies diapers jumbo pack - buy 3 /reg. 12.49 on sale for $10/buy $25 of featured Huggies get $5 ECB/-$1.50 coupon mailed from Huggies x3 = $6.83 each
-Powerade 32 oz reg. 1.69 on sale for $1.59 / $1.59 ECB = FREE (limit 1)
-Buy $15 of featured Gain, Tide, or Duracell get $5 ECB -- Tide laundry detergent 100 oz reg. 14.99 on sale for $12/-$1 coupon = $11 + Duracell AA batteries 4 ct reg. 5.29 on sale for $3 /-$.75 coupon = $2.25 for total of $13.25-$5=$8.25 for both

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the cold winter's day

Snow flurries in the forecast for Whitehouse, TX! Where are they, I have yet to see a flurry. It's probably for the best because many people here think chance of snow flurries = blizzard, freak out, & stock up on groceries to last til the new year!

We started charting on the computer last night @ work instead of paper charting - I just started working there 3 months ago & was just getting used to the paper charting - go figure. Luckily it's similar to the charting @ my old job, so maybe won't be so bad. Then I see a sign in the break room "Mandatory staff meeting tomorrow @ 8:30am". So what happens to me if I don't go - will I be fired, will I be forced to read about it on paper? Are the consequences worse than bringing my almost 2 year old to the meeting for who knows how long? I have a very important decision to make before tomorrow morning. HAHA! I'll probably just go to the meeting until my child is so bad they will ASK or BEG me to leave, maybe even offer to let me leave & stay on the clock & continue to get paid!

The other day I had on my wonderful polka-dot flannel pajama pants. Sophie came up & pointed at them & said "polka dots". I respond excitedly "Yes, polka dots, good job!" - I mean every girl's gotta know about polka dots, it's essential! Then she says "I smell them" & she starts sniffing my pants. Where in the world do you think she picked that up? So I asked how they smell? "Smell good mommy!" Well, that's a relief!

I am gonna get my Christmas decorations up this week even if it means I have to throw out my back lugging in all the storage containers from the storage room myself! Maybe that will be a good excuse to miss my mandatory staff meeting!

Monday, December 8, 2008

the another Not Me! Monday



  • I did not laugh hysterically at my almost 2-yr-old daughter when she yelled at the TV "stupid dummy TV" because commercials were on instead of her beloved "Wow! Wow Wubbzy!" before telling her that was not a very nice thing to say

  • I really do not still not have my Christmas decorations put up & it's definitely not partly because hubby won't bring the storage containers inside from the storage room

  • I definitely do not have over 4000 unread messages in my email inbox & have never ever had that many unread email messages & it's not because I subscribe t0 every newsletter known to man

  • I certainly did not procrastinate taking my son to get his hair cut that hubby had to finally cut it himself (he actually did a pretty good job though)

  • I really really really did not still have Halloween cookies in my freezer that I baked for the kids Saturday night

Now let me tell you some things I really did do this week:

  • I learned how to french braid on the internet
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    this is how I did Kalli's hair for school this morning
  • I had a laundry folding party with the kids & didn't freak out that they didn't fold everything just perfect

  • I worked 6 out of 7 nights 12-hour shifts (actually overlapped some into last week)

  • I changed my blog template to Christmas theme - so even though my house is not decorated for the holidays, my blog is!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the good deal week

I have come across alot of good deals this week:

Target
-Rayovac batteries 4-pk in the $1 section -$1 off coupon here = FREE! (thanks Attention Target Shoppers)
-Huggies baby wipes 320- or 384-ct. on sale for $8.49 -$0.50 coupon = $7.99

Walgreens
-$5 off $25 valid 12/1-12/2 here
-Reach Ultra Clean toothbrush or floss reg. 3.99 on sale for 2/$6 -buy 2 get $6 in register rewards =FREE! (limit 1 RR so use it for floss OR toothbrush)
-Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste 6oz reg. 3.49 on sale for $2.99 -$1.50 coupon here (thanks i heart wags ) -$2 in register rewards =FREE! (limit 1 RR)
-Excedrin Express Geltabs 40ct reg 7.99 on sale for 3/$15 -$2 coupon here (thanks Moms By Heart ) -buy 3 get $8 in register rewards = $1 for 3 (limit 1 RR)

Update: I just went to Walgreen's & apparently you can either use coupons OR get register rewards, not both

Monday, December 1, 2008

the coupon organizer

It took some trial & error to finally find the coupon organization that works for me. I tried:
  • accordion file
  • premade coupon organizers
  • small picture album
  • keeping the inserts together & filing by date

These did not work out well for me, but I finally found the best way for me. I got a 2-inch binder with sheet protectors & 2-pocket photo holders, & dividers.

In the front section I have sheet protectors for store ads & booklets divided by store. This way I can also put coupons, receipts, etc. from that store there too.

In the middle section is where I have all my coupons sorted by category. I have dividers with the main category, then the photo holders with the sub-categories. The categories & sub-categories I use (which I do tweak from time to time):

Health Aids
-pain/cold/sleep
-stomach
-vitamins/other meds
-health products (includes bandaids, diet foods)

Beauty Aids
-hair products
-make-up/facial
-deodorants/fragrances
-soaps/lotions
-teeth products
-shaving needs
-eye care
-feminine needs

Paper Goods
-paper products (includes tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates)
-trash/storage

Cleaning Supplies
-candles/air fresheners
-laundry
-dishes
-other cleaners/supplies

Canned Goods
-soups
-other canned

Pasta/Rice
-pasta/boxed meals
-rice/sides

Frozen Foods/Meats
-pizza/dinners
-desserts/veges
-breads/breakfast
-meat (includes frozen or refrigerated meats)

Bread/Cereal
-bread
-cereal/cereal bars

Snack Foods
-candy/gum/mints/cookies
-crackers/chips/popcorn/fruits/nuts

Dairy Aisle
-dairy products/eggs
-biscuits/refrigerated cookies

Condiments/Drinks
-condiments
-drinks

Baking Goods
-mixes/frosting
-staples (includes spices, sugar, cooking oil)

Baby Items
-diapers/wipes
-other baby (includes diaper rash ointment, baby wash/lotion, baby foods, formula)

Pets

Clothing/Miscellaneous (includes batteries, film)

Stores/Restaurants

The last 3 categories I have in sheet protectors. I also have a pencil pouch that I keep scissors, pen, highlighter, & sharpie. I try to take my binder with me to every store for those impulse buys. I try to keep my coupons with the earliest expiration dates @ the front so I can see what I need to use & makes it easier to throw them out once they've expired.

the next Not Me! Monday

It's that time again - Not Me! Monday!
  • I did not get upset with my hubby because I had to fix all the children's plates on Thanksgiving all by myself.
  • I also do not still have Thanksgiving decorations up while the Christmas decorations are still in the storeroom.
  • I definitely did not buy 2 bags of Dove Chocolate candy & not share it with my hubby or kiddos.
  • I certainly did not let my baby go to bed without a bath Thanksgiving night because I was soooo tired.
  • I really, really did not sit in my bed on Black Friday & buy Christmas presents on the internet in my pj's.

I think I feel better now!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the Thanksgiving day




We had such a great day! We went to Big Mama & Papa's (my mom's parents) where we had a fabulous Thanksgiving lunch including our famous green bean casserole! We took these wonderful pictures of the kiddos there. Then we went to my Aunt Janice & Uncle Charles' house to visit with my dad's side of the family. Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

the Thanksgiving thankful list

I am thankful for:

  • not having to work on Thanksgiving this year


  • food to eat


  • overflowing closets


  • a roof over my head


  • 2 vehicles


  • 4 healthy & smart children


  • a laptop to write this blog


  • my job & my husband's job


  • health insurance


  • my husband who helps out alot with the kids


  • cheap gasoline


  • electricity & running water


  • wonderful friends to read this blog


  • television with DVR to help me keep up on my shows


  • cell phone with unlimited texting & long distance included


  • myspace & facebook to reunite & keep up with old friends


  • my extended family members who are always there for me


  • living in a wonderful neighborhood & wonderful people that let my kids run in & out of their house everyday


  • loving God to praise & His Word to read


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the first Not Me! Monday


OK so I know it's not Monday, but I just found this, it's a Wednesday, & I'm ready to start now!

  • I did not tell my children that they could have whatever they wanted for snack if they would just leave me alone so I could take a nap before work!
  • I did not drink 4-8 diet cherry cokes per day!
  • I did not ask my children to sign me up for something easy on the Thanksgiving feast list so I would not have to make anything, so we could only bring paper plates (I did get cute Thanksgiving plates), dill pickles, & nuts!
  • I did not let the answering machine screen my calls for me because I was tired & didn't feel like talking to anybody right then.
  • I did not feed my 2-year old a cold hot dog weenie for lunch even though she loves them & runs around the house screaming "weenie" until you get her one!

This is a kind of short one since I'm kind of new @ this. Really made me think though - hmm!

the day before Thanksgiving

I have been working every other night for the last week, so needless to say my sleep schedule is a little erratic! Today (or yesterday for all of you who keep a normal schedule) I slept from 5pm to 12am! Now it's 1am & I'm awake for who knows how long!

Theo's birthday was Monday. We went out to eat Sunday night to Applebees. He got a shirt from http://www.lifeisgood.com/. I really like this website & there are a few things I would like here for myself (hint, hint) haha!

Sophie sang me her rendition of Rain, Rain Go Away today, & until I can actually catch it on a recording, I'm going to try & type it out, her goes:

"Yain, yain, doe away
Tum adayun anoder dayu, anoder daaaaaaaaaaaay!

I think this captured it pretty well!

I don't normally cry at songs unless I am pregnant (which I promise I'm not) or since I have been taking the worderful invention called the anti-depressant, but everytime I hear the song "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman I ball like a baby! This is partly because his daughter died. It also makes me think about my own life. I am always so busy with work, housework, trying to fit in sleep, etc. that when my kids come to me with something I don't always stop & take the time to listen to what they are saying let alone actually look at what they are doing & participate in it. I need to realize that these things are not as imporant & meaningful as my family & what they are doing & interested in right now. My kids are getting older & busier, so I need to take advantage of the time that I have with them now before they get even busier & have less time for me. The time I spend with my kids is so precious & I often don't treat it like it is! (I feel like there were alot of run-on sentences in this paragraph, but I hope you get the gist of it.)

Prayer request - My husband's aunt has a tumor on her thyroid. She will be having a biopsy soon to find out if it is malignant or benign.

Hope everyone has a happy & safe Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for my thankful list coming in the next couple of days (hopefully).

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Monday, November 24, 2008

the hubby's birthday


My husband Theophilos Ilia Nackos is turning 34 years old today!
Happy Birthday to a wonderful husband & a terrific dad!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the funny video

This video is so funny!


Beautiful Nail Salon

Friday, November 21, 2008

the bragger

I have to brag. My sweet Zoe's teacher Mrs. Alexander called us to tell us what a great job she's doing in school, getting her homework done, & helping out in class. She said she thinks we did a good job raising her!

That's so nice to hear! I worry everyday that I'm not doing a good job & I'm gonna end up with one of those kids that drop out of school, get pregnant, do drugs, among other things. This just made me feel like maybe I'm on the right track.

Sophie didn't wanna give me kisses & hugs before I left for work yesterday. I was kinda sad so I said "Why?" to which she replied "cuz". What kind of reply is that for a 22-month old to make? I'm sure she learned it from her big siblings!

Deals of the week @ Walgreen's

  • Chex Mix 8.7 oz / original 3.19 / sale .99 / coupon -.50 = .49
  • Almay One Coat Mascara .4 oz / original 6.99 / coupon -1.00 / rebate -6.99 = -1.00

That's it for now! Later peeps!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

the cuteness

I would first like to say that when I got gas the other day it was $1.90/gal, which means that I cannot get enough gas to charge the required $35 needed to save 5% off groceries @ Super 1 Foods - WOOHOO!!

The cuteness that is Sophie - when i cough, she says "bess you mommy"; she gives hugs & kisses & says "I lud you mommy", she waves bye-bye & blows kisses "muaw".

The not-so-cuteness of Sophie - everything she touches, whether person, place, or thing is "mine"--"my tootie" = cookie, "my piddow" = pillow, "my mommy", "my shide"= slide, etc. because she is the princess of the entire world!

Savings of the week brought to you by http://www.thegocerygame.com/.

CVS Pharmacy
  • Kellogg's Fruit Loops // original $4.39 // sale 2/$4 // -$1 coupon = $1
  • Nabisco Oreos Cookies // original $4.59 // sale 2/$5 = $2.50
  • Garnier Fructis Hair // original $3.99 // sale $2.99 //-$1 coupon // $2 ECB = FREE
  • Crest Pro-Health 4.2 oz// original $3.49 // -$.75 coupon // $3.49 ECB = FREE + $.75

I have a new niece!! Her name is Wren Leona Nackos. Congratulations Reno & Star! Can't wait to meet her!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the ear infection

Miss Sophie has not been sleeping well the last few nights, finally last night she told me her ear hurt. I knew something was wrong, but couldn't figure out what it was. This morning we went to see the pediatrician & she has a double ear infection, so we are getting her started on some antibiotics today & maybe we will be able to sleep through the night again - YEA!

On a happier note, Sophie got her first freckle! It's on her left hand. I just love freckles on my little girls!

I was on-call last night @ work, which usually guarantees you are going to work, but I didn't get called in. So I actually had 4 nights off in a row - WOOHOO! I didn't get as much done as I needed to, but I caught up on Grey's Anatomy & a few episodes of The Office, you know, the important things in life - HAHA!

Monday, November 10, 2008

the tag, you're it!

My friend Jennifer tagged me like 2 weeks ago - so I'm a little slow! (which is exactly how I would be if I was playing an actual game of tag - haha!)

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is UP

Here are 6 non-important things about me:
  1. I like to watch soap operas. I currently watch 5 - Young & the Restless, Days of our Lives, All My Children, One Life to Live, & General Hospital. I record them on my DVR & watch them when I'm trying to go to sleep. I don't have time to watch them all every day, so I watch each show a couple of times a week - which is you've ever been soap watcher you know this is enough to stay caught up.
  2. I use coupons. I get a newspaper every week & cut out the coupons (my mom, Big Mama, & cousin Carmen also save their coupon inserts for me). I have a notebook organized by category (dairy products, frozen foods, etc) that I put them in. I use http://www.thegrocerygame.com/, along with other coupon websites to help me find coupons & deals.
  3. I have 4,120 unread messages in my email inbox. I think I need therapy for this - people who are obsessed with signing up for every newsletter that comes their way, refuse to delete any unread email, & don't have the time to read them all anonymous!
  4. I keep up on all the entertainment news. Also something I don't have time to do, but I love to surf the web to find out the latest about celebrities.
  5. I don't like bananas. I haven't heard of too many people who don't like bananas so I think this makes me pretty unique. I can taste or smell bananas in anything that has bananas in it, has been near bananas, or has been made using something with bananas (like the blizzard machine @ DQ). YUCK!
  6. I cannot cook. Or I should say I cannot cook very many things & definitely not anything complicated. I can brown ground meat so I can make Hamburger Helper, tacos, spaghetti, etc., I can throw together some casseroles, & can microwave like a pro! I cannot cook a turkey, make desserts from scratch, or make fried chicken & anytime I have tried hasn't had good results. My didn't teach me to cook (probably more because of my lack of willingness to learn rather than her willingness to teach) & didn't take home economics.

OK, here are the lucky tagees:

Liz
Hope
Alina
Kelly

Sorry, I only have 4!

the goodbye ETMC girl

Well, I have officially put in my resignation @ ETMC, & am actually very sad. Having to work an extra holiday was just going to take away too much of my family time, so I just had to do it. I will miss the people I worked with so much, but hope to keep in touch with them.

Now to the big news of the week - Obama, Obama, Obama! I am a Republican, but tend to be on the liberal Republican side (if that makes sense), so I had a little trouble at first choosing a candidate to vote for. I had heard good & bad things about both of them, & had trouble sorting out the truths & lies. I prayed about it, and was led to vote for McCain. So I was disappointed upon hearing the results of the election. I will pray for Obama, as I would have for McCain, that he will make appropriate decisions for our country. I did feel touched as I watched Obama's supporters joy for their winning candidate & feel pride for our history making & changing decision to elect our first African-American president. After being raised in a prejudice family, I have made a point to be the opposite for my own children. So I guess what I am saying is that I hope that this turns out to be a good thing for our country & that Obama proves all the naysayers wrong!

My husband was telling me the cutest thing that Kalli said when she was in the truck with him yesterday. They were listening to the radio & the song "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister came on. After the song was over, Kalli said "I think that song is about drugs". Wouldn't that have been a great meaning to that song - we're not gonna take drugs?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the Happy Halloween!

Zoe the good witch, Kalli as Hannah Montana, Tad as Anakin Skywalker, & Sophie the puppy. We went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood & the kids got lots & lots of candy. My friend London & her 2 kids joined us, it was alot of fun. Then we went to Nana & Papa's house & got even MORE candy! The kids had a blast on Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

the burial

Last Friday we finally put my dad's ashes in the ground. He was buried at the Dallas-Ft Worth National Cemetary in Dallas at 3:00.

The director first took us to a covered are for the service. My dad served in the US Army so there was a military honors ceremony with the folding of the flag & presented it to my step-mom, followed by the playing of Taps. I was tearful but when I looked over & saw my 6-yr old Kalli crying then I really cried. She was much more affected by it all than my older two who were bored. My step-mom then played a couple of special songs, their song (which I'm blanking on the name right now) & the song my dad always wanted played "Colour My World" by Chicago. At the front was a display of my dad's army photo - he was so handsome!, his Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt & a nice bouquet of fall flowers. It was a very nice ceremony.

We were then taken to the burial plot where my step-mom placed his box of ashes wrapped in his Cowboys sweatshirt & the bouquet placed on top once it was filled in. My great uncle who is a priest said a lovely prayer. His plaque will be ready in about 4-6 weeks.

There was a good turnout of my dad's family & friends, some of which I had not met before (or maybe I just don't remember) so it was good to meet them. My kids even actually acted pretty decent which I was worried about.


So, on to subjects of less depth.....................
My house is a sick house!! So far Sophie, Theo, & I have gotten a nasty stomach virus, so you know the other 3 will not be far behind!

I worked 60 hours last week & survived - except for my depleted immune system so I can pick up every bug that comes near me, so not only am I emotionally spent, but physically also. Oh & my house is messier than usual which is REALLY bad so I will be accepting no visitors this week! HAHA!

Monday, October 20, 2008

the October 2008 update

I have been employed at Trinity Mother Frances mother/baby for over a month now & I think I'm gonna like it! It's much busier than ETMC was but it's not as stressful. One thing that is different is the large amount of Spanish-speaking patients. I have one almost every night I work, where at ETMC I had one a year! Dolor - mucho o pequito? Que hora comida su bebe, cuantos minutos - ahhhhhhhhh! I think my brain is in overload! It's like a Dora the Explorer marathon for the rest of my life! The people I work with totally rock! But I do miss my ETMC buddies, but I'm still on there PRN - can't seem to cut the cord to the people that raised me!

The kids are liking school & are doing really good. I took Zoe, Tad, & Kalli to the Whitehouse Homecoming Game last Friday (which we won by the way - yeah!) & had a good time. They love playing with all their friends in the neighborhood.

Sophie is rotten as ever! When she is hungry she runs around screaming "weenie" until you finally give in & get the poor child a hot dog. When she wants juice she chunks her juice cup at my face if I'm not fast enough! But darn it she is so cute, so I guess I'll keep her. She goes to Mother's Day Out once or twice a week & is doing good there. She & I like to go on outings while the big kids are in school. We went to the park, zoo, Target, the mall, etc.
That's all for now!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the loving memory......

Memorial visitation for Stephen Murray Cooney, 58, Ft. Worth, is scheduled for 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Monday, September 1, 2008 at Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home, Tyler.
Inurnment will be at a later date in the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
Mr. Cooney died August 29, 2008 in Dallas.
He was born July 12, 1950 in Tyler to the late Charles T. Cooney and Bettye Doyle Turner. He was a route manager in the dairy industry and a Catholic.
He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Jeff Cooney.Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Lynne Carrington of Ft. Worth; son, Stephen Wayne Cooney of Whitehouse; daughter, Vicki Nackos and husband Theo of Whitehouse; sisters, Patty Emmons, Gail Hannah, Janice Phaup and husband Charles, all of Tyler; four grandchildren, Zoe, Tad, Kalli and Sophie Nackos; and sister-in-law, Kay Cook and husband Joe of Quitman.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of choice.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

the father, husband, veteran, grandfather - Stephen Murray Cooney

July 12, 1950 - August 29, 2008

My dad passed away yesterday at age 58. My step-mom Lynne was with him when he passed at the VA Hospital in Dallas.

One of his favorite songs was Colour My World by Chicago:

As time goes on
I realize
Just what you mean
To me
And now
Now that you're near
Promise your love
That Ive waited to share
And dreams
Of our moments together
Color my world with hope of loving you

I love you dad!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the prayer works!

Today after work Theo drove my brother & I to Dallas to visit my dad. I cannot believe the change in him since Monday! He was talking & recognized us and his breathing was so much better. His ammonia level came down from 6 times normal to just twice normal. The doctors said he may even get moved out of ICU tomorrow. I am just so amazed & grateful to God!

Thank you to everyone who kept him in their prayers. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the prayer request

My dad has been in the hospital since Saturday morning. I got a call from my step-mom that the doctor was suggesting all the family come to the hospital ASAP. I was @ work so I clocked out & hitched a ride to Dallas with my aunts to the VA Hospital.

My dad has multiple problems, the worst being cirrhosis which is causing his body to be unable to get rid of ammonia. By the time he arrived his ammonia was 6 times the normal amount which mostly affects his brain causing him to be very out of it & couldn't talk (just murmur a little) or look at any of us. He has developed an infection that they cannot isolate where so they are just treating him with antibiotics. He is having trouble breathing, he is working hard to breathe. He has been very sick before where the doctors thought he wouldn't make it, & he ended up doing well. So it's possible with his stubborness & fight that he will come out of this, but not probable.

The nurse told us that my dad didn't know what was going on or that we were there which is good because that means he's not suffering at all, but bad because I wanted him to know that I was there & hear me say that I love them. When I was saying good-bye to head back home, I told him I loved him & it sounded like he said it back. Realistically I know he probably didn't, but it makes me feel better to think we had this special moment.

I found out from his sisters last night during the drive that he has been smoking & drinking since he was 13 years old, he is 58 now. That is 45 years - can you imagine what that does to a body? It is amazing to me that he has lived as long as he has - he is quite a fighter!

My dad's name is Steve Cooney, if you could say a quick prayer for him it would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, August 25, 2008

the first day of school















Today was Whitehouse ISD first day of school. So we all got up at 6:30 a.m. (yikes that's early even though Theo has still had to get up early all summer to go to work). We left the house before 7:30 and the traffic was absolutely horrendous! It takes about 5 minutes to get to the school from our house, but we didn't get there until 8:10! By the time I walked everyone to their classes the last child (Miss Zoe) didn't get to her class until 8:20. Thankfully they restructured the schools this year so all my kids are in the same school - YEA! (unlike last year when they were in 3 different schools)

So I am now the proud mom of a:
1st grader Kalli - she has Mrs. Webb who seems very nice & will hopefully be tolerable of her talkativeness & drama!
3rd grader Tad - he has Mrs. Fulgham who hopefully will be very tolerant of Tad's occasional antics & wild behavior, and they switch classes halfway though the day for different subjects which is new for Tad this year.
4th grader Zoe - she has Mrs. Alexander & 3 other teachers for different subjects, but she is very responsible & I think she will do great!

Tad hasn't been feeling too good this weekend, a little queasy, but we made him go to school hoping it was a case of nerves. At around 12:30 I got called to come pick him up so we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow.

My latest project is couponing! I have a binder all organized with coupon categories & have been doing pretty good, a little lapse this summer having all 4 kids at home, but now I'm back full force. So this morning Sophie & I went to CVS & here are my deals of the week.....

CVS weekly deals:
-Children or Infant's Advil on sale for $5.79 with $5.79 ECB (Extra Care Bucks = money off your next purchase) so that's FREE! Plus I went to http://www.advil.com/ & printed a $1 off coupon.
-Hunt's Snack Pack pudding (4-pk) on sale for $1 with a $.30/2 coupon = $.85 each

I find my deals on http://www.thegrocerygame.com/, but there is a subcription fee which I have found to be worth it!

Gotta go get a nap before work tonight!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Utah Vacation 2008

Monday – It all started early morning when Theo & the kiddos picked me up from work. I had worked Friday, Saturday, & Sunday nights which meant Theo did most of the packing so we just prayed that we had everything! I was pretty tired after working all night so I slept on & off, mostly when the kids were sleeping, in between the “how much longer?”s & the “she’s touching me!”s. They did have their Nintendo DS’s, but unfortunately we forgot their headphones to watch the DVD player. We got lost a couple of times, once took us on a little detour through the corner of Oklahoma, but no big deal. In Santa Rosa, New Mexico, about one mile from the gas station & two miles from our hotel we ran out of gas! Theo got to hike to the gas station to get gas while I got to stay in the van with the 4 kiddos & try not to lose my mind! Kalli our little drama queen was very upset thinking we were going to have to sleep in our van on the side of the interstate or daddy would never make it back & then when a police car pulled up behind us with its lights on, she thought we were all going to jail for sure!! But they just wanted to know if they could help & I said we were fine thanks & they went on their way. While we were sitting there I was able to get on the internet using our lovely borrowed air card & make hotel reservations, which if you have 6 people you have to stay in 2 rooms so we always have to tell a white lie that we only have 5 which I personally think is completely ridiculous but oh well. Theo was lucky enough to catch a ride back to the van for a small fee (he gave them the gas can he had to buy at the gas station), & we were able to make it to the gas station & finish filling up. Then we were off to the hotel The La Quinta (Theo gets a discount there), sneaking in the back door so they wouldn’t know we had 4 kids instead of 3! Now we had to figure out what to have for dinner, so Theo drove down the road & unfortunately most of the restaurants were closed down in this town(what’s up with that!), but luckily within walking distance there was a nice restaurant I think it was called Route 66. This restaurant served Italian, Mexican, & American food & there was only 1 employee in the whole place (that we could see at least) who had to take our orders, work the cash register, answer the phones, & maybe even cook the food too for how long it took to get served. The food was OK but very overpriced & they charged for refills which is not a good thing with thirsty little kids so we HAD to get refills. Needless to say dinner cost us a small fortune, but we all had full bellies to go to bed!

Tuesday – We got up early to have complementary breakfast in the hotel & be on our way. I don’t think we got lost once this day, but the “how much longer?”s came much more frequently as we were all anxious to get there! Sophie was very fussy today from having to be strapped in her car seat for so long. It was a very pretty drive through New Mexico, Colorado, & into Utah. We finally arrived to our destination of Moab, UT to stay with Theo’s sister Alina, her husband Brian & their 4 rambunctious boys, & Theo’s parents met us there too. The kids were so happy to be out of the car & play with their cousins. Moab is a big tourist town, so you could see people from all over the world speaking many different languages everywhere you go. PhotobucketLater that evening the kids scootered to the park & we followed behind on foot. This park was really cool – it had musical instruments, a tree house, 2 playsets, & right behind it was a pond were the kids could catch all kinds of bugs & creatures. They had a blast! PhotobucketThey even borrowed someone’s ramp & tried to jump it on their scooters scaring me to death! Since there was not enough room for everyone to sleep comfortably at their house & Theo’s parent’s camper named the “Casita”, Theo, Sophie & I (the other kids wanted to spend the night with their cousins) stayed at The Apache motel which is where John Wayne stayed when he was filming in southern Utah. Bet you’re jealous!

PhotobucketWednesday – We went to Arches National Park & hiked to the Sand Dune Arch. Luckily it wasn’t a very long hike since I’m fat, out of shape, & the altitude is like a million feet! The sand was in the shade so it was nice & cool but it felt like you were walking on quicksand. When we got to the arch we sat in the sand & watched the kids play in the sand, climb, & squeeze between rocks. Lots of fun! PhotobucketIn the afternoon, the kids decorated visors with their names on them. That evening we went for a swim @ Mill creek, but I didn’t wear my swimsuit because I just wanted to be an observer. It was a short hike, some of it through water, so my plan to stay dry was already shot as the bottom of my Capri’s & flip-flops were soaked. PhotobucketWe got to a dry spot where we could sit on the rocks & watch the kids. They jumped & swam, slid down the small waterfall, & played in the dirt. I finally was able to convince Sophie to put her feet in the water (she didn’t have her swimsuit on either) & splash a little bit. She has taken a liking to Ryder the youngest cousin closest to her size & began to follow him a little further in the water. The next thing I know she slips down the waterfall & goes under the water. I tried to grab her leg & missed. I jumped in (in my clothes) along with Uncle Brian, luckily she floated right to Tad who saved the day! She didn’t even cry & I think she held her breath the whole time so she didn’t breathe in any water. I think it took me a lot longer than Sophie to recover! Grandpa got the whole thing on video, so I may post it someday when I get over my trauma. Afterwards we went back to the famous motel where Kalli decided to join us this time.
video

PhotobucketThursday – That morning we went back for another fun time at Arches. We hiked around Balancing Rock which is a huge rock balanced a pillar that could fall at any time. Then we hiked to Double Arch which unlike our hike the day before was completely in the hot dry sun! When we finally made it to the arches I was so tired that I just sat on a rock near the bottom in the shade & watched the kids climb up to the top. Somehow I managed to make it Photobucketback to the van without collapsing, and it hardly fazed the kids a bit other than being a little thirsty. That evening we drove up the Lasal Mountains (I think) into the Manti-Lasal National Forest to camp at an old forest service cabin at Warner Lake. This elevation seriously was like 9400 feet so it didn’t feel like there is any oxygen here! The cabin was small with a kitchen, a bedroom with 2 twin bunk beds & another twin bed, no electricity & NO BATHROOMS! Are you kidding me! So I got to walk a little ways to an outhouse to go potty, which I am not an outdoors girl at all so this is quite a different change of pace for me. PhotobucketThe outhouses were kept up very clean so I guess it could have been a lot worse. Alina, Brian, & the kids slept out in the tent, Grandpa & Grandma slept in the Casita, so we got the bedroom all to ourselves. We had a lot of fun, we roasted hot dogs & marshmallows on the fire & played card games. The view from the front porch was amazing – huge mountains like a painting & the lake.Photobucket

PhotobucketFriday – Theo took the kids on a canoe ride on the lake today, I decided Sophie & I would opt out of this considering our water adventure earlier in the week. They did some fishing, made mud pies, played with playdoh, just lots of fun things. PhotobucketTheo, his parents, and I went on a short hike that could have been longer if it weren’t for the lack of oxygen & Kaylene’s bad knee, but we did get to see some nature – pretty flowers, trees, & bugs. We saw many dear at the cabin, some would come very close to the cabin. At one time there were four of them grazing nearby, what a lovely sight! It was very cool so high in the mountains, so I didn’t miss the air conditioning so much. When the sun started to go down it got cool enough to need pants & light jackets.

PhotobucketSaturday – Everyone went on one more short hike before leaving our mountain cabin & drove back to civilization. That afternoon we left Moab & drove to Theo’s parents’ house in the metropolis of Payson, UT.

Sunday – The kids went to church with Grandma and Grandpa, their teacher said they were so polite, Zoe’s teacher even wrote a nice note about her. We didn’t really do anything exciting this day, just kinda relaxed.

Monday – The cousins Athena & Alexis came over to play, & Zoe went to her cousin Olivia’s house to play. Tad was feeling a little left out with all the girls around! They played outside & had lots of fun. They made puppets to perform a puppet show later in the week – Zoe, Tad, & Kalli made rabbits, Athena made a bear, & Alexis made a unicorn. PhotobucketGrandpa took them on a walk by the train tracks close by. Kalli got something in her shoe & bent down in the middle of the tracks to remove it just as a train was coming. Luckily it was Tad to the rescue again and he got her off the tracks in time & before Grandpa had a heart attack. The conductor saw the kids & tooted his horn at them, hooray! Sophie didn’t like the sound of the train one bit since it is so close to their house & very loud, she would cry & run to us every time it came by.

Tuesday – Theo took the older three kids to play at his sister Lisa’s house. She has a park close by so they got to ride their scooters along with Olivia.Photobucket Grandpa blew up a little pool in the front yard for the kids, which was nice because it was 100 degrees. That night Theo & I took the older three to see Wall-E which we all absolutely loved! Sophie got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa, who she hasn’t completely warmed up to yet, but she did just fine.

PhotobucketWednesday – The kids played in the pool some today. That night we all took all the kids & cousins to Jumping Jacks in Springville where they had tons of fun. Some old friends of Theo’s met us there with their kids so it was nice to catch up.

PhotobucketThursday – Theo & I took the kids to the Payson Pool. It is really cool like a mini water park. It has a lazy river, two big water slides, & a kiddie area for smaller kids. It took awhile for Sophie warm up to the water, but ended up enjoying herself & so did the other kids. We were only there two hours & even though I slathered sunscreen on my pale self still got sunburned.

Friday – We got up bright & early to go to Salt Lake City which is about an hour away to take some things to Theo’s brother Reno & his wife Starlyn for their new house. They had to move because they’re having their 1st baby, yea! This baby will make the #20 grandchild for Theo’s parents. Theo & I took the kids to the Clark Planetarium to the IMAX theater to see Deep Sea 3D. It was so awesome! Sophie wouldn’t wear her 3D glasses though. After the movie we walked around the planetarium for a little bit, had lunch with Reno & Starlyn, & headed back to Payson. On the way home we saw a fire truck & noticed some smoke in the mountains over Payson. We decided to drive over for a closer look & discovered that it was a huge wildfire burning on the mountain. We went to Lisa’s house where we had a good view from her backyard. We began to see tanker planes & helicopters dropping chemicals & water trying to contain the fire. Theo took like a thousand pictures & videos. They were not sure how the fire started, probably a spark from an electrical wire.Photobucket By that night, the fire was moving farther down the mountain & they had to evacuate some homes. Theo & I took a break from the excitement to go eat just the two of us. The first restaurant we tried to go to was closed since it after 9pm (everything closes down really early here), but were able to find somewhere that was open called Mi Rancherita, a nice little Mexican restaurant. The food was pretty good except they didn’t serve any mixed alcoholic beverages (boohoo) only beer – apparently this is quite common in Utah – so no margarita for me! Afterwards I had Theo take me & Sophie back to his parents house far away from the fire & he went back to Lisa’s to watch the fire some more.

PhotobucketSaturday – By this morning, the firefighters had the fire pretty much under control without any damage to houses. We had a pretty boring day until the puppet show! The play was called The Two Little Rabbits, One Little Bear, & the Big Bad Bear (or something like that) a take on The Three Little Pigs. They added their own cute lines like “not by the whiskers of my nosy-nosy-nose” – so cute!

PhotobucketSunday – We all went to church with Theo’s parents. Sophie wasn’t very cooperative, so we sat out in the lobby. We had a relaxing day until we had to start packing to leave the next day.



PhotobucketMonday – We got up early to start out long trek home. We went a different route this time into Colorado – which I LOVE driving through the Rocky Mountains. We bought some speakers, so we had the DVD player to help distract the kiddos – PhotobucketYEA! We drove through a storm in eastern Colorado, but at least we got to see a beautiful double rainbow! We stopped in Hays, Kansas for the night at the lovely Days Inn since they had no La Quinta for us to use our discount – BOO!

Tuesday – Theo turned the alarm off, so we actually slept in until 9am. I actually read a whole book & half of another (last book I read was on vacation a year ago). So I tried to ignore the “how much longer?”s & sibling rivalries. Sophie was extra fussy. But finally we made it back to glorious Whitehouse, TX to sadly put an end to our fun Utah Vacation 2008!