Thursday, October 29, 2009

The “How To” Guide to “Creating Your Own Swimming Pool”

The following is an excerpt from the “How To Do Anything” guide written by Benjamin (3)  and co-authored by big sister, Mary, (5).

STEP 1…ask your mom 3 times in an hour if you can play in the sprinkler outside because it is sunny out.  Seriously.  Be persistent…mommies will sometimes give in if you bug them enough.

BUT… if she continues to tell you NO, because if it wasn’t warm enough to go in the sprinkler this past Kansas SUMMER,  then it certainly isn’t warm enough in October just look for an opportune time to ingeniously solve the problem yourself.  In my case, I took full advantage of mommy having a migraine and not closely supervising me…

Step 2…find a Rubbermaid tub used for storing my clothes that are too small from summer, dump out contents, and drag downstairs into the formal dining room.

Step 3…(this is where you might need help from an older sibling) drag a kitchen chair to the cupboard and get yourself a large plastic cup.  Fill cup with water from the refrigerator door.

Step 4…begin filling up Rubbermaid tub with H2O from refrigerator.

Step 5…remove all clothing, including diaper.  If, in fact, you are a neatnik like me, be sure to get your swim diaper and swimming trunks from your bedroom.  This can be accomplished back at Step 2!

Finally, Step 6…carefully climb into Rubbermaid tub and relax!  Voila…your own hot tub…or in my case, cold tub.IMG_1127





By the way, I have high hopes that this kiddo is going to do great things in life because of his tenacity and ingenuity.  He won’t take no for an answer and I see him curing cancer or orchestrating world peace…just you wait and see!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wizard of What…?

Today was one of those crazy days where nothing seems to go right and everything seems to go wrong!

Our day started with a trip to Halloween Express for costume shopping around 10:30 AM only to discover that they didn’t open until 11:00 AM.  Okay.  No problem.  Regroup.

We drove across the street to Target where I needed to get the kids some last minute OUTFITS for our family portrait TOMORROW!!! (Yes, I know… PROCRASTINATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE)   While there, I perused the costume selection, but really thought I would find better selection at Halloween Express.  (I had very particular costumes in mind for the little ones, and couldn’t find what I wanted at Target.)

After killing a half-hour in Target, we returned to our car in the pouring cold rain only to discover that Benjamin left a toy FROM HOME (that he apparently snuck in like contraband) in the children’s book zone.  Now, had this been your run of the mill matchbox, I probably would’ve said forget it, but it was his little die-cast F15 fighter jet that we bought at the Naval Air Base Museum in Pensacola, FL and that he absolutely adores.   So back in we go.  I actually put both kids in a shopping cart so that I could hustle  across the store quicker (because, of course, I parked on the opposite side of electronics/books).

So, we find fighter jet and return to said car, go to Halloween Express (that has now been open for 15 minutes) and begin perusing the aisles…the sparsely stocked aisles, only to discover this (in the children’s zone)!!!


Ummm, how do I explain this to my 5-year old who begged to be Dorothy again this year?!!!

DSC05897 (Halloween 2008) Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion.   Much cuter…don’t you think?

In addition to all sorts of weird and inappropriate children’s costumes, the prices were outrageous!!!  They were asking $59.99 for a Little Mermaid costume.  Seriously?  For a 5-year old?  To wear twice.  Maybe.

Back to Target we go.   We ended up getting a couple of adorable costumes for half the price of Halloween Express.  Won’t give it away, but I’ve got a couple of  SUPER kids!  *wink* *wink*

Next stop…the movie theater.  (I forgot to mention that since Mary is on Fall Break, I decided to treat the kids to a movie today and had purchased tickets in advance.)  Put the car in park.  Get everyone hooded up for the mad dash in the rain.  Discover my WALLET (with tickets) is missing. 

Yup…you guessed it…it’s at TARGET!!!  Back to Target I go where I enter their store (on surveillance tape I’m certain) dragging two drowned rats (i.e. my kids) for the FOURTH time today!!!  Fortunately, the kind and detail-oriented cashier immediately saw my billfold and turned into security (on the opposite side of the store from where we parked…aaaargh!) before anyone could steal accidentally pocket it.

We did in fact make it to the movie on time where we were disappointed by Where the Wild Things Are.  I failed to read any critic or parent-reviews and was a bit concerned by the amount of anger my little ones saw displayed by Max, the main character.  Perhaps, it is just the teacher/communication arts critic in me coming out, but I was disappointed in the liberties taken from such a sweet, simple story line.  :(

wherethewildthingsare Aren’t the books always better than the movies?!!!

So, that was MY terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!  (And in case it sounds familiar, I’m quoting the title of another famous children’s picture book (author Judith Viorst), Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!!!


Hoping you all had a much better better day than me!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Pink Butterfly

This week at I *heart* faces the photo challenge theme is “Pink Week” in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.


Show your support in the battle against breast cancer by visiting here to see other pink-a-licious posts!

Butterfly Pic

I love this pic of our little butterfly!  She was 3-years old at the time and was so delighted with how her face paint turned out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

When it Rains it Pours! (UPDATE)

UPDATE:  It was pneumonia.  Apparently it was all over his lungs (not isolated to one particular area) including behind his heart.  He was sent home last night with an antibiotic and inhaler.

The night was difficult and Alister continued to battle high fever.  After watching him struggle to breath all morning long, my sister and brother-in-law took him back to the ER where he was admitted.

The plan is to keep him overnight and release him on Monday.  He is refusing all food or drink so he definitely needs to be rehydrated as well as receive oxygen to make it easier to breath.

As one sweet follower mentioned, we are concerned about  Eli’s health as well.  At this point, he is healthy.  It has been 6-weeks since his heart surgery and the cardiologist has assured my sister that his immune system is actually stronger, not weaker, because of the corrective surgery.  Thank you all for your continued prayers!!!


See this cutie…


this is my nephew, Alister, my sister’s son.  Alister is 4-years old and ALL BOY!

My sister (the nurse) just called to tell me that this little guy is on his way to the ER with possible complications of the H1N1 virus.  Please say prayers that this virus has not led to pneumonia or worse. 

And yes…he is big brother to Eli…


who underwent open heart surgery over Labor Day weekend to correct a congenital heart defect.

When it rains it pours!  Any and all prayers would be appreciated!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lighting a Candle in Remembrance



Today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Tonight, at 7:00 PM, I lit a candle in remembrance of the five little souls my husband and I have lost and have watching down on us from Heaven.  Then, I hugged the two beautiful miracles that God has given and charged me with the responsibility of loving, disciplining, parenting. 

Thank you, God, for honoring me with the title of Mother.  I know, You know, how much I truly do appreciate it.



Our first picture as a family of three!

Baby Benjamin Paul Kueter Day 3 to 10 030

Our first picture as a family of four, Thanksgiving Day, 2006.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It’s the Great Pumpkin Give-Away, Charlie Brown!

Last week, when I decided to do a little blog give-away to celebrate my one-year anniversary of blogging, I thought that I would easily add a random number generator widget and be technologically savvy with my give-away.  Not so much!

Meet my random number generator widget:


The Great Pumpkin did have a little help from me and my side-kick, Mary Catherine…


To make this as fair as possible, I generated my list of entry names in Word Excel, printed, cut apart, folded and dropped into the Great Pumpkin.  (There were 12 of you by the way…very good odds!)



See how technical I got…?

Without further ado, the winner is…



Isn’t she just the cutest random number generator?!!!


Nancy from Acorn Cottage!

Congratulations, Nancy!!!  And if you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Nancy’s blog, please drop by to offer her congratulations and meet this creative soul.  You will love her zest for life, sweet personality, and spicy creativity!  And Nancy, I think that this is cause for celebration, in person, like all these southern and Minnesota bloggers do! 

Thanks to each and everyone of you for your kind comments and entries.  I wish that I had 11 more copies to give away!!!

The Big Jesus

Wait…don’t go…I promise that I’m not going to get all preachy on ya…actually, I don’t mind preachy, but I know some folks do…anyway, I digress…

This weekend, while you were patiently reading my daily dual vacation posts so that I could remember what in the world we did for summer vacation scrapbook vacation memories for posterity, the hubby and I drove 4-hours south to the town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas nestled in the hills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

We enjoyed a relaxing weekend at Eureka Sunset Cabins while our kiddos stayed with Grandma.  While we were there, we did a couple of sight-seeing trips including to see the Christ of the Ozarks, or as my two little ones affectionately referred to Him as “the Big Jesus”.  We also visited the beautiful Thorncrown Chapel, somehow, just as spiritual in an “understated” sort of way!

Enjoy the pictures of our weekend get-away.  And for more information about the Ozark Mountains click here Or go to Eureka Springs to learn more about this fabulous art-loving community!


This was our cabin upon arrival down in Eureka Springs.  Most of the places all have twinkle lights.







On Saturday night, we ate at a fantastic restaurant called Ermilios.  We have never been able to get a table as the wait is always and hour plus, but this time we toughed it out…it was well worth the wait!




In the parking lot of Ermilios is this cool replica of the Mona Lisa completely made out of tiles.  (I said this was an art-loving community!)




Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for…The Big Jesus (according to Mary and Ben).  You can see why they called Him that!





This view of the Ozark Mountains is Jesus’ view!


I have no idea why there is a piece of the Berlin Wall at the Christ of the Ozarks location, but it was also fascinating to see.  Does it seem weird to anyone else that our children only know of German as ONE country?!!!



The beautiful view of the forest you must enter to find the Thorncrown Chapel.


This was as close as I could get.  A gentleman was stationed outside of the Chapel asking visitors not to get any closer unless they planned on attending services. 




This image is from and has all sorts of incredibly beautiful interior photos of the chapel.