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  One of our neighbors has this cute little cat named Kirk.  Kirk has been spending his time sitting on the table on our front porch despite our best efforts to shoo him away.  Our kids have grown found of the little kitty.   But, this is why you should not name your cat Kirk…if you live near our house 🙂  Ryan became a smidge confused about his name…

Ryan – can I go outside and pet Cock?  Doug – pet who?  Ryan  – I want to go pet Cock, he is on the front porch.  Doug – the cat’s name is Kirk!  Ryan – ohh…I keep forgetting!  So Ryan goes outside   Ryan – Hi Cock (he says this as he pets the cat)  Cherie (sitting on the couch inside by Doug) –  Hun…He keeps calling the cat Cock!!!  Tell him to stop!  Doug (peeking his head out the door)- hey Ryan the cats name is Kirk!     Ryan – that’s hard for me to say, so I call him Cock.   Cherie (talking to Doug) – you have to tell him why he can not call the cat “Cock”  Doug – Okay…Ryan come inside a second…you can’t call the cat Cock because that is not his name and Cock is a not nice word.  Ryan- why what does it mean?  Doug- it is a not nice way to say penis, so when you go outside and yell “come here Cock” it’s like saying “come here penis”  Ryan – ohhh…okay…So what’s the cat’s real name again?  Doug – it’s Kirk!   

Keep in mind that we are a very G-rated family.  We have had to correct Ryan at least twice this afternoon that the cat’s name is Kirk!  Why is this so hard for him to say Kirk correctly?  Why is my kid the one outside yelling “Come here Cock”?  

 We did laugh pretty hard about it this morning and so did all the other parents I told the story to at Ry’s school.  I love my kids and everyday we have some great story to tell.  Just wait until he gets older!  These stories will be great to tell his future girlfriends 🙂ryan6

talking with Kim

The older Kimmie gets the funnier our talks.  Here’s 2 of our conversations for today. 

Part #1  Walking through Trader Joe’s

me – Kimmie come this way we need to get some milk (we get to the milk)        Kim – (loudly) mommy milk comes from your boobies!         me – (I quickly look around to see if anyone noticed that)  Shhhhh…Kim!

I was most embarrassed at people thinking I was still nursing her!  Don’t get me wrong…I did nurse her for a bit over two years and I loved nursing.   But she has waist long hair and the vocab of a 5 year old.  It might be a bit odd to be nursing her now.  Why do kids say the most embarrassing things…in public…very loud for all to hear?

Part #2 Driving to pick Ry up from School

Kim- mommy when I grow up I want to be a doctor      me – oh great Kim, a doctor for adults or kids?       Kim – a doctor for kids        me – that’s called a pediatrician           Kim- I want to be a pediatrician          me – or you could be a doctor that helps mommys have their babies         Kim – I changed my mind I want to be a baseball                      me- a baseball doctor?          Kim – no I just want to be a baseball 🙂

Oh good I went from having a doctor to having a baseball.  Well, she will make a good doctor or baseball.  I will support her which ever way…but truthfully I want her to choose doctor 🙂

long time no blog…

I realized that it has been way too long since my last blog and I don’t have really good reasons why…but I will try to come up with some 🙂  #1 Christmas time is crazy for photographers and after the holidays I needed time to walk away from the computer and blogging #2 Facebook takes up too much of my time!  #3 my computer was running like crap and I took it in to the shop to get a “tune-up” and it was stolen #4 I got a new great computer and had to load all my stuff on it  #5  life is just plain crazy #6 I have just had a bunch of stuff happen with friends around me and it has been good, but hard finding the right way to be there for others.   So that brings me to today 🙂 

Ry goes back to school tomorrow and I will most likely complain that I miss him and homeschooling for the next week.  Kim is just plain wild.  She has an ongoing problem with coloring walls and tables.  Now she has taken up sneaking candy whenever possible (even if that means she gets up early and finds some).  One morning she found chocolate and ate so much that she puked all over the floor…just great!   Here’s Doug’s experience with her this morning while I was gone photographing a church service.

Doug – Kim where are you?  no answer..Kimmie!!!  Where are you?  Doug runs outside looking for her…comes back in and finds her behind the door.

Kimmie- (crying) I no want a spank!!!!  I no want a spank!!!

Doug – why would I spank you? (this girl never gets a spank..which could be why she colors the walls over and over again) Then he sees chocolate in her mouth.  “Did you sneak?”

Kimmie- (still crying) I sneak…

Okay, she gets a tap on her bottom and is told not to sneak anymore candy.  I wonder how long that will work? 

I have two new blogs that I am addicted to http://nestingplacenc.blogspot.com/  I am almost mad at Sarah Towne http://drinkingfromthesaucer.blogspot.com/ for telling me about it!  Didn’t she know I would be addicted?   And for all of you who wonder if I come up with all of my daughters cute hair-do’s…no, not all of them!  But I do come up with a lot of them.  Here’s my blog to help me with ideas http://cutegirlshairstyles.blogspot.com/ 

what I say in a day…

Every time I am on the phone I realize that I yell strange things into the phone.  Of course these things are not directed to the person on the phone they are directed to my silly kids.  So if you are on the phone with me this is what you are likely to hear:

– Don’t pull the cat’s leg – I told you not to smash egg in the carpet – leave your money in the piggy bank not all over the house – spilling your drink is not funny – Did you put those yogos in the washing machine? – if you fart during diner say excuse me – no it’s not okay to make a project and spread newspaper all over the back yard – who is going to clean that up? – put your hand down we do not hit – if you keep jumping on the couch like that you will get hurt, don’t cry when it happens – if you need to do potty talk do it in the bathroom – if you pooped stay on the potty until mommy wipes you – get your hand away from your butt – if you freak out playing that video game you will lose it!

The list of random things that spout out of my mouth in a day are rather funny.  I love being a mom and I will enjoy all of these silly moments while I can.  I feel like they are growing just too fast.  Really, how can I freeze them?

thinking…

I have been thinking ( I will admit that I think too much) about this house we live in.   It has been my biggest cause of depression, a bad mood and any other thing that has been bothering me.  I even blame Ryan and Doug’s allergies on this house.  Truthfully I think they are allergic to something in this house.  Why does it bother me so much?  Why can’t I just be happy here?  I need perspective because this is mine as of now.  For 4 years we have lived in 730sqft.  There is styrofoam behind our front door for insulation, the electrical is messed up and for the past month we have been cooking dinners in almost darkness and by candlelight, we have no garbage disposal or dishwasher, the house is on a septic tank (that the landlords have yet to pump in 4 years)  there is a big tear in the orange carpet in the front room, the gray linoleum is lifting in the bathroom, only two doors in the house work and the house is so old that it has no insulation at all!  That means when it’s warm out the house is hot and when it’s cold the house is chilly.   This Christmas Eve I cried.  This is not how I pictured life would be.  Of course I am thankful for my husband that loves me, kids that are beautiful and healthy and my health.   I don’t want to be over dramatic but living in 730sqft is hard!  I get so annoyed when people who live in normal size houses ( I will classify that as anything over 1300-1400sqft or bigger with 2-3 kids) tell me that it is okay to live here and it’s cute.   It’s only cute when it’s not your home!  I want my boy and girl to have their own rooms.  I would love more than 1 bathroom for 4 people (all potty trained).  I would love to have a little bit of space.  I know that in other countries this house would be considered big, the problem is that I live in America and to me it feels like the walls are caving in on me.   So here is the dilemma…is God doing something great, beyond what I can imagine so He is keeping us here?   Does He have this special plan that I in my human mind can not see?  No one is jumping in helping us with a down payment and no, even though house prices are in the $300,000 or maybe even high $200,000’s that’s still too high for us.   Is God keeping us from being able to buy a house because He wants us to move to Austin Texas?  I think Doug is going with this theory.   I wish we could put the pieces together.  I wish that I didn’t mind living in a house this small.  I wish that I was content with it.   I feel like I wish I could just let it go, but I just want to figure out after 4 years why we still have to be here?   I struggle with the it’s not fair syndrome!  I really want to be all godly and say that I am content, but I am reminded that even Paul in Philippians says he has learned to be content.  So if Paul had to struggle through it I guess I can’t imagine that I would all of a sudden be content.   Last Sunday pastor Jeff talked about how easy it is to miss God’s plans because we are too distracted or not listening.  I don’t want that!   I don’t want to miss out on what He wants to accomplish in my life because I am not focused.  I know that the Israelites wondered in the desert for 40 years because they grumbled and complained and I don’t want that either!  I need perspective.  Anyone have that for me?

My glamorous life…

For some reason I feel the need to write about my glamorous life…really it is!  Lately I have had an overflow of cute comments about my being a photographer.  Such as “Cherie you are gifted”  “before you know it you’ll be buying one of those big homes up in the foothills”  “how do you take pictures like that?”   “I wish I could do that”  …and so on.   Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear a nice compliment.  I don’t think I have ever had so many nice things said about me before and I am grateful that God is allowing me to do this.   Any ability to do photography has to be a gift from God because He knows that school just was not my thing!   But as far as me buying a big house up in the foothills…no where near that yet!  I wish we were because as everyone knows I am longing to bust out of this place.   So I thought I would catch everyone up on my glamorous day today:

7:00am I crawl out of bed with a 3 year old saying “mommy get up”  7:30 I realize I better get Ry ready for school and then ask Doug to take him  7:45am check email…oh crap an order of an album and christmas cards…when do I have the time to design this?  8:00am did I really leave the house this messy from yesterday?  I take a picture to show my online forum of photographer friends what the christmas season is doing to my house.  8:30am  do I start with the sink overflowing with dishes or the 6 loads of laundry?  Or the floor in every room that is covered in junk?  9:00am check out the other pictures from my photographer friends homes..oh good it’s not just me we are all swamped 9:15am start cleaning the house it gets picked up but no dishes or laundry are getting done  10:30 client calls to chat about her album and cards…crap is Kim still watching tv?  11:30am forget it I am going to photograph my own child for a little bit..I throw a chair in my car and set off to a boarded up house  12:30pm  I have amazing pictures of my girlie (this is the time I thank God for the ability to freeze them this small, if only in pictures)  1:00pm I process a few photos she is so cute!  soon I have to get Ry from school  3:30 starts the process of homework and studying for a 15 word spelling and phonogram test 5:00pm daddy gets home…at least the floor is picked up right?  6:00pm we go to a school fundraiser  8:00 we get home and Ry still has more homework then off to bed  9:00pm I finally start my photography work and half miss my favorite show survivor, the album is almost done so now I can blog a bit.

….so the dish pile is even higher and poor Doug works 3 jobs so it’s not like I can bug him to do it (although I bet he will) the clean clothes will now be pushed off the bed another night and back on to the floor.  Then put back on the bed tomorrow agian.   I need to shower but I am much too tired for that and poop I just remembered that I have a shoot at 7:30am tomorrow morning and one at 2:00pm so I need to charge batteries and clear off cards.   My life is wonderful, busy, a smidge crazy, fast paced,  a bit messy and glamorous!confessions1

So tonight is a big night for us.  Doug will be paying off his car.  We paid off my car and credit cards this summer, leaving his student loans as our only debt.  I guess that makes us not really out of debt…but that’s our only debt which we will work our butts off to see it gone as well.  I wanted to share with anyone who is interested our journey of paying off the bills and also my advice to anyone who has the desire to do the same. 

I’ll start by saying I am so thankful that Chuck Booher taught on money at church a while back because it really showed me how much we need to be out of debt, especially as Christians.  I heard on the radio that using credit cards is assuming that God will provide for something that He has not yet provided for.  Almost as if we are telling God He should have or will give us the money to buy something.  That thought scared me along with the thought of being under the pressure of debt.  So our journey began…  I will let you know a few things that we do not.  We do not live in a house we can not afford.  We live in a tiny (very tiny two bedroom, 1 bath house)  we do not have above average cars.  Our cars are a Mazda mini van and a Toyota Camry that Doug’s parents sold to us for the trade in value they would have got at a dealership.  We do not have a lot of new toys (other than my cameras which are work related) We do not have an Ipod, our phones are not set up to use the Internet, our TV is not flat screen, our furniture is definitely not the nicest.   All of these things I would love to have!!!  On the top of my list being a bigger home.  We do not go out to eat very often, maybe once a month?  I make almost every meal at home.  We eat simple meals (I wrote a blog about that already)  We do not go out to the movies.  Our kids do not have the newest toys.  We do not own a Wii or a bunch of video games.  We have not gone on a vacation since Doug’s parents took us to San Diego last year.  Although we have been saving all of our Christmas and bday money for years to go on a vacation and we might be able to afford a 3 or 4 day cruise to Mexico (in the off season) with the kids.  I figure when we can afford it without using a credit card we will really appreciate it.  I am a believer that vacations are a luxury not something that I deserve because I am tired.  Basically we live a very strange life compared to most americans.  To be honest sometimes I don’t know if it is better.  I want so badly to have a nice home for our kids and for them to have the “new” stuff.  I want to be in a house that gets cooler than 80 degrees with the air on in the summer time.  I want a garbage disposal!!!  I see the cute moms in their cute clothes and I want to be one of them!  But for tonight I am happy to be here.  I am happy that we have accomplished something huge that took a lot of sacrifice.   I so badly want to please God with how we handle our money.  I hope that as times goes on I will get better at it.  I know there is so much I can still change and do much better…but that’s for another blog.

I love this skit from SNL it fits with this blog

http://consumerist.com/consumer/clips/snl-skit-dont-buy-stuff-you-cant-afford-252491.php

ETA:  I do not think it is bad to have nice things if you can afford them.  I hope to be able to afford some nice things in the future 🙂  We are working hard for it!