Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I hate to admit it, but I am the disciplinarian in my house. I am the one to review the homework, I am the one to address what is appropriate for school and what is not, I decide when the laughter is over and when it can resume, I decide who gets T.V. taken away, I decide who gets a colored drink in my minivan... I am the one to... yes, my friends...suck the fun out of everything. This is a hard job, but someone has to do it. Dad (dutch) is a god in the eyes of my children because I am the "giver" of discipline. He is the "fun guy". Just tonight, we had such a collision. It was pizza night. I decided it would be nice to distribute breadsticks in the car with the rule that no one can DIP into sauce in the car... if dipping is desired, one must wait until we get home. Well, then that rule is "stretched" by Dad. He dips a breadstick once for the child with the stipulation that he eat it right away. The child licks the dip off and instead of asking for more dip, he gives the dry, dipless breadstick to his sister. The sister gladly scarfs down any remnant of a breadstick. Now, the dip wisher asks for more. There are NO more breadsticks to dip and only a little dip left. The child continues to ask for the dip over and over and over and over and over (you get the idea) until Dad (who is engrossed in listening to the Penguin game on the radio) finally flips. Mom has tried to explain that the rule was already broken by the allowance of dip... and now anymore dip would have to wait until we reach home. Now the child is completely unglued and so is dad. This is a frustrating occurance for Mom, because yet again, she appears to be the "bad parent" although the "badness" lies in the hands of the spineless, penguin listening, overexaggerating father figure.
So yes... The fun of distributing breadsticks in the car was completely sucked out and never to be revived. Just like the loop in a "crazy straw" the dipping sauce loops the loop and disappears forever!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Communion

Megan receives her First Communion this weekend, May 4-2008. This is a Catholic sacrement that represents a childs acceptance of Jesus' body and blood. I remember my first communion as if it were yesterday and have told Megan stories about it. It was April 19, 1980. I looked angelic in my white knee length dress and my pearl crown. I was estatic because I was chosen to carry up one of the "gifts" just before the priest presents the communion. I waited and waited for my cue and when it finally happened, my mom had to give me a shove to get going... Megan was assigned a couple responsorial psalms and also gets to bring up a gift. I think I am more excited than she is. She too will look so angelic in her dress. It is tea length and she has the most awesomist (her words, not mine) silver sandals. Her veil is a gift from a family friend, Angie. That is very special. Here is her dress... I will post more pics when we have more.
We have a variety of friends and family coming for the event and hope to have a very nice party afterward. I hope Megan's communion day is as special to her as mine is to me.
Some memories from my communion:
1. My friend Kim in her Green plaid pants, red shirt, white sandals and socks... (ok, so it isn't a memory, I actually have evidence)
2. My mom always forcing me and Jonathan to be photographed. Mom, have you and Ruthy admitted that we will not be married?
3. My hand made pink dress with little roses that I wore after the ceremony
4. My mom having "1 too many" and giving away her Spaghetti Sauce "recipe" to my Godfather

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What are those cows doing mommy?

Ok... Hilarious story.... Everyday on the way home from picking up Joshua from daycare, we pass several cows and several horses. We "pretend" they are our animals. We have named them and we look for them everyday to "talk" to them. Yesterday on our way home, Megan fell asleep and it was just me and Joshua talking. As we passed "our" cows... one of them was trying to "climb" on top of the other.... Uh oh.
Joshua: "wow, mommy, look at that!!"
Mommy: "yep... neat huh?" (Ok... I am going to take the "dumb" approach here)
Joshua: "What are they doing mom?"
Mommy: "um, Gosh... I don't know, what do you think they are doing?"
Joshua: "I know what they are doing!!"
Mommy: "(sweating) what... what are they doing?"
Joshua: "They are boyfriend and girlfriend"
Mommy: "Ohhhhhh yeeeeah???? (Sweating more...)
Joshua: "Yep, they are boyfriend and girlfriend". "Boyfriends and girlfriends watch each other's backs"...
Mommy: "They what?" (Sweating profusley)
Joshua: "Yep, they watch each others back... like when one does a good job, the other pats them on the back and says... GOOD JOB".

Lets get home Joshua... Mommy needs a drink....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another funny moment

I was talking to the girls at work the other day when a story about Josh entered my mind. When he was 2 he loved horses. His favorite thing in the whole world was horses, rodeos, cowboys etc. Even his faorite movie was about a horse. The Black Beauty. Only problem was he couldn't really say the U properly in Bea - U- Ty. So when asked what his favorite movie was, he would say... Black Booty. Of course we would get a huge kick out of that, especially Dutch that would tell everyone that Black Booty was his favorite movie too...

Josh is getting to be such a big boy. Yesterday he received a raving review from Connie (his babysitter) about his ability to do all the necessary Pre-Writing Skills. He can trace letters, write his name (no TOP on the J, according to the new school guidelines), and connect dots. He acts like he can't do it and then little by little develops the confidence until his work is all done in lesson. By the time his lesson is over, he is beaming with pride just as Connie is.

Way to go Joshua!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mom, can we get a cow?

I love animals. I always thought that I REALLY loved animals. I thought that until about 5 years ago when Megan was 3 and started "Saving" the lives of worms on the sidewalk. Megan still does this every spring. The worms float up onto the sidewalk and then the sun comes out. Megan picks them up and tosses them off into the grass to save them from an agonizing burning death. Megan is now 8 and wants a cow. A COW!!!! Not a pony, she can ride, not a duck to follow her around our pond, not another dog to play with our Lucy.... A COW. She announced this the other day on the way home from school...."mom, I want a cow, Can we please get a cow?" Hmmmm let me think - NO. "Why, please mom....please can't we get a cow?" Now... I thought what I was about to say would have been something she already knew. I really think she did know it, but chose to selectively forget it. "Megan, there are 2 types of cows... The milking cow that must be milked 2 times a day; Once at 4:00 in the morning (her eyes got huge and I saw the disapproval in her face), and once at night". "The other type is Beef cows. Once they hit a certain age, you either need to sell the cow to someone who will slaughter (tough word, I know) it to eat it, or you need to do that yourself (the eyes of disgust that I saw were obvious). I know about Megan's obsession with animals... but I can honestly say I don't 100% get it, I am trying to.... I am desperate to "get it". Again, I always thought I loved animals the most I could... I guess there is more love that people can give. We were watching EIGHT BELOW the other night. This is a movie about sled dogs. Megan had a hard time at the movie theater watching this about 4 years ago... I thought she could handle it now. We got to a certain point of the movie and I had to turn it off. I knew "forcing" her to watch this would be wrong. She was so visibly upset that I turned it off and we watched light hearted SNOW BUDDIES instead. Megan is such a caring, kind hearted little girl. I try to be extra cautious of her animal attachment. I thank God for blessing me with one of my dearest friends Shelly, to help me through the tough times with Megan's passion. Shelly has the same passion and I can grasp it a little more. Megan has to save the worms... she has to save every creature that comes injured, sick, or hurt to our home... Megan has to know what species of animal it was that was hit on the road (this one, I still just don't get)... She has to look up animal information on the internet... I know this is Megan's passion. I will do what I can to help nurture that. Despite the fact that we do not live on a farm, I respect her enough to NOT get her a cow. I know it is one animal that we just can't keep forever... and I know it is not one that she could emotionally raise the way she would like. Just like my friend Shelly tells me... part of being a good pet owner and an animal lover is knowing your limits. Just as we can not take in hundreds of dogs to satisfy Megan's passion...we can not own a cow.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Not much to say...

This morning I am struggling of coming up with something to say in my blog. I knew this would happen... When I started my blog, I thought I had a ginormous amount of stories to tell... and here I am...blocked up!! So, instead of telling a story, I am going to describe what we did last night and this morning so that in the future, when I forget how cute my kids were when they were little, I can read this and remember.
Last night Joshua had gymnastics. He loves, loves, loves to be Mr. funnyman. And that aggreivates me. I know that it is his personality, but Megan was never like that. She did as she was told, to the best of her ability. He, on the other hand, does as he is told in the funnies way he can. UGH!!! Well despite Mr. funnyman syndrome, his coach wants to move him up to the 5 year old Boys gym class. WOW!!! I was very excited. Josh is going to be 4 in June, so that is a big deal. I agree that he would do just fine. He can do all the physical stuff, he just needs a bit more of a challenge and needs to stop being the clown.
Megan has an MP3 player. Before you all think how spoiled she must be to have an MP3 player at 7 years old.... I really bought it for my dad when he was sick. I thought it would be a great "therapy" for him to listen to his music while getting chemo. Unfortunately, he never admitted that he did not know how to use it. Anyway, after he passed, I took it back and put a bunch of kid friendly songs on it and allow her to use it with supervision. She loves it. She walks around thinking she is "all that" with her "Ears" in.
Last night, I made Microwave pizzas and bought cookie dough ice cream from schwanns. We lay a blanket on the living room floor and let the kids eat there on Movie nights. They feel like they are getting a treat, and we get a night off from kitchen clean up. Movie nights are standard here at the Hepler's. We have probably seen every kid friendly movie ever made.... I mean it, last week, we watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!!
This morning, like every Saturday morning, the kids are in our bed. We love that!! We don't allow them to sleep with us (very often), but in the mornings on the weekend, we allow them to come in, wrestle, watch t.v. and get CUDDLETRAPPED. What a great moment. They usually get along until someone kicks someone else and then that is the beginning to the end...
I think that captured my memory pretty good....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Busy schedules

I rarely have time to sit and contemplate how busy I am...I just assume everyone is as busy as me. This blog has been fun for me... but most of all, it doesn't take too much time. Time is something I don't have very much of. I think in the big picture, we are all busy. I think everyone's definition of "busy" is different from person to person. Busy, for me, means that I don't get my house as clean as I want it. Busy means my kids are having fun. Busy means that I am keeping my kids out of trouble, but not stressed out. Busy means I get to see my kids smile with their friends. Busy means I have to do "spelling" in the car. Busy means we talk about our day in the car. Occasionally I complain about being too busy. Those moments of stress happen, but all in all, I would not change a thing. I love having something to do every night. I love watching the kids run, play, join in girlscouts. I have to admit... I hate having my house come last. But when the kids are raised, I will have plenty of time to "clean up the mess". I am very lucky that Dutch is such an involved dad. I get my moments of "free time" that I usually spend cleaning, vaccuming, doing laundry, or putting clothes away. I value that time and feel that I get more done in 1 hour alone than a stay at home mom gets done all day... I have seen proof. There is today's blog with only a few minutes to spare, cause I have to get Megan to Gymnastics while Dutch gets Josh to Baseball....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Joshua Moments

Joshua has a lot of funny, no... hilarious episodes on a day to day basis. I want to try an search for a few in my memory and get them jotted down here, before they are gone forever.

1. One day in the back of the minivan, we hear a growl and a grumble. Then a Thud and another... then out ouf the mouth of an innocent 2 year old we hear... DAMN IT.... GOD DAMN IT, I DROPPED MY TRUCK. This in the growly, intimidating imitation of a truck driver. After we finally settled our hysterics I think we explained well enough why someone shouldn't talk like that.

2. One of the most favorite things that Josh says is "Lucy" Lucy is our little jack russell. She is small in stature, but a huge part of the family. Joshua, with his pronunciation still in development, can not say L's very well. It is so adorable to hear him say "OOSey"

3. Speaking of trouble with L's.... At Villa Grande one night Joshua asks Dutch (ok... whines and whines) for his LEMON. The one that comes with the water. In a direct effort to assist Josh with his pronunciation, Dutch says "Joshua, say La La La Lemon". In his cutest, most innocent, adorable face, Joshua repeats " La, La, La WOMEN!!!"

4. I was not present for this memory, but Dutch had a chance to take Joshua to see the Monster Truck show in Pittsburgh. Ron Grenci and Howie went along. I guess on the way out of the parking lot traffic got a bit much for the 4 "men". Ron kept making the suggestion under his breath that he wanted to "pound" one of the drivers. Finally, Josh in again, his most growly intimidating voice ever says to his Buddy Ron. "C'mon Ron, Let's POUND someone!!"

I know there are more entries to include in this particular post... I will need to jog my memory and try to get a few more written down. But for now....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Some Pics

I wanted to add a few pics and wasn't really sure how to do it... so let me give it a try here....

Some pictures of Great grandma and the family. I had taken quite a few toward the end of the year of 2007 and beginning of 2008. You can see how much Joshua loves, loves, loves, his great grandma. You can also see how frail and tiny she had gotten.
Next to Dutch, she looked so little...
She sure hated her picture taken, but she consented to these and I have no guilt in showing them off.... enjoy these....

Too Pretty

We finally made our way through all the commotion and ceremonies of Great Grandma's services. Despite the fact that Dutch and I second guessed our parenting all weekend, it was pretty uneventful. All of his cousins had their little children there for all the viewings and the funeral... We gave Megan the choice and she chose to go for 10 minutes. I just don't think kids need to be running around dead people and seeing all the sadness.

Anyway, speaking of pretty.... one of the reasons why I wanted to start this blog occured the other day. Megan was heading to school and had on her Nike warm up pants and a Steelers T shirt. She still looked adorable. On the way out of the house she asked me: "mom, do I look too pretty?" Odd question I thought... "no, Megan, you look real cute". "No, mom.... do I look TOO, TOO Pretty?" What is with this kid.... "Megan, you look pretty, why???!!!". "Cause mom, I just don't feel like being too pretty today". I practically fell down our horrific 16 stairs.... How hilarious.... to be 7 years old and wearing gym clothes thinking that you are TOO PRETTY. I sure wish I had that sense of self esteem. (thought to self... Perhaps I shouldn't wear this new lipstick, I certainly don't want to be too pretty today. I better not buy these new pants... they make me look TOO, TOO Pretty).

When do we loose that? I hope Megan never looses that. Hopefully when she is 14 and having a bad hair day, I can pull this back up and show her that she once had the self confidence that could not waiver. Megan will never be TOO PRETTY in my eyes, because she is as beautiful as God (and a little work from Dutch and I) could ever create. Thanks Megan for the adorable memory. You Are Beautiful!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The end of an era

She was the Matriarch of the family. She was so strong. Dutch's grandma, Irene Stamm, was 90 years old when she lost her fight last night. October 17, 1908 - April 4, 2008. "Grandma" had a bad heart and it just couldn't take anymore. She was famous in the family for Milk Pies, Christmas Eve celebrations, Halloween Pumpkin contests, Mother's day pot lucks, and most of all for her favorite spot in her rocking chair. She gave advise, the latest family gossip, and her share of kisses and hugs.
A few nights ago when she was in the hospital, she told Joshua (as he held her hand and smiled) that he was going to grow up to be a big, handsome, strong man. I just cried. To know that my children had a great grandma is special. I never did. But to know that she won't see them grow up is heart breaking.
I am a firm believer though that her influence will be in them. The way she raised her kids... grandkids...great-grandkids... and yes, great, great grandkids. I thought of her a MY grandma too. I will miss her so much!

Friday, April 4, 2008

First Day

Today is the first day of my new blog.
I have been thinking about this a while now and finally decided to take the plunge. There are so many things that happen on a day to day basis that I want to be able to go back and think about or have my children read about their lives. I thought this would be a great way to capture those memories... big or small. Our Canadian friend Carpie has nicknamed Joshua Tiny T as in Tiny Twister because of the way his tiny physical presence can cause a mass implication. What a great way to tell about the lives of all of us! No matter how small we feel, we have far reaching ties to the ones around us.