Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Naked House

Sunday when we had our friends over the highlight of play time was Lydia's play house. First the kids played in it in the living room and then when the adults wanted to talk we made them take it to Lydia's room. Yesterday Kellen informs me that the play house has been renamed the "Naked House." The what?! My mind is racing what were they doing in Lydia's room while we were talking? The B-52's song "Love Shack" is going through my head. Were they playing "doctor?"

So I calmly ask Kellen why has it been renamed the "Naked House?" Apparently at some point (I am not clear on whether this was Sunday or Monday) Lydia undressed all her baby dolls and put them naked in the house. Then further decided that if you are naked (or mostly so)you should be in the "Naked House." So yesterday when she and Kellen changed clothes to go to the store they changed in the "Naked House." Lydia also informed me that I can not change in the house b/c I won't fit b/c I am pregnant, but after I have the baby I will fit too! When they changed into PJ's Lydia again changed in the house. Kellen decided he had enough of that and changed in the living room.

As a side note. . . I spoke too soon about the kids being better. Going between grocery stores yesterday Lydia starts crying and whimpering in pain. It was her ear. This of course happens at the same time Kellen gets a nose bleed and is hysterical (drama). So I am yelling at him trying to get him to calm down (which he did in record time) and trying to sooth Lydia while waiting in the drive through line to get drinks for everyone. (at least I wasn't in heavy traffic)

The timing worked out that Tim was almost back to town and there had been a cancellation at the Dr. office. So we met Tim at his office and he and the boys finished the shopping. Lydia and I went to the doctor again. She has infection in both ears. Now she is on antibiotics. When will this winter of scikness ever end?!

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Good Weekend

We had a good weekend. Productive and relaxing just what I like. Saturday was beautiful and we all got outside and got some stuff done. Well, mom and I talked and planned and "supervised" more than we actually did but it was still productive. We picked out seeds to order for the garden.

The kids are finally feeling better. I think getting outside did them some good. They are still coughing and snotting but the oldest are acting pretty normal. Nolan is still tired, but not too grumpy. Mom and the kids and I took a long walk. I was hoping for labor, but no luck! :)

But being a typical Miller/Appleton day it couldn't go completely smooth. Tim "fell" out of a tree and scraped his face pretty good. The guys also ripped a wheel off of the tractor. But those are their stories so I will let them share.

Sunday was much cooler, but still sunny. We had friends over for lunch after church. They have three kids close to the ages of ours so it was a little crazy. We took a walk and had hot cocoa. It was fun to just hang out. (six kids and all)

unfortunately I started getting sick Sunday evening and now I have this annoying head cold. But I would rather be sick myself than listen to three sick kids! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Some people dread Mondays, but for me it is Thursday. I am worn out by Thursday. I am tired physically and mentally. I need a break.

It starts Wed. evening. Three Wed. of the month Tim has worship team stuff at church. He is home for an hour or so from work and then gone all evening. This leaves me with dinner, clean up and bed time. Yes I am spoiled he usually helps me alot with all three of these things. I miss the help and I miss the conversation. Then we usually stay up later than normal "cathing up" from the day.

So I am tired Thursday morning. The kids seem to off too. By Thursday if I have let anything go in the house it now seems unbearable. (dishes and laundry are the usual culprits) I am tired of proding Lydia along to complete any task, of pulling Kellen out of a book to do his normal daily stuff and of keeping Nolan out of the toilets, from beating his sister or dumping his cup on the floor. I am tired of hearing momma this and momma that, of whining and crying. Mostly though I am tired of being tired.

Today has been no different. K & L had dentist appointments this AM. Prod Prod Prod to get out the door. When we got home I just wanted to take a nap, but there is a pile of dishes and laundry. So maybe later, but probably not.

Just so I don't sound like a complete whiner I will say that it is lovely day out and I sent the older two to go play. So there is quiet in my house right now. (Nolan is sleeping) And I am working on a plan to address the proding I have to do with them. I am thinking of a chart with a point system where they could earn some rewards. I will work on completing that on a non Thursday. :) I also realize this tiredness as a temporary phase and soon Thursday will not be so rough. Well the drier has stopped so I guess it is back to work!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My chorus of coughing!

I told you that the kids spent a lot of time with Miles and Ashley this weekend, but I didn't say that Miles was sick with a bad cough all weekend also. I honestly didn't think anything of having the kids playing together. (naive? dumb? desperate for peace and quiet?) The chorus began yesterday. The chorus of coughing that is. It was quiet and sporadic yesterday. Today almost constant. All the kids have various levels of cough, runny nose, and flu like symptoms. Even with medicine they continue to cough and noses continue to run.

This has been a rough winter for the health of this clan. I don't know if it is the difference in weather, the stress of moving, or something in the woods or house, but we have never been as sick as we have been this winter. Before moving, I think I could count on both hands the number of combined times I have taken the kids to the Dr. because they were sick. Between the three of them I think we have only had antibiotics three or four times. They just didn't get that sick.

This winter we have all been sick much more than normal. I have already taken two of the three to the doctor b/c of sickness. Lydia had antibiotics and Nolan ended up in the hospital overnight for croup! (The first time since birth any of them had to stay at the hospital!) Tim and I have been fighting stuff more than usual also. Thankfully, we don't have any of the current symptoms.

The one good thing about the kids being sick is I will send them to bed early tonight. It is a good thing b/c Tim is gone (worship team practice) and I am very tired this evening. So I look forward to a quiet evening listening to my chorus of coughing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Extreme personalities- Nolan

Tim had a long weekend this weekend. We had a great time. We did some fun things as a family, got some stuff ready for the new baby and spent some time in real conversations. A very relaxing and refreshing weekend. It helped that Miles and Ashley (nephew and niece) were at my parents' house and Kellen and Lydia spent a lot of the weekend over there. Poor Papaw, Mamaw had to work all weekend!

Tim and I talked quite a bit about the kids. (big surprise!) One thing we talked about was how our kids have such extremes in their personalities. We spent a lot of time with Nolan (he is almost 2) alone this weekend. He was in all his glory. He is such a little people person. He loves the attention. Here are some examples

He hates to eat alone, a meal a snack it doesn't matter. He wants someone there with him. It has happened before, but several times this weekend Tim or I tried to set him in the kitchen for a snack while we were working in the living room. Two minutes later here comes Nolan, bowl in hand and plops down to finish eating in the middle of where we are.

He has always been very friendly and had almost no fear of strangers. He was a good baby and still is mostly happy and content. But there have been many times when he has been crying in public, sometimes almost to a point of a fit, I can't get him to settle. Then some stranger will start to smile and talk to him. Instant smile, basking in the glow of attention, until the person walks away then instant crying again

As I talked about in the Life Languages post, he is also a little doer. If he spills something he goes to get a rag to clean it up. Sometimes I think he spills cups on purpose so he can clean it up. (or maybe it is just for attention!) When we get out cereal for breakfast, he shows me where to get the bowl, spoon and milk. He has to have a napkin to wipe up his milk drips. It drives him nuts to have his shoes untied or coat unzipped. He puts dishes in and out of the dishwasher (too bad he doesn't understand the difference between clean and dirty ones yet. I have found some very gross silverware in the drawer!) and even starts the cycle. (again not approbation but he is trying)

He is a very sweet, happy and helpful child right? Well, yeah until he becomes the brute terror of the family. How do all those descriptions fit into one kid? He is very physical, tackling and jumping on everyone. He regularly terrorizes his big sister. He throws or threatens to throw cups and toys at her, steals her toys and destroys her room. Nothing is safe from his reach. He has learned to move and use step stools, chairs or whatever he can find to reach anything he wants. He climbs on top of our desk, the kitchen cabinets, Tims music equipment, the washing machine and the latest and greatest he got on Tim's dresser got a black permanent marker and "decorated" our wall and rocking chair.

He is also very determined (ie stubborn!) Once he has his mind set on something look out. Distractions don't work. Oh you might get him interested for a minute but as soon as you aren't looking he is right back to the original thing. Letting him "cry it out" doesn't work. He still remembers what he wanted. It is usually a very long struggle until he will give in.

Before I had kids I probably would have said, "Kids are pretty simple, different from each other, but, you have a type A, B, or C kid, easy to categorize." I thought it was life that made adults so complicated. The Lord created some very complex beings and I believe that it all works together for His glory. Though sometimes I wish I could say, "Look my perfect child, Glory to God!" More on the other two later.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The House is SOLD!!

Yeah! We sold our house in Akron! For those who don't know we still own a duplex in Akron. When we moved here we thought we would keep it for the income, but things didn't go as planned. Financially, it would be pretty good income if we kept it, but it is just is too hard to manage from here and we didn't really want to go the route of hiring a management company. We felt it would be better just to be done with it. We have been renting out half of it since we have been here and leaving the other half empty to show! It has been a drain on the budget, but we haven't been stressed about it. Just patiently waiting.

Well after much negotiating, we finally have an agreement. We got a very good price. (about 20 more than we paid four years ago) In typical Miller fashion though, we have spent the equity (via our line of credit) and then you add closing costs. (I had no idea how much those would be!) So, when it is all said and done I still have to move some of our debt elsewhere (ie credit card!) and use our whole tax return to close this house. Oh the joys and pitfalls of credit! When oh when will we learn to live on cash!

So anyway that is the good news. We have enough realtor friends to know that it aint over till the closing, but we are praying for it all to go through smoothly!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Yesterday I was looking forward to some real time for me as I talked about in my previous blog. The ladies group was cancelled! But it all worked out for the best as my parents took the kids (all three!) overnight! YAHOO! Tim and I had a "date" for I think only the second time since we have moved here.

If you read Tim's blog you know he said that we aren't very romantic because we don't do anything for Valentines Day. Actually, we don't really celebrate any of the occasions in the typical way. We don't do cards, flowers, or candy. If you do and enjoy it good for you! Keep doing it. It isn't that I don't like those things, but I tend to be very practical (maybe too much so) and those things really aren't. We do (for some occasions) do small gifts or dinner out (sometimes).

I do think Tim is romantic though. I guess to me "romantic" just means letting me know he loves me. Which he does everyday, not just on Valentines, birthdays, anniversaries or other "special days" Romantic to me is . . .
-Last night he let me take a nap while he made dinner, fed the kids and cleaned up.
-Working his normal week, trying to keep up with endless projects around here and picking up the house too b/c I can't keep up and never complaining!
- After a day of the trying to clean the house with the whole family he says in frustration, "I will always work out of the house, don't ever think we will switch places again. It isn't going to happen!" It made me laugh! Translation - trying to do anything with these kids is hard work. I so appreciate what you do! For those of you who don't know, when Kellen was 2 I worked full time and he stayed home with Kellen and the foster kids we worked with. We switched after Lydia was born. On my most frustrating days I threaten that I am ready to go back to work and he can stay home again.
-He brags about me even when I am not around! (Actually I prefer to not be around for that!)

I could go on but these are just a few examples that popped into my head from the last couple of weeks. So some may look at us and say, "Boring" and some women may be disappointed by the lack of gifts, but I think our life is anything but boring and I am not disappointed. I love my husband and our idea of romance!

Monday, February 13, 2006

My Time

I have been thinking about the time I take for me (or lack of it!) Now, I am not complaining. This is the plight of most mothers of small children. The Lord has really shown me and in the last few years that my peace and contentment comes from Him not from the circumstances I am in. I can honestly say that I am content and do have peace even though this stage of my life seems crazy at times. Ok Ok the real truth is He is still showing me this, so I am content and have peace on most days! I am sure Tim will attest to those days that I am not!

In the past few days I have gotten some time alone. Oh wonderful time alone! No poop diapers no endless chatter, no whining! Relax and enjoy! Yeah right! This is how I spent that time.

Last Thursday morning my parents watched the kids. I went to the OB where I see I have gained 5 lbs in two weeks. He then informs me after my exam, "If you think you are going early, I will take your word for it, but I sure don't see any indication of that." Gee great news!
I treated myself to Starbucks. (drive thru!)

Saturday, Tim took the kids and dog for a very long walk. I had the house to myself! Oh yes peace and quiet . . . so I could finish the taxes that I had been working on all morning long with constant interruptions from the kids and the husband! I did get them done about 4:00 except for the printing and filing b/c I ran out of ink! AAAAHHH!

Today my parents again watched the kids. I took the dog to vet to get "fixed" They only do "fixings" on certain days and everyone has to check their pet in between 7:30 and 8:00. Unfortunately, these times did not work with Tim's schedule so I had to take the dog.

The waiting room was packed. There must have been 30 cats and dogs there and again it was hot! You wait in line to let them know you are there and then you wait to be called back with your pet and then you wait in line again to pay. The dog in front of us in the first line pooped on the floor.

During our wait time all the chairs were full so I am standing there overheating with my huge belly, trying to control my hyper dog who is also scared by all the strangers. I am thinking, "Chivalry is dead! Why don't one of those men with their cats in a carrier move their butts and let the pregnant woman with the hyper dog sit down?! My dog peed on the floor. A nice lady (with a cat in a carrier) offered to hold Pac's leash so I could clean up the mess. Very nice of her and I was appreciative, but being held by a stranger did not sit well with Pac. He started growling at people and animals! I eventually got him reassured.

I was there for well over an hour going through the process of dropping Pac off to get fixed. And then I treated myself to Starbucks drive thru again! (I got a gift card for Christmas!)

It has been over a month since I last was alone (or with other adults) to do something fun. So time alone is not really time for me! It is to get stuff done. (I am a doer!) I have to admit though even though my time alone is spent getting stuff done it is refreshing to be able to do something without loading kids in and out of the car or having my thoughts constantly interrupted by a child's voice! And there is a break coming. Tomorrow I am going to a ladies small group from church. NO KIDS! And I know (at some level) that in 15 years (or less) I will be looking back to these days, smiling about having all the kids around sharing everything with me and sitting on my lap. I will have forgotten the frustration and the stress that sometimes goes with all of it!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Teen Blogging

I could give you another "adventure" I had with the kids today. It was typical, (for us) and I only had two of them with me, but I am afraid I will bore you with those stories. So I thought I would ask for your opinion about something.

I belong to a yahoo group called Homestead_Homeschool. It is a very interesting group and there has been an effort lately to get to know each other better. So the ladies have been sharing their typical daily schedules. I shared mine and then referred them to my blog and asked if any of them blogged. One of the ladies replied that her daughter has been interested in blogging and wondered what I thought about teens blogging.

There has been a lot of negative press about kids/teens blogging. It is whole new area that predators are using . Our pastor even talked about for awhile one Sunday and basically said you should not let your kids blog. I am not in total agreement with that. What do you think about letting kids/teens blog? Are there such things as "closed" blogs that can be read by invitation only? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A trip to the Vet

I don't have too much time to post, so this will be quick and to the point. The kids and I took Pac to the vet today. Well you've heard some about the kids, but not much about the dog. An overview: he is a Sheppard/Lab mix about 40 lbs and all puppy. He is close to a year old and is still very hyper and excitable and chews everything. (Don't ask dad about his cables under the house!) He loves the kids (and the whole family) but can be a bit overwhelming for them.

Just imagine the scene, knowing my kids, that my belly is huge and now the dog. He had his leash 3/4 chewed through before we got to the office. He is scared and excited at the same time. We are all in a room about 1/2 the size of my closet with a vet and an assistant. There is pee on the floor. It is very hot and it reeks!

When we are done and "checked out" (that was a whole different adventure) we go outside and Pac smells "freedom". I am trying to get the kids to get in the van on their own because it is all I can do to handle Pac. Nolan gets "clothes lined" with the leash and hits the pavement. While trying to console him Pac runs over Lydia. No real harm done to either kid, but lots of tears. It took a bit but the kids finally got in the van and I got Pac into the hatch.

Just another normal day of our life in West Virginia. The good news is the dog gets "fixed" on Monday. Hopefully, he will settle down a bit then!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Life Languages Live

Ok, I realize some of you don't know what Life Languages are. I think you will still enjoy this story, just think of it as the difference in kids instead of Life Languages. I am just telling it to you this way because it is exactly what I thought of as it happened.

Just for a quick intro though, Life Languages is about our communication style. It is like a personality test only much more in depth and accurate. The test is helpful, but the workshop was where it really clicked. Tim & I attended a workshop almost three years ago. I can't tell you how much it helped us understand each other. (And we had been married for about 8 years at that point) Here is the website if you would like an overview of the languages. http://www.lifelanguages.com/index.cfm/PageID/171/index.html
If you are interested in a workshop let me know and I can put you in touch with a friend of ours who presents them. Ok on to the story.

The cast
Kellen age 7 Influencer - Lydia age 4 Resposnder - Nolan age 1 1/2 Doer - Me Doer/Shaper - Tim Influencer/Responder The kids haven't actually taken the test. This is just what we think they are!

Yesterday (before Tim came home) I left the three kids in the kitchen with snacks and drinks. (big mistake!) I was in the next room on the computer. I was gone maybe two minutes when Kellen comes running full speed out of the kitchen yelling, "I have to get out of there, AAAH, I can't be in there!" He ran all the way to the other side of the house.

Now most moms probably would have gone running into the kitchen to see what happened expecting something horrible. What would you expect? Barf, blood, poop, maybe Nolan eating his snot? Well, I know my son and the Influencer's flair for drama and I didn't move from the computer. I sat thinking, "Oh now what!" Then I told him (ok I was probably yelling) to walk back in here and tell me what happened. He walks back still saying, "I can't go in there!" and we go into the kitchen together.

What was going on in my kitchen? What horrible thing could cause such a reaction from a seven year old? It was spilt milk. Yes, one glass of milk spilt on the table and dripping off both sides. Oh the horror!

What, you may wonder, were the other two children doing? Miss Responder, who was still sitting at the table eating her chips, looks at me sweetly and says, "I am sorry mommy. I knocked my cup reaching for more chips." (note: she didn't get up to DO anything about the problem) My little Doer is pointing at the mess like "Look what happened" Ok, he didn't do anything (yet) either but he is 1 1/2!

So, I am explaining (yes I think I was still yelling at this point) to Kellen for 1000th time that his reaction would be appropriate for maybe a cut off finger, someone throwing up or Nolan pooping on the floor (it has happened!) It was not an appropriate reaction to milk being spilled. As I am explaining this, I have gotten several rags out of the cupboard and am wiping up some of the milk. I continue to say (as Lydia munches on chips) that next time they should either grab a rag and start cleaning or calmly tell me what has happened so I can start cleaning.

Then, I look at the other side of the table and there is my little Nolan. He has grabbed one the rags and is wiping up the milk on the floor. Oh, finally a child I can relate to!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Joining the Crowd

Well I have done it. I have started a blog. I thought Tim was a bit weird when he started this, but it has grown on me. Since he is not posting as much ( I take partial responsibility for that as I am very jealous for his time lately!) I thought I could start to keep you updated and to give you the other side of the adventures we have down in West Virginia.

Did you ever think you could have sympathy for a mouse? A few weeks back Tim and the kids were all outside. I was putting laundry away in Lydia's room and there on her bean bag was a mouse and its freshly born baby. My first reaction was, "Tim get in here, " but he was in the middle of something and told me to deal with it!

Now apparently this mama mouse was either not finished or still out of her mind with pain (or both) because she did not even seem to care I was there. She did not run. In the time it took me to try to talk Tim into coming in and then figuring out what I was going to do she and the new bundle of joy could have been long gone. I decided to take one of the kids old sand buckets to scoop up the mice. Scooping didn't work too well so I kinda slid them into the bucket. No problems so far.

This is the point where the sympathy factor comes in. Now as many of you know I am very pregnant with our fourth child and those of you who know me know I am not the emotional type, so I am entirely chalking this up to hormones. I felt so bad for this mama in labor and the brand new baby. I had a hard time taking them outside in the cold. When I did the mama was trying to wrap up around the baby. (Jerk at the emotions some more.) So I put the bucket down and told Tim he had to deal with that part, I couldn't "dispose of them."

Not to worry though neither of us had to do the deed. Pac the dog took care of it for us. He grabbed the mama by the tail and shook her to death. The weather took care of the baby. I couldn't watch and thought about "rescuing" them both. Thankfully, logic prevailed!