Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer's Here! Let's Play Outside!

We've really been enjoying the start of summer - prior to Jack's Flu of course ;-(

I love these pictures - they make my heart smile, seeing these precious Gifts delighting in each other and just enjoying life!

Playgroup at the Carney's - fortunately for Jack, there are three boys in the family, and there were lots of Big Wheels to choose from ;-)


Not planned at all, but look how coordinated these three are! ;-)

Could not get him off of this! ;-)

Here's to Summer! Cheers!

Turns out it wasn't croup...

After another visit to the Pediatric ER last night, we discovered Jack does not, in fact, have croup, but the flu - poor baby. ;-(

After two days of steroids and the breathing treatment he received Wed. night, he just was not showing much improvement. And after a very scary episode when I was changing his diaper - and thus, he was lying flat on his back - when he was gasping for air and pratically choking, we decided he needed to be seen by a doctor again.

And of course it was 6 pm on a Friday night, so that meant back to the ER (can't wait to get the bill for these two trips ;-(

They did a chest x-ray to rule out the possibility of a foreign object in his airways (quite possible with this kid!), then ruled that out. Ruled out pneumonia, and then did a flu test, which revealed why steroids would be doing little good to help Jack get better...

So, he's on Tamiflu and we're crossing our fingers for a speedy recovery so we can still go and enjoy a Lake Trip with the Billings and then the Postma's Pool Party on Memorial Day. Doc said he's not contagious after 24 hours with no fever (and without any tylenol to control the fever...)

If Jack comes to mind, please keep him in your prayers...he's just miserable this morning ;-(

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oh, Jack, Jack, Jack

You know how after you get married and perhaps you're thinking of starting a family, people freely give out the advice, "Get your finances in order and save up a lot of money before you have kids!"?

I used to think that advice was referring to all the money you'd be spending on diapers. Now I realize all the money you save is really for doctor visits...

Now, I am not a hypochondriac at all...I don't fret over low-grade fevers and I don't overreact when my kid skins their knee.

Yet, I have taken Jack to the doctor's office no fewer than three times in the last month for various ailments - my favorite of which was our last visit because Jason and I were convinced Jack had tapeworm -EWWWWW!, with a grand finale of an ER visit last night.

(Turns out Jack did NOT have tapeworm, but being the child that he is - constantly eating rocks, dirt, and chunks of chalk, and hanging on Toby's backside constantly - we had good reason to think he may have contracted tapeworms...)

Oh yeah, and I have to share this little side story, as it so perfectly illustrates this crazy kid's tendencies! So, our playgroup was having a picnic at the park last week, and we were finishing up our lunches. I was done eating an apple, and I chucked the core way out into the distant soccer field. About two minutes later, while chatting with my girlfriends, Jack saunters back onto the blanket, happily EATING THE APPLE CORE I HAD JUST THROWN! We all literally fell over on our sides laughing at this kid who sees his mother throw away an apple core, tears off after it, and chomps away on the dirty, grass-covered remains. Just like a dog would do! LOL! Oh, Jack, Jack, Jack...)

Our ER visit last night was the first ER trip we've had to make with either Jack or Lulu. Jack woke up from his nap with a higher fever than when he woke up in the morning, fast breathing, and a barky, wheezing cough and breathing.

I called the pediatrician and they said to go to ER. A lovely doctor, who turns out also goes to our church, diagnosed Jack with croup, gave him a dose of steroids, followed by a breathing treatment (which unfortunately required us to stay two hours after for observation).

Our wonderful friends Matt and Tiffany watched Lucy, and Jason and I took care of Jack at the ER. Once it was time for observation, I sent Jason home -there was really no need for both of us to be holed up in a small hospital room.

Here's the funny part about last night...God must have totally known Jack and I would have some time to pass in the hospital...After exhausting all resources in our room, making games out of the bed and hospital paraphernalia, I flipped through the channels on the tv, and low and behold, I got a chance to introduce Jack to the best movie ever made...

Dirty Dancing. Oh yes!

We watched the last half, and then at 9 o'clock, they repeated the movie, so we even got to see the beginning we had missed. Score!

Jack was released about 9:30, and he's doing fine. Once his fever broke, he was in a very chipper mood, running up and down the halls, pointing to all the nurses and saying, "Bwoh! Bwoh!"

He has three days worth of further steroids, and the croup should clear itself up. He sounds terrible today, but he's in good spirits and still eating like a fool - so not much has changed! :-)

Ah, little Jack, you simply must stop eating dirts, rocks, and God knows what else!

And just to come full circle with my opening quote, the advice that's often given about when to have kids...My two cents is this: while it's certainly responsible to make sure you have your finances in order, and a nice buffer in savings, if you wait to have children until you have enough money to cover all the expenses those little beautiful creatures require, you'll never be "ready." If you're waiting for your checkbook to say a certain number, you might be missing out on some amazing years!

I love my spirited Lucy and mischevious Jack! They're worth all the twenties I have to plop down at the doctors' office!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Two Cents on Babysitters

This is likely to be a bit of a rant, so you've been forewarned...

I've joked to several friends about the situation I find myself in when trying to hire a babysitter (neither Jason nor I have any family in town), although now I no longer find it amusing in any way: it usually entails no fewer than thirteen phone calls to various girls either I know or have been suggested to me as girls to call by my "mom friends."

Why am I hearing so many "no's"? Various responses I've received:

"I have dance from 6-9" (Wow, that's quite a long time...)

"I have plans all weekend." (for Friday and Saturday night? I just want to go out one of those...)

"I'm already babysitting for someone." (Darn, someone got to you quicker than me...)

"I have work." (Okay, noble reason...)

"My parents won't let me babysit on school nights." (This from my former straighter-than-straight-A student...Darn parents...I just needed her until 8:45 pm...that's not that late on a school night. Seriously, what teenager goes to bed at 9pm?!?)

"It's my birthday weekend, so I have social stuff going on all weekend." (Wow, guess you obviously don't need to work to actually earn your own money for which you'd be spending on all this "social stuff."

This is just further proof that the generation of parents one ahead of us is totally setting up their kids for failure once the real world hits- broad generalization, no one get your feelings hurt...unless you pass out twenties to your kids without ever making them learn the value of a dollar, and in that case, well, every parent has the right to deal with their children however they see fit...just don't be surprised when they're in credit card debt until they're forty...)

And a large majority of the girls I call never even return my message. Which leads me to my next point, which has had me slightly fuming this afternoon...

A sitter I have used four or five times, who was hired to be a "regular sitter" for a regularly scheduled event we have several times a month, has ended up being more "irregular" than "regular." Valid reasons for why she couldn't come, true, but the notice was usually late and left me scrambling.

Well, I've been trying to reach her because I have no idea if she's planning to be here the next time I need her, so I called her today. Still haven't heard back.

But, here's the interesting thing...on her voice mail she says, "Leave your name and blah, blah, blah, and I'll try to get back with you."


"You'll try to get back with me"?

Right, so in your oh-so-busy-too-busy-to-call-an-adult-back schedule, I'm not worthy of the effort it would require to make sure you call me back in a timely manner????

My oh my...

And it's not just her...my own brother says the same thing on his voice mail, "I'll try to call you back."

Speaks a bit of a certain mentaility I've come to think this younger generation has ...as a teacher I can tell you I've had a 5th grader call me a "mother f*cker" (which is extreme of course; I don't mean for a second to compare teenagers who can't or won't babysit for me), but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a teacher over the age of 40 who has had a similar experience.

But, I could be wrong, who knows?

What I'm trying to point out is that I think it's safe to argue that as a whole, there's less respect being shown to some of the core values that used to be instilled in young adults.

I'm not sure about you, but if I wanted to go to the movies, buy non-necessity clothing (from whatever store you just had to wear clothes from - it was preppy "Gap" clothes for me in middle school), or doing "social stuff," I had to earn the money to pay for that stuff. I remember I had a regular, "every Saturday" evening job for a family named the Kelleher's from my freshman year through my junior year. And what I earned on Saturday nights covered what fun I wanted to have on Friday nights.

While many of the girls on my "babysitter" call list are already working and earning money (good for them!), I think the reason others never babysit is because they don't have to earn any money. And unless a mom or dad is planning on funding their child's life forever, I'm not sure how well that parent is teaching their child that in the real world, you have to work to earn money; it isn't just given to you (and even that's arguable if we wanted to get into a political discussion, which I don't ;-)

And let me say, I have considered maybe the reason I get so many "no's" is because my children are holy terrors and no one wants to babysit for them. Trust me, I'm not one of those parents who thinks my children can do no wrong - they can - but, I've been told by several sitters that Jack and Lucy are very easy to take care of and when I ask the sitter, as I do each time we come home, if the kids gave them any difficulty, I've never been told yes once.

So, either the sitters are witholding information (which is possible) or Jack and Lucy are generally pretty well-behaved and don't give the sitters much, if any, trouble. And I think it's the latter.

So, I feel somewhat justified in my broad generalizations I've made on this post ;-)

What I'd really like to find is a lovely widow who adores children, whose own grandchildren live far far away, who lives no more than five minutes away and would be happy to watch my kids for a few hours on a moment's notice.

Yes, that, or someone who hates being social and has no friends...but I'd prefer the former!

I'd really like my spouse to be able to join me for our next Cgroup, so I'm remaining hopeful! We'll see how many phone calls it takes tomorrow...


Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Meals

So, it's not a recipe, per say, today, but it's a notable addition.

99% of the time I'm responsible for a dessert or having people over, I serve these brownies.


And it's ridiculously easy to prepare; Lucy even helps ;-)

I highly recommend keeping these well-stocked in your pantry (I pretty much buy them every trip to Costco!).

*And my personal tip: undercook them by a good five or so minutes...you actually want your toothpick slightly gooey when you test them. And serve with a fork ;-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Supper Club at the Lake

Our friends the Carney's hosted this month's Supper Club, and they arranged it to be at Honeycomb/ Lake Guntersville.

Unfortunately our whole group wasn't able to be there, but we enjoyed a nice afternoon together - despite a few breakdowns by my kids ;-(

(Lucy kept saying she needed to throw up, then seconds later, as soon as you had carried her off to the side to the grassy area, she'd announce she was fine. And Jack had several unfortunate incidents: bad diarrhea blowout that ruined his swimshorts, and the sand or sunscreen (both, perhaps?) irritated his eyes badly, so he was very uncomfortable most of the day - poor little guy ;-))

But here are some pictures documenting our day - highs and lows ;-)

Jack after falling in the water... ;-(

Lucy was dancing and twisting in the sand.

Lucy LOVED playing with the boogy board!

Jack practicing his football stance ;-)

Happy Boy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Fun Pictures

I've been spending a substantial amount of time uploading the last five months' family pictures onto our Shutterfly Share Site (which those are great to have by the way, as a way to share pictures easily with family who like to print copies for themselves!), and I've come across a few recent photos I meant to post and obviously forgot.

And it's Friday, so let's have a little fun with some "fun" pictures:

Lucy loves to pick out her clothes in the morning. I love this outfit, classic!

oh yeah, girl!

and yes, we play in these clothes too ;-)

this one's kind of impressive: she's totally off the ground.

"What? Oh, you said I couldn't have more M &M's?!?"

At the Click's Party

Apparently, Jack is working on solving the nation's economic crisis - so deep in thought ;-)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Last Day of School!

Summer's Here! And despite how much I love my Mother's Morning Out time, I'm not dreading summer at all!

I'm looking forward to more lazy mornings in our pajamas and a relaxed schedule.

Let's get busy being "un-busy!" ;-)

Jack in his nursery class with Ms. Natasha and Ms. Mary, whom he reaches for with open arms each Thursday! :-)

flashback to first day of school:

and Lucy with the wonderful Ms. Jesse B. and Ms. Debbie:

and Audrey, of course ;-) (In Lucy's end of the year comment, her teachers suggested that we provide Lucy with more opportunities to play with other children, so as not to get too attached to Audrey. LOL! The opportunities present themselves all the time; the girls just LOVE each other! ;-)

and her first day:

A few things worth noting as I look back over this:

1) I don't often put Lucy's hair in pig tails anymore, yet unconsciously, I had her in piggies on the first and last day. huh...

2) I love how Jack was facing out on the first day, a little wary of Ms. Mary, yet today, he's snuggling in close to her. awwwww...

3) lucy has lost all of her pudgy baby fat.

4) I absolutely loose my breath when I see how much they've grown this year. I keep tearing up looking at how big both of them are, especially Lucy...gone is the little toddler, and she's becoming such a grown up little girl.

My. heart. is. breaking ;-(

Yes, absolutely MUST have another one! ;-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Table Saw and Honda for Sale!

I have finally, FINALLY convinced Jason that it would be a good idea to sell the massive table saw that is eating up precious garage space, space I'd like to have to store the kids' scooters, tricycles, and cozy coupe, and then maybe, just maybe, I won't have to trip over "said items" as I lug kids and gear into the house on a daily basis.

I appreciate his woodworking skills, really I do. And I am beyond grateful that I have a husband who can do things around the house like build and repair things, which I realize he may use a table saw for...but the bottom line is that those events are few and far between when necessary, while it is necessary for Jack and Lucy to play outside daily.

It's like what he said when he came to his senses..."You know, the truth is, at this point in our lives, with little kids around, how often am I going to even have time to get out there and use the damn machine anyway?"

Exactly, baby...exactly.

So, he's sent out an email to his friends here in town to see if anyone wants to buy it for $100 (super cheap (well, for what it is...new ones sell for $500, and while this one's older, it functions like a brand new one.) before he lists it on Craigslist later this week for $200.

And you never know who may be interested, so I'm "listing" it on my blog today ;-)

I'll even throw in some free babysitting or meals if you buy it! Just please, get this out of my garage!!!! ;-)

And then, there's a Honda car for sale too! Jason has an old, OLD, I think it's a '92 Honda Accord that he hit a deer in a few months back. So, the front bumper, hood, and radiator need replaced, but other than that, it runs well.

He has the mind to go look in a junk yard for those parts, and fix the car himself, yet, I have the mind to realize that in reality that will take half a year to accomplish with all we have going on, so I say just sell the darn thing for parts, for cheap, whatever. Let a guy who loves to tinker with cars and fix them up deal with it. This car is our third car, graciously passed down by Jason's dad, and while great to have when one of our cars is in the shop, is not necessary and right now looks hideous in our driveway all broken and sad...

Buy this, and I'll really throw in some sweet bonuses! ;-) You name it!!! ;-)

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Meals

We're on a pretty big avocado kick in our house lately. It's weight watchers friendly, and oh so yummy on a southwestern flavored salad.

And we love corn soups, too, so here's a fun variety to try:

Avocado Spiked Corn Soup

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer's Almost Here!

Whoa, it's a hot one outside today. I dragged on my morning run, lemme tell ya ;-)

So, while not an ideal day for running, it is perfect for water toys!

We broke out the swimsuits for the first time this year, lathered on the sunscreen, and hooked up this new water toy for some "fun in the sun."

My idea of "Car Wash" was not a hit with Jack!

"BELLIES!" Love 'em!

future football player???

translation: "I want to go in the STREET!"

Jack: "quick, before dad sees us!"

"Well, maybe we'll just walk as close as we possibly can to the street...

"Hurry, mom's coming to get us!"

And speaking of summer, I want to share an activity I came up with to do this summer with my "mommy friends" and their sweet ones. I share this so 1) if you're interested in joining me, you can let me know, and 2) I have some friends that live in other cities who I think would be fantastic at leading something like this. If you like this idea, I really encourage you to adapt it to your community and friends!

*On the Word document, there are pretty backgrounds and colorful pictures, which won't translate here on this post. Sorry ;-(

“Pray ‘N Play”

Summer 2010

In an effort to take advantage of the time I have at home with

my children and teach them about God, Jesus, and how we are

called to live, I’ve created a summer activity called, “Pray ‘N Play.”

"And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." -Deuteronomy 6:5-7

The church reaches our kids in amazing, engaging ways on Sundays – and likewise at Mom's Morning Out Programs. But I’ve realized I'm not making much time Monday through Saturday to share God's word, wisdom, and love with my kids. Specifically, at home, where we have the most time and attention from our children, I'm missing that ripe opportunity to connect with my kids spiritually.

We pray before our meals and at bedtime, and there's the occasional "teachable moment" to connect God with what's going on, but that's hardly loving our Lord with all my strength and soul, repeating God's word again and again to my children.

If I want my kids to grow up feeling God's love undoubtedly, knowing how to make wise choices no matter what the situation, and love God and each other passionately, I have to prioritize it, so I am. It is my hope that "Pray 'n Play" will be an effective and FUN way to achieve this goal!

This particular scripture (above) from Deuteronomy is what could be called my "mission statement." These ideas I lay upon my heart, in hopes that they sink in and affect my decisions and actions every single day!

Some other versus have "struck a chord" in my heart:

"Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!" -Psalm 127: 4-5

In the early days of being a new mom with Lucy, I wrote this scripture on some cute scrapbook paper, laminated it, and posted it on my mirror so that – when I was stuck in the thick fog of sleepiness and sometimes left wondering how in the world this child could suck the life right out of me – I could quickly remind myself of just what a blessing this beautiful baby was!

And that's still on my mirror today, because I've realized another application: my children strengthen me! My life is enriched because of them. (And not that I think any mother would feel differently, but it's empowering really, when you focus on this idea.)

"Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right." -Proverbs 20:11

My immediate thought is that it's never too early to teach children how to behave, lovingly discipline them, and tell them what you expect of them. I know this to be true: kids will rise to meet your expectations! Set the bar high! (I experienced this in the classroom every year, and I hope to experience it with Jack and Lucy ;-)

"I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! All glory to Him, both now and forever! Amen." - 2 Peter 3: 17-18

It is so easy to become wrapped up in the bottomless ideals of the culture we live in. Hindsight is 20/20, right? But, I'd rather not have to look back on an experience and wish I had done it differently. We've been warned, we're equipped with all the knowledge we could ever need – found within the pages of the Bible - and the opportunity to receive God's wisdom and grace is merely a prayer away.

Glory to God is right! We can do anything with God; through Him all things are possible, even the formidable task of raising our children successfully.

So, what will “Pray n’ Play” look like? What can you expect?

· It will take place at our house on Friday mornings, from 9-11 am.

· This will be most successful if we give our older children that we’re doing this with our undivided attentions, so I will arrange for a babysitter to take care of the younger siblings during this time.

Weather permitting, they can play outside, or

the sitter can entertain them in a separate part

of the house so we can focus on our kids.

· The “Bible Lesson” will take place from 9:15-10:00. During this time, we’ll take part in the lesson which includes:

o A sing-along start up song

o The Bible Story

o A craft the kids will make

o Application time for the kids

to apply what they’ve learned

o Snack time

o Closing prayer / praying with our children

· Then, from 10 – 11:00, we’ll have the “play” part of the day. The kids will basically have playgroup (still under sitter supervision), giving us moms some time to meet together. Depending on what feels important on a given day, that time might be spent discussing parenting struggles, a question someone wants to throw out to the group, or perhaps we just need to “check out” for an hour and talk “girl stuff.” Basically, this is just some time set aside for us to not have to worry about the kids and have some quality time with each other. I’d like to close this time in prayer, specifically for each other and our children.

· I will send home an optional craft activity that relates to the day’s lesson so that you can extend the lesson at home if you choose to, with your spouse and child. With the weekend right around the corner, this would be a great activity your child can do with Dad, and your little one can fill them in with what they learned at pray ‘n play. ;-)

I hope Fridays will work well for your family. I’m usually feeling the strain of a long week pile up by Friday, so it is my hope that this will have the added bonus as serving as a big “pick-me-up” for everyone and recharge us for a wonderful weekend with our families.

Dates and Lessons:

June 11 – “God Made It, and It Was Grrrreat!”

June 18 – “The Rain Came Down and the Flood Came Up”

June 25 – “The Boy and the Giant”

July 2 – 4th of July weekend (no meeting)

July 9 – “Lost & Found”

July 16 – “Great Big Picnic”

July 23 – no meeting, we’re out of town

July 30 – “The Queen Who Served Her People”

If you know you are going to attend a certain week, please let me know so I can make sure to have crafts and snack items ready for your child.

However, life is hectic and doesn’t always make it easy to know ahead of time if you are going to be able to come. So, even if you aren’t able to give me notice, please still come – don’t let that stop you! ;-) And if you have a friend who you would like to bring, please do! Likewise, feel free to pass this on to any friends you think might be interested!

I hope this will be a wonderful, fulfilling time we share with our children and with each other, growing in “grace and knowledge”!

Questions? Contact me at: kellymartinau@yahoo.com

Friday, May 14, 2010


Jack decided that his brief snooze at MMO yesterday was suffice for his nap, so when he wouldn't take his nap that afternoon, I decided to go ahead and give him his haircut then. (That'll show YOU not to take your nap- LOL!)

Last time I cut Jack's hair, I just did not like how I did it, so we went to the salon for a fix. This time, I watched a few more videos on how to do it, and it turned out much better (well, in my opinion anyways. ;-)

And while I wish that I could do my own haircuts too, that obviously isn't the case. And today, I had my hair appointment with my long time stylist, Natasha at Salon Tara.

So, for today's post, here are our haircuts.

I did a standard little boy's cut for Jack, and my haircut is pretty much like what I always get, except I went heavy on the bangs...I like it. ;-)