My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Life’s lessons – from under the bus January 27, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family — blankenmom @ 7:19 pm
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There are all sorts of life’s lessons and we learn them in varying ways.  Some lessons can only be learned by doing certain things – mistakes made or successes won.  We can watch someone else and learn from them.  Most are universal, while others can only be understood by a few. 

I was given this article to read by a friend of mine and it was said so well that I had to share it.  It’s about life with kids – but I think it’s actually pretty accurate for anyone, if you read it correctly. 

I wanted to also share a few of my life’s lessons, taught to me by my family, but could really translate to anyone:

  • “Quite picking your nose!”  ~ Always have a snack handy. 
  • “Did you see?  We only lost by 9 this time!” ~ It’s not always about winning. 
  • “Mom – he’s jumping on the couch AGAIN!” ~ Practice, practice, practice.
  • “UH – OH!” ~ Microwaves were not ment to cook everything. 
  • “Hey mom ~ What’s does “Motor-boating mean?” ~ Always keep up with current trends.
  • “Mom, is it just me, or is your bum getting bigger?” ~ Excersize is VERY important!
  • “Was that important?  Because I used it to start the fire.” ~ Always make copies.
  • “Excuse me Ma’am.  Is that your son stuck up at the top of the playland?” ~ You’re never to old to play.
  • “Hey mom – do girls wear pants under your skirts?” ~ Always wear underwear – especially to church!!
  • “I would never do/say/think… – I would never allow my child…” ~ Never say never, because that’s the next thing that’s going to happen!
  • “Mom – somebody *tooted* in the girls bathroom!” ~ You will never see these people again – feel free to be yourself.
  • “Stop licking the tires!” ~ Try new things.
  • “I brought you flowers from the neighbor’s pretty yard mom!” ~ Always be friendly with your neighbors.
  • “I smell pee.  Did somebody wet themselves?” ~ Plans change.  Go with the flow.

See – these are such little things in life that we could learn so much from, if we just pay attention. 

I would LOVE to hear some life’s lessons that you’ve learned from your family or from life in general.   Saves me the insanity of learning them the hard way!



Suburban home fever January 21, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family,Home improvement,Sewing — blankenmom @ 12:54 am
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So if you’ve been watching the news at all – you’ve seen that

our area had a HUGE snow storm.   


Couldn’t say that with a straight face!


It was beautiful for about a day and then the slush and ice started in.



So what do I do when I’m stuck in the house with 4 boys …. and I mean STUCK!

Well, let’s see?



Replace the shower head –




Shoveling –  




Feed my third-born tubs of ice cream after his oral surgery –



Sewing of course, silly!


I have been DYING to make this pattern for as long as I could remember, but the pattern was in a size six… childrens.  Yeah, I’m small, but I’m not that small.  And I can change patterns, but in all reality, remaking a pattern from this small is essentially making an all new one.  So when I found this pattern from Burda I seriously did a happy dance.  I’m so excited – I’m making two!


Notice there was no cooking or cleaning in any of that!

I LOVE the snow.  I really, really do!


*SNOW* January 18, 2012

Filed under: Family — blankenmom @ 5:52 pm

This pretty much sums up our day –



 – I hope everyone is warm and toasty, even in Nebrahoma!


Admitting it…. January 14, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Home improvement,Hubby,Places,Sewing — blankenmom @ 2:40 am
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….. is the first sign of recovery!



This is my pre-Christmas, costume and present covered sewing room.  Can you see why I’ve been avoiding it?



This is my post-Christmas, UFO, tax and military paperwork covered sewing room.  Please note the ambient lighting…. because ANOTHER bulb went out!  Ok people… I seriously need to find my room again – this is just scary! 

While I’ve cracked down on the rest of the house, making it uber-clean, that ment time was taken away from my room.  My sanctuary if you will.  Sanctuary turned nightmare that is!  It’s very small, so it’s very easy to make it a mess (at least that’s the story I’m sticking with).  So when I needed to pull some paper work, all heck broke loose.


Please also note the half knit sweater draped off the swift.  *sigh*


I have however gotten back to my workout routine (I mean come on, ANYTHING is better than cleaning that mess right?)  Check out my cool new piece of equipment!



This is a practice surf/snow board – I love it, it’s awesome and on occasion I get it back from my boys…..


Please also note that the door to my sewing room is now closed… thus I don’t have to see the mess!  *Hey look at my new toy…. yeah, don’t open that door!*


My dentist man’s gift has been preoccupying some of my time also.  He bought me the prettiest stone in Bahrain (at least I think that’s where he got it?) to wear as a necklace.  I love it, it’s gorgeous, it’s also way to big to put next to my nothing chest.  Granted, it’s so pretty you would only be noticing the rock, but we’re trying to make mountains out of mole hills here folks (Mole hills?  Who am I kidding!)  So, I made it into a bracelet.  The folks at the jewelry store did such a wonderful job, I’m just in love with it!  I’m torn; I can’t wait to show him, but I hope he’s not upset I changed it?  It’s so stinken’ pretty!   (Besides, my hands are MUCH bigger!)





Please note the care and time I took in designing and finding a jeweler who would work with me!  *SPARKLY*   See how well jewelry works as a distraction!


I really do love the bracelet, he knows me so well.  Orange, silver and sparkly!  


So guess what I’ll be doing this weekend between soccer games? 











I’ll be out cleaning the garage! 


While they’re away January 11, 2012

Filed under: Family,Home improvement,Hubby,Military — blankenmom @ 2:12 am
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…. the family will play. 

Or at least do all the things dad told them not to do.

I am notorious for well-behaved, misbehavior.  I mean, is *really* that bad?  When I’m told NOT to do something there is a trigger deep down in my body that immediately wants to do that very thing… no matter what it is!  I usually let it go seconds after it enters my brain, but a few of the idea’s linger, even fester and on occasion, turn into actual projects!  This is a good thing when it’s a new outfit, sweater, teaching tool for the boys or deep down cleaning.  Sometimes it’s even a good thought when it comes to new recipes (not often, but sometimes).

My well-meaning dentist man attempts to keep these thoughts under control for both our sakes.  He really does know me too well – he’s see’s that glint in my eye!  I mean, what could POSSIBLY go wrong while building a giant cabinet… alone…. pregnant….. with 3 other kids?  Pshaw – silly man!   But alas, sometimes the thoughts get finished before he has time to object, whether by plan or by happenstance.  (read: I work quickly when motivated)

So, while my dentist man is off rescuing hostages from pirates, one tooth at a time, my thoughts turn to what trouble…. I mean projects, I can get into.

Hmmm – I wonder what other wives do?

If you’ve ever thought “I couldn’t imagine being without my spouse for that long”, just remember these few things that help manage the time for some of us, that are not kosher when the spouse is home:

~ I get the whole bed!  (I still sleep tucked only on my side?)

~ I get to dress out of baskets the whole time he’s gone (which is why all my clothes are wrinkled and I look like I just woke up…. ok, I probably DID just wake up.)

~ I only do 3 loads of laundry a week (for me) and that’s only because I sort.  Down from laundry everyday.  (I get to add girly fabric softener too – *ahem* not that I would ever do such a thing!)

~ Top Ramen, PB&J, cheese and crackers and on occasion ice cream, become acceptable dinners.  (Especially after you burn dinner… again.)

~ Stay up WAY later than “dad” ever let’s us.  (And get up WAY later than we should too)

~ You don’t have to shave for MONTHS at a time!  (Although my soccer team much appreciates it when I do!)

See, there are perks! 

So I guess I could say my misbehavior is a manifestation of me missing my dentist man?!  (Is it working?)

There are days when I get a little choked up and I’d really like him flown home just for a few minutes, for just a hug.  These are the days that walls get painted, bathrooms become spotless, chimneys get vacuumed, carpets get cleaned, light fixtures get changed and pizza get’s ordered.  Sometimes in the same day!

These are all harmless projects mind you, I do *try* to behave.  But it’s been far too long since I did something that’s on the NO list. 

So when my dentist man comes home and spots new projects, (that I smartly didn’t ask about before hand) he somewhat understands, sighs and pats me on my head.  He’s just glad the oldest is big enough to lift me and old enough to drive me to the emergency room.



I’m quite sure I’m not the only wife who does this, I just need to find them so we can gang up…. *team up* together and get these projects done faster (and avoid the whiny wives).

(I’ve been looking for my hammer for about 2 months now… he must have told the boys to hide it?  He’s getting good!)


Boys vs. Girls *parent style* January 10, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family — blankenmom @ 12:43 am
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*I* am the mother of boys.  This is a fact.  I have been since birth.  Frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, small or large rodents – always my favorite. 

pink – definitely not.

Dirt, cow-pies, canals and pastures are where you could find me.  Happily.

clean – definitely not.




As I was watching folks at the soccer arena (where I spend all my free time now), I made an observation.  *Parents* of boys and girls are different, not just the kids themselves.  As most of us know after all, up to a certain age, they’re all the same anyway!  (The kids, not the parents)

As we’re rushing our way in 3 minutes late to my 3rd game of the weekend (3rd time late) and hoping my youngest has all his clothes on.  Our conversation in the car on the way over being, “Do you have BOTH socks on and 2 shin guards?  Do you have the CLEAN blue shirt on… did you put on underwear??”  Yes, I know, I could have just looked before we left, but remember we’re late.  I was busy getting his water, telling his brothers not to set the house on fire and being told by the oldest what time he’d be home, all while he was doing his best to tie his shoes at a snail’s pace.  (The 9-year-old, not the 16-year-old)

Luckily he wore both shoes… this time.

I was happy he made it out to the field complete.  Short, buzzed hair to aid in my sanity.  I don’t think he or his brothers even know how to brush/comb their hair?  (I did stop at velcro shoes!)  Color coded boxes, dishes, blankets, pillows and marks on their laptops, books or matching toys.  Matching, nondescript soccer items placed in a “communal bag” so there is no mad, crazy searching at the inevitable last-minute that we head out, just grab and go!  (Well, that’s at least the way it was supposed to work)

Why does all this matter?

As I look around at all the other families.  The 5 girls on his team (yes, he’s the only boy – my little stud!)  Hair tied up in cute little bow’s, flashy little soccer socks above their shiny pink/purple cleats.  Water bottles that match their mother’s or sister’s (one set of twins, another set of sisters).  Shirts with cute sayings, not a stain on them! 

They look like they spent all morning getting ready and were there in plenty of time for not just the game, but practice as well.  I’m sure *their* mothers even fed them before the game. 

What?  We’re supposed to feed them too?

If you were to watch a mother of all boys and a mother of all girls walk into a building, 9 times out of 10, you’d know which-is-which with out the kids in tow. 

I will say that the mom’s with a mixed gaggle are a bit tougher to pick out?  I hate to call them “normal”, I mean really – what IS normal?  But they’re the closest anyone can really get.

How do you pick out one of each?

The mother of boys looks like she’s just happy to have made it.  Hair is usually in a ponytail, pulled back, put up or short.  How do you plunge a toilet or remove shoe prints from the ceiling with your hair in your face?  Clothes may match, but that’s most likely because she’s dressing out of a basket – no time to actually put the clothes away, so they may be the clothes you saw her in last week at this time.  Don’t worry – they’re clean!  Tennies – always!  As the boys get older, the tennies get fancier!  Make-up… hahahaha!  Yeah right, the boys used that as war paint several years back. (No worries – there’s pic’s for future girlfriends!)  Coffee in hand – probably not her first one of the day.

Mothers of girls on the other hand, bless their hearts, show up like a fresh daisy!  (Have you ever smelled a daisy btw?)  They may be hurried, but they look great in their rush!   Perfectly quaffed hair done, and I mean done.  Blow dried, brushed, curled/straightened and sprayed… with something?  What is that?  Make-up, done just right (ok, sometimes there’s way to much, but really, they made the effort).  Their clothes match, not out of necessity, but because they actually shopped that way.    Even their shoes match!  They chose an outfit that morning and went with it – FANCY!  Her water bottle in hand – probably not her first one of the day. 

I can’t claim to know the intricacies of their lives, never been there.  But it seems very put together?

There *are* of course exceptions to these rules – there always has to be that ONE woman who throws everything off.  Boys with no stains and girls with hair that goes everywhere (I like that girl!).


As the boys get older some of these things get easier.  I even brush my hair everyday now.  But I’ll never be the mother of girls, we’ll see how I do with grand-girls?

I do admire these women, they have something I don’t and at times think I could, quite possibly enjoy – sanity.  But God in his great wisdom knew what would suite me best and sent pink bundles to women who know how to match.

Besides, who would I blame the frogs on…


1 day down and can’t complain so far! January 2, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family,Home improvement,Hubby,Military,Navy — blankenmom @ 1:07 am
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 Yes it’s only the first day, but seriously, one of my girlfriends cats died today so really the day – the year!  Could have taken a very wrong turn!  (It can only get better for her from here, right!)


What a way to start a blog – or year!

I can’t complain, well I could, but I won’t…. I managed to get my tree down before the stroke of midnight (do I know how to throw a New Years party or what!), granted it was lacking my usual hot buttered rum, but I can deal!  I managed to get all my Christmas movies in one last time AND I got to chat with me sexy dentist man on New Years – can’t beat that!  Oh wait – I can!  My house was cleaned by 4 handsome men today… granted they’re all related, but at least no one outside the family actually knows how we live!

I don’t normally do resolutions, no one ever keeps them so it seems silly, but these have been on my mind for quite a while, so I think it’s time I put them into practice.

1) Get more organized.  I’m already pretty put together, organizational wise, but with my dentist man gone, I’ve let things slide.  Since my first-born has told me (several times) that the house is a mess (never mind the fact that it’s a mess, partly because of him), I’m letting my crazy, OCD inner-chick emerge to help us out – he’s eating his words about now….


2) To trust what God’s got planned a little more (this should be interesting with the whole OCD chick running free?).  We’ll see how this goes! 



With so many things up in the air for us this coming year I could take a few different paths: 




Panic – dramatic and always a decent choice. 

Give up and just be a grouch – it seems to work for so many people.  Hey, why not join them! 

Be a freaking “Mary Poppins” and annoy every one around me – you know who they are.  I always want to just flick them on the nose! 

*OR* just accept things as they come along.  This will be a new concept to me – I like to worry, it comforts me.  I have the ulcer to prove it.

So I’m taking this year as it comes, not knowing if we’ll keep our renters… and “that house”; if we’ll stay in or get out of the military; if the Mayan calendar is correct; if Merlin will ever make it back to HULU????….. or a myriad of other questions that will undoubtedly greet me in the coming year.




One day down…..












… and 364 more to get in a few new outfits here and there!