Friday, February 29, 2008

How much is that doggy on the bloggy???

OK, I know when I have hit my limit, and I've hit my limit. I also know it's been a long winter, and that contributes to it, but I know it's also going to be a busy summer too. One of the dogs has to go. I don't have the heart to take her to a shelter, or list her on some classifieds for some stranger to find, but I figure with all the people that I know that read my blog, there's a good chance that by word of mouth, I can find her a good home.

Let me introduce you to Cleo. She is a purebred Keeshond and almost three years old. We've had her since she was a puppy. We bought her from a reputable breeder, but I've realized that she just isn't my favorite breed. She is about 32 pounds and is very furry. Ideal for cold climates and will need grooming periodically. She is totally housebroken, crate trained, although we don't use her crate frequently because she is fine in the house when we're not home. She does bark at the doorbell and strangers on walks, but is just noisy (we have a barking collar for her that works very well). She is great with other dogs and kids. In fact, she's wonderful with kids - my kids climb all over her and she's never even lifted her lip to growl.

We love her, I just can't do four kids, a husband, a house and two dogs anymore. We're willing to put her on a plane to get to the right home for her. You can email me with questions at

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spare Change for a bald head?

My initial contact with the blogging world all started with my friend Erin's little nephew Finn. He was diagnosed with leukemia at just 17 months old. Finn is Sauce's age and ever since his diagnosis, I have thought about families affected by these horrible diseases and how they must feel, "why me?" I ask the question, "Why not me?" Why was it Finn and not Sauce? I don't know. I know we live in a fallen world and as a result we must wrestle with the evils in it, but I learned to hug my kids tighter and keep perspective during the tougher times of everyday parenting. I'm thankful that so far I've had healthy children, but I know that there is nothing special that qualifies me for that, and I will always keep moving through life with tenderness and appreciation because of it.

I followed his journey through chemo and I am thrilled to say that he is cancer free today. You can trace his journey at Finn's Caringbridge page. After I heard about his story, I soon started following about 15-20 Caringbridge pages and that eventually led me to keeping my own blog. So, I have a special place in my heart for Finn.

Well, Finn's parents Natalie and Eamonn support an organization called St. Baldricks. St. Baldrick's began as a casual conversation between friends and is now the world's--THE WORLD'S!--biggest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer. In eight years, events have taken place in 18 countries and 46 US states, raising over $34 million, and shaving more than 46,000 heads. Thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family. The money goes to hospitals for pediatric cancer research. Nationwide Children's Hospital, where Finn was treated in Columbus, and Denver Children's are both recipients of St. Baldrick's money. They also award research fellowships. Anyway, it's pretty cool to think that the very programs where Finn was being treated, and was a part of a study, receive the funds they're working to raise.

Eamonn is shaving his head again this year to raise money for St. Baldricks. If you feel like you could contribute to his soon-to-be chilly skull, here's the link to Eamonn's page (for some reason, I can't get the link to work directly... you must search for Eamonn R under participants).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My niece... such a cutie pie!!!

Well, my brother and his wife refuse to put up their own blog, so I'm claiming bragging rights for my niece Eva. She's about seven weeks older than Squirt and she is a doll! She's crawling and pulling up on the furniture, as well as eating a ton of finger food with her 8+ teeth (Squirt has none). Here are some cute recent shots of my girl!

Always and forever a Chicago Cubbies fan!!!

My brother Jeff with his girl! They live in a 900 square foot condo, so guinea pigs are their pet of choice - I think O'Neil is sitting on his lap.

A glamour girl already!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Back to the basics

Well our play room in the basement had gotten so out of control that I couldn't even walk down the stairs without feeling angry (I wish I had a before and after pictures to show you). The boys would make such a mess that they were overwhelmed when they tried to clean it up...... hence me yelling, them crying..... you know the routine (I hope). When they went out skiing with Kenyon last week I spent a couple hours in the basement with a few trash bags and several rubbermaid bins. I threw a lot of toys in the garbage, but everything else I packed away in bins designated for my springtime garage sale (growing larger every day), and a couple of bins for the boys to "earn back" if they showed me that they could put the toys away that I left out. The only things I left for them were: books, trains and train table, the plastic basketball hoop and three balls, a bin of legos and two mini-trampolines. Go figure that now I find them actually PLAYING trains!!! My spoiled American children. You know they have too much when they're not terribly disappointed that the majority of their toys got taken away. A lesson for the future.

Anyway, this is what I'm planning for future toys.... this was emailed to me and I think it's great!

I also saw this and I'm quite sure that our four boys as teenagers will think of this... we'll have to keep our eye on them!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Mom, can we play K'NEX?"

K'Nex is the popular toy in this house right now. Hunter got a starter kit for Christmas because he is the boy who will make something out of ANYTHING. He regularly pulls trash out of the bins and comes to me with a mangled scotch taped creation saying, "Mom, look what I made!" He has earned the nickname "Dumpster Diver" in our family. So, I thought K'NEX would be a constructive outlet for him, but all the boys love them and I am currently shopping for second hand bins of them to add to the collection. Luckily, they're not totally independent to build some of the bigger things yet, so it's good time for mommy to sit and "help" with certain projects. Sauce wanted to build the windmill this week, so we did it together - it actually has a motor that spins the top part. Pretty cool. Meanwhile, Hunter was making his own racecar and Rufus made a little fighter jet.
I do have to add that once Squirt starts crawling, this toy is going to be a nightmare!!!

Oh to be three again...

I'm sure that someone out there who is gifted in math and statistics could explain to me WHY - if there is a 50/50 chance for certain things to happen when there are two equally possible choices - Rufus puts his pants, shirts and underwear on backwards and his shoes on the wrong feet 95% of the time!!! Oh, how we love this boy!!!

Davy and the boys!

Well, if arranged marriages were politically correct today, I think we would have found a match! My dear friend from college Karen, her husband Jeremy and their sweet 9 month old daughter Davis Milan (a.k.a. Davy, Davy Crockett, or Baby Crockett) came to visit from NYC for a quick weekend of Park City skiing and playing with the Sweeneys.
At first we thought that we'd arrange for Squirt and Davis to sign an agreement, but they didn't show a lot of interest in each other. Sauce fell in love with little Davy though, and was such a helper and a sweet friend to her. The legal paperwork is still to come, but serious talks are in progress!!! We had such a fun weekend. Kenyon and Jeremy skiied Park City Mountain Resort and Snowbird and were blessed with a weekend FULL of snowstorms. Then Karen and I got to get out together for part of the day on Sunday at Park City. I'm sorry to say that Karen is a snowboarder. Even though she went over to the dark side, I still loaned her some snow gear to go board her bootie off on the mountain. I have to say though, not only is she really good, she helps to improve the reputation of all those ill-mannered snowboarders out there!

Here are Sauce and Davy studying the map of Park City.

The Gaskill family in the snow cave in our front yard. Jeremy spent hours outside with Hunter shoveling these deep tunnels in the MOUNTAIN of snow in our front yard.

On Saturday when the men were at Snowbird, and the older boys were at ski school all day, Karen and I took Davis, Squirt and Rufus to the community indoor pool. This pool has a two story waterslide, a lazy river and a zero edge, soft-floored play area with a playground for the little ones. We had so much fun and it was the babies' first time in a pool like this. They loved it and Rufus was unstoppable!

Davy and Squirt in the locker room, ready to swim!

Karen and Davy

What fun!

Finishing out the night with a story as usual. We're reading one of our favorites, "Pirates don't sit on babies!" Davis is watching from above!

Guilty as charged

Since we're homeschoolers, I regularly attend a homeschooling support group and we try to have monthly field trips for the children to enjoy. I was responsible for planning and arranging January's field trip, so I arranged to have a tour of the brand new police station in Park City. One of the officers happens to attend our church, so I asked him if our group could come for a tour. He graciously arranged it and unfortunately when the day arrived, a fairly large snow storm had hit the night before. Out of 34 people who RSVP'd to be there... we had four. Yup, the boys and I got a private tour of the police station and had a blast.

Officer Mark Chytraus is explaining technical police protocol to my boys. Rufus felt the need to get down on Mark's level.

The vehicles were one of the highlights for us. They got to sit on the police 4-wheeler.

The Park City police drive Harley Davidson motorcycles in the summer (nothing but the best for 84060!)

These are the benches that arrestees get handcuffed to as they are processed. There is no real jail at our police station, so this was the closest thing to it. I couldn't convince Officer Chytraus to handcuff these suspects to the benches though!

Hunca and Pop Pop's visit

I have quite a bit of catching up to do here on the blog. Life moves fast in the Sweeney house! Soon after my mom left, Kenyon's parents came to visit for nine days. The boys loved having their grandparents here. Hunca Munca and Pop Pop came prepared to do lots of activities with the boys like skiing, cooking, reading and playing charades and "Uno Attack." They also got to come see Hunter and Sauce at swimming lessons and go snowshoeing too. In the middle of the visit, they took a short trip down to south central Utah to visit a town called Cedar City. They returned refreshed and ready to finish soaking up their time with their four grandsons.

Hunca Munca broke out the aprons again to make a meal of pork loin, salad and a chocolate pie (made with tofu) for dessert.

Here they are enjoying the views of southern Utah

A tuckered out Rufus finds a comfortable lap!

Enjoying a story before bed

About Me

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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