Sunday, April 30, 2006

I’m a heathen.

This is week 3 that we haven’t made it to church.  I really miss going to church when we don’t go.  The week just doesn’t seem complete, regardless of personal study time.  This is a wild week and it has just poured over to today.  I don’t mind the wild weeks; sometimes I need them for motivation.  I just wish I could remove some of the burden from Jonathan.

This is a busy week at work for him (he has a deadline Monday and Wednesday).  Monday’s is out of the question, because his Uncle Jerry’s funeral is Monday in Tulsa with a burial at Ft. Gibson.  We are debating going to the burial so he can get some more work done that afternoon.  Thursday I have my next ultrasound, and the only one he has missed was the one we got really freaked out about.  He refuses to miss it.  Then we have the Oklahoma Homeschool Convention in OKC Friday and Saturday.  We also have the Pawnee Steam and Gas Engine Show (which runs Friday thru Sunday), Jonathan has missed that, maybe 3 times in his life.  

I know he is feeling a lot of pressure, I just wish I could take some of this away.  I know the Steam and Gas Engine Show may seem like something he can skip, but after the week he is going to have he deserves a chance to do something just for fun Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Prayer Request (updated)

My dad just called. Dick Dawes is about to go in for surgery to remove his big and little toe on his foot (he has already had his other leg amputated just below the knee), and they will be trying to open up veins to improve circulation (he is diabetic).

Dick is the father of Koni, my dad’s wife. Please pray for a successful surgery and their family, especially his wife Bonnie, as she is his primary care giver.


This isn't an update on Dick. Jonathan just called about 20 minutes ago and his Uncle Jerry passed away. He was leaving work to go to his Aunt and Uncle's house. He spent a few hours there after work last night in hopes of getting to see Jerry, but he only saw him asleep. Jerry's son Alan is a Chaplin in the military stationed in Japan, as far as I know his flight home wasn't to arrive until 5 this evening. Please pray for the Snyder family at this time. Jerry we believe was in his late 50’s, at least he isn’t in pain anymore.

Morning People (Updated)

This article has an interesting concept of how to become a morning person (it also links to this). I’m not a morning person and after having kids I’m not a night owl either (I am on occasion, but not like I used to be). After I go put the kids to bed, I am wiped out and ready for bed whether I’m really sleepy or not. My kids sleep a pretty normal (for their age) 10-12 hours. I just stay asleep with them. I need to learn how to get up. I can accomplish soooo much before they wake up. I may try this, this weekend and next week. If it works for me maybe it will work for Jonathan (he is KING of the snooze button).

Do you abuse the snooze button? Do you have tips on being a morning person?


Jonathan has expressed interest in this sleep technique in the past (he read somewhere Thomas Edison used it). The gist is you sleep in 20-30 minute increments every 4 hours. You are rested like sleeping through the night, but you only sleep 2-3 hours a day. It’s the power nap on steroids. With such a good plan maybe we should give it a try. This may be all we get after having the twins anyway.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Uncle Jerry

Please keep Jonathan and his family in your prayers.  His Uncle is literally on his deathbed (cancer-fast spreading-less then 2 years since diagnosis); Jonathan is paying probably his last visit with him tonight.

My children are channeling some type of demon, so I’m going to put them to bed now at 7:45.  I am just totally finished with their attitudes today and Jonathan isn’t home.  Even if he were I doubt he’d want to put up with their insane behavior.  

Bad mood

I’m not in a great mood today.  I’m not sure why (hormones, cold/wet weather, etc.) and over all it isn’t a big deal.  I would just like to know why on days when I’m feeling foul do my kids push me?  Some days they are so compliant and well behaved and some days they are just so defiant and question (or correct, when they are wrong) everything I say.  Today fits into the latter category.  

Victoria has had the gall to say that she didn’t want to do what I said and ask what her punishment would be, and starts listing what I might do.  Needless to say with that kind of attitude, she got in far worse trouble.  Maybe I over reacted, but why when you know you’re on thin ice would you ask to get in bigger trouble by being a punk?  I even warned her and told her to stop before she got in bigger trouble, which she didn’t do.

I just wish on my bad mood days the kids would channel an “angelic” day to make mine better.  Sadly the world just doesn’t work that way.

The funny thing is regardless of kids, these days just happen.  For some it’s lack of productivity at work, bad customers or just “Murphy” making our day hard.  Oh, well tomorrow is another day, and I will do what I can to make this one and the next better.  Maybe I just need a nap.

The gene pool…

…just got a little shallower.

Time to Kill

I’m still on the look out for one of these, at preferably not an insane price.  I wish I were frivolous enough to buy the “buy it now” for over $60 on ebay last week.  I would have had one by now, except a lot of these auctions end in the middle of the night.  Most are in the UK, what’s up with that?  I’m sleeping and not willing to get up and sneak in a bid at the end.  I keep thinking this could be a great tool for my hospital stay after the twins, that and episodes of 24 (I’ve only seen season 1).  I’ve read a book each time with the last 2 kids (I have insomnia for the first 2-3 days after having a baby).  Does anyone have time killing suggestions?  We’re planning a c-section with the twins, so I’m in for 4 days instead of 2.  That’s a lot of time to kill and there’s very little on TV and I don’t feel like taking my cross-stitch stuff.  I still have between (the good Lord willing) 10 and 13 weeks to go, I’m just planning early.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Viticulture (growing grapes)

I just happened to run across a great article on an improved viticulture course offering at Redlands Community College in El Reno, OK (that is if the vines they planted are there after yesterday’s storm).  Granted this is not a nearby school, but the article discusses online and distance education courses.  I am still scouring their catalogue and course schedule for these classes they have held in the past and I am having no luck.  I really dislike reading a PDF file of this size online (it’s just not as easy as flipping real pages in my opinion).

We spent a fair share of the weekend mulching the blackberries.  Some watering was done and if what I saw was correct on the Doppler they were watered well by the rain yesterday (I just hope it didn’t wash too much of the mulch off).  

Back to the article, if you read nothing but the last paragraph of it, that is where my interest perked up.  This is a financial stat we haven’t seen yet.  Granted the amount of money must be divided as you have to pay workers (and partners) and it is sales as opposed to profits, but it looks nice.  This was the kind of thing Jonathan and I needed to see as we are just frustrated by the start up of planting blackberries.  Next year we plan to start on the vines (that’s going to be even worse).

Monday, April 24, 2006


I was a bit preoccupied by family events, that is until I read Kelly’s comment. I forgot I hadn’t updated about my doctors appointments and the twins.

Here is the baby run down.

I am already having contractions, but right now it’s no big deal (emphasis on right now). I am only 27 weeks along which means we really would like for me to go at least another 10 weeks. Don’t worry too much. I was walking around in labor for 6 weeks before I had Jackson and 4 weeks before I had Victoria. I’m not really progressing right now, so I’m just taking it easy.

Alex (baby a) is still bigger then Owen (baby b). The weight gap is getting larger, but percentage wise it’s about the same (20% difference in weight). Alex is currently 2 lbs 2 oz and Owen is 1 lb 11 oz. The doctors seem less concerned as we go (I’m taking that as a good sign). They just keep saying the range is okay and that we just have to keep watching this. I have another ultrasound in 2 weeks.

We saw a different fetal/maternal specialist (in the same office) this week then we have before, maybe it was his personality, but I do feel a lot more at ease about my little guys. My current guess is that we will be moving to be close to the hospital around mid May.


No one knows how thankful I am for Jonathan. Seriously, I mean that. I know that we (at least many of us) are thankful for our spouses. I read my friend Jeremy and his wildly, talented wife Tiffany’s blog and I know they truly appreciate and love one another, but I have no idea how much. From their blogs I have read about Scott and Kelly, the same experience occurs; I can’t fathom the love they have. I know from reading Cam’s blog that he really loves and appreciates his wife as well.

The funny thing is I don’t know Cam, Tiffany, Kelly or Scott outside the blog realm, but there words express their appreciation for the one they love.

I am reminded of how lucky I am and I am grateful today. Unfortunately the reminder comes from hearing of the demise of a marriage and the lose of a child, in Jonathan’s family. It’s amazing how sadness and joy often times bring about the same reflections in our lives.

Thank you Jonathan for being mine, and thank you for our 2(4) kids. Life wouldn’t be the same without all of you. You are amazing.

-If you ever wonder why Jonathan never comments, it’s because he calls and responds instead of typing something up. I think he’s nervous of who might be “watching” at work and when he’s home he just tells me his thoughts. If he ever does post a comment I will be surprised.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


We’re leaving in the morning for Norman and another doctor’s appointment and ultrasound.  We will spend Saturday tending the blackberries, so we will be out of commission.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Where were you...(updated)

…11 years ago today? Do you remember? I was in 10th grade biology outside doing some random experiment. Why do I remember? The next class period I was sent to pick something up for my teacher and I heard before the rest of my school (from a friend who was an office aid I ran into in the hall) that the Murrah Federal Building in OKC had been bombed. My sister had been working on her masters project just down the street that same day (every week) for weeks (she wasn’t there that day), my dad used to live in the apartment complex down the street that was damaged by the blast and my other sister had also been employed near by the year before (she had since changed jobs and locations). I know people who lost parents in the blast. I consider it a day of innocence lost.

I don’t have cable, so I’ve seen no news today, but it seems that Oklahoma is the only one remembering today. has nothing; the yahoo home page has nothing. I’ve only seen information of this tragedy on the Daily Oklahoman site.

No, I don’t want to dwell on it; I would just like to see a little bit of acknowledgment. We can’t forget events of the past (this or 9/11); otherwise we set ourselves up for additional heartache in the future. It’s amazing to think it’s been 11 years (how things have changed from 16 to 27). I will always remember.

Correction the OKC bombing is on the web page. It's at the very bottom right under suggested searches. Still no info unless you choose to search it and minimal acknowledgment.

2 things

1.  The media is making a HUGE deal about the “White House Shake Up”.  Guess what?  Every administration goes through cabinet and staff changes.  Regardless of who the President is or what their party affiliation is, jobs surrounding that office are very high stress.  Heck, look at how old they look after 4 years.  It’s tough; it’s normal, big deal.

2.  Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes daughter Suri’s name doesn’t mean princess in Hebrew.  Sarah or Sara is Hebrew for princess.  Abraham’s wife’s name was changed from Sarai to Sarah; believe me I should know.  You don’t get much more Hebrew then something found in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Monty's Birthday (updated)

Check out the entry for the “How Monty and I celebrated her birthday” contest (I'm talking about the one submitted by Zero on the 17th). It was very funny and worth the read. My computer locked up and I had to restart it to finish it and I got a good giggle.

Awesome A/C

It’s 94 degree outside and I turned on the A/C for the first time today.

The funny thing is until about the last hour the temperature has remained between 75-78 degrees without the A/C. My A/C is set at 80. How “cool” is that, I turn on my A/C and I still haven’t used it?

My son...

…is a nasty booger making factory.

That is all.


I haven’t written much about what’s going on with my husband's latest greatest scheme. Here is just an idea of what is going on here on our end.

Jonathan has a brother in California who is interested in coming home to Oklahoma, to run a winery. Jonathan would also love to do this, so the process is in the beginning stages. We are beginning with blackberries. Yes, that is correct. Blackberries yield a full crop 1 year after planting. Grapes yield a half crop 3 years after planting and a full crop at 5 years. As fruit wines are increasing in popularity we think it’s a good place to start and we know that blackberries thrive around here with a lot less water then grapes. We have not quite and acre and a ½ of blackberries planted right now. Weekends have been spent where they are planted on my in-laws property an hour and a half away.

We are spending a lot of time reading and studying wine recipes, viticulture; winery business plans, discussing locations and the purchase of additional land (closer to where we are). We are in the very beginning stages. We know for now we will have to buy our grapes from a supplier to start our recipe experiments. I’m most interested in sparkling wine production (very long involved process, but totally interesting).

If you have a favorite brand, type of wine or something you would like us to try (okay so I’m not really trying anything right now), let us know. We are checking out information about Oklahoma wineries and their web sites (some of their wines are very, very good). We are also examining a lot of stuff from the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association (OGGWMA). It’s an amazing process; it appeals to the part of me that liked chemistry (I only enjoyed the lab).

Just as a fun fact Oklahoma currently has 34 working wineries and 6 in the application process. Many of these have been started since 2000. It’s amazing how things change.


My husband just sent me this in an e-mail. I thought it was a good perspective. Turn the tables and see if things would work out the same. I also thought this was very funny.


David M. Bresnahan

April 1, 2006

Dear President Bush:

I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few arrangements. I know you can help with this. I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over?

Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:
1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
3. All government forms need to be printed in English.
4. I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking teachers.
5. Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.
6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole at their school with the Mexican flag flying lower down.
7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.
9. I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone, please be sure that all police officers speak English.
11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws or tax laws.
13. Please tell all the people in the country to be extremely nice and never say a critical word about me, or about the strain I might place on the economy.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all the people who come to the U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that Pres. Fox won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

However, if he gives you any trouble, just invite him to go quail hunting with your V.P. Thank you so much for your kind help.

David M. Bresnahan

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I know I haven’t been too political lately, so for those of you who miss that sort of thing, here is my rant for today.

My Great-Great Grandparents came to this country legally. They did things by the book; I think everyone else should have to do the same.

Are they illegal immigrants or illegal aliens? Does the changing of the last word bring about more sympathy? I think so. Is it sad that some illegals have kids and grandkids here? Yes. Should our government do something about this? Yes. Will they? Not a snowballs chance in Hell.

I have a story about an illegal alien for you. This is a first hand personal experience. The date is December 2, 2004 its 2am. I wake to the sound of my car getting hit head on in front of my house where I am LEGALLY parked. The vehicle occupants upon not being able to start their car run off down the street on foot. The occupants are one Hispanic male, one female and a baby (not in a car seat), and a 6 pack of beer. I had an eyewitness down the street who watched them run. My car is wrecked, bad. Is it fixable? Yes. Is it currently drivable? No. When the report is sent to the Hit and Run Department they find out who owns the car and where they live. They also find out that they are illegal and have no license or insurance (DUH!). Do I have any recourse? No. I can’t prosecute them and no one will hunt them down and deport them. These people have just stolen from me. Yes, I still have the car, but I can’t afford to fix it (still). Would I be in jail had I done the same thing? You bet. I know life isn’t fair, but this is just another case.

If I have to follow the law so should they. Also I’d really like for them to have the courtesy to learn English. My German family did.

The next post is from today also, please don’t miss it.


As usual it is the week before Easter and my voice will be completely gone any minute. This is a yearly occurance I could live with out. Thankfully I don't have to sing a special Sunday (I've had to change to men's songs in years past).

That is all.

Name Game (the final round?)

Owen and Alex have been our preliminary choices for the boys. Last night I came up with middle names Jonathan approved of. He even has labeled A and B by name now.

Your thoughts:

Baby A: “Alex” Alexander Sloan Ritchie (ASR)

Baby B: Owen Banks Ritchie (OBR)

Alexander is the only name that isn’t family related in some way.

Alexander-Greek-Helper and Defender of Mankind
Owen-Celtic-Young Warrior
Banks-None found

By meanings we sound like a battling bunch.

I’m not able to find a way to make fun of these yet, but then again children are better at that then I am.


Banks as a surname means, someone who lives by a riverbank (go figure), or Irish for corpulent (well is guess you can make fun of that). Can't you see the conversation- "So what does Banks mean?" "Slightly overweight." Charming, I think I'll stick with the riverbank meaning.

Monday, April 10, 2006


We just got a call from the Realtor; they have received the signed acceptance of the contract on our OKC house from the second buyer! The information has been sent to the first buyer, to either remove their contingency or drop their bid.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

How are you?

We don’t have TTTS!  We still have a problem, but this isn’t it!  Baby B is now only 3 oz behind baby A instead of 4 oz, but he still has visibly less fluid in his sack (this has a name, but I’ve forgotten it).  This is now more pronounced, as he has gotten bigger.  This is a concern, but I’m not in the hospital and I don’t have to go back next week, so YIPEE!  I have now been bumped up to OB and specialist/ultrasounds every 2 weeks.  This makes for long Friday’s.

On the HOME sale front, we are in contract on our OKC house.  The buyer has a contingency in the contract regarding the sale of their home in Norman.  On the way into OKC last night our Realtor called and said we have another offer.  We have countered and are waiting for a reply.  If we can agree on a contract, with the new buyer, we have a walk out clause in the first one, where they drop the contingency or drop their offer.  This house has been on the market with us paying bills and the mortgage for 9 months now.  Hopefully we will be done with all of that next month!  We did stop by the house yesterday and I must say I miss my pretty hardwood floors.  Our wood floors here are ugly and too thin to refinish.

We mowed for the first time of the year today.  It’s such a love hate relationship.  I love the smell of fresh mowed grass; I just don’t care for doing it in the heat of summer.  Jonathan was funny, he kept telling me I shouldn’t mow if I couldn’t get it started, but being the beast I am it started right up.  Like I said in my first pregnancy, I’m pregnant, not dead!  Ha!  Ha!

How are you?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

This Week

The elders at church anointed me Monday night and prayed over the babies and me.  

I’m tired, pregnancy or time change I’m not really sure.  If we could just get to bed on time, and up, I think it would help.  It’s going to take some time and doing.

I’ve been working on the routines in our house; we are defiantly going to need them soon.  I’ve been working on my “control journal” (think household command center) from  It definitely helps.  The housework may not be done, but at least I’m slowly walking through it (baby steps).  Victoria is a huge help; she can almost make her bed by herself.  Jackson can strip his and is learning to put his dishes in the dishwasher.

I have a blood glucose test Friday first thing (standard preg test), a regular OB appointment, and another ultrasound with the specialist in OKC.  As usual our trip to Norman will be one full day Friday.  The only problem with the new car was a potential alignment problem, which I’m also going to take in and have checked Friday.    

We hope to finish de-uglying Jackson’s room this weekend.  I’ll post some pictures soon of the progress.  It amazes me the amount of junk they put on the walls in this room.  My strange thought right now is that I may paint his walls brown.  Jonathan is even okay with it.  I think brown, navy and cream with his bedding and things will look very nice and will work well know while he’s a grubby little boy on until he’s a grubby teenager.

Have a good week.