Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One Moment

If you live near the Princess' house, you might want to try and see the "Living Nativity" put on by Cathedral of Joy. We don't go every year, and you do have to sit through some weird little Christmas plays before getting out to see the nativity, but it is worth it.

We took the princesses out Sunday night to see it, and they were in awe of seeing Mary riding on a real donkey with Joseph along side her, watching the shepherds tending real sheep and donkeys, watching the wisemen come with their camels and gifts, gasping as Herod's soldiers came looking for the baby King. Even the tiniest princess was silent for a moment as we watched how it may have been. I think what moved me the most was thinking on what one gal shared at MOPS last week combined with seeing visually what Jesus' birth night may have been like. She shared how she had been thinking about Mary, and how Mary was just a teenager, and that she may have been mocked and made to feel ashamed because she became pregnant before she was married. Anyway, seeing "Mary" riding that donkey and thinking about how my back aches at the end of the day during pregnancy/labor without cross-country donkey rides, made me ache for her and what she must have felt like that night physically, not to mention emotionally.

For me it was very moving, a welcome reminder in this last frenzied week to contemplate the very real sacrifices that a young girl and her young husband made so that our Lord could be born as it was foretold in Isaiah.

Like I said, if you can, you might try and go, if nothing else for those last 15 minutes out in the cold remembering what Christmas is all about. . .

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pay Back

Every second Tuesday I get to look forward to not only MOPS, but Bunco that evening. So Tuesday came and went, had a great MOPS, very inspiring, had a great Bunco, lots of laughs and great fellowship, and then woke up Wednesday morning to my real life. . .

Why or maybe How is a better way to start this question. How do kids know when their moms have had a wonderful time or are totally relaxed before mom has even risen from slumber? Mine do anyway, and then like to take full advantage by either ruining my mood by being difficult and testing every boundary or by just plain being crabby. Hmmm. (Might be worth some tax dollars Uncle Sam.) Anyway, you can read where this is going, we had a rough day Wednesday. Even the unemotional, uncomplaining baby I watch was crabby. So when the baby's father came to get her just as I had taken off my referee shirt AGAIN and holding his cranky baby, and asked how the day had been, I was honest. (Not that I am not normally honest, I was just blunt, the day had been a day from "you know where".)

Well I must say that my honesty paid off somewhat. Long story short, but due to a surgery the baby's mom is unable to care for baby which is why I have her even though the mom is at home. Anyway, their housekeeper will now be "helping" me out by taking the baby Monday and Friday. Maybe I should press my luck and see if she wants three more to really "help" me out!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Fun

We got our tree on Friday afternoon and got it up that evening. It is our biggest ever . . . and smells so wonderful! The whole house just smells like Christmas, it's been such a treat. The girls had fun putting up their ornaments and "reminiscing" about when they got each one. R has been enjoying hanging and rehanging which ever ornament or candy cane is handiest. I have gotten a kick out of how sneaky she can be! Her new phrase is "Merry Cismas TO YOU". She yells the "to you"-very funny.

A and G are getting practice time in for their Christmas program which is coming up in a couple weeks. Some of them are sung correctly others not. And it has been hard to correct when they are being sung so earnestly.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


It snowed today. No more than an inch or two, but it was the wonderful wet, easily packed variety. Perfect for snowman building!! The girls and I had a great time making three snowmen. A and G have been in and out all day. And Murray is a real snow-loving dog. He has been having fun shoveling it with his nose and rolling around it.

M has just about got all the trim up in the living room and dining room! Yay! We're just under the one year mark. Now if we can just get time to paint the stairwell, we'll be done with that project officially.

Got a couple of the Christmas goodies done today. However one entire batch of candy cane cookies took a dive off the counter (with a little help) and was a total loss. I am over it now, but for about an hour I was ready to call off Christmas--at least the goodie making part of it. Oh well. Guess we'll try a different kind tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Day Overdue

M and I have been having conversations over the past, well, really month about how hectic and crazy things are and what we can/should do about it. So we decided that we should try to list out all the weekly chores and daily activities and see if we can figure out where the time is escaping to. Well, after he got all the stuff that we HAVE to do daily (like get dressed, fix meals, homeschool, etc.) he showed me that if we really manage our time well I would have an hour free in the morning and then possibly two hours before it was time to start dinner! Wow--three whole unused hours in the day (please feel free to read in your own sarcastic tone. . .)

Actually hearing that put things in perspective. No wonder I feel like my days melt into a heap of "got nothing done again". Because in reality how many days actually go according to plan. That spare hour in the morning gets sucks into cajoling the oldest to do school or changing diapers or getting snacks or (gasp!) checking email.

So we listed all the chores that we (read Princess Diaries) would like to get done weekly and set it up in Outlook. Yesterday I managed to knock two things off the list and make some Yule Kakka and was feeling kind of heady. Today when I check the email a list of chores pops up each with the caption of "one day overdue"! I need to change that setting right quick. I wonder what happens if I don't get to any of them this week. Hopefully it recycles weekly--so that by the time I finally clean my bathroom it won't say 90 days overdue!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

R's Christmas List

Well our littlest sweetie, who has no idea what Christmas is or why her older sisters are so excited about it, has a list of her own! I asked her (after asking her older sister) what she wanted for Christmas and she answered without hesitation, "NEW SHOES"! Not only new shoes, but pretty new shoes! Very cute. So we will be finding a pair of pretty new shoes for our youngest . . .

Today R succombed to the stomach bug that has been plaguing our family for the past couple of weeks. I was hoping that she was going to avoid it, since G had recovered by Wednesday, but no such luck. Looks like I'll be missing church . . . again!

And to go back to Christmas again, after a shopping trip Friday, we just have one gift left to purchase for M's family. What a relief to be done with half of the shopping. My goal was to have the gifts done for his side and ready to ship by Thanksgiving and it is looking promising.

I am trying to pare down my Christmas goodie list to something a bit more realistic. But I must say I like my old stand-bys too much to let very many go in order to try some new recipes out. Hopefully I can include the older girls in the goodie making more this year and that it will keep their interest so we can get more done!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

So It Begins

"Sues at?"(who's that?) "Why mommy?" are two new phrases that Miss R has perfected over the past week. You know the phrases that are so cute to start out with that you answer them carefully, making eye contact, really looking at what the kid is pointing at. . . then after the second day you glance and then just pick a name that will satisfy her curiosity. However this third one of mine is one sharp cookie I must brag. I glanced quickly at what she was showing me, saw it was a picture with Disney princesses on it, so I just randomly picked one to answer "sues at Mommy?" while wrist deep in raw chicken. And she starts yelling "no Mommy" "Riel, not no white" (Ariel not Snow White). I didn't know she knew the Disney princesses by sight! I knew she recognized "Cinderawla", but not the others. I guess the Disney indoctrination starts earlier with each subsequent daughter! So it begins . . .

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Snaggletooth No More

A's Christmas list has a new #1: her two front teeth! The first tooth hung in there a LONG time, until finally she let me give it a gentle tug and out it came. (Her poor gums are still in recovery from that one!) And then after eating an apple just a few days later, her second front tooth went from kinda-sorta loose to snaggle tooth! It was hanging in there at the funniest angle, but she wouldn't let us take it out. We were calling her "snaggletooth", "snag", and any other deviations of it that we could come up with. She finally decided on Saturday night that I could help it out--whew.

She looks so cute with them missing. A bit vampire-ish at times, but still cute! Here are some pictures of her and Halloween, if you run your mouse over them you will see captions:

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

As some of you know, I babysit my neighbor's daughter pretty much full time. And most days here lately, it has just been overwhelming. Not that this baby is such a pain, it's just one more drain on me and my time and my time with my kids. Trying to balance homeschooling, other activities, three kids, not to mention attempting to keep a clean (okay, the appearance of clean) house has been frustrating.

However in the past week I have noticed that my older two are picking up on my negative vibes toward the whole babysitting-thing. It's taken me a few days to feel convicted about this, but I do now. We've had a few days off from having the baby and it has been so nice.

But today we had her back and I was determined to set the attitude off for the day in the right direction. When the kids responded with a chorus of "oh not J" when I told them she would be over right away, I reminded them that baby doesn't get the chance to learn much about Jesus at her house and that this was a chance we had to share Jesus' love with her. Immediately after my little sermon-ette, I got tested. The phone rings it's the baby's mom, apparently she over-slept and is now running late. I felt my blood beginning to boil, all of my kids slept in today, but because I knew that she'd be over right away, I forced my tired body out of bed and got going much earlier than I wanted to! After a stern self-talk and a quick sarcastic "must be nice" to myself I moved on!

So now as I type, I can hear a chorus of "love your neighbor" (from Veggie tales) being sung to our little guest. God is good. He can even work through a sleep-deprived, frustrated mama!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Day of Firsts

Today has been a day of firsts. A and G went to ECHO (a homeschool co-op) today for the first time. Both of them loved their classes! G had a great time in the preschool class and A had fun in Music, Science, Sign Language and PE. I am excited for them and for this opportunity.

M and I took R to Lowe's and met with a kitchen designer. She will come up with a design and cabinet suggestions for us hopefully as soon as next week. We'll see how that goes. I hope she can come up with a good design.

R and I were snuggling on the couch watching "people" as she puts it ("Little People" video), when she put her head on my lap and said "I wuff you". It took a second for me to recognize the words--she's never said them before. So of course I gave her a big hug and told her I loved her. What a sweet and special first!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Spelling Lessons

So, A is really into spelling and is really pretty good at it too. She is figuring out though, that English is full of pesky rules that contradict themselves. She is learning when to use "ck" or "ke" at the ends of words at school and then gets frustrated when she tries to apply the basic rules to other words! Thankfully she has a good sense of humor about it all and usually comments on why do we have to speak this language?

Today on our way home from Target, she asked me what a "chev-ro-LET" is. And of course kept repeating it until I notice that the truck that just passed me has "chevrolay" (phonetically speaking), spelled out on the tailgate. Ah-ha! Mommy has the answer. I tell her the correct pronunciation and she proceeds to question why cars have names, etc. So I tell her that our van aka "big blue Stu", is also aka "Pontiac Montana". After we get home and parked (AND DON'T YOU DARE TELL HER I TOLD YOU THIS--I WILL DENY ANY & ALL KNOWLEDGE OF IT!!), I overheard her ask "big blue Stu", if she could call him "Montana" sometimes! How cute is that?!

I have hope, maybe she's not 13 after-all!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sew Fun

Well today has been great! We didn't plan anything, don't have to go anywhere, and we're taking advantage of it! The girls have been outside most of the day, M has been out in the shop and I've been sewing.

I don't think that I have sewed this much since G was about the age R is now. It stopped being fun, so I stopped doing it--mostly because of the extra help, and of course a new baby doesn't make finding extra time very easy, and of course once you do find it, you use it for sleeping.

Today however, I finished a dress in bright purple with lime polka-dots for G, a ruffled skirt with froggy fabric for G, and a dress for A out of a pretty plaid flannel (that I cut out a long time ago--maybe two years ago) and it still fits!! Behold the power of making something yourself, you can fudge the seam allowances and make it fit! Now that I'm heady with success, I think I will cut out some bloomers for R and two of her little friends. And with all hope they will be done in time for the girls to get some wear out of them!

Here is a picture of the finished knitting project, R's dress. I finshed it a week or more ago. It has a cute (well I think it's cute), gingham ribbon around the empire waist.Thankfully it's on the big side, 'cause this kid will be wearing it non-stop once it fits a tiny bit better! :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

One of those days

Well, it has been one of those days, I'd say weeks but it's only Tuesday and I better not tempt fate to make it into "one of those weeks".

The day started off normal enough, a little bickering from the older girls, a relatively peaceful breakfast until G realized that Janelle was coming over on Daddy's birthday (oh the horror). She continued to give plenty of vocal complaining, bad-mouthing, that she is so good at until Janelle arrived. I managed to get breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and check email before school-time all with peace. I gave up keeping the dogs separated because Murray would not leave the screen door alone (he is systematically shredding the screen), but would soon regret this decision.

Got A started with school, good. Got G started with "school", good. R happy with sweet streets, Janelle down for nap, good good. Phone rings, it's a friend from MOPS, while chatting with her, I glance out the window to see the dogs excavating the Aspen tree! Argh! Yell at them, they feign innocence. Check on the girls with school, they are fighting and A has done one part of one page of seatwork. ARGH! Then R decides she is no longer happy and must scream and cry. Hang up call, look out the window and there are the dogs digging up another part of the yard. Double Argh! I yelled at them, got R a banana, and then squared my shoulders and marched to the school room. A had done one page of 4 pages of seatwork, and very poorly at that. Triple ARGH!! Steam is beginning to shoot out of my ears uncontrollably, however for once I ignore it and get the baby up from her nap.

Went back to the school room to find A happily finishing her last page of school work. (The following to be read with dripping sarcasm please!) Wow! Only one hour to do four pages and the final three done in 10 minutes. It is a miracle!

We take a sanity break since it is now just about time for lunch. Look out the window (when will I stop doing that!) in time to see Murray make off with Jackson's radio collar. I race out, grab the collar, see it is beyond repair and almost give into the violent thoughts that are raging through my mind. I stopped only when I look up and see my princesses on the deck watching the scene unfold!

So I get lunch on the table for my girls. Janelle doesn't want to stop playing, so I decide to eat mine while it's warm. The girls are all happy, pleasant (not burping), we are enjoying a good conversation. I decide to try and coax Janelle to come and eat, just as I get to her she starts throwing up. Not just a bit of spit up, but an honest to goodness mess! Yuck!! It's bad enough to clean up when it's your own kid, but trust me, about ten times worse when it's not. Thankfully her mom was working from home and rushed over. Now I am praying that it was cold-related and not a stomach flu. . .

Now you know all about my morning, I can only hope that this afternoon will be better. Thankfully there is ice cream cake to look forward to for dessert and I didn't put all the carmel brownies out at small group last night, so I have a little stash to get me through til dessert time!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Well, not only does today mark the terrible anniversary of 9-11-01, but it also marks the anniversary of the day I first attended MOPS. This morning as I was getting ready to head to church to set-up for MOPS, I was hit with the realization that 9-11-01, was the first time I ever went to MOPS!

I remember debating if I should even go, would I even need to go, would there even be MOPS, after all these tragedies were happening right now! But I'm so glad that I followed God's prompting and went. That I swallowed my pride and came out of my shell a bit to meet some new people. I have been blessed by this ministry ever since! I met people that attended First Baptist, and I think those relationships encouraged my husband and I to end our church hunt and settle in there. Thru MOPS I have made dear friends, one especially stands out, as God gave her to me just when we needed eachother most, I think.

Anyway, feeling nostalgic and glad that I have a positive memory of 9-11-01, when there are so many other sad ones tied with this date.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Meme Theme: Three

I've been tagged by Laughter Thoughts, so here goes my quick three

Three nicknames— P.B.(a nickname from my hubby), mama, Sarah-Rabbit

Three people that make me laugh—my girlfriends (especially after a long day), my girls, Mr. Monk (a loveable TV character)

Three things that I love—knitting & finishing a knitting project, my princesses and their daddy

Three things I hate—unorganization, clutter (kind of goes with the first), second-hand smoke

Three things I don't understand—how my kids somehow sense when I've been up late the night before and are up extra early and behave extra cranky; why you would complain when your mom tries out new recipes, even when you complained about the old ones; why each toy or thing that the other sibling has is so much better/prettier/more exciting than the one you've happily been playing with all along!

Three things on my floor—two flopped dogs, towel, book bag

Three things I am doing right now—typing, wondering what all the thumping is when it's supposed to be quiet time, thinking how nice it would be to shop with an unlimited budget--just once!

Three things I can do—knit (just finished a dress for R), sew (just made G a dress), homeschool my girls

Three ways to describe my personality— responsible/conscientious, friendly/outgoing (MOPS has definitely stretched my comfort zone in this area and I'm all the better for it!), optomistic

Three favorite foods— Seafood fettuccine from Olive Garden, anything from Bamboo Garden, and I have a favorite chicken/dumpling recipe--come on cold weather!!

Three foods I do not like—falafil (we made some once . . .), spaghetti o's, canned vegetable beef soup

Three beverages I drink regularly—diet pepsi, milk, water

Three shows I watch—Gilmore Girls, House, M.D., Mr. Monk (all from Netflix), I have a really hard time watching "regular" TV now, I am spoiled w/dvd's --no commercials!

I will tag The Knot and the Knest next!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

He Earned His Keep-Praise the Lord!

Well this post is two part. . . just last night M and I were talking in bed as the cats went yowling by (AGAIN!) about how nice it would be to de-pet the house. We have this conversation, oh about weekly! Murray is in the horrible, chewing, digging adolescent puppy stage and Buzzy (G's cat), don't get us started.

M had to be up early this morning to go to a breakfast at church and then when I got up with R a little later, there was a little present for me--a dead mouse courtesy of Buzzy. After my mild heart attack, I praised him lavishly for the mighty hunter that he is (this is the 2nd one he's caught). I knew there was a mouse lurking somewhere under the dishwasher/kitchen sink cabinet as I had seen his tiny calling cards the other day, but hadn't caught it! So for once one of our pets earned his keep.

And as for the second part of the post G has started using the phrase "Praise the Lord". It is so funny. Last night I finished up a dress for her, minus the buttons, and when G saw it, she said "PTL that you finished it". And then as we fished for buttons in the button box a minute later, she says "PTL we have some many buttons". We'll see how long this phrase lasts, I must say it's better than "I hate" or "stupid", which seem to be the norm more often than not!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Should Be Knitting

Well, it's true, I should be knitting. The house is quiet, I am feeling slightly euphoric from having some success selling jeans on eBay, but remembered I hadn't been on here for a while and should do a post! Why should I knit you ask, well it is because at long last I am finishing up the sleeveless dress for R! I am so sick of looking at lavender yarn that I have been pushing myself to get this project done!! Itlooks to be big enough that she can wear it with a shirt under it come this fall, which is a very good thing, seeing as she will be wearing it weekly til she outgrows it!! :) I think I started this project back in March, and considering that I only get it out to work on it for about an hour a day, I'm not doing too bad.

Yesterday was a bit cooler and it felt like the verge of fall. I was so happy to wear jeans comfortably the entire day! I love the changing of the seasons, it's like life begins all fresh again.

School is going okay. I hesitate to say well because I feel like it is barely controlled chaos most mornings. We converted the "office/sewing room/guest room" into the "school room" and it is crowded. I'd love to move the futon out of there to have some more space. A. is doing well and loving 1st grade, especially homework time with Daddy. G. is starting to figure out the ABC's, although for some reason the letter "I" really stumps her. Today I was trying to give her a hint by pointing to my eye and she looked at me and asked if my eyeball was hurting and when I said no, I giving you a hint, she says I know, "m" for make-up! I gave up after that!!

After the first MOPS is under our belt I think that we will start potty training in earnest with Miss R. She is starting to figure a few things about the process. She is talking more than ever and we have some pretty sweet conversations with her. Before bed (especially if I've had to run out before bed) she likes to tell me about her evening. And she loves to list who kissed her before bed, Daddy, Jing Jing (A or G's name), Murray, Jackson, and Mama. It's so cute. Especially since she doesn't say kiss, she puckers up and makes the sound! My favorite of her new words is "boob", which is her word for "bib". Kinda caught me off guard at first, but now just gives me a little laugh!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

It's Been Awhile

Well, it has been awhile since I've had a couple of minutes to sit and blog. The past week or so has been a blur of sick kids and pre-fall busyness. A. got hit a couple weeks ago by what I thought was a version of a cold that I was getting over, only hers turned into this fever/sore throat thing. So much so that I took her in to the doc (thankfully the co-pay cured her!). Anyway, so then it was G's turn. She didn't get nearly as sick thankfully, but still had the (as she put it) forehead and neck pain. So just as she is getting over the crud, you got it, R comes down with it. Only instead of a lingering fever she goes straight into this horrible croupy smoker's cough. She gave us several sleepless nights and close-to a trip to the ER. She scared years off of my life I am convinced! I finally gave up sleeping with the monitor last night, even though she's right next door. Hearing your child struggle for every breath like she did is not a sound I will soon forget. Wow. But God is good, He healed each one and they are all happy digging away in the dirt as I type.

MOPS is gearing up to start and with it brings the usual stresses and panics. Will there be enough Moppets workers? How many moms will God bring us? Is every possible contingency planned for? All of those kinds of things weigh on my mind. Thankfully this year I've got a partner to work with.

And since the blue moon was out earlier this week, did you see it?? I decided to go hog wild in cleaning. I haven't cleaned cleaned in so long. So with my crabby clingy toddler strapped on in her carrier, I got down on my hands and knees (literally) and scrubbed nooks and crannies. And it must have been soothing to my little cranky-pants because it put her to sleep!! I told one friend that if I had known I could have had that effect on her, I wouldn't have waited for the blue moon!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Got Weevils?

If you don't, I would be happy to share! :)

Well, I no longer have them either, I hope. I decided to do a simple, completely easy lunch, one with no nutritive value whatsoever, but the kids will eat it--ramen soup, or as it's known around my house "curly noodles". Anyway, got the noodles in, noticed that one package had torn while I was crunching up the noodles (or so I thought!!), but didn't think much of it, til I went to add in the flavoring. You guessed it, bugs, weevils floating in and amongst the curly noodles! UGH! Disgusting! As A put it "gagarama". I quickly dumped the offending noodles into the sink and opted for easy lunch #2, pb&j.

This whole experience reminded me of a similar situation that one of my girlfriends had a few years back. She and her family were visiting with her in-laws. Grandma got a bowl of cereal for her daughter and my friend happened to look over and see weevils in the cheerios her daughter had been eating! Talk about another gross-out. Thankfully I saw the bugs in time, but I think it's going to be a good long time before I get the courage to crack open another bag of those noodles!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hot Water

Our littlest one has a deep and sincere love of all water, especially tap, especially directly out of the faucet! This love was encouraged by one of my sister's ingenious (no sarcasm intended! honest!) ideas to keep R occupied and that was to play in my mom's kitchen sink. Since that fateful afternoon, it has become an afternoon ritual at our house to have R play in the sink while I fix supper or even before if necessary! She will take off her shoes if needed, then slide a stool over to the sink and start saying "toadies" (toes) or "wet" or "sink", anything to get your attention. Well, now add to this the fact that she is learning to differentiate between hot and cold temperatures . . .

A few nights ago she turned on the faucet by herself and ended up getting hot water which she was none to happy about. (She doesn't even like to have her washcloth warm!) Anyway, we quickly remedied that and chuckled over how cute is that, she's figured out temperature. Fast forward to later that night, bed time and she's running around bare buns pre-pj's. She darts into the bathroom and gets up on the stool and starts talking about water. Then she says "toadies hot" "hot toadies", etc. I go in there only to find that she had pottied while on the stool and yes her toadies were in "hot water", er um, so to speak!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Rough Day, But . . .

Well, it has been a rough day, actually week. I've been fighting off a cold as have a couple of the girls. Then add babysitting full-time and a clingy 18 month old and there you have it. . . but tonight as I was washing up the dishes (thinking I know I just did this!!) I decided to count my blessings. I need to do this more purposefully in my life. I think of my blessings in an abstract way, usually in the form of "thank God I'm not having to deal with that in my family", rather than being specific to my life. So here's my list for tonight and my resolution to do this more often!
1. That my R wants me to hold her
2. That my immune system is healthy
3. That my husband will push the kids on the swings even after a day at work, so I can have a break (and blog!)
4. That my girls tell me that they love me daily
5. That my gardens are growing despite the dogs "help"
6. For good music to wash dishes to, tonight "Sixpence None the Richer", mostly "ABBA" :)
7. For loving parents, who are willing to watch my princesses so we can get out for a hot date at Lowe's
8. For good friends who listen to the big and the little stuff of my life
9. That I can stay home with my girls
10. For Internet shopping, so I don't have to do ALL my shopping with my extra helpers!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A's First Meme

Here is A's first meme. This took her quite a bit thought! I hope you enjoy!

3 Things that Scare Me:
-Things that go "beep" in the night

3 People Who Make Me Laugh:

3 Things I Love:

3 Things I Hate:
-When Grace hits me
-When my sisters scream in my ear

3 Things I Don't Understand:
-How trees grow
-Much about how my body works

3 Things on My Floor:
-Stuffed animals

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now:
-Thinking of answers
-Playing with my toes
-Denying playing with my toes

3 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
-Have grandchildren
-Have babies
-See Mommy and Daddy often (AWWWW!)

3 Things I Can Do:
-Play soccer
-Play with my sisters

3 Ways to Describe My Personality:
-I'm shy
-Good imagination
-Very sweet, empathetic and sympathetic

3 Things I Cannot Do:
-Make baskets (basketball)
-Can't climb on the couch standing (no feet on the couch)

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:
-What I want to say
-Christian music
-Sunday school teachers

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To:
-Non-christian music

3 Absolute Favorite Foods:
-Chicken fingers

3 Things I'd Like to Learn:
-How to sew
-How to build a pig pen
-How to knit baby clothes

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly:
-Sun Tea

3 Shows I Watched As A Kid:
-Tom and Jerry
-Chip and Dale

Friday, August 04, 2006

G's First Meme

Here is G's first meme. She is a hoot. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed getting her answers.

3 Things that Scare Me:
-Bad Guys
-Bad Dreams

3 People Who Make Me Laugh:
-Papa Al

3 Things I Love:
-Everything that God gave me (that pretty much sums it up!)
-When Mommy says "I love you"
-Princesses and dressing up and pretty shoes

3 Things I Hate:
-Being shot
-Being bited
-Being poked

3 Things I Don't Understand:
-Throwing up
-What Mommy says to me when I'm back-floating
-When Rilla bites me

3 Things on My Floor:
-Yucky stuff

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now:
-Playing with Rilla
-Playing my leapster
-Thinking about stuff

3 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
-Heal people
-Swim in the ocean
-Swim in a lake

3 Things I Can Do:
-Play with Rilla
-Climb a tree, but with help
-Swim by myself

3 Ways to Describe My Personality:
-Free Spirit
-A bit strong-willed at times (especially when I'm hungry/tired)

3 Things I Cannot Do:
-Pull off my skin
-Pump on the swing
-Go to Day Camp with Ainsley

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:
-Your Mommies
-My Princess Aurora song

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To:
-Animals growling
-Clunking fan
-Bad guys

3 Absolute Favorite Foods:
-Cottage Cheese
-Corn on the cob

3 Things I'd Like to Learn:
-How to fly
-How to drive a car
-How to read

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly:

3 Shows I Watched As A Kid:
-Racing Stripes

Thursday, August 03, 2006

R's first "meme"

I saw this done on a few mommy blogs that I've stumbled upon and thought it was neat, so here is R's first meme, the other girls will follow soon.

3 Things that Scare Me:
-Being away from Mommy
-Loud sounds

3 People Who Make Me Laugh:
-My big sisters

3 Things I Love:
-Being "holdy" by Mommy
-My "bantin" (blankie)
-Playing in the pool, well any water will do

3 Things I Hate:
-Being apart from Mommy
-Being picked up when I haven't asked
-Sleeping all through the night (it's over-rated!)

3 Things I Don't Understand:
-Why I can't play in water all day
-Why Daddy goes to work (I'm much more fun)
-Why Mommy can't hold me all day long

3 Things on My Floor:
-My new sneaks
-My white noise machine

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now:
-Napping like a good girl
-Cuddling my "bantin"
-Thinking it's about time to get up

3 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
-Play in the big pool with my sisters
-Go "wee" on the slide all by myself
-Sleep all through the night, just once though, to say I did it!

3 Things I Can Do:
-Go down steps upright (with just a little help)
-Wash dishes (best when sitting in the sink)
-Say a lot of words, my newest is "munch" when I want a snack

3 Ways to Describe My Personality:
-Lovable, I've got a smile that will knock your socks off!
-Curious, I love to see what people are doing.
-Stubborn, I know what I want and won't settle for substitutions!

3 Things I Cannot Do:
-Walk upstairs upright
-Get into Janelle's playpen, although I keep trying
-Play in the big pool by myself, Mommy says it's too deep.

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:
-My "vroom vroom" sound that I use when I see a car
-My songs that I sing. I sing one that sounds like a lullaby.
-Buzzy purr, I love that sound!

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To:
-My sisters crying, it makes me cry.
-Janelle crying, it makes me mad.
-The words "bye bye", especially when Mommy says them.

3 Absolute Favorite Foods:
-"Nanas" (bananas), if you aren't fast enough I will eat the skin too!
-"Pop" (popcorn), I love to feed me a bite and then Mommy a bite.
-Spaghetti, I'm a pasta gal.

3 Things I'd Like to Learn:
-How to swim
-How to get onto the stools by myself
-How to put shoes on Barbies

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly:
-Mommy's milk
-Whole milk
-Juice (yes, Mommy I know it's watered down)

3 Shows I Watched As A Kid:
-Whatever little bit was left of my sisters' show, maybe Madeline or Clifford

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here Comes the Bride

Since we have a house full of girls until 5 pm when Daddy comes home to rescue us, we usually end up doing girly things. Well today was no exception. After a power struggle over these (and I quote) "horrible, nasty dress-up shoes", I managed to make both G and myself content with the outcome. (The long story: Murray chewed up one of G's very special dress up shoes after L's wedding even though G had put them away. He snuck one out of the shoe bin. So M and I told her that we would buy replacements. The replacements were not exactly the same and so were deemed yucky and she's never gonna wear them, etc. However, when I went to return said shoes, she had 10,000 fits!! So that is why we needed the compromise today. Whew.) So back to the original story. . .

G and R both had on dress-up shoes, G had a matched set and R was content with just one. They were playing oh so happily in the family room while I was cutting out a skirt for G. Next thing I know I hear G tell R that she is going to be the bride and R can be the groom. G rushes up the stairs gets into her bride dress (aka Cinderella) and comes back to meet her groom. Well, the bride got frustrated with the groom's interest in the goldfish snacks over getting married and started to have a fit when inspiration struck me. I quickly hunted on the web and found a sampling of bridal music (namely Canon in D and Here Comes the Bride) for G to walk down the aisle to and meet her groom at the snack table! :) It worked! G and R both got into walking down the aisle to the music, R was even dancing it was so cute!

Now if only I could be so inspired each time a confrontation was about to rear it's ugly head, I would be all set.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Family Vacation Fun Slideshow

Greetings from the depths of the post-vacation laundry piles! I think that I am finally seeing the light, even it is just until tonight when the piles start afresh.

We just got back from a trek to Waldport, OR. After suffering from temperature shock (it was just in the high 60's-low 70's there with much lower lows) we had a great time. We had to make a quick Salvation Army run to get warmer clothes and then were fine!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

THE Wedding, Rehearsal, Family Slideshow

As most of you know, my youngest sister got married yesterday. Outdoors no less, in the scorching heat! It was a nice ceremony, even with sweat running down our backs, legs, faces, not to mention crabby, hot kids. We survived and even better, the girls have a new Uncle and we have a new brother-in-law.
Congratulations Linnea and Paul!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's only 8:46 am?!?

Well, I just got a minute to sit down in front of the computer to check email and the announcer on the radio, says "it's now 8:46". That's it? I feel like this day should already be at least half over.

The day started off okay, everyone slept-in (I use the term loosely-it was later than 6:30), so that was nice. The older girls came down and got their breakfast while I got R dressed. Then our neighbor brought her daughter over for me to babysit (have I mentioned that I'm back to babysitting again. . . we'll see for how long!). After our lovely start things have been unraveling ever since! The older two keep racing to me to see how can tattle on the tattler. I hate tattling!! So after a refresher course of what tattling is, they settled down. A. found a book to read and G and R went outside while I started dishes. No sooner do I get the dishwasher open, then do I hear G telling R not to sit in her pool. Yes, R's pool didn't get emptied last night, so she was in it having a great time!

New outfit. I'm back to trying to check email once more, when the baby decides that she's going to have a fit about who knows what. I decide it's naptime for her.

Phone rings. It's mom needing me to make a quick run to Costco (is there such a thing?) before the wedding this weekend.

R screams, G screams! The sprinklers have come on while they were playing in the empty pool and now they are wet and scared!

New outfits! And I'm sitting down to finish this blog once and for all so that the day can settle down to normal, I'd even settle for a dull roar at this point! I just glanced at my watch it's only 9:05! It only took me 20 minutes to type this--AHHHH--this day is going to be an eternity!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jam Making: Phase II

Finally we are back to normal (well as normal as we ever get). M and the girls picked the apricots Friday and ended up with over 10 wal-mart bags full. Then he cleaned and sorted them into edibles or jam making cots and then it was up to me to take over! All five of my hugest bowls were overflowing with cots for jam, so I got started Saturday morning. By naptime I had done up 4 batches of jam and still had three bowls left of these things! Blah. So I did a quick search for recipes to use up the remainder and found one for apricot syrup. Sunday morning we woke to the smell of slightly fermenting apricots and I knew that I had to deal with them right now!! So I made up 3 batches of syrup with the cots I could salvage. The rest I had to throw out because they were so smooshed.

Well, yesterday there continued to be a lingering odor of rotten apricots, but I couldn't figure out why til M got home from work. He found the culprit, some bags of fruit that we had saved to eat/give away had been forgotten and had gone bad. He thought we had a good start on some homemade apricot wine! Yikes.

Anyway, final apricot count: 29 jars of jam, 6 jars of syrup and one tired mama!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jam Making: Phase I

Well, it all started Monday when I defrosted my big freezer for the first time I think ever in it's life. And in doing so, realized that I had oodles more strawberries set aside for jam than I had realized. So I decided that we had better make them up, since our apricot tree is fully loaded and by now, fully ripened and will need to be dealt with this weekend.

So yesterday with my two oldest helpers, and little taste-tester we got the cooked strawberry jam done. Two batches and fifteen half-pints later, I'm wondering if this is such a good idea. Where will we store it?? Then this morning I did up three batches of freezer jam with the remaining strawberries.

The verdict: yummy!! Especially on freshly made biscuits that your husband did up while you were at swimming lessons! Thanks honey! So now it's on to tackle the apricots. . .

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mysterious sounds

Well, apparently there is a noise in the girls' room that is at a frequency only 6 year olds can hear and it only occurs at bedtime. . . hmmm! It sounds like a beep-beep-beep-beep and can only mean one thing: the bad guys have found their room. Yep, that's right, the current theory to this mystery is that bad guys have put something that beeps in the girls' room so that they (the bad guys) know when the girls are in for the night. Pretty tricky bad guys huh? We're still not sure as to why the bad guys need to know if the kids are in bed or not, but I'm sure a plausible answer will be found!

And on to happier news, for the first time in almost a month, G got dressed without a huge temper tantrum, scream-fest, or pout! It was a huge answer to this mother's desperate prayer! Now if we can have another morning like this tomorrow, that would be wonderful, however, I'm not holding my breath!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Betsy & Tacy Come to Life

One of the highlights of our trip to MN was visiting Deep Valley (aka modern-day Mankato) and seeing the homes of Betsy, Tacy and Tib. A. has enjoyed the books as much as I did as a child and it was so neat for her to be able to see places that were in the books! She climbed up the "big hill" and was bummed that we couldn't go and see "little Syria". And we also got to sit on Betsy and Tacy's infamous park bench, where their friendship began.

Anyway, here are some pictures, they are from top to bottom, Betsy's house, Tacy's house, the park bench, and Tib's house. Enjoy!

Friday, July 07, 2006

I can't take it anymore, revisited

Well, we survived our trip back to the midwest. All of us safe and sound, not well-rested, but that is fairly easy to take care of! Our final flights were late for our poor CST-zone bodies and on our final flight, poor G had HAD it! She was trying to find a comfortable position to sleep and of course, it was touching A's seat. Well, A was in no mood to be gracious (me either!) and this got things going downhill right quick!

I finally decided to break the "rules" and leave my window seat, so I could separate the two warring factions (aka: my girls). Well, long story short, G lost it-screaming and yelling, "I can't take this anymore", "I don't want to sit next to the yucky, stupid window", you get the picture--ugly huh?! I finally get her to calm down and scream into one of the pillows that the nice flight attendants showered us hoping to help us pacify our child. Not two minutes later, sound asleep. Thank you Lord!

I am grateful that we were able to fly and that it only takes 3 hours in the air, rather than 3 days in the car. However, I do send out my apologies to those of you on the fateful flight who had to listen to my daughter!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Monkey See, Monkey Do-Monkey Hear, Monkey Say

Do you ever say something and then instantly wish you hadn't? Well, my kids seem to always be listening perfectly when my mouth gets away from me and then repeat it at really opportune times! Not too long ago, I said (in the heat of the moment) "I can't take this anymore!" And now as we try to get G to drink her "stinky aspargus milk" (don't ask!) each night at dinner she spouts off with "I just can't take this anymore". Of course, this phrase has been heard several times since my outburst with the mulitple viewings of "Aladdin" that have been taking place lately, but still I started it. Sigh.

The girls have taken to doing some things as a threesome, which I am excited to see. A loves to teach Sunday School and she finds willing students in G and R. And A has also discovered highlightskids.com which has tons of cool animal stories that she will read aloud to her sisses. Very fun to see them all crowded around the monitor exclaiming over what they are seeing.

Murray has turned out to be a water lover. With all the heat of the past couple of days, he can't seem to help himself to R's pool. He popped the inflatable one in his throes of excitement over discovering a source of water to lay in, so I got a hard-sided plastic one that will hopefully outlast him. Last night while R was in her pool, Murray just hopped in and helped himself. She wasn't quite so sure that she liked that telling him "no Murmee, and down". It was pretty funny to see him flop down in that pool!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Land of No Nod

Welcome to my current reality: No-Napville or very tiny, get-your-hopes-up-only-to-have-them-dashed naps. I am currently considering adding caffiene back into my diet by means other than my mama stash! (Like an I.V.!) Miss R seems to run through these napping cycles and I had been enjoying (until this weekend) heavenly naps lasting until I woke her up. Now somehow she sensed how heady this control of her naps was to me and how much saner I was because of the extra "me" time and she took control back into her little, dimpled hands! Today was actually a decent nap compared to the past five days, but nothing compared to the heaven I had lived in blissfully a week ago. Who is this kid??

On a positive note, A spent at least an hour yesterday working on drawing a cat. We got a book from the library on how to draw cats and she decided to work on one, a persian. Anyway, she finished it and before I could immortalize it, quickly folded it up and stuffed it in an envelope for her "swimming lesson teacher". Thankfully, her teacher was sufficiently excited about her gift and that really made A's day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What are those, rocks in your ears??

On our way to swim lessons this morning, G asks why Great Grandpa has rocks in his ears. I told her (without thinking), I don't know. She proceeds to then say thatit must be because of the rocks that he doesn't hear so well. Then I put it together and realized that the "rocks" G was referring to were really his hearing aids!! So we had a little discussion about that and that she would probably have those too when she is really old like Grandpa Cliff. :) I told her that mommy would have them much earlier due to all of the yelling and screaming that my princesses do. They all thought that was pretty funny.

And oh the power of bribery. . . both A & G jumped off the side of the pool without their teacher's help today! YAY! And both of them earned an ice cream cone. I offered the bribe thinking it would be next week before they'd attempt anything so brave, but not so. I was so proud of them!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


As a relatively seasoned mom, I should know better than to leave my little ones unsupervised with writing utensils, but I have memory relapses occasionally like the one I had the other day.

I was fixing dinner, R was busy with a huge sheet of paper and a pencil, pen and crayons (her latest is sitting at the bar counter to do her work) when the doorbell rang. Not thinking about her, just wondering if Murray had escaped again, I answered the door. After talking to my neighbor about a lost dog (NOT mine--yay!), I went back into the kitchen. The second I darken the doorway, R is reaching out holding a pen. I take it, say thank you and then see her masterpiece. . . my recipe book!! And of course, it was in pen, not pencil! I suppose now I have a little piece of her toddler-hood preserved for all time.

This afternoon, M and the girls set up the pool (the BIG one) as the girls call it. A is so excited about it, that she has yet to take off her suit. G and R got cold and called it quits unwillingly. And now R has a new word: poo. Very cute. So I will have a new roosting spot next to or in the pool for the next few months. Not so sure if that's what I want, but the girls will love it!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Muree, see-see, and other new words

Miss R has discovered that she can say just about anything that crosses her mind to try! Today she kept saying muree and finally we figured out it was "Murray", so then the fun began for the older two. "R say": Jackson (jack), Ainsley (see-see), Grace (dace), Buzzy (Bussy), and so it went. She went on to try just about any word we threw her way. It was fun!

The older two have completed their first week of swim lessons and I am happy to report that they are doing swimmingly! Both are unafraid to put their faces in the water and jump in and go under. What a contrast to the last go-around. I actually think it helps A to see her younger sister being brave about trying new things. Seems to be helping her conquer her fears. Hopefully they'll be swimming before too much longer. Not that the weather has been that inspiring as of late to want to go swimming . . .

A has been cooking up Father's Day surprises for M. She is so cute about it. I think each day this week she has added some new part to her gift. G wants to buy clothes for daddy in a particular hue, which I can't figure out, but we'll go with it. Who knows maybe she's onto a new color that would look good on M!?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blue clues

Last night at dinner, Murray came streaking into the dining room with a big BLUE smile!! I did a double take thinking I was seeing things, when I see his blue paws and blue on his back. Immediately I took off to the family room and following the "blue clues" back to the dog bed where the culprit was . . . one of Ainsley's paint pens that he had chewed on.

On the positive, it is washable, and Murray is mostly white so it showed right up! Boy have we forgotten the joys of puppyhood!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Potsie Part 2; Let smiling dogs lie

Today while I was checking email, R came up and found a magazine near me and started saying "potty". I asked her if she needed to go, and when she empathically nodded "yes", I followed her into the bathroom. Not only did she want to sit on the potty, she wanted reading material to go with! Once I got her situated on the seat, she immediately pointed to the magazine she'd left on the stool and said "potty" again. It was so cute, unsuccessful as far as anything being taken care of, but cute.

And poor out-of-shape Jackson came huffing and puffing up to the house after a romp along the fence line with Murray and the neighbor dogs. He flopped down on the floor and when I checked on him a couple minutes later, he was smiling as he panted. It was too funny. Took him a long time to cool down.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Would you like what?

Earlier this week A decided to make breakfast for G and herself which I appreciated. She got the toaster out and I heard her ask G what kind of bread: raisin or plain. G chose plain and then I hear A ask her if she wants the hoof! The what?? I put it together and realized she was asking G if she wanted the heel!! I explained why I was laughing and then she started giggling. So now our family has a new little word-play.

This week has been so hectic, trying to get ready for MOPS retreat mostly. Thankfully that is under my belt in time for swim lessons to start tomorrow. G is super excited to start and A is very nervous. Thankfully today some of G's excitement must have worn off because A was talking it up to R. It should be interesting to keep the littlest one entertained while the two older are doing the same thing. Friday, a friend took care of A & G while I grocery shopped with R, and she cried the whole way to Winco after we dropped the girls off. She kept saying something--maybe sissie--I don't know. Anyway she dotes on her big sisses.

Murray seems to have settled into life here fairly well. He and Jackson get along like old pals. The nickname J-Bone has sure proven true for Jackson, Murray can't get enough chews in on the poor guy. A found a flip-flop shaped chew toy in the dollar aisle at Target and Murray loves it. I love it too, it doesn't squeak! Well that gets you sort of caught up from the past week!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Meet Murray

Seeing as this weekend didn't go according to plan anyway, we decided to further complicate our lives and get a puppy too! Mom called Saturday morning to say that there were some adorable free pups at the farmers market and did we want one? Mark fielded that call and deferred it to me when I got back home. . .

Long story short, we have Murray, a lab/brittney spaniel mix. Mom ended up getting the two puppies that were left and then let us choose which one we wanted and they would keep the other. A had decided (unbeknowst to us) that she wanted a girl puppy regardless of appearance! Well, Mark and I liked the looks and temperment better of the little boy and finally after tears and guilt, etc. we talked A into the boy.

Today you wouldn't even know that she wanted the other one! She and G have been outside ever since we got home from church "taking care" of Murray. He is a great little guy. Loves the girls and gets along great with Jackson. Well, I'm sure you'll all be hearing more to come about this one!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pooh tents and irrigation irritation

Well this morning I got to sleep in a bit. The older two were up, G having been up early with a bloody nose and then I'm sure woke up A. Anyway, they were doing a great job of being quiet, so mama and R could sleep and when I went in to start the day I found out why! They had managed to get the Pooh tent out and mostly set up in their room and were busy playing in it.

So I bit back my frustration (I had told them to ask first!!) and we hauled it out to the deck so they could play in it today. This was a good plan until G comes in soaking wet! (I had a friend over to work on MOPS stuff at the time, so hadn't been out there.) I ask her if she had run through the sprinklers and after a couple of fibs she told the truth that she and A had been "cooling off" in the sprinklers! Yeechh!! Apparently when you zip up the Pooh tent it gets "too hot mama", was what I was told. Hopefully they won't stink too bad after playing in that dirty water.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm not going to share my birthday cake!

So here's a confession. I have spent the last half hour (off and on) sequestered in the office eating the last ice cream sandwich. The older two are just full of beans this afternoon and I had to leave! It all started with A coming up with a scenario to play and G calling it "silly" and it spiraled down from there. I knew it was going to get ugly when the threats about birthdays started flying.

G's favorite comeback or I'm mad comment is "well, you're not going to have any of my birthday cake" or "I'm not going to invite you to my b-day party", you get the picture. So today it ended up with A not even getting the chewed up crumbs, a big spider was going to have them. Where do they come up with them?

M made them a little box house yesterday and all afternoon and most of the morning today instead of playing "house", they played giant-rolling-house, where one of them gets inside, they tip it over to it's side and then the other pushes it over and over, I guess til the one inside gets sick. So much for playing like little girls!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Strange Things . . .

Lately there has been a lot of talk of weddings, getting married, going on honeymoons, etc. Mostly because the girls know that their Auntie L.is getting married this summer and they were flower girls last year in another Auntie's wedding.

I didn't realize however how far the playacting was going until I watched Grace playing with her barbies. Blaine and Princess Aurora were getting married and had to hug and kiss and then Blaine picked up Princess Aurora and that meant that they were married. (They saw Uncle A. pick up Auntie I. after their wedding!!) Well she set the barbies down on the counter and came to lunch. After lunch I got the shock of my life to see the way the plastic couple was posed, now that I'm done laughing I thought you all might get a laugh as well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Biter

The smallest of the small ones has added a weapon to her already large arsenal of defense tactics. This new skill is biting. Unfortunately Grace is taking the brunt of the bites. If it wasn't so mean, the way R goes about biting is actually pretty funny. You know well in advance what her plan is because she opens her mouth as wide as she can and then dives in.

Yesterday's attack was unprovoked as far as I could tell, she just wanted on the couch and G happened to be in her way. But today G asked for it and got it! Yikes. So now I'm in the midst of trying to figure out how to muzzle this latest skill and be consistent.

For the most part the girls get along well, but when they don't, they don't.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


So our youngest has decided that she wants to be like her big sisters in one more way. While I was making lunch yesterday, Rilla toddled in and kept saying "potsie" and grabbing her jeans. So after asking her a million questions trying to figure out what she needed, I finally got smart and asked her to show mama. She marched right into the bathroom and pointed to the toilet and said "potsie" and began to try to tug her jeans down over her diaper. So I found the little potty seat and plopped her up there. Boy did she think she was hot stuff--laughing and giggling and saying "potsie, potsie, potsie, mommy"! Sure was cute. Of course, as brilliant as she is, I have no false hope that this sudden interest is anything lasting!!