Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The King's Missus has the YouTube song "I Think My Wife's a Calvinist" on her site right now. It is pretty funny. Especially for those of us who went to one of "the" Christian schools here in the Cities...

And no. I don't particularily like Tulips.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I really, really like goals. It doesn't even always matter so much if I meet them, I just like to have them. And sometimes I stick with them.

When I was a little girl my mom had this rocking horse sitting on an end table in the living room. I don't really know why. Why, mom? Anyway, I came up with this plan that I was going to keep that rocking horse arockin at all times, because that is what rocking horses should do. Sounds like a flawed plan, right? Obviously I couldn't sit there for the rest of my life giving the little thing a push every 90 seconds. So I didn't feel too bad giving up on the goal after about 4 pushes.

Fast forward a couple years. While going through some stuff, I found an old blue beanie from my mom's freshman initiation at Trinity. I decided I was going to wear it at all waking moments. Why, Julie? Sounds like a flawed plan, right? Who is really going to let their daughter wear a blue beanie at all waking moments? And what girl really wants to do that? But I stuck to that goal. I wore that beanie everywhere except to church on Sunday mornings, the shower and my bed. Every picture from that year I was wearing that beanie. Boys stole it from my cute little head and yet I continued on. I don't remember how long I wore it but it was months, not days. How long, mom? Or sisters? Or life long friends? Or life long enemies? And yes, Noah knew me during the beanie episode. He chose to marry me anyway. That is true love. Actually, I decided to marry him during that time because get this: he was the one boy who never tried to steal my precious beanie.

The point? I like goals. Sometimes I meet them, sometimes I don't.

So, starting January 1st I am going to start a 500 miles in 6 months plan. Basically I need to bike, walk, run or swim 500 miles between January 1st and July 1st. Walking or running counts as 1 mile per mile run/walked. Biking 4 miles counts as 1 mile and swimming 1 mile counts as 4 miles.

This challenge is in one of our city newsletter, but you actually have a year to do it. I thought 6 months would be the appropriate challenge level for me. It averages out to just under 3 miles a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone want to join me? I actually already have 2-4 friends doing it with me. One of them works at Kinkos and designs stuff and I may get him to make shirts. I am into race shirts because it is the only way I buy new clothes.

So here are the rules:

1. Decide your challenge level. I realize not everyone can do 500 miles in 6 months. Pick 500 miles in 8 months, or 7 months, or 3 months or a year. Whatever you think is a challenge for you but won't kill you or cause your family to eat raman noodles every night.
2. Leave a comment saying that you are in.
3. I will pick a day of the week to post an update and so people can comment their miles updates.

Really, I won't feel bad if no one joins me. I forged ahead with the beanie, and I can do it again. But it may be a little fun to do it together :) Maybe?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day, Part 1

It's great they still get excited about new tooth paste!

"Dad, how am I suposed to do stairs with three chocolate Santas?"

Juice box!

But don't put it down!

Not sure how, but Link managed to get his hands on all three of The Big Three
(Lightning, The King, and Chick)

Just like the Book!

Last week we awakened to this view from the front door:

Deacon quickly and excitedly pointed out how much it resembled a scene from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. "Dad! Dad! Look, see? Over there is Mount Krumpe and down there in the circle in Whoville."

With apologies to the good Doctor, one my favorite passages:"....3000 ft up, up the side of Mt Crumpet, he rode with his load to the tip top to dump it, "Poo-poo" to the Whos he was Grinchishly humming, "They're just find out now no Christmas is coming."
And in case you didn't get everything you wanted for Christmas, you can pick up your own Mt. Crumpet here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snapshots of Christmas

Well, there were going to be snapshots of Christmas, but my pictures aren't loading properly. So all you get is a picture of me and my Three 22nds. And my yoga pants over the railing, and footie pjs at the top of the stairs. Oh, and unmatched children who wear crocs in the winter. And no time for editing. Welcome to my world. I love it.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Deacon and Roman

We were driving in the car on the way home from a belated Thanksgiving dinner, and we were viewing the Christmas lights in the 'hood. We passed one house that had a lit nativity scene in he yard. From the back of the van we heard Deacon say, "Hey look Mom, they have a Jesus setup."


A few weeks back I was asking Deacon about play group. He informed me that he and his friends had been pretending, and hey were playing Robot Spiders. I enquired, "How do you play Robot Spiders?"

"I don't know Dad, but we played it."


Yesterday I was wearing a ROSE-HULMAN hoodie, with those words printed in big letters on the chest. Roman was studying me intently. Then he said, "Oh!" with the dawning of recognition and held up his arms to be picked up. I picked him up and set him on my lap. He turned around and, using his index finger to mark his spot, he pointed to my right side and said, "R, O." Then he moved to the left side and said, "M, A, N. Roman!"

I was pretty impressed he put that together. The kid is sharp as a whip and probably as dangerous.


I asked Deacon and Roman what they wanted to get Julie for Christmas. Deacon was thoughtful for a minute and then said, "Well, Mom is a girl right? I'm a boy. And right now, I'm pretty much only thinking of boy things. You should pick something."

I'm not sure if I should be insulted or not :)


We periodically let the boys answer the phone if Julie or I can't get there in time. Sometimes they just do before we can get there. Recently, I came in from working on something in the garage, and Roman had a chair pushed over the by the phone and was just laying the phone back into the cradle.

"Roman, who was on the phone?"

"I don't know Dad, but it sure wasn't [aunt] Genna!"

We're still working on that.


-N, signing off

In the near future, look for more ghost writing by me. There will be a Catan post that will blow your mind. There will also be a ginger bread house post that may also blow your mind. It will be strong PG/mild PG13. You can't wait now, can you? (Let's just say the sweet little old cashier lady at JoAnn Fabrics probably doesn't want to know what happened to those seven reindeer ornaments those two nice twenty-something guys bought.)

Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I have so many posts swirling around my head! Serious things, funny things...but I am too busy to write down any of them. I hope that really soon I will get some daily posts going because I miss it.

But today the only thing on my mind is snow. The beautiful flakes that fell so peacefully this morning. And then they started ramping up. And the home appraiser got into a car accident on the way to our house. And my shopping didn't get done. And I couldn't get up my driveway. And the flakes were not falling anymore. Instead they were starting to get pushed and pulled in all directions by the bitter wind. And now it is all swirling together, much like the thoughts in my head.

Hmmm....that didn't sound quite like me did it?

How's this:

We don't own a snowblower. We shovel. I don't mind shoveling. I have my own little system. Only it is not really a system. I shovel whichever way I feel like it on that particular day. SOmetimes I divide it into sections. Sometimes I start at the top and go down. Sometimes at the bottom and go up. Sometimes the left side and then the right. Sometimes I zigzag. It all depends on the character of the snow, really.

I betcha that some of you have really strict snowshoveling rules. What are they? Do you shovel well with others? Or are you one of those bossy snow shovelers? Thankfully, Noah lets me do whatever I want to the driveway. In the end it is clean.

By the way, thanks for all the shoe advice. My delightful neighbor who has had the privilage of seeing my shoes thinks I need to get rid of most of them. But you know what? I think I am going to pass on the new shoes at this time. In the grand scheme of things, it is just not that important. You know what is important? Finding out your snow shoveling habits. So start commenting!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Cake looks better from far away

Monday's cake is supposed to be either a Koala and a Kangaroo playing dodge ball or Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat playing dodge ball. I will have to get my creative on...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Because

The other day I was thinking that I need a new pair of shoes. But then I went and assessed my shoes and found out that I have 13 pairs. That seemed a little excessive to me. Each of my boys has only one pair of shoes. Anyway, I decided to blog about my shoes to see if I can justify a new pair. I am sure this is just what you wanted to look at on my blog this evening. And this probably proves the mom at gym and swim correct. She believes that blogging is narcissitic.

But for what it's worth, here we go...

These are my boots. I have owned them for 70 months. I have been pregnant for 27 of those months. I cannot wear these boots when I am pregnant because my legs get too fat. I also do not wear them in the summer. But that is only like 2 months here, so I think they were a good investment. (and yes, that is my baby's tummy. He is wearing his brother's shoes. And yes, that is a piece of pirate ship and a sippy cup in the background.)

Notice that these shoes are all basically black. Or that they once were black. See the 3 on the left side? Yes, those are the 3 shoes that I couldn't find the pairs to. Nice.
Every shoe here is at least 3 years old. Most of them closer to 7. See my keen sandals? If there wasn't snow on the ground 8 months out of the year, I would wear them every day.

The brown shoes on the left are totally uncomfortable. I don't know why I keep them around. Probably because they were very cool when I bought them in high school. The Columbia ones pictured next are the best shoes ever. Except for the Keens. I bought those shoes very early in our marriage. I remember standing there debating and debating because it was going to be SO much money. 7 years later I still am wearing them. I probably got my money's worth. My current running shoes are next. Then my old running shoes now transitioned to work shoe status. Bike shoes are last.

I won't bore you with specific stories about all my shoes. I will tell you though that I can tell you the approximate price I paid for each pair and the circumstances of each purchase. Except for one pair. I don't remember anything about that black pair with the heel. I feel like they just suddenly appeared in my closet one day. Maybe they did. Do they belong to anyone out there? Did you have a pair like that that suddenly disappeared at least 5 years ago?

This seems like a lot of shoes to me, although most of them are in pretty lousy condition. How many shoes are normal? Should I buy new ones or do I have enough? I want to know! Take a break from the flurry of Christmas activity and go count your shoes! Then come back and let me know how many you have. Any special nostalgic shoe memories?


Lindsay, over at The King's Missus today has a great post about her "Jesse Tree".

I have been looking for something "small" children friendly for advent and I am going to try this. I am not sure if I will try to catch up this year, or wait for next year.

We are reading through a Jesus storybook which shows how the OT points to Jesus. This Jesse tree seems like it would fit in great!

Anyway, I am not going to relink everything because I am lazy. Lindsay already did the work, go there if you are interested :)

Monday, December 15, 2008


my internet seems sluggish today. Maybe it is cold too :)

I worked 26 hours this weekend then went to the oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal consultation. Currently I am assessing life on the homefront. Threw in a load of laundry, pulled a dirty sponge out of Roman's mouth, and started some supper.

Let's just say I will be spending my evening hours cleaning and trying to figure out what I need to do/get for Deacon's birthday and Christmas...

Hope to blog soon, but in the meantime - here's to an attached garage, a furnace and a washing machine!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I do

I have a post in my head that I have been writing for the last two days. All about how December is like my least favorite month, if I have to listen to my kids scream one more minute I am going to scream too, etc.

But I decided to push that aside for another day and talk about weddings and unity candles.

I may have mentioned this before, but when Noah and I go to a wedding we make a bet: will they, or will they not blow out their individual candles during the candle ceremony? This used to be more fun, but now we almost always agree and we are almost always right so it takes some of the suspense away.

We did not have a unity candle because well, I don't like unity candles. Now if I had heard of the unity sand, we may have been in business. Or maybe not.

But we have talked about what we would have done had we had one. One of us leans one way and one the other, but neither one is altogether comfortable with the whole thing so we just skipped it.

So today, in the midst of the December hoopla, think back to your wedding. Did you have a unity candle? Did you blow out or leave lit? Why? And which way do you think Noah and I lean?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hair cuts for all

Notice how studiously I am ignoring the screaming? Yes, that is a vintage 1980 Mickey beach towel in the background.
It's so itchy! Next time, no hoodies during haircuts. They get in the way.

Lincoln thinks the buzzer is like a little massage for his head

Here we are, getting ready to start

Deacon bravely agreed to go first

Stocking Stuffers

Our first Christmas together I finally discovered the one thing that Noah and I had never discussed: Stuffing Christmas Socks.

Why don't they cover this in premarital counseling?

Because seriously...money, where to spend Christmas, etc - that all pales in comparison to both parties having the correct understanding of stuffing the stockings.

Noah stuffs stockings based on size. Basically if it is a gift that is small enough to fit into the stocking, that is where it goes. So in his mind the $200 MP3 player belongs in the stocking and the "oh -I-saw-this-6-pack-of-premium-rootbeer-and-I-thought-of-you" goes under the tree in place of the main gift.

And I stuff stockings based on cost. Basically fun little non-main presents or else things you need and can use as presents go into the stockings. So my kids get bandaids, tape, little packs of fruit snacks, new art supplies, fun socks, tooth brushes etc in their socks. Noah gets new blades for his razer, windshield wipers for his car, grenadine, salsa etc. in his.

Basically stuff that I don't need to see them open individually and specially.

So we had a discussion, and now we are on the same page.

I think.

So what do you all do? How do you make those stocking stuffer vs under tree gift decisions?

A few things I want you to Know

1. I joined facebook. I know, it is kind of the dark side, but what do you do? It is kind of weird for me though. I have found some people from my shady past and have almost clicked the "add friend" button but then I didn't. "what if they don't remember me?", "do I really want them to remember me?", "that chapter of my life is closed. Do I really want to reopen it?"

But I am not going to stop blogging. Seeing people's status and comments on facebook are generally superficial. And I am all about the deep here. If you call song parodies and tirades about socks deep.

2. We did get our Christmas tree despite the vomiting episode. Thankfully we were in an outdoor tree lot and so Noah just pushed some snow over the indisposition and we pretended like it never happened.

3. I am very thankful for an attached garage, a washing machine in my basement, that a small house = lower heating bill, and for Thursday play group where my kids can run around like crazy for an hour in the gym at church.

4. I have been very cranky lately because of the cold. I don't like to leave my house. Yesterday though, I hauled them all to the Y in the afternoon to get a run in. I felt so much happier and more patient when I was done and picked them up. I just have to keep remembering that it IS ALWAYS better to get out and do something even if it is hard. And cold. And even if I still don't have any gloves or mittens without holes.

5. A confession: last week, I wore the left handed gloves from two VASTLY different pairs because that was all I could find. I need to get to a store. And soon.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I despise socks.

I don't like them when they get the least bit wet
I don't like to match them up after they come out of the dryer
I don't like the way my kids take them off every other second
I don't like that I have to put 8 socks on feet every morning

My distaste for socks started when Deacon was a couple months old.

My washing machine stopped working. The water wouldn't drain. It was disgusting. And these were the days when I was using cloth diapers. I needed that machine to work!

The repairman came out.

$168 later my washing machine was fully functional.

A tiny baby sock had gotten inside the machine and stopped the whole thing up.

My babies very rarely wore socks after that, and if they did, I certainly never washed them.

How dirty do sweet baby feet get, anyway?

But little boy feet? They get dirty. And smelly.

During the summer I send them out in sandals. I wash no child socks from May until October.

But then the snow comes. And the socks come out. And my depression settles in.

8 socks on 8 feet. Every morning.

And then again if we have to go somewhere in the afternoon.

And then again if we go outside to play and everything gets wet.

And then again if someone has an accident.

And then again when someone steps in someone elses accident.

Socks are a compelling reason to hibernate.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What every man needs for Christmas

Cologne with another man's name on it

And Underdog Yoga pants.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I may need a bigger chair...

or a bigger lap...

Lincoln has decided to join in on storytime, and he parks himself right in the middle- much to Roman's chagrin.

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to show your little boys (and big boys!) that you love them

1. Throw balls at them. often. I am completely serious about this! Nothing says "I love you" to a boy like a ball thrown in his direction. It is letting them know that you are ready to play with him, to engage him, to love him.

2. Refer to them as super-heros

3. Buy them swords

4. Cuddle with them

5. Let them play with your hair

6. Eat popcorn with them while you watch their favorite shows (even if you can't STAND Sid the Science Kid or Submarine movies)

7. Play the kind of football that is mostly tackling

8. Let them help you and greatly praise their efforts

9. Sing them songs. Even when they act like they are all tough and don't like it.

10. Act amazed by their achievements

Anyone have any to add?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I love messing with people

My baby is 18 months old. He is a kingly baby, which is why we call him King Baby.

When Deacon was 18 months old, he was not a baby anymore. Baby Roman was very nearly in the house and Deacon's days of single childness were almost to a close.

When Roman was 18 months out he was 2 months away from being a big brother and a little brother all at the same time. King Baby was soon to make his grand entrance.

So it stands to reason that I have been getting a lot of "those questions" and "that look". You know what I mean, don't you? The quick glance toward my stomach as I bend over to pick up a child and my shirt pulls a little. Is it a bump? Is it a baby bump? And the, "Julie, I haven't seen you for a while. How are you guys? Anything going on?" Sometimes it is accompanied by a glance toward my mid section.

And I say, "yes! There is!" My victim leans closer, ready for the big news to be let out of the bag. "we are acid staining our concrete in the basement! It is very cool, but it has been ALOT of work."

"oh. That's nice" they say.

Now, I don't blame these poor souls. I didn't tell anyone outside of immediate family and coworkers that I was pregnant with Lincoln until I was between 16 and 20 weeks along. I waited until I was getting glances that clearly said, "girl...did you quit running or are you pregnant again?"

So it probably stands to reason that people are looking. And wondering. And making bets as to when and who will spot the bump first.

Wow. I am almost a celebrity.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One more pic

Do look at the last couple of posts if you come for Julie's writings. If you came for pics, here you go.


New Room "tile" pattern is chalked for cutting. Cheap Ryobi saw = $30. Diamond blade for concrete = $18. What's wrong with that picture? Actually, I was advised to buy the cheap saw because all the dust would be very hard on the motor.

My resperator is worn tight. It keeps the nasty stuff out.

I'm not sure if the picture adequately conveys the level of dust-saturation we achieved.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What We've Been Up To!

My mom mentioned that she liked my posts lately. Probably because they have been short little snippits and not my long rambling thoughts. But I miss posting long random thoughts.

In short form, this is what I've been doing:

1. I threw out a pair of footie pjs. This may not seem like a big deal to all of you clutter free living people, but for me this was big. Especially since the only reason I threw it out was because Lincoln had pooped in his diaper and it had fallen off into the foot of the sleeper and it was just...bad... and I threw it out instead of cleaning it. Never thought I would see the day. Now, in my defense, I had bought it for a quarter from a garage sale when Deacon was a baby. But still...

2. Helping Noah strip all the paint off of the floor in room in the basement. This is not fun. We like to do projects together, but we couldn't even talk because we couldn't understand each other through the respirator masks. It was pretty much the Tower of Babel.

3. Helping Noah use a skill saw to cut straight lines in our concrete in the basement. We were still wearing masks and by the end of the night we couldn't even see each other across the room because of all the dust.

4. Taking the boys to the winter parade. This meant driving downtown. This meant slightly crabby, stressed Daddy. As his tension rose, we quickly just parked in a far away lot, and got out and walked. Oh, and ended up paying $10 for parking. Apparently we were parking for the prep bowl, not the parade.

5. Taking Christmas pictures and writing Christmas letters. Nothing has changed since last year. Can we just send the one from last year?

6. Painting ornaments for the boys teachers. I brillantly brought the whole box over to my moms for thanksgiving. My aunts, uncle, cousins, mom and sister helped me get them done. Thanks guys! (maybe I will post some pictures later).

7. Cutting up the marshmallows for the ultimate Thanksgiving salad: Cranberry Fluff. Only that is a lie. Noah cut them up while I slept. I had worked, so maybe it is justified?

8. Going through all of my kitchen cupboards and drawers and cleaning them out.

9. Taking Lincoln to the Doctor for his checkup. Yes, my friends, it was not a pretty sight. He threw a temper tantrum on the floor of the office (YUCK!), threw the tongue depresser thing across the room, and kept trying to escape the whole appointment. His doctor said, "I hope you are a patient woman!", "Does he think he is 2?", "I always tell people that the most stubborn, determined ones are the ones who grow up to do great things", "maybe some antibiodics will improve his mood." and, my personal favorite, when I asked him if he had any suggestions for how to get Lincoln into his carseat, "stick to your guns."

a little background: Lincoln throws major temper tantrums. We ignore him, but so far that has not been an effective deterent.

a clarification: Lincoln has had a runny nose for a month, hence the antibiodics. The MD was just wondering if maybe it is sinus related and he has not been feeling that great either leading to the behavioral stuff.

another clarification: by myself it can take me up to 5 minutes to get him into his carseat because of the tantrum it always starts. Any suggestions? (preferably not "stick to your guns". That has already been established.)

10. Still trying to convince Deacon that shorts are not the best winter wear. The cold may be getting to him though: yesterday he voluntarily put his coat on with his shorts and today he actually was wearing pants.

Hopefully you will hear more from me soon. I know you are just dying to hear about male yoga (yogi?) pants and my favorite mean trick to play on people.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Overalls vs Jean Jumper

Noah was getting Lincoln dressed in his overalls this morning. These are the toddler overalls with the snaps up both inseems and crotch to facilitate diaper changes. Lincoln was uncooperative being snapped up until Noah said, "Dude, don't you realize that these snaps are the only thing keeping you from being mistaken for a homeschool mom?"
(We can make jokes like this because we are planning to homeschool our children. And yes, we call all the boys "dude". A lot.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Few Things I Am Thankful For Tonight

Of course I am thankful for all the meaningful things in my life: 3 beautiful boys, a super-hero husband, good family and friends. I am also thankful for the other things in life: good jobs for Noah and I, a place to live, cars that are reliable.

But tonight I am also thankful that:

1. The parking lady in the lot where we were ripped off did not hear Deacon say, "boy that lady is REALLY old!"
2. Roman only stood on the dead bird. He did not sit on it or pick it up.
3. The strange smell in the air which I thought was the dead bird was not actually the dead bird.
4. The strange smell that Noah was convinced was actually our child, wasn't.
5. I have a nose to smell,
6. And that I have a respirator type Darth Vaderesque mask to wear so that I can't smell the stripper that we are STILL using on our floor in the basement.

Happy Late Thanksgiving, Everyone.

I hope to get back to regular blogging soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I Need

Well, there are a lot of things I need: a lock for the fridge, child proof gadgets for every drawer, door and switch in the house, a 2 week long vacation somewhere warm, a 2 week long workation in my house...I could go on.

However, the thing that is currently on my mind is The Return Day.

I gotta tell ya, there is a lot of stuff in my house that is not mine.

I currently have DVDs from 2 neighbors and my in laws.

I have a Dora suitcase that belongs to a little girl I watch.

I have tupperware and cookie sheets that are my moms.

I have other stuff that is my moms. We play hot potato with some items.

I think that I still have my sister's high school track shorts. She doesn't read this though, so shh.

I have an anonymous gray hooded jacket. (Is that yours Deimel-Lurker? How was DC, by the way?)

I have hot pad holders from church that I washed. I have AWANA books and Sunday School books that I need to bring back.

I have plastic fencing from another friend.

I have Becki's snowflake Christmas cards from 2 or 3 years ago.

Oh, and a stack of written thank you notes from Lincoln's birth 18 months ago that I apparently forgot to send. Sorry Misty, Jamie, Dana, Blairs and more. They got kind of damp, and I doubt you want them now.

And that is all just the stuff that I am willing to admit that I still have.

So I am calling for a Return Day.

I have not yet decided when it will be, but when I do I am going to load the boys up and just drive around and return things all day.

In conclusion, I have 3 questions for all my lurkers and readers out there.

1. What do you have that you need to return?
2. What are some other return-themed activities that we could do on Return Day?
3. What do I have that is yours and you want back? (ok, Deimel-Lurker: I am holding your Burt's Bees lip gloss captive, but I did return the yoga pants :)


He looks all cute and innocent, doesn't he?

And he is cute. But he is not innocent.

I love this little boy like crazy.

But he is driving me crazy.


He is very nosy.

Thankfully he can't open doors yet.

The problem is the other little people can.

And they don't shut them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Survey

I got this survey from a friend via email...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Paper- I like glitzy with lots of bow and ribbons. Last year I used old retro paper someone gave me. It saved me a lot of money. I am not sure which route I will go this year.

2. Real tree or Artificial?

Real Tree. I like artificial, but Noah puts his foot down :)

3. When do you put up the tree?

Early to mid December. Due to the ages and destructiveness of a certain child (who broke eggs on the kitchen floor today while I was changing the laundry around), it may be quite late this year.

4. When do you take down the tree?

As soon as possible after Christmas! I am kind of a scrooge.

5. Do you like egg nog?

I can take it or leave it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

I guess there are none that stand out as so much better then any others. I got the sweater with the puffy polar bears on it one year. We got doll cribs one year. I got this armitron thing once that you could pick up things with it and move them other places. I liked that.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes. It is ceramic and Noah and I painted it ourselves. He did the cow and the donkey and I did everything else.

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Noah is hard. His family is harder :) No offense, guys.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

The boys because they just love new things.
My sisters because they don't buy much for themselves.
My mom because she has so many interests.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Mail. Because it seems right. I suppose supporting the postal service is a good thing. BTW, my photo cards are already ordered. It is the one thing I am ahead on this year.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

I am actually easy to shop for. I like most things and don't complain about my gifts. I also don't return things. It is a GIFT for crying out loud. No one OWES me anything. So who cares if it is not perfect?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

It's a Wonderful Life

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Not that comes to mind.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

I like a small portion of Rommegrut. Cranberry fluff (especially for breakfast) and cookies.

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree?


16. Favorite Christmas song?

Mary Did You Know

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Usually go to my parents close by. Sometimes we will make the trek to Iowa, but the 3 little boys make it a lot of work.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?

Yes. And all the states too. Which is more important?

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Both and several other times too.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year.

Everything. Like I said, I am kind of a scrooge. I like the holidays, but they require so much EXTRA WORK, EXTRA STRESS and EXTRA MONEY. I liked them more when I was younger and I could sit around and eat cookies all day and do puzzles.

21. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Noah and I both have a lot of ornaments from our childhoods that we like to talk about every year as we put them on the tree. I like mine from my Great Aunt Hazel. Tradition is to eat chinese after we decorate the tree.

22. Favorite food for Christmas dinner?

Didn't I already answer this? It doesn't matter. Really, anything is fine by me.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Lap top, Keen shoes, socks with no holes, a telephone that doesn't keep falling apart. I don't need any of those things though. All I really need is to somehow figure out a way to keep my sanity for the next month!

As always, feel free to leave your own interesting answers (maybe not the whole survey :) in the comments section!

Just call me Astro-man!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Start of Picture Weekend

We are heading into a "Home Improvement" weekend, so I am just going to get caught up on posting some pictures...
What is this imposter?! Paper Towels in Julie's kitchen? What is it with the weird designs on paper towels anyway? I know I buy the ultra cheap ones if I buy them because I use them for painting projets mostly. But seriously, what are those things on there and WHY?!

1st snowman of the Year

Deacon, dressed and ready for some glow in the dark frisbee. Seriously. He wants to wear shorts when it is 20 degrees, sweats to church and THIS to play night frisbee?

The clothes from their friend were a big hit.

Roman is FINALLY willing to make attempts at getting himself dressed. And at least he TRIES to do the underwear thing.

Serious military hardware

Behold, the Vulcan.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lincoln and the Audiologist

Lincoln and I made a trip up to visit the Audiologist on Monday.

According to the tests and charts for child development, Lincoln is at about a 9 month level for speech, even though he is 18 months. At his 15 month check up he was not saying any words. Not mama, not dada, not hi. He screeches a lot and waves frantically.

Since his 15 month check he has added mama and dada and something that sounds like banana to his repatoire.

I have not been that concerned because Deacon and Roman both talked very late. In fact, I had the school district out to evaluate Deke's speech at 27 months because he had only about a 12-15 word vocabulary. It just took him awhile to get going. He does stutter, and I imagine that is/was part of the slow talking.

But I decided, after thinking about it, that getting his hearing checked couldn't hurt. Just to be safe.

I've been trying to get time to post about this, and today was going to be the day. This morning octamom was doing a guest post on her daughters trip to the audiologist and her discovery that her daughter has severe hearing loss (years ago). The posting seemed well timed.

Just as Octamom did, we went into this little sound proof room and he sat there on my lap watching the lady through the thick glass. The room was relatively dark. Out of speakers in different corners of the room would come sounds: the ladies voice, white noise, music, barks. All at different pitches. She observed his reactions. He was done before she was.

15 minutes sitting on my lap in that hot, hot booth was enough for him.

So the test was over.

She said she didn't notice any major problems.

He did have fluid on his ears, but he is getting over a cold and she said that could account for it.

He was hearing the main things he needed to hear.

But since he quit before it was over, she wasn't able to be as thorough as she would have liked to be. So she is recommending that we come back in 2 months to retest. And at the same time check on the fluid levels.

So we now know 2 things:
1. He can at least partially hear
2. We have to go back to that hot booth.

I think I will send Noah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Write Posts in My Head

I have a lot of posts written in my head, but I haven't had time to get them typed.

I have a lot of pictures on my camera, but I don't know how to get them to my computer.

Well, I kind of do.

But not knowing how to put stuff on the computer is my one indulgence.

It is the one thing that I am not in charge of.

Noah is in charge of it.

The only responsibilities I have chosen to completely forgo in our home are getting media on my ipod and dealing with the camera in any way other then picking it up and shooting pictures. Once the pictures are on the computer I am responsible for them, but as long as they are on the camera they are out of my hands.

I love saying to him sweetly when he gets home, "Noah, will you please fill my ipod with interesting stuff and then will you please get the pictures that are on the camera blog ready?"

And you know what? I think he likes the responsibility.

(and this way he can innocently and casually put all the sermons he thinks I should hear right onto my playlist)

November 19, 1999

9 years ago today was the day that Noah asked me to marry him.

It was a cold night in Rush City.

My mom had made me a new dress.

Noah sent flowers over.

He proposed on one knee on a bridge.

He had no plan, just made it up as he went along.

Because that is the way he rolls.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Pout

Lincoln has been getting into trouble lately.

He is climbing things and opening things and turning things on that he is not supposed to climb on, open and touch.

Today he was opening the refrigerator. I told him not to and he continued. I got more firm with him and he turned around and walked away. I was pleasantly surprised, but only for a moment.

He turned and looked at me with The Pout.

And I said, "Don't do it Lincoln. Don't go there. If there is one action that you could take to make my sympathy for you disappear quickest, it would be The Pout".

I tell Roman to do something and he will occasionally do it, or he will occasionally look at me defiantly and say, "no ma'am". I can deal with that. I know he needs to obey, and we don't let it rest at "no ma'am". But at least he is willing to stand up for himself. He lets me know his intentions. He is bold.

But The Pout?

The Pout doesn't show a willingness to stand up for his little self. It doesn't show a boldness. Instead, by employing it he is attempting to use a passive aggressive measure to get his own little way.

And it is not going to work with us.

(I would post a picture, but I refuse to take a picture when he is pouting).

Noah is Officially 30

Noah got two interesting presents for a 30 year old:

Vulcan nerf machine gun (NOT from me)
WII playground games game

We are all trying to keep him young, I guess.

All in all we had a nice weekend.

Oh- Lincoln has his audiologist appointment this afternoon. Soon we will know how well he can hear!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Noah is Funny (and so are the boys)

Deacon once asked if Mommy was silly. Noah said "your mother is a lot of things, but silly isn't one of them."

I am rarely silly.

And if I am, the boys laugh and Noah gives me his one eyebrow lift look.

So I try to stick with just being occasionally funny. And it is usually just funny in my own head.

And Noah is kind of funny.

But never silly.

The boys are both.

Real Life Conversations at Our House:

Julie- "what should we get your dad for his birthday?"
Deke- "I think he may like a gun. But I am not sure why he would need one. It is not like he goes out into the forest to shoot bears or anything."
J- "yeah, he really doesn't, does he?"

Julie- "we need to make Daddy's birthday cakes."
D- "what are we going to put on them? John Deers?"
J- "I don't know if Daddy likes John Deere"
R-"oh, he does." (with a knowing, earnest look)

Julie- "Remember, it is Daddy's birthday tomorrow."
D- "Is he going to be a Grandpa now?"
J-" No, turning 30 doesn't make you a grandpa. He won't be a grandpa until one of you has a baby."
D- "I just don't know who I should marry."
J- "That's ok, you don't have to decide now."
D- "Why, because I don't have to choose anyone because I am not a grownup yet?"
J- "right"
D- "I think I will marry Erica (his aunt)"
J- "I don't think that will work, sweetie"
D- "Yeah, I kind of don't think I will grow up fast enough for that."

from the backseat:

D- "Where do you think we are going out to eat for Daddy's birthday?"
J- "I don't know. He gets to pick" (notice the lack of silliness. And funniness.)
D- "I hope it is Green Wind Meals!" (Green Mill)
R- "How about Space Aliens!" (said with a slightly scary hiss)
D- "Daddy is not going to want to go there! I hope he doesn't want to go to Taco Bells." (yes, he always adds an 's' to Taco Bell)
D- "mom, can you tell him that I like everything on the menu at the King place?"
J- "Burger King?"
D- "Yes"
D again- "What is the name of that fish place?"
J- "Long John Silvers"
D- sighs. "What a great name."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Roman's Preschool

Roman has become fascinated with his name. If there are letters around he forms his name with them an if there are numbers, he puts them in order. Now we just need to work on left to right!


Noah is a very generous person. He likes to give gifts, give money, spend money etc.

And he likes me to spend money.

You see, I am very frugal. And he isn't.

So getting me to spend money on myself helps make him feel less guilty about the stuff he buys.

It is a totally healthy relationship.

Anyway, he is afraid to buy me roses on Valentine's Day because he knows that me knowing that he bought them at such an exorbitant price, using OUR money would ruin V. Day for me.

But before we were married it was ok, because it wasn't OUR money, it was HIS money and flowers for me seemed a better purchase than more accessories for his Jesse Ventura doll.

On my 16 birthday he brought me 2 roses. A red one and a white one.

We weren't really dating, he just thought I should have roses. I think it was a well calculated move. If things ever did end up working out, it would be a positive start to the relationship, and if things didn't really work out he was probably only out like 6 bucks or something.

So that is what he tends to buy if he buys roses. A red one and a white one.

But he doesn't usually buy roses. He usually buys cheaper flowers.

You know what?

They are just as pretty, just as thoughtful and it definitely leaves more money for Chipotle.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funny Posts and Noah

Noah will turn 30 on Saturday.

It seems so old.

I have been giving him a hard time about it, and I know it is weighing on him a little too.

In honor of his birthday I will be posting about him this week. Feel free to comment! But only nice things, because honestly, turning 30 is hard enough on its own. (not that I know :)

But before I tell my first nice story about him, I will direct you to some funny posts that remind me of us:

First, this post on SCL . Seriously, if you haven't checked out Stuff Christians Like, you should. It is incredibly funny and very true. The post I linked has a conversation between the author and his wife in it. That is pretty much how every conversation about money goes in our house. Also, by the way, I really need one of the side hug tee shirts...

And then there is the charmingly fictitious Cordy, Seth, Chris and the whole Mormon love triangle. Man, if it wasn't a love triangle and if it wasn't Mormon it could totally be Noah and I during highschool and college. The drama, the miscommunications, the ultimatums, the attempts to be cool and not care...are you kidding me? This is compelling reading! I just try to block out the similarities...

There are a few things I remember from elementary school, and these are two of them:

1. Joolee's brother was a grade older than me (the same grade as Noah). One day I heard him say that he couldn't stand it when girls wore side ponytails. He thought they looked ridiculous. I never wore a side ponytail after that, and everytime I see someone wearing one I remember that comment like it was yesterday. (I am linking you like crazy, Joolee- Did you notice? I link people who comment :)

2. One day I was over at Noah's house and we were playing hotspot out in the yard. I had never played before and I did something against the rules inadvertently. One of the other kids jumped all over it and I was starting to feel really stupid. Noah stepped in, defended me and put an end to the other kids comments. I would have married him then, but we were only like 10 and stuff and I don't think things would have ended so well.

Anyway, love you Noah! Happy 4 days before your birthday! Thank you for the ways you protect me and defend me, even when I insist I don't need it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A mystery

"You were busily sucking the cream out of a delicious donut (left over from your meeting with the fruitarians) while on one of your insane runs, enjoying it so thoroughly that you failed to see a patch of black ice. Now you have a broken leg AND you just discovered that you are unexpectedly pregnant with twins and becoming more nauseous by the minute. Not that getting pregnant is a bad thing. Just that you need a few days to get used to the idea."

The above is what Joolee thinks may have happened today to make it so Very.Very.Bad.

But she is not even remotely correct.

Interesting thoughts though, and kind of compelling.

I managed to get out of bringing anything to the Bible Study last week by calling in sick child. He was sick. Sort of. So no donuts.

We don't have any black ice here. Yet.

And I haven't been running outside, unfortunantly.

And I am not pregnant with twins, although that would be a reason to not feel guilty about not running. And Noah wants twins. He thinks that would push me over the edge which I am teetering on and cause me to finally say, "that is it! I give up! No more kids!".

But today is a different story.

It is, of course, a Monday coming off of a great weekend. Isn't that the way it always is? I didn't work at all, Noah got a lot of the electrical stuff done in the basement, we had friends over Sunday night, I sorted lots of boxes and we watched a movie and ate popcorn with the kids. Oh, and I did lots of laundry by flashlight.

On Friday night we had small group at our house, but I played hooky so that I could go meet up with 4 friends to do some bulk cooking. I brought the 55 pounds of ground beef, and we cooked it all up. We each came away with 2 spagetti pies, 2 other hotdishes, 4 1 lb bags of taco meat, 4 bags of meatballs. Success. That is 12 meals for this month, all made in 1 night and at really low cost!

So brought it all home and threw it in the deep freezer. You can see where this is going, right?

Let's review the clues, my friends:

1. electrical work in the basement
2. Chest freezer in basement
3. No lights in basement
4. All the meals into the freezer in the basement on Friday night

Yes, I went down this morning to get bread out of the freezer, and low and behold the freezer was more like a Fridge. Kind of.

Now, we aren't that stupid. We did put the no electricity= no appliances thing together. But the washer and dryer were working and they are right next to the freezer on that side of basement. And one of the lights was working. And we just assumed that since that side of the basement was generally working, that the freezer outlet was on the same breaker and was working too.

Bad assumption.

So I have been salvaging food today. Just what I wanted to be doing today. Just what I needed to be doing today.

Things were starting to thaw, but in the bottom everything was still frozen, so I took out the mostly still frozen but starting to thaw chicken (9 pounds of it!) cooked it and cubed it. I am still debating how much of the other stuff I should risk keeping...

I could definitely use the donut right now.

Bad. Very. Very. Bad

Things are not so good around here...

I got no time to post, but just wanted you all to know...

(this is not the worst bad I can think of, not even close. Just not a good start to the week. The week where I was going to be running 5 miles a day, getting up early, getting through my piles and turning my kids into Preschool stars)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I haven't been tagged, but...

I thought this was kind of a fun one...

10 years ago I was

1. Sitting through Microbiology class listening to a teacher who said, "not to flog a dead horse" in an English accent. Often.

2. Examining cadavers in Structure and Function

3. Taking long walks with Noah discussing our future - if we had a future, if there was a future, if God knows the future, if there would be extraterrestial sitings in our future. Stuff like that.

4. I was 18 and got to vote for the first time!

5 Things on my To Do list today

1. Hover over Noah while he works on electrical stuff in the basement. Just to make sure he doesn't get electrocuted. He was working on it when I left for work the other night. I worried all night that he would get electrocuted and the boys would go look for him and they would get electrocuted too and I would come home to find N, D and R dead in the basement and Lincoln screaming in his crib because he can't get out. And he wouldn't have known that his lack of climbing ability had saved his little life. And that, my friends, would have been a definite turn for the worse in the story of my life.

2. Run

3. Watch "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" with the boys while eating popcorn.

4. Laundry. I have no lights in the basement, so I need to get all my laundry done during daylight hours or by flashlight. Since I do laundry 24/7 this could be tricky, and we may be dressed kind of sketchily for the next few days. As if that would be a change.

5. Sort through 3 crates of papers. I have found that if I stick my papers in a crate without taking care of them, usually by the time I sort the stack there are no more decisions to be made because they are expired offers etc. It works well for me.

5 Things I would Do if I was a Millionaire

1. Buy at least 10 acres and put up a house, a barn and a large play structure.

2. Take Deacon to Australia

That is it. No, I would do some charitable giving, but I am not sure on specifics. I think I would invest the money for a year to give me time to formulate a good, sound financial plan. This is all if I got the money in a lump sum, which is the only way I can forsee becoming a millionaire in my lifetime.

What were you all doing 10 years ago?

Friday, November 7, 2008


I have a lot of friends that have moved past the baby stage. In fact there is no one that I get together regularly with that has a baby anywhere near Lincoln's age. Which is sad for him. And a little sad for me. Deacon has quite a few friends his age and I think that is important.

So I am praying for a little friend for Lincoln and for a little boy to be a friend for Roman. Roman is always trying to keep up with Deacon and his friends and I think it would be good for him to have a friend of his own. Most of the people we know that are his age are little girls. Which is fine, but it would be nice for him to have a friend that is a boy too.

Anyway, all that wasn't the point of this post.

The other day while Noah and I were passing like two ships in the night, we split up some errands. He took Lincoln with him and I took Deacon and Roman with me. What a glorious taste of freedom! They are both in booster seats, and while I still have to click Roman in, it is just one single click and they can open the door and climb into their own seats! They can unbuckle themselves and get out themselves. I didn't have to carry anyone.

And I thought to myself, "what if I had stopped at 2? I would be living in a diaper free house, I wouldn't have to deal with naptimes. I wouldn't have to try to strong arm someone into their carseat!"

And then I came home. And Lincoln was jumping into a pile of leaves, just like his brothers.

And Lincoln was picking up leaves, 2 at a time, and putting them into the bag- just like his brothers.
And Lincoln was trying to rake with his little rake, just like his brothers.

So what if I am still changing diapers? I will change diapers for a lifetime if it means having moments like these...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not Julie's Finest Hour

Deacon has been going to Gym and Swim at the YMCA since last January. He has been in the 3 and 4 year old class and has loved every minute of it. The 3 and 4 year olds swim first and then have gym in the Spirit, Mind and Body room. (I had to add the name of the room in...I sometimes wonder if the people who routinely use the room for Yoga complain that the 3 and 4 year olds mess up the chi of the room)

Last Tuesday we arrived for his new session and were met with the "exciting" news that since there were only 2 3&4 year olds signed up they wanted to move Deke and the other kid up to the 5 & 6 year old class. I did not think that it would be a problem.

Deacon did.

He absolutely lost it. "I am not 5 yet!" he wailed. "I want to swim first!" "They will never let me swim at all", "I want to go home!"

See, the 5 &6 year olds gym first and then swim.

Not cool.

I try to follow through on consequences.

I didn't though. I told him that if he didn't go in there and play I would take him home. He said, "take me home." And I didn't. I knew that if I could just get him in there he would have a great time and it would all be good. He loves activities and he doesn't like to just be home.

What he doesn't like is surprises.

If they had called me an hour before so I could have prepped him, he probably would have been ok. But the kid can't handle loss of control. And surprises. They kind of go hand in hand, don't they?

So I threw all of the parenting techniques, natural consequences out the window. I pleaded with him to try it, I offered bribes. I offered threats. I tried to act cheerful and like this was so exciting. I tried to act annoyed. That didn't require much acting.

And he was just beside himself. Which isn't like him.

Except when he has no control.

Finally, I told him this: "Deacon, if you don't go in there I am going to go check you into kids stuff with Lincoln (the childcare area) and take Roman out and have him come here to have class in your place. "

He said, "You can't do that."

And I said, "oh, yes I can."

And he went in.

And he had a great time.

And he finished up gym with a smiling face and went into the locker room to get ready for swim.

And I discovered that I forgot his wetsuit.

And his swimming trunks.

And I felt like crying. After all of that, he wasn't even going to be able to swim?!

But the front desk had a loaner pair (yeah YMCA!).

And he had fun.

And yesterday when I dropped him off, he said, "You can go now, Mom."

So I went upstairs to run.

And when he came up to run his 2 laps he caught up with me (yes, I did slow down. he can't beat me yet!) and slipped his little hand into mine.

And we ran together.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Austy is made out of cheese!

I think it has been established in this blog that our house is a little on the chaotic side. Trying to juggle 1 full time job, 1 part time job, 3 preschoolers, volunteerism, home remodeling projects, yard work, car repairs...well, you get the idea.

The first thing to go is always sleep.

I worked 4 out of the last 5 nights. It may have been too much.

Noah's mom talks about the times during school where he would be talking formulas and equations in his sleep. That is dreaming about what you are doing in life.

But the other night I was DOING the thing that I normally only DREAM about.

Frequently in my dreams I am trying to dial a number on the phone. And I just can't do it. I start and I don't completely push in one of the digits, or I can't remember it. So the other evening Noah comes in, says I have a message on the phone from staffing and asks if he can dial the number for me. I could not remember the number. I just remember feeling this panicky frustration as I tried to say the numbers in the right sequence and I just could not get my brain and my mouth and those 9 digits to line up! It was exactly like in my dreams. The same inadequacy. The same feelings. I had to get out of bed and walk downstairs, calm down and dial it myself to make it work. I asked Noah today if it had really happened. Apparently it did.

So this morning Roman comes flying downstairs and asks me, "what is the name of the Backyardigan's movie where Tasha, Austy an Uniqua are made out of cheese?" Deacon and I questioned him further, having never heard of such a thing in all our lives. I tried to explain that they are actually computer animation, but he would have none of it. "No, mom. There is a movie where they are made out of cheese. And the Veggietales were there. But not Bob."

I suspected a dream and suggested this to him. His eyes brightened an he said, "Oh yes, maybe the Backyardigans were having a dream!" He just wasn't buying it.

There is no more points to the dream stories.

I just have a couple more statements since I haven't blogged for awhile.

*I just remembered that I am supposed to bring a lovely breakfast dish for Bible Study tomorrow. Personally, I love doughnuts, but these ladies scoff at them. Can I manage to not cave under the pressure and actually just bring doughnuts without fruit?

*Our basement room passed its 1st 2 inspections. The whole inspection thing was actually kind of a letdown. One of those scenerios where you overprepare and they barely look at anything. And you know you should just keep your mouth shut, but you want to yell, "will you look at this? Will you admire this? Will you measure this and see how exactly perfect this is? Will you acknowlege that we followed the 10 pages of code exactly?"

*I have all of these projects that I want to get done before it gets cold. Why did I wait until the Indian summer in November to realize that it is now or never? Probably because it is now or never.

*Today I discovered that 1 of the tiny tootsie pops does not have enough suckability to last the whole time that it takes a mommy to vote. I did get them out of there before anyone yelled at them though.

*I think that I have eaten more calories in halloween candy today then I burned off during my 4 mile run. This.is.very.bad.

*I just painted my front door. I am taking guesses as to the color. Think backwards mullet.

Ok, I need to stop. I am now making jokes that only make sense to me in my strange little world.

I wasn't going to go all Rob Bell literary style on you, but...

Judges 10:13-14

"But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble."

This verse convicts me.

I choose and serve things other than God.

Our nation chooses and serves people and things other than God.

We don't want the consequences for our actions.

It is never our fault.

We want to be bailed out.

We want a president who is willing to go to great measures to not let us be "punished" with a baby if we make a mistake.

We want a government who will make sure that everything is "fair", even if they must take from others to do so.

We want polititicans who promise to take care of us.

We want the treasury to bail out our banks so we don't have to take responsibility for our spending.

We call out to our gods.

But they can't save us.

So we call out to God.

But how long will he be merciful?

Psalm 57:1-3

1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills {his purpose} for me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah. God sends his love and his faithfulness.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Life at Home with the B'Boys

When Mom's gone and we're bach'en it. There's pizza...

And games...

Deacon and Roman would launch the cars with the little car-launcher, and then I'd catch them at the other end of the table if they made it that far without hitting something. With a little practice, they were launching them pretty straight down the table.
I like this sequence with Deacon launching and the other two's heads following the car. Roman is a little hard to spot, but he is watching.

(Actually, Julie was around. Somewhere. She must have slipped off and left us boys to our own devices.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Clean water? Sounds good...

This is not normally a political blog. It is not becoming a political blog. But politics intersects with life, so here it is. (And rest assured, I have another post in the pipeline with cute pics of the kids and some warm fuzzies for your soul.)

So the Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas Amendment sounds good and all. What's more Minnesota than clean water and wildlife? And that's all we hear about is the clean water part: lakes and streams. Maybe the wildlife part.

But arts? With an election in two days I was starting the research on the parts of the ballot that I don't hear attack ads on every second. Seriously, I tried to watch some of the news last night and for several commercial breaks, every commercial was a political attack ad. I'm sick of it.

And the ads for this amendment aren't much better. The one side is, "Who wouldn't want to pass clean water on to our kids?" And the other side is, "Don't you realize it sounds nice but will make your taxes go up?"

This all misses the point.

First, there's a sales tax increase. A Constitutional Amendment is not a place for a sales tax increase. Good grief. That's the job of the legislators we send to the capital.

Second, this isn't just about clean water. There's also clauses in here about funding money into the arts and cultural heritage. Again, I'm sorry, but a Constitutional Amendment is not the place for that. A bill on the floor of the Legislature where our elected representatives can hash it out is the right place. Putting it on a Constitutional Amendment where there's little public debate and no one is talking about anything besides clean water is low down dirty rotten.

I'm tired of the games. At this point I'm not holding anybody faultless. It's just a general comment. Things like this get me though. There's too much power; too much money.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day.

"Peace is inevitable. Why not now?"

Has anyone looked at the human condition lately? War and chaos are inevitable. Men exploiting other men is inevitable. Anything else takes a whole lot of work, cooperation, vigilance and the grace of God.


Saturday, November 1, 2008


Last night we did Trunk-or-Treat at church, followed by a showing of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything on the big screen in the Upper Room. Deacon actually saw the movie once in the dollar theater with Gma Pam, but still was a little freaked out in a couple of intense parts. Roman on the other hand had only seen the little clips included with the PWDDA VBS this summer. He freaked out in a couple of parts.


At one point later in the movie, as it's building to climax, Larry the Cucumber as Elliot gets swallowed whole by a giant mechanical dragon. Roman jumped up onto his chair, eyes wide, finger tips digging into his cheeks, "Oh NO! ELLIOT! They got Elliot!"


(Elliot survives.)

Okay, maybe it was a little intense. But they both did sleep fine last night.

Here are the Trunker Treaters

Link was quite impressed with "that puppy in the window."


Thursday, October 30, 2008

When The Baby Goes Out with the Bathwater

If you've been following my twitter (which, yes, I am still get a lot of eyerolling over twittering. Can he not get that I HAVE NO ADULTS TO TALK TO ALL DAY?! I am secretly glad that Todd has been here for the last week just because I feel like at least I have some back up even if he is just here to work on the basement.)

Ok, that was some major run on sentencing.

So, if you have been following my twitter you know that I have been decluttering. I threw out a stack of note paper that said, "Wise Men Still Seek Him" on the top of it. My 2nd grade sunday school teacher, Bruce Fixen, gave that paper to me when I was in 2nd grade. Yes he did. And I still have it. But now I don't. Aren't you proud of me for recycling it? Or do you want to cut all ties with me because I am such a loser in the first place?

Anyway, I put a large stack of stuff out for lupus the other day. My neighbor had brought some stuff down too, so it was quite a large stack.

My lawnmower was also sitting out.

They took that too.

We didn't want them to.

Actually, that is not quite true. Our lawnmower was inherited from the past owners of our house who had gotten it second hand from someone else. So we have had it for 4 1/2 years and that, I am sure, was only a fraction of its life. I have wanted a new one for 4 1/2 years but it always ends up on the bottom of the "to be purchased" list.

So when we were setting the stuff out for Lupus, Noah said, "you aren't going to move the mower, are you? You secretly want them to take it. Don't you?"

And I laughed and said, "I am not intending for them to take it. But lets just say I wouldn't call and demand it back if they did."

And then we both agreed that they would never take it because it is old, rusty and falling apart.

But they did.

And we are glad.