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.