Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our trees

These are some pictures my sister-in-law took of our pretty pink trees. Deacon has been concerned that I will cut them down (since I have been doing a lot of hacking). But these are the 2 that I like, so they can stay.

I don't have a lot of time to read, (Except for High Rise Detectives and Nate the Great), so two weeks later I am still working on Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel. It is such a good book! I almost don't want to read anymore though because then I feel like I have to implement the principles and it is kind of hard. But I think in the end it will pay off.

The reason I probably like it so much is that he is big on raising independent children and giving them room to make mistakes and face the natural consequences. Both of which principles I also embrace. I am so thankful that we have, from the time they were small, left them with babysitters, put them in the nursery, Sunday School etc so that A. They can learn to live without us and B. We can learn to live without them. After I had kids I started to realize how many people are scared of and dependent on their children!

This independence thing is also the reason that in a lot of my pictures my children are wearing rather interesting clothing combinations.

So that part of the book isn't that convicting for me. It is the part about parents not being emotionally reactive with their children that is the hard part for me. I need to be in control of my own emotions REGARDLESS of what my children are doing or how they are behaving. Mr. Runkel reminds me, "You are not responsible for your children, you are only responsible to your children". It is a lot tougher when it is about your children and not a collegue or casual friend.

In other news, I am now listening to "Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham while I run. Oh, the runs are getting brutal. So are the swims, so are the bikes. This is why I have been telling people about the triathlon- so that I have to do it, because right about now I feel like quitting my training!
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Rocks

All the rocks are almost gone

Thanks to the help of my handy dandy sifter

This was an evil villan

that now has been vanquished

My mom and Jamie came over and worked on my project more this afternoon while the kids played. We cut down a maple tree that was attempting to grow in the shadow of one of the birches. A lot can be accomplished with sheer will power and a little muscle. I'm sure our husbands would have been rolling their eyes if they saw how we did it. But it got done and sometimes the end can justify the means.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where has he heard (part of this) before?

Today there was a lot of hammering going on outside. Deacon put his hands over his ears and said, "my ears are going to have a nervous breakdown!" I guess it is not usually my ears...but I think he is starting to get the concept...
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Monday, May 26, 2008

My new favorite quote

Noah and I saw this on the pool board at the YMCA today:

"A saver is someone who gets rich by pretending to be poor and a spender is someone who gets poor by pretending to be rich."

How true is that?!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Lincoln!

Lincoln turned 1 yesterday! He managed to make it through his whole party without falling asleep or completely losing it. We were impressed :)

Lincoln enjoying his new present from Elise and Peter

Cake is good, frosting is better

The cake. Yes, it does have a dirt pile on it

The new push wagon was a definite hit
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I grew up in a house of girls, except for DOD (dear old Dad). I now live in a house of boys (and DOH, Dear old Hubby). It is definitely a different experience.

The boys, all 3 of them, would much rather run around all summer stark naked. Or in Roman's case, just in underwear, and in Deacons case, just shorts.

So Noah and I laughed and laughed today when Deacon overheard us talking.

Noah to Julie: "Yeah, the legs of my pants feel a lot baggier"
Deacon (from the backseat): "You still have to wear them though!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Orange Crocs

These are Roman's orange crocs. He loves these and they have become his trademark. I love them because they are bright (and thus easy to find), washable and most importantly - he can put them on all by himself! This pair is too small, though and they are breaking. So last week Grandma Pam and Grandpa Rog got him a new pair! Oh joy! The orange croc tradition can continue...

By the way, Happy Birthday Grandpa Rog! We love you!
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tootsie Pops

Minding my own business, just chillin' with my tootsie pop

Oh my, mom has one too. I wonder if it is better than mine?

I'd better check it out. I am the baby. I have the right.

One for each hand. I'd better start sucking before they take them away.

By the way, we only let him have either lollipop briefly. He had managed to grab Roman's pop and taken off across the room with it. So we let him try one of his own after we made him give Roman's back. But really, it was only a couple licks. Why am I explaining this to you? Oh, yeah. Because I am a mom, which means I have a fear of other moms thinking that I am a bad mom. But I am not. It was just a lick...really...
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Friday, May 16, 2008

The Notebook and Misty

Ok, this picture doesn't have anything to do with the post, but I thought it was cute...

Oh, I just thought of this. Sometimes Noah offers Deacon a deal when he is starting to whine or want something. Deacon will get all stubborn and refuse the deal. It always makes me think of the song, "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood.

I wrote my own chorus:

Deacon take the deal
Take it while you can
'Cause you can't do what you want
You're losing ground
So get out while you can
still avoid these circumstances
Deacon take the deal.

My favorite parody of that song though is "Cleatus take the reel" It is on Youtube.

I showed Noah my notebook the other day. He thinks that it is weird. I have so much going on with VBS, various hostessing commitments, Lincoln's party, Triathlon stuff etc, that I was getting really overwelmed and having nightmares about the stuff frequently.

So I took a notebook (one that actually is Romans. And he remembers that the green one is his. So I keep the green cover hidden so he doesn't know it is his. Because I don't have my own. And he doesn't need his. And I am his mom. And I need it.) Anyway, in my notebook I just started making lists for every event. Then I can write stuff down and it is all in the same place. Which is better then my notes beening scattered on post its all over the house. Anyway, I haven't had any nightmares lately. It could be due to the notebook, or it may be due to the fact that I have hardly slept the last few nights. If you don't sleep, you don't have nightmares. You just get really irritable about stuff.

Which brings me to Misty. Not the being irritable stuff, just that I shared this same story with her at playgroup on Thursday. Bad segway. Sorry.

Misty is Jamie's sister and that is how I met her. Misty is an incredibly friendly mom and she has really funny stories (my favorite are the child birth ones). She is willing to talk to people she doesn't know and likes to learn what makes them tick. I think that is really cool.

But the thing that I really admire about Misty is that she also really seems to enjoy taking care of her family creatively. My favorite Misty story is one day just after I had first met her, she was talking about what she was doing for valentines day. She was making steaks shaped like hearts! I found my self thinking, "This girl is willing to spend her time and energy to help her family have memories." I don't know if Jason remembers the valentines steaks, but I sure do! It inspired me to think about adding a little fun into the daily domestic tasks that are so much a part of a homemaker's life. So hi, Misty! Happy Mother's day! You inspire me!
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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Deacon only likes to do things when he can do them the way that he thinks they should be done. Writing his name has been a struggle. Over the last 6 months he has occasionally written it, but he never seems satisfied with the results, despite our praise and encouragement. So now, on his own, he has started to write it on the magna doodle. I thought that would transfer to paper, but he still doesn't like to write it on paper, just the magna doodle. He says it is easier and he can erase it. I think we may have a perfectionist on our hands...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ah, the fun we can have...

Deacon playing on the swing set at Elise and Peters...

Lincoln playing with a washcloth...

Roman playing with Aunt Genna!
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Please vote!

Vote for the cute boy in orange NOW at


More moms to highlight, more pictures to upload, all this and more coming soon!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nascar Sponsors

The other night Noah and I were flipping through channels and came across some Nascar action. Neither one of us have any interest in the races at all, but we watched for a couple of minutes and I asked him, "If you were a driver and you could pick your sponsor, who would you pick?" He gave me a bunch of answers, but I will let him share his final answer (or answers as I am sure he hasn't narrowed it down to 1) in the comments section. How about you all, who would your sponsor be? Leave your answer as a comment!
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kid Story and Danielle

Deacon asked me the other day, "mom, are you jealous because Roman and I are such good friends?" I told him that I wasn't, that I was glad they were good friends. But he kept pestering me about it. We discussed what jealousy was and he seemed to know. Finally he said, "mom, why ARE you jealous then?!" I didn't know I was. I felt a little like I had just been cross examined in court and I didn't really know what I had admitted.

The next day he told Noah that he and I had been using our imaginations and then proceeded to try to get Noah to admit that Noah would be jealous if Deacon and Roman were friends and if they weren't friends with him. I am not sure where he came up with this jealousy thing.

One thing that I have discovered about moms is that it is such an all encompassing task that it can define everything about you if you let it. I think about the moms I talk casually to in the park. I know their names, their childbirth experiences, potty training horror stories, what they are going to cook for dinner, what they use for birth control and what their HUSBAND'S hobbies are. I don't know what their hobbies are (unless they are scrapbooking about their children or going to garage sales for their children, or volunteering in their older child's home room).

But Danielle has hobbies that don't include her children, and they are very interesting. She took ball room dance lessons, she is a tea connoisseur, and she has a lot of costumes. We discovered that one day at playgroup when one of the moms was trying to figure out what to wear to a halloween gig. Flapper from Roaring 20s? Danielles got it. Pirate costume? Danielles got it. A maiden from the Orient? Danielles got it.

But she is also adept at making her home a haven. She is actually creative with home decorations and food and is able to do it all without breaking the budget. Oh, and she likes candles. (and not because she like to play with fire, which is the only reason I would ever burn a candle - no, she appreciates their subtle aromas and colors and what they remind her of.) So, Happy Mother's Day Danielle! I applaud your creativity and I appreciate the way you love your home and kids!

**Oh, by the way, I kept thinking of more and more moms friends I could highlight. But then I got overwelmed. So I am sticking to my longtime (2 year) playgroup mom friends.** I should be done in a few days and back to my normal posts!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Tri workouts and Dana

Seriously, this Tri training program is intense. We are now on week 7, and we are really getting stronger etc but it just keeps getting longer and harder! I don't know how we are going to continue to fit it in! What with VBS coming up, working, volunteer stuff, the kids, the house, the yard. I don't know! I told Noah that all I really want for Mother's Day (aside from the Keen bag that would make my life oh so much more organized) is for help with my rock project.

Can you tell I am feeling overwelmed? That brings me to Dana. Dana is my own personal friend. I met her at a neutral location- the park when our sons were 2 years old. Evan and Deacon became good friends and we exchanged phone numbers. In fact, we met at the same park that the pictures of Evan and Deacon were taken at a few days ago, and Dana was actually the photographer. We live about 1/2 mile from each other with the park in the middle.

Anyway, I call her my own personal friend because she only knows me, not Noah. She has met Noah before, but just occasionally. That is really weird for me. Since Noah and I grew up together a large percentage of our friends, acquaintences and family members know both of us and have for a VERY long time. But Dana doesn't remember what we were like in high school. She knows me only as who I am now. As a mom, as a wife, as a neighbor, as a part time employee trying to balance kids and career. And there is something refreshing about that. So we have had a lot of heart to hearts at the park. And I have shared some deeper thoughts and feelings with her because it felt safe. (I can talk a lot about a lot of things but it is rarely that I share what I truly and completely feel about anything). So we talk, and we watch our kids. And I call her when I am overwelmed. And I call her when her outside lightbulbs burn out because it is so rare. And mine always are burned out.

So, hi Dana! Happy Mother's Day! I appreciate you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Productive Day and Jamie

Yeah! I have 2 exciting things to report:
1. Our camera should be arriving tomorrow! (good for you all too, then you can see cute pictures of my kids instead of just my ramblings)
2. The photo I entered into a photo contest made it into the top 5! It is going to be re released sometime tomorrow and the voting will start again. Please vote! My picture is one of Roman with a scenic backdrop.

The boys and I did extensive yard work today. I don't know why, but I always have to start major yard projects in the Spring and then my momentum tapers off and they usually don't get accomplished. This year I am removing all the rocks in the huge rock/tree/shrub pit in my backyard. I removed a bunch of the bushes too (I love to remove shrubs and bushes and I also like to go a little crazy with all the fun tree trimming/hacking devices). I call it my rock project and it is moving along well. I got the boys involved today by handing out wheelbarrow rides back to the backyard after each load of rocks was moved.

What I am going to do with the pit, I don't exactly know. My friend Jamie has been consulted since not only does she like to garden, she is also good at it. She always has interesting things in her yard and she always has projects too. In fact, she is the one that gave me the sod that I was hauling down the road a few days ago. Oh, one more thing about Jamie: she is always amazingly prepared. Last week when Deacon had his accident, I looked around and realized that I had nothing with which to stop the extensive blood flow (yes, I do have a baby and no, I do not carry a diaper bag). So I pulled his shirt off and stuffed it in his mouth. (I did look down to see what I had on but I decided in a split second that it was a better option for the 4 year old boy to be shirtless instead of his 27 year old mom.) I digress. Jamie was there within seconds offering wipes. What a mom. She also managed to pool resources to clean off the poor dinosaur who got the brunt of the bloodshed.

But that is only the first story. Yesterday morning I called Jamie and invited myself and my 3 children over to her house to play in her yard. So the kids are playing and I said we had to get going so that we could eat lunch and get to Gym and Swim. She graciously offered to bring out a little lunch for all the kids so they could have a picnic and to save me some time. I accepted the offer (I'd be crazy not to. I had just cleaned my kitchen and was giddy at the thought that it might stay that way until supper!) She runs into the house and is back in 10 minutes with a nutritious, well balanced meal. She had bananas (cut to specific age and ability), carrots, dino nuggets, string cheese, tomatos, juice boxes and chips. Seriously. That is every food group! And she didn't even have to count ketchup as a vegetable! So anyway, I was impressed. And I resolved to go grocery shopping daily so that I would be sure to have a kid friendly, elaborate spread ready in case she ever calls and invites herself over. So, hi Jamie! I admire and appreciate you!

By the way, in honor of Mother's Day, I am going to highlight some of my mom friends in my blogs over the next few days!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Hello all. This is mostly Julie's blog, but I do still have a set of keys to the [proverbial] front door.

Last night Julie was at work and I was home getting the boys some dinner. Deacon was wearing his Spiderman pajamas and Roman was wearing Batman. Deacon informed me that, in keeping, Lincoln should probably start dressing as Superman.

The other day at the park, we were "playing super-heroes." Deacon was Spiderman. Roman was Spiderman Too. Two other boys were Spiderman III and Batman. "Dad, who are you going to be?"

"I don't know, I hadn't given it any thought." Batman is a pretty cool, but I don't need to be Batman Too. Superman is lame. Daredevil? The boys don't need any more ideas. Ironman is pretty cool, but I don't know all that much about him. How about something more obscure? Ooooh, I know The Shadow.

"Okay Deacon, I'm The Shadow."

"Who is that? Is he a super-hero?"

"Well, sorta, I guess. He fights bad guys, but he doesn't really have super powers, just lots of money like Batman." I guess that answer was satisfactory, just as long The Shadow wasn't some sort of super-villain.

So later, we're running around "saving people who are being attacked" by the super-villains, and Deacon is yelling, "Shadow! Shadow! Come over here!" And I'm like, what are you yelling about? Then someone reminded me, "You're The Shadow, remember?"

Oh yeah. First of all, yes, I hadn't completely suspended reality and gotten in character. I'll admit it. I did better after that camer to my attention. Second of all, a person just doesn't go around personally addressing The Shadow like, "Yo Shadow, what's up." The Shadow is referred to in the third person as The Shadow. He doesn't consort with anyone else long enough for anyone to address him in the first person. I guess he was never invited to join The Justice League or the Avengers.

Back to last night; we're eat dinner, just us boys, and Deacon brings up the subject of super-heroes and getting Link a costume. Then he turns to me during his ramble and asks, "Dad, when did you get into The Shadow?"

"Excuse me?"

"You know, when we play super-heroes, you're the The Shadow. When did you get into him? Did you watch him when you were a kid?"

It's just funny to hear my words and phrases applied by my four year old, like "get into".

I told him I had read a few books in high school and that The Shadow used to be on the radio a very (very) long time ago. The conversation progressed from there, most of which I'll spare you. But then I asked him why Spiderman was his favorite super.

I kid you not, this is what he said. He told me, "Well dad, when I was a kid, I stared getting into super-heroes, and that's when I heard about Spiderman and the Green Goblin."

"But why do you like Spiderman best?"

"Because dad, when I was a kid, I got into Spiderman and the Green Goblin!"

I guess it was just love at first sight, though he's awfully into Spiderman for a guy who's never seen the movies, the TV show or the comic books.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lap Lane Loiterers and Carissa

I had yet another experience with the "lap lane loiterers" last night at the YMCA, it was enough to push me into the extreme zone: the comment card.

Noah and I have become very annoyed by these individuals since we started our training. Our Y has a pleasure pool, a lap pool and a hot tub. There is always 1 lap lane open and at various times there are a lot more. Usually when there are a lot open, however, is early in the morning. We, of course, can only go when child care is open (not until 8:00) or in the evenings or weekends- all times when the pool is more crowded.

But the lack of lap lanes isn't the real problem. The real problem is when those lap lanes get infiltrated with the loiterers, people who for some reason or another feel the need to "hang out" in the ends of the lap lanes. There is not much swimming going on- just a lot of talking and gawking. When we arrive we spend a great deal of precious time just trying to figure out who is in what lane and where we can jump in. Obviously, this should be the lifeguard or the deck manager's job. But they don't do it. Thus the comment card.

Our friend Carissa just joined our Y recently. Discussing the Y with her, of course, brought up the other funny gym situation: people who wander around the locker room naked. Truly, what is up with that?! The reason I mention Carissa though is because she said that she hasn't read a blog. So I am going to send her this link about herself so she can read mine! Hi Carissa! (by the way, Carissa is not a lap lane loiterer, nor (do I believe) is she a track monopolizer).

Friday, May 2, 2008

At the park

These are pictures of the boys with Deacon's best bud Evan! We are so glad that we met Evan at the park that day 2 and 1/2 years ago!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trauma (alternate title: Deacon's first stiches)

The day started with great promise; the rain looked like it was going to hold off and we got out of the door early for playgroup. I managed to get through my preschool lesson on seashells and then we decided to take the kids to the park since it wasn't raining (or snowing!) yet.

Unfortunantly, Deacon slipped on some sand going up the stairs at the playground and had a traumatic mouth plant onto the edge of the plastic step. Even more unfortunantly he managed to bleed profusely, loosen 3 teeth and essentially shred the inside of his upper lip.

I never imagined that my first "major" accident with a child would involve them slipping on sand while walking up some wide, close to the ground steps. I invisioned that my kid's first trauma would involve a super hero escapade or a fall from the playground right after I tell the intrusive other parent that my kid is fine.

oh well, life isn't always what you imagine it will be. So I took him to the dentist. He was very brave. From there we went to the oral surgeon for some mouth repair. He was very brave again. The oral surgeon told me that his right front tooth was way too loose and needed to be pulled out. I was very brave as they pulled out my babies tooth. But I was crying on the inside :(

He hasn't been himself all day- he hasn't been talking much, instead he has been using hand motions. He just wanted to go to bed tonight instead of being rocked. I hope he feels better tomorrow. The day is ending though with me remembering the promise, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I (Jesus) have overcome the world."