Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Grizzly Bear Goes Running

Are you all laughing? This is me in my outdoor pregnancy running gear.

I try to run on the track at the Y by day, but sometimes the only time I can fit a run in is in the evening. Since it is dark by 5:30, I have to resort to reflective gear for safety. I actually had the orange strip above my belly and the yellow one below my belly, but the yellow one slid off by the end of the driveway.

Noah said I shouldn't have any trouble slowing traffic down.

The other thing I would like to point out is my fuzzy brown jacket. I got it from Sam's Club and on 95% of winter days so far it has eliminated the need for me to wear my bathrobe around the house to stay warm. It is awesomely warm AND it makes me look like a giant grizzly bear. What could be better? Also, the boys love it and want to cuddle with me and kiss me and hug me whenever I have it on - which makes me even more warm.

Noah got a headlamp for Christmas. I think I will be adding that to my outfit.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Pirate Party X2

This is the "Pin (or tape) the Sword to the pirate" game at Deacon's kid party. The other pictures didn't turn out well- the camera was being weird and my main camera man wasn't home.

Here is the pirate cake for his kid party.

The Birthday Boy had to change into his new footies in the middle of his family party. We are always taking breaks during parties for the kids to go take baths with their new bath toys, or to change clothes :) This is a new book from Gpa Rog and Gma Pam.

This is his other pirate cake that his mother slaved over. Do you see the tousled hair? He gets it wet throughout the day. He is embracing the messy look. He wants to be a skateboarder.
What is a mother to do?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Day!

Roman got his new batman hat for Christmas. I found the snowtubes for the boys on a Black Friday Sale. They turned out perfect for them! Small enough for them to handle and they fit their bodies well and so they weren't always flipping off! (and they could haul them up the hill themselves!)

Lincoln had so much fun! He was a brave little boy- loves to crash into his brothers and be crashed into!

Family Picture! And no, I am not actually that big. I was wearing an old oversized (even for my pregant self) coat. Since it was actually a family picture with everyone looking at the camera, I decided to post it anyway despite my ginormous size.

After sledding the little boys watched some movies. And ate contraband tootsie rolls (see the wrappers as evidence?)

And the big boys put together Darth Vader's Tie Fighter.
Deacon looks so cute in his new backward hat, doesn't he?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Controversial Monday: Homeschooling

Last week Deacon and I were at Target, getting stuff for his birthday party.

The cashier asked him if the Star Wars plates were for his birthday. He proudly said that they were and that he was turning six. The conversation went on with her gushing over how old he was and how fun his birthday would be. Then she asked if he went to Kindergarten and how he liked that. This was his reply:

"Well, it is pretty good because I don't go to school. I do school at home, but it is the best because my mom usually forgets and so we won't have school for like 2WEEKS at a time!"

Great. Thanks.

I said something about him only being in Kindergarten, so school didn't require a lot of time. I also refrained from discussing with her how as a 6 year old he doesn't realize that we are actually doing "school" when we really are - he only thinks we are just playing.

I think we are doing ok.

Here is a quote from Martin Luther. Do you think he is right?

"I am much afraid that schools will prove to be great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where they Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."- Martin Luther

We believe in homeschooling, but I have never thought about it that strongly before- just always thought of it as something that was right for our family.

So, tell me- what do you think?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pregnancy Makes Me Sentimental

(recap of Deacon's Birthday and Pirate themed decor will be posted as soon as Noah gets the pictures loaded!)

I love this song, History in the Making by Darius Rucker.

I always think of "Noah and Julie: The High School Years" when I hear it. I remember saving things etc thinking "If we ever DO get married I would like to have this, and if we don't I guess I can throw it out later."

You just don't know which events will be significant.

Which things will hold meaning.

Which moments will become nothing but precious memories.

So here's to Christmas 2009-

May we live it intentionally, thanking God for all he has given us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Track Drama

This isn't really a controversial Monday post, but I am feeling onery enough not to care. Anyway, it is not Monday anymore.

When I run I usually run around the track or on the treadmill at the YMCA. I am not opposed to running outside, but there is no childcare for my kids if I take an outdoor run.

My OB was saying that she hoped I was not running outside (I omited snarky comment about out of shape MDs giving any fitness advice). I told her that I wasn't. But then I started. I am feeling that contrary.

Anyway, when I run outside it is quiet. And cold. And peaceful.

There is a little ice, and a little snow - but there is no people.

At the Y, there is Track Drama.

Last week as I was running I kept hearing Salvation Army Bell Ringer type clanging. I could not figure out where it was coming from. Then I saw it. One of the elderly ladies walking around the track had her purse firmly tucked under one arm and bells on her shoes. Now, I know she was probably just trying to spread a little Christmas cheer, but can we say ANNOYING?!?

A little tinny bell, maybe...but must we sound like a sleigh?

A couple days ago I was walking on the track. Now, I am a very fast walker. There are not too many people that pass me walking when I am walking. Come to think of it, at my Y there are not too many people passing me when I run either. That says more about the population at the Y though, and not that much about my running.

So I was walking around. I had been having a lot of contractions the night before, so I thought I would take it easy. So much for that. I passed this lady in black and noted that she seemed to be walking faster than a lot of the people. Eventually I came around the corner and saw this older man ahead of me. He made a flopping noise when he walked. I noticed that he was actually walking fairly quickly and as I began to gain on him I became more and more surprised by his speed (and intrigued by the flopping sound). I finally did pass him though and then the craziness started. He sped up to match my speed and stayed 6 feet behind me, flopping all the time. I COULD NOT SHAKE HIM! If I sped up he sped up to maintain his 6 feet. Let me tell you, it is stressful to have someone following you that closely and consistently.

I felt like I was on one of those movies where the main character is walking through a crowded place and they are being chased. No one wants to create a scene though so the walking speeds up, but they won't run until they get to the alley.

I considered breaking out into a run, but honestly, I was walking so fast I didn't know if my body could take the run and keep it up for any length of time. So there we went, 4 times around the track. Sweating, nervous, speed walking pregnant woman followed at 6 feet by older, flopping man. I started to get nervous for him. Would he drop over dead? We were going so fast!

Finally the flopping ceased. I sneaked a look behind me and he had dodged off the track and into the weight area.

Score one for me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On Being Alone

I teach preschool Sunday School at church, and Roman is in my class.

The SS Christmas program is on Sunday and the preschoolers have 2 songs to sing.

Roman wants to be a sheep.

So yesterday my mom and I made 15 pairs of sheep ears.

So that Roman (and 14 other kids who want to) can be sheep.

I am hoping this means he will participate.

The things we do to get our kids to participate.

Anyway, as we made the sheep ears we let the boys watch the old videotaped production of me starring as the "bad" sheep in the church play "We Like Sheep". In fact, some of you may remember it. I believe that I saw Julie from "Spot on the Sopha" and Rachel from "Home on the Range" (see sidebar for their blogs. Way to lazy too link today). The quality was so bad it was really hard to intentify people. I even had a hard time picking my own husband out! Never mind that it was like 20 years ago and he was approximately 10.

The boys were very interested in this. They wanted to know why I was the bad sheep. I said I wanted to be. Deacon said, "is that because you wanted to run away so you could just be alone?"

I laughed to myself.

But while I was running last night (alone) I felt kind of bad.

My kids know I crave my alone times.

I don't think they know that means primarily I need time away from them.

They just think I like to be alone.

But running away isn't the best option.

At least when you run around in circles, you always end up back home.

I actually pulled out my old "Grimey" sweatshirt. I want Roman to wear it.

He doesn't want to be a dirty sheep.

He wants to be a white one.

Oh well, can't win them all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On Being a Mommy

Update: apparently my comments go up by like 37% if I write a whiny post. Interesting. Noah did get his car started after his smart, good looking and talented friend Bobby came over. It's nice to have friends in the hood. You know, people to help us with our cars, our children, give us the key when we lock ourselves out in the dead of winter... Anyway, he thinks he found a heater that will work for it- so it looks like we may have a chance of getting through the winter with it after all.
When you are a mom you can guess what song your 4 year old is playing on his kazoo simply because you know what song he has been singing all morning and you know that the odds of this being the same one are about 98%.
And if you are wrong, you know that he will think that your song is a better idea and change over.
Notice anything about these pictures? How about that one child is wearing only shorts and everyone else has their winter coats on?
We have one very warm blooded child. He does think these pictures are inappropriate because he is not wearing a shirt. I think the pictures of him in his red wrestling suit with one of my fringy necklaces on is a little more inappropriate. But to each his own, right?
I am more lenient about what he wears. I figure if he goes outside in shorts he will soon find himself to be cold and learn to put some pants on. I throw an extra pair of pants in the car for him if it is cold enough that I consider it a safety issue.
Noah is like that to an extent, but he draws a line on Sundays and if the temp is less than 20 degrees.
Deacon is funny though because if he does have his winter coat and hat on he starts hyperventilating after he has been in the van for approximately 10 minutes because he is SO HOT.
Oh well.
The boys call the Kratt Brothers from Zaboomafoo the "Crack brothers"
It is so hard to decide sometimes whether to push your kids or let things go. Yesterday Deacon was (again) throwing a fit about rock climbing for Gym and Swim. This was even after Noah went through the Belay class and took Deacon to open climb last week (where Deacon climbed with out any fuss at all).
I didn't know whether to make him do it or not.
I finally told him he needed to get on the wall one time, I didn't care how far up he went. If he wouldn't even do that I was taking him home and he would miss swimming. So he went up. And then on his own went up 2 more times and had a great time.
So that was a good Mom decision.
But sometimes it is kind of hard to know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snow and Cold

Winter makes me crabby.

It didn't used to.

But now there are constant issues.

Cars that won't start when it is below 20.

Which is like every day.

Bad traffic.

Pretty much both rush hours.


A lot.

Mittens, hats, coats and boots.


Snow puddles on the floor.


Single parenting.



Noah gets tired of sitting in traffic. I get tired of him being home late.

His car is having the same problems it did last January. And they don't make a block heater for the model he has.

Whine, whine, whine.

I am sorry.

I am grateful that we have 2 vehicles. I am grateful that we both have jobs. I am grateful that we have parents with an extra car they will let us use. I am grateful that we have friends that will come and help us push the vehicle around.

But it is just one of those days.

And honestly, sometimes I don't know if I can handle living in this cold, dark state another winter.


On the funny side, Deacon was singing "We Three Kings" today. This is what I heard him sing, "...field and fountain and probably deserts following yonder star." He went on and ended with "Guide us through this perfect night". Then he asked me if that was right, because he was pretty sure it was probably a perfect night.


I did manage to make truffles with the kids, wrap presents and frost cut out cookies all by myself today. I was a little stressed, but it was ok.

Then during dinner I had an incident with the broiler on the oven and the smoke detectors went off for 15 minutes. That is what Noah came home too.



How is that for an uplifting post?

Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be brighter...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Controversial Monday: Christmas Songs

House is a mess.

No underwear or socks folded neatly in drawers.

Noah could care less.

He just goes and digs in the clean laundry baskets for what he needs, knowing full well that he could fold them himself if he cared.

But some things bother him.

Me not blogging daily, for example.

He likes me to blog every day. So I will do my best.

I thought working, trying to stay on top of a supper program, exercising etc. was more important to him. But apparently blogging takes precedence.

You know another thing he doesn't like?

Secular Christmas songs.

So that brings us to controversial Monday- what kinds of Christmas songs are the best?

I like them all. Except for really sappy ones. You know, ones you should cry about if you didn't have a cold, dead heart (like me). But I save my tears for more important things. Things like, "I have had 2 hours of sleep (s0b). And I can't. (sob). get (sob) the zipper down on my (sob) boot."

But Noah? He can't stand Rudolph, Jingle Bells, Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Baby. He really can't stand Santa Baby. He always has to go into a long explanation about all the innuendo etc associated with it and how he can't even believe they play it. Whatev, Dude. The boys are with him. They can't figure out why "that woman" would be calling Santa a baby.

But I love me a little Rudolph- especially adding in all the extras about Monopoly and George Washington. And I don't mind the other ones.

Of course I can appreciate the classic renditions of What Child is This? And "O Holy Night", but I maintain that a little Jingle Bells never hurt anyone.

What say you? What is playing on your ipod this season?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking at Things Differently

Last night Noah and I were discussing Christmas presents and diviing out the tasks and purchases left to be made (which is most of it).

Suddenly I remembered what I wanted in my stocking.

"Noah!" I said, "I really need one of those new clippy things for my badge at work!"

He looked confused. I apparently had neglected to tell him the story.

Which is rare.

Maybe he just didn't hear the story.

Which would make more sense.

I had a retractable badge holder. This is very important because I use my badge to get in and out of doors etc. Doors I use frequently.

I started explaining to him that my badge had broken and that I had to make one for myself out of a safety pin and a rubberband.

I didn't think it was that funny.

He laughed and laughed.

The safety pin and rubber band combo is not that effective, as I have to lean over quite far to open a door or have to unpin it, which is annoying.

He laughed some more.

See that is the thing. If his very important badge holder broke he would go out at lunch and replace it. I didn't.

But I betcha I will get one in my stocking.

A Party

I really want to have a party.

Like a no kids fancy party.

A party that people will look forward to all year.

I want to serve things like Brie stuffed Mushrooms from PW's website.

And other hoity toity things.

But then what? What would we do then?

Throw in some snow football?


Or maybe no activities are necessary.

I am not sure how I will pull this off working 20 hrs a week, 3 kids, 28 weeks pregnant and a torn up bathroom...but I might be able to. And it would be fun.

I think maybe I will try.

In January.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Controversial Monday: Homicide?

I was removing the kid's DVD the other day and the tv flipped over to the news.

Deacon and I caught part of a news story about a family whose vehicle was hit by a drunk driver going the wrong way. The mom was 8 months pregnant and the baby died.

Deacon was concerned about the whole ordeal and was asking me questions. I pointed out that it was a good lesson to learn: 1. don't drive drunk and 2. wear your seatbelt.

I don't know what the fallout will be, but originally they were talking about charging the drunk driver with vehicular homicide for the death of the unborn baby.

Ironic, isn't it, that if the Mom wants the baby the death of it is considered homicide.

But if the mom decides to have an abortion, that is her choice and murder is not on the table.

This all seems inconsistent.

Life suddenly is not protected because it is life - but only if it is desirable life.

It kind of makes me mad.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yes, It is dirt on their faces...

But at least they are not fighting...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Picture

We send out a photo card every year along with a Christmas letter.

I just read the Christmas letter from last year- what was wrong with me? That was really weird.

But this year I am way behind.

You see, I will only send out a picture that has been taken sometime after November 1st of the current year. And all the pictures from November to now are on my camera and inaccessible.


I am trying to be patient.

Noah is after all, trying to work, take care of the kids while I work, tile the bathroom and build a new computer. But I need my pictures.

Last night he promised that he would have my pictures accessible by Thursday.

Big breath. That is tomorrow. I can make it.

In the meantime, maybe I should start the letter.

And then hope that when I do see the pictures there is something usable or photoshopable.

Because until I know for sure, I am not hauling the boys out for another photo shoot.

If their faces are clean and their clothes match and are clean, they are unhappy and growly.

If their faces are dirty and their clothes are mismatched pjs or too tight wrestling suits, they are happy. But lets face it, I can't send out a Christmas card with them looking like that!

Christmas is all about illusion, and I must keep up the front to the people that don't see us often that they always dress in striped shirts and sweater vests with sedate smiles on their faces.

And they don't ever whack each other with pretend swords while wearing one of my necklaces around their heads to look like David and one of my tank tops to look like a dress.

And they don't run around naked because puppies don't wear clothes.

And they absolutely don't always insist on being together, even when they are fighting.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will see what I have.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trying to lessen the Scrooge in me

Have I mentioned before that I am a little bit of a Scrooge?

Putting a tree in my house, managing gifts, baking, cooking, decorating, shopping.

It all really doesn't sound that fun to me.

Mostly, it is just a lot of work and a lot of money.

Deacon wants lights on the house and all I can think about is a patient I had once who had fallen while hanging Christmas lights. "Seriously, Deacon? Lights? Are they that important?"

And snow, who wants snow?

And how in the world am I going to get Roman up to the front of the church to sing his songs for the Christmas program?

But I am trying to remember the things I do like:

1. Reading the kids Bible Stories that lead up the Christmas story
2. Putting up the nativity scene that Noah and I painted
3. Noah being home from work
4. Gingerbread houses
5. Christmas cookies
6. Looking at lights
7. Watching the kid's excitement over everything
8. Stocking stuffers (this is the one kind of gift that I really actually do like to look for and do, I do practical stuff like toothbrushes for the kids, tape, glue sticks, new markers etc)

So I will try to be merry.
And try not to gasp at the price of the Christmas tree. (It is dead! We are paying for a stinkin' dead tree!)
And buy presents
And wrap them with gratitude for the people who will receive them.
I will sleep under the tree on Christmas eve with the kids

And I will try to remember to teach the kids that the greatest thing about the season is remembering Jesus.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Controversial Monday: All Dogs Go to Heaven

Lately Noah and I have been discussing animals in Heaven.

This started after one of my coworkers was lamenting the way that Turkeys are treated.

She is pretty sure that animals do go to Heaven.

My comment?

"There has sure been a lot of animals since the creation of the world. I hope Heaven is really big."

See, I am not an animal lover. In fact I am a little bit of an animal strong disliker.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like to watch majestic beasts on TV, or the zoo etc.

But animals slobbering on me? No thanks.

Cat diarrhea the human has to clean up? Forget it.

Slithering reptiles? Not my thing.

So to me a bunch of Canadian Geese or Turkeys cluttering up Heaven doesn't seem so great.

But maybe it would be ok.

The Bible doesn't really say if there will be Hyenas in Heaven.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Usually it's "Pirates"...

But today they were playing "Vikings."

Roman was Lyle, the Kindly Viking from Veggie Tales.

Deacon was Brett Favre.

I kid you not, an arguement broke out over whether they should go to their ship and sail the Seven Seas or try to "honor their name" and score some touchdowns.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I asked the boys last night what they knew about Thanksgiving.

(They get lots of info from lots of places, and I wasn't quite sure what people had told them about Thanksgiving. For example, Deacon told me just tonight that Alaska and Hawaii became "related" (no idea where he got that word) to the United States of America when Gma Pam was 8 or 9 years old.)

Deacon responded that it started with the Pilgrims coming on ships. And they had a feast with the Indians.

We talked a little bit more about that, and then I asked them what they were thankful for.

Their responses describe their personalities exactly:


"I am thankful for my toys, my books and Penguins." (later after I listed my things he came over and gave me a big hug and said that he was thankful for me and for everything).


"I am thankful to God that he made me strong. And I am thankful that I can lift a lot of weights. That is my thing. And I am thankful to God for making weights. Only I think that people made weights. Did people make weights? Ok. And I am thankful for all my family and my friends. And for milk which gives me strong muscles and water which lets me run really fast."

I for one am thankful for my little boys.

And my parents.

And my in laws.

And all the boys Aunts and Uncle.

And our friends.

And our house.

And good jobs.

And a husband who knows me well and loves me better.

And a Savior who forgives and who wants the best for his children.


Noah and I got back yesterday from an extended weekend trip. 3 whole nights up north all by ourselves.

Nice, huh?

Many thanks to the grandparents who watched the boys and gave them good memories at their houses.

When Noah and I travel together our main goal is usually this: see as much as we can, do as much as we can. Go. Go. Go.

So this trip we purposly got a condo with a full kitchen on a resort in November.

In other words. Not a lot going on.

We were going to force ourselves to take it easy.

To watch the fireplace.

To read.

To watch movies together. (ok, so Noah to watch movies while I slept next to him)

To go on walks.

To cook in our room.

And it was good. But it did take as awhile to not feel guilty about not really accomplishing anything.

We watched the Vikings game without hearing, "can't we watch skateboarding now?", "Lincoln just peed on the carpet!" and "this is boring."

We only ate out 2 meals. (that is amazing. Really). And I didn't even cook. Noah cooked all the other meals. Well, I guess I stirred something once and put my own sandwich together when he handed me my cheese.

We went on a lot of walks, and an extended hike in a closed state park. (Really, we didn't know it was closed. I am a rule follower, remember?)

It was good. We needed to slow down from our breakneck pace.

But now we are back to it.

And that is good too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why Buy?

I am struggling with what to get the boys for Christmas this year.

They don't need toys.

They don't need clothes.

They don't need books.

Deacon is a little easier. He wants stuff like ice skates, roller blades, a skateboard and a hockey stick. He would use those things. He would like those things.

But the little ones?

They want L. Mcqueen figures. And Batman caves.

And stuff that they just don't need.

I've thought about stuff for Roman's imaginary play.

Like a penguin suit.

But he is so cute in his footies, gloves and hat, combined with his true sense of bird royalty.

Or I could get them guitars to rock on.

But they seem perfectly content to use their swords as guitars, so why bother?

They use my pot lids as shields.

The piece of wood for the sliding glass door as a club.

My old studded belt and drape hooks as pirate bling.

They have bunkbeds for a pirate ship.

They have a folding chair and a Brazilian rug as a throne.

Under my bed is the new campground.

And they are happy.

So why rock the boat?

(what are you getting your kids for Christmas? Any great ideas that I could borrow?)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Good Morning! Today I thought I would join Kim over at "I want a Minivan" and try to remember (and highlight) things I am thankful for this week.

We are blessed beyond measure, and I need to remember it!

*For parents and In laws who love our children and will take care of them for us. Often.

*For a house to live in.

*For a getting-handier-by-the-minute husband who loves me enough to spend his spare time hanging with me and the kids and doing projects that are more important to me than to him

*For our 10-year engagement anniversary today!

*For an excellent health plan over the past few years with almost nothing paid out of pocket. Trying to remember that as I look over the coverage for this year!

*For a job that I really do enjoy and the flexibility of getting to pick my own hours.

*For healthy kids, including this new little growing baby.

*For an intact extended family free of feuds and drama (working in the hospital I have learned that this is an incredible gift)

*For little boys who love to be read to.

*For brown hair and brown eyes.

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yep, He's My Son!

I am the one in the family with big dreams.
Big goals.
Big plans.

Well, I was the one anyway.

A couple nights ago I decided to clue Noah in about my well thought out plans for an addition on our house.

You see, he built that deck with his own 2 hands.

And he laid the flooring on the main floor.

And he tiled that bathroom and that countertop.

And he says he is not leaving. Ever.

Well, unless he can take the deck with him.

So, since I kind of like him, I will stay too.

Me and our soon to be 4 kids.

So I made an awesome addition plan for our lot, and a loosely constructed plan for the lot next store- just in case we ever purchase it.

And I was telling him about it.

Deacon caught the excitement and soon took control of the pen and paper.

He added a tennis court.

And a basketball court.

A wiffle ball field.

And a hockey rink.

"Everyone will want to come to our house" he exclaimed.

He added a pole vault.

He added a ski jump.

"And then we can start our own olympics!"

He is still talking about the Olympics he wants to start.

And when I was putting clothes away I found the piece of paper, tucked into the bottom of his pajama drawer.

Maybe someday?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Controversial Monday: The Mailbox

I worked a lot last week.

And I didn't really blog.

So I'd like to say thanks to Noah who picked up the slack, instead of complaining about me not posting.

I had a more serious topic for today, but I can't find the piece of paper that I wrote it on. Fortunantly one just fell into my lap (an idea, that is. Not a piece of paper).

We were out in my friend's cul-de-sac and the kids were riding bikes. A woman drove up the street and pulled over so she could get her mail before pulling into her driveway.

I think that is the ultimate in laziness.

My friend confessed that she does it sometimes.

I mentioned that Noah used to occasionally try.

But that if I am in the car I throw a fit.

And now he no longer makes any attempt to pull that lazy manuver.

And I make sure I get the mail (by walking down the driveway) before he gets home.

Now, I can see doing this if you have health problems, or if your mailbox is some distance away- but here in suburbia?! Really?!

So what do you all think?

And maybe more importantly, what do you all do?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who dun it?

This morning I pulled the cutting board out, and it was covered in solidified red jelly. Fairly or not, I muttered an exasperated "Ju-lee...."

Deacon piped up. "Dad, it was probably me. I make a mess sometimes when I make my own toast."

Me: "Okay, but when you do, you need to clean it up. Come over here and take a look at this." I started scrubbing.

D: "Oh, that wasn't me. I make messes with peanut butter, not with jelly."

R: "It wasn't me. That looks like it probably happened back when I was a baby. I couldn't have done it."

R: "It was probably Lincoln."

D: "Yeah, probably Lincoln."


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Three kinds of people

My coworkers and I, had a conversation that was too long and geeky to relate in its entirety. But we came to a conclusion. There are three kinds of people in the world.

When encountering a knob, the first type will not touch the knob. They're perhaps scared or lack confidence, or maybe just not interested.

The second type will examine the situation and possbily turn the knob if they can figure out what's going on, or at least be reasonably sure what happens if they do.

The third....and here Julie broke in..."is Roman!...and I said, "Yes! The third type doesn't pause or ponder, they just spin the knob!"

For the record, I'm type 2. I'm an engineer. I try to figure out how to fix things, but I also try not to break them.

Julie is a type 2/type 3. Deacon is a type 1/type 2. Link might be a pure type 3 like Roman, I'm not sure.

What are you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Princess and The Pea (Alternate title: "The Husband and The Washcloth")

I have been reading the boys a lot of fairy tales lately. We talk about them and discuss if they could really happen etc. Sorry, I am a literalist.

Anyway, the other day we read "The Princess and The Pea".

It made me grumpy.

You see, I had never really thought about it carefully before, but as I read it to the boys I thought, "what a load of garbage!"

The Prince wants to marry a true princess.

What is the requirement for the princess?

Apparently some of them are: A. They complain and whine to their hostess about how poorly they slept and B. They toss and turn all night and don't even try to figure out the problem.

And that is what the Prince and Queen wanted? Well, let them have her! She sounds too needy to me.


Fast forward to Monday morning.

I got home from work in the am. Everyone was already gone, the house was quiet.

After getting ready for bed, I climbed in on Noah's side.

Funny, I know.

I have my own side.

But when I sleep alone during the day I usually sleep on his side.

It used to be my side, but we had switched.

Maybe I still subconsciously (or consciously) like it better.

I felt something at my back. It was uncomfortable and lumpy.

Was it a pea? (just kidding)

I deduced that it was some kind of clothing stuck between the mattress pad and the fitted sheet. I couldn't sleep. I tried, but I tossed and turned. Too uncomfortable. I put my hand onder the fitted sheet and pulled out a washcloth. It must have clung to the sheet after being in the dryer. It had probably been four days since I had washed them. (I wash the sheets once a week. Is that normal?!)

Anyway, finally the problem was resolved and I fell asleep.

I woke up with a question in my mind.

Why hadn't Noah taken care of the lump?

Had he not noticed the washcloth?

I couldn't believe that to be true. Noah is much more sensitive to such things than I am, and the fact that it bothered me made it hard to believe that he wouldn't have noticed.

Or was I a true princess?

The question bothered me.

Over dinner I mentioned it. He acknowledged that he had noticed the lump and it had been driving him crazy all weekend. I said, "how did you even sleep? I had to remove it. I didn't even climb out of bed, just pulled it out."

He gave me a sheepish grin.

"I just scooted down in the bed until the lump was even with my head and then it didn't bother me."

I think my response was something like, "are you kidding me?"

His was, "This is going to make for a blog post, isn't it."

So here is the question, which one of us is true royalty?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Controversial Monday: The only true Silver Surfer

Julie was sleeping, so we took our noisy selves to the park.

Where we played football. Such as it was. Deacon likes to direct traffic and spike after touch downs. Roman likes to run with the ball. And Lincoln is my ball-hawking strong safety. He is willing to tackle anyone, jump on any pile, and he cries if someone else gets a ball.


We played Super Heroes.

Deacon was Spider-Man, complete with a 5 minute explanation on how, despite having red webs on his left shoe and black webs on his right shoe, he was only the red Spider-Man and never the black Spider-Man or Venom.

Roman was having trouble deciding which character to be. He thought maybe he should be the Golden Surfer, since he was wearing grey. Huh? Yes, you are, so you could be the Silver Surfer. No? "I'll be Deakie Go-Ko, Super-Hero." Okay. "Well, I am wearing grey, so I could be the Golden Surfer." Nooooo...


They were going to make Link be the bad guy, again. I stood up for him. That's what I do. I'm a Super Hero too. Which one they all want to know. I'm the Shadow.

What's your Super Power? Uh, I'm a master of disguise and stealth. Okay.

R: "Shadow 1, get into the rocket ship."

Me: "Shadow 1, what are you talking about?"

R: "Well, I'm wearing grey, so I thought maybe I should be the Shadow 2."

Me: "I thought you were Deakie Go-Ko, Super-Hero?"

R: "Oh, I am. Or maybe I should be the Golden Surfer..."

Link: {ROAR}

R: "AH, the bad Super Hero."

Me: "No, he's the Beast remember, he's a good guy."

Link: {ROAR}

R: "Are you sure? Who's the Beast?"

Me: "I don't really know, but he's one of the X-Men, so he must be a good guy. He probably growls a lot. Like Link."

Link: {ROAR}

Me: {ROAR}

D: "But who's going to be the bad guy?"

Me: "We'll have to use our imaginations."

R: "They're invisible bad guys!"

Me: [to myself] "Wow, that's awfully concrete for a game this far out there. That kid is a lot like me."

Me: [to them] "Yes, invisible bad guys, that's what makes them so bad and hard to catch."


Scenario: the motley team of Supers Deakie Go-Ko, red Spider-Man, the Shadow and the Beast head to Mars in their rocket ship to rescue a dog who has been kidnapped by bad guys.

R: "Set coordinates for Mars. We have to save the puppy from the bad guys."

D: "Yeah, he's being held by four bad guys, who are a lot stronger than him. He's a bull dog, but he's just a puppy, a cute little puppy, and they kidnapped him."

Me: "Well we'd better get moving; I'm setting coordinates for Mars."

We deploy down the slides and rescue the dog. I suggest I use my stealthy ability to sneak into the dungeon: I start sneaking. Deakie Go-Ko, Super-Hero agrees: "We're coming puppy!!!"

We rescue the apparently terrorized and over-match puppy from the bad guys, who apparently left their post because we didn't encounter them on Mars. Scarcely are we back to our rocket ship when Roma...I mean Deakie Go-Ko, Super-Hero gets a call.

R: We need to set coordinates for Pluto. There is a lost kitty there who stuck on a bad guy's ship and can't find his way back home.

Me: Alright, let's go help him out.

R: Well, he's stuck because he's on Pluto and his home is on Satur-an.

Me: Okay, we'll get the little guy home to Saturn-an. Setting coordinates for Pluto.

Details are somewhat fuzzy from there. My brain was over-drawn. We deployed down the slides again. I had to lift the baby kitty from where he was trapped in the baby swing. We did get him back to Satur-an. From there we had another mission, this time to California.

After California I decided that the Beast had had it enough inter-stellar travel, and it was probably time for Julie to get up anyway.


Lincoln crashed tonight on the couch with me watching SNF and was out quite quickly. Deacon and Roman came down and saw the sleeping Beast.

D: "Too bad he's asleep, we were going use him as the Royal Cat." [I was somewhat surprised Roman wasn't in that role, but I bit my tongue.]

R: "Oh well, I guess we'll have to have invisible Royal Cats."

Concrete meet fantasy. Oh, I see you're already acquainted...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This week...

So far this week we have been imaginative (I use the "we" very loosely. I am always given a character, but very seldom perform to my full capabilities. It is usually like, "Oh, I am the princess? Well the princess is doing the dishes and making lunch)

Anyway, here is the list:

1. King. Deacon was the King and sat on a Royal thrown. Roman was the Royal penguin who visited the arctic when the palace became too warm. Oh wait, maybe I should capitalize "Royal Penguin"

2. Garbage Truck.

3. Ninjas. Deacon wore a black blazer and black sports shorts. He looked awesome. They snuck around the house, legs bent, in ready positions.

4. Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus. Deacon was Joseph, The neighbor girl was Mary, and Roman was...wait for it...Baby Jesus' cat. Lincoln was a sheep.

5. Pirates. They were all pirates, and poor Lincoln was the one true bad pirate.
I was the mom pirate.

6. Going to camp. It required a boat to get there.

There were other minor side games, but these were the major themes for the week.

One of my favorite parts of the day is finding out the details of what they are planning and playing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Veggie Tales

It has not been a good day around here. I am in a bad mood. I am in a contemplative mood. I am in a mom funk. I am tired of the baby screeching, Roman disobeying and Deacon freaking out about everything.

And honestly, it is hard not to be able to push myself at the gym. It is kind of a way to release stress and clear my mind. But now it is just hard.

And my job is looming, pressing, stressing.

And do I get the H1N1 vaccine?

So without further ado, I will leave you with a cute story. Because honestly, my kids are pretty cute. And they make me smile. And they make me laugh. And they make me think. And I am trying to focus on the positive....

This morning Roman took a tomato off the counter and announced that it was Bob from Veggie Tales.

Then he asked me for a cucumber.

I didn't have one.

So he got creative and set a pumpkin next to "Bob".

He announced that the Pumpkin was Larry.

Then he said:

"Hi. I am Bob" (in Bob voice)

"And I'm Larry" (in Larry voice)

"And we are here to answer your questions. You are probably wondering why Larry doesn't have any eyes" (in Bob voice)

"Yeh Bob. Why don't I have any eyes?" (in Larry voice)

That kid cracks me up.

Then at the grocery store Roman and Lincoln both asked for Cucumbers. I gave them each one to hold and it amused them through the shopping trip. I had a hard time getting them to relinquish them to the cashier for the 37 seconds it took to charge me a $1.18 for them.


Controversial Monday, but Celebrated on Tuesday...this week

Guess what the topic for today is?

Ahhh yes.

Strapless dresses.

Especially popular for fancy occasions such as weddings.

I didn't wear one at my wedding.

Noah would probably have stood me up at the alter.

He is not a fan.

Neither am I.

I am not sure what the allure is.

I am not interested in my shoulder blades sticking out.

Or my fat bulging over.

Or drawing attention to that little extra skin where your arms attach to your body.

My mom is going to read this and call me up and tell me I am being too critical and stereotypical.

But the point of controversial Monday is to create conversation.

So, someone try to convince me that strapless dresses are flattering on more than 1% of the population.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Candy Hangover

Hopefully we can get a few shots of the boys and pumpkins up soon...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Long Day

It has been one of those days.

I took some benadryl last night for an allergic type situation. Slept 9 hours and stayed groggy until noon.

Took the kids to Bible Study in a fog.

Took Deke to his class at the YMCA.

He brought his teacher a drawing of a new stretch he invented called "The Back Pushup".

He is a real go-getter, that one.

I had a discouraging run/walk. Baby bounces on bladder. Ligaments stretching. Contractions. Ugh.

I am not even quite 22 weeks and I already have a lot of Braxton Hicks Contractions. All the common triggers send me into them.

And upper back pain which seems to be nerve related. The baby jams a foot up under my rib and I get discomfort spreading up and back. Sometimes the baby's foot isn't even there, it must just be the pressure on some nerves.

Now, I had all this stuff with my other pregnancies, it just seems earlier than normal.

Speaking of baby positions: A couple days ago the baby started moving around while I was reading to the boys so they were able to feel it. Deke said, "I know that when babies are in there they are upside down. So their heads are down there (pointing to my lower abdomen) and their feet are up here (pointing to my breasts)". I told him that he was right, but that the baby is small and fits all just in my abdomonal cavity, and that it does not extend itself into my thoracic cavity- although at times it feels like it does.

So I digress.

We were at the Y and I made a mistake.

I overlooked the fact that Lincoln had not had a nap in 3 days (he has been taking one every 2-3 days) nor had he gone to bed particularily early recently.

And I decided to take him and Roman swimming.

He was a little swimming pool tyrant.

And a locker room tyrant.

And a post locker room tyrant.

Thankfully Roman was on his best behavior (although I felt somewhat bad that we did not get to play all of the "Mama Polar Bear and Baby Polar Bear" that he wanted to.) I felt a little better when Deke was done with his lesson and was able to join Roman in a rousing game of "Sea Turtle Fire Fighters".

So I dragged a screaming Lincoln to the van, along with the swimming bag, my purse and wet hair.

He finally fell asleep at home and I got the other 2 settled in with a movie. Even though the house was a disaster I decided to take a shower to warm up and have a little down time.

That lasted about 10 minutes.

Roman came upstairs.

"Mom, there is a lego up my nose and I can't get it out."

Sure enough, there was a green lego up his nose. And I couldn't get it out.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Growing Up

Noah decided that with 3 kids and 1 on the way, it may be time to grow up. A little anyway. So we both have taken measures to be more responsible, more disciplined.

We are also trying to be more helpful to each other.

For example, Noah has been faithfully working on finishing up the deck. It is up, it has a railing, the stairs are functional- what more do I want? Well, he actually is FINISHING it. Tying up the loose ends.

AND he has started (with out any comments from me) putting gas in my van every Tuesday so that I never have to worry about it.

AND he is packing a lunch most days of the week.

I have been cooking. I mentioned before that I had done a once a month cooking plan and made 24-27 meals, none of which I had ever made before.

I love it. I asked Noah how he thought it was going, and he said something like "I haven't noticed much change from my end, I thought you were doing well before."

Isn't he sweet?

From my perspective it is significantly different.

When I first was looking over the once-a-month cooking book I had to laugh. The author said something about when your suppers are prepared you have more time to make sides and treats for your family.

I thought, "whatever! Any extra time I have will be spent out of the kitchen, maybe reading something from the "to be read" stack piling up in my bedroom".

But do you know what? Sunday I was going to make pizza and discovered that I was short on Yeast. ON YEAST!?!? Do you know what this means, people? It means that I have been BAKING!

Yes, I have. Baking bread.


And do you know what else is amazing? When the pizza option got stalled I was able to come up with 3 meals that I had all the ingredients for that could be prepared for us within 1/2 hour! I got to pick which one I was going to make!

We haven't come across any meal that we despise yet. Some we like better than others. I am taking notes so I know which ones to make again.

My plan is to do this one more time with 25ish new recipes. Then I will take our favorites combined with old standbys and make up my own once-a-month cooking and shopping list.

The nice thing about the book I am using is that it isn't all hotdishes (Noah doesn't really like them anyway). Some of them are just marinating meats. There is quite a variety.

My loose plan right now is to eat a "freezer meal" on Monday and Tuesday nights and then once during the weekend. At least some of us eat at church on Wednesdays and Noah and I usually go out on Fridays (just being honest :) We try to eat pizza (either ordered or homemade) once on the weekend. Thursday nights will be Burgers and Fries or a "fresh" meal.

Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be my tough days because I usually am coming off of a sleep deprived work weekend, or working one of those 2 nights. I have a hard time motivating myself to cook when I am tired.

Now if only I could get the KIDS to eat anything that I cook...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Controversial Monday: Yard Decor

The rain.

The snow.

The cold.

Halloween just around the corner.

With Thanksgiving on the next corner.

And then Christmas.

In fact, Christmas is now officially less than 2 months away.

I am kind of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas decorations of any kind. But we can talk about that in another post.

Today I want to talk about Yard decorations.

Some people have them all season: wood cutouts of people bending over, flamingos, small statues of woodland animals...even cows, whatever floats your boat, I guess.

But the number of people with decorations increases dramatically with the onset of Halloween and doesn't let up until after Christmas.

Right around the corner from us we have a ring of ghosts and witches, dancing around a tree holding hands. There is a head on a stake down the street. There are pumpkins and candy corn and orange and black decorations everywhere.

Soon there will be inflatable santas, reindeer and snowmen cluttering the lawns. Lights will be all over. Outdoor nativities will be set up.

Deke loves lawn ornaments. They speak to him of parties. Lights to him demonstrate excitement.

I just think they are a lot of work. And, although I don't mind small amounts of ornamentation, there is a fine line to walk between tasteful and tacky.

Noah wants one of those Santas in the plane with the propellors that actually turn.

I am thinking maybe a little tacky.

Deacon wants a plastic light-up ghost.

I am thinking a lot tacky.

Where should that fine line be drawn?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am a Sparks AWANA leader at our church, and Deacon is a K Spark.

Last night during our council time the teacher was talking about friends and why they are important. She asked the kids why they thought friends were important.

Deacon raised his hand and said, "Friends help you solve problems".

Noah and I thought this response from him was somewhat funny. The biggest problem Deke and his friends solve is which of them gets to be Spiderman 1 and which one is going to be Spiderman II.

But I guess in a Kindergartners world that is a big problem.

I would like to think that he has observed Noah and I interact with our friends over the years and has seen us help each other solve problems.

I can hope, right?

So the teacher goes on and somehow the "Stranger" issue came up, and the kids were cautioned that although we should be nice to everyone, we do need to be be careful of Strangers etc. etc.

Deacon loudly whispers to his teacher, "Sometimes you need to meet Strangers in order to get friends."

How true is that?

Now, I know that his definition of "strangers" is different from ours. When he goes to a new swimming class, he considers his new classmates strangers. And they become friends.

We from the beginning would probably classify those people as "classmates" or "acquaintancess"and never really think of them as strangers. Strangers to us are people that we don't know that we encounter in an uncontrolled situation, or maybe even a scary one.

But he is right.

I started thinking last night about the friends that I have that were once "strangers", and by putting aside my fears and insecurities, those people have become friends.

Now, I am not saying that I am going to start striking up random conversations with people in the parking ramp in the middle of the night, but maybe I will think about being friendlier in the neighborhood, or the Y (my Y mantra right now is "no eye contact". "no eye contact".)

And maybe I will gain more friends.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The List

We had our 20 week sonogram last Friday. Everything seemed ok. Of course the tech wouldn't tell us if there was something wrong, but we haven't heard otherwise from the MD.

The baby was incredibly active and the ultrasound actually seemed to take a lot longer than the ones with our other kids. We spent a lot of time poking at the baby and trying to get it to stay still enough to get readings and to move to appropriate positions.

It was kind of funny, because as soon as I laid down and she started putting the gel on my belly the babe just went nuts. I made a comment like, "Boy he sure doesn't like that..." The tech seemed rather defensive and said, " doesn't hurt them or bother them in there." Later I was telling Noah that I didn't think it HURT the baby, but this baby gets super active as soon as I lay down and as soon as anything happens to wake him up.

By the way, I use "He and She" with no knowledge of which it actually is.

So that was fun.

The other thing we did this weekend was finish the "big" stuff on the deck. We now just have a few small things to finish up to complete the project.

I also made the official "Before Baby List". I know most of you probably don't care, but I thought that maybe Noah might :)

1. Finish Deck completely
2. Have deck pass final inspection
3. Get all junk from yard up to landfill
4. Finish last of yard winterizing
5. Put new light/mirror in bathroom downstairs
6. Build new computer.
7. Completely redo and tile upstairs bathroom including countertop.
8. Address leaky pipe
9. Tile Backsplash in kitchen
10. Paint main floor of house
11. Do some wall repairs
12. Buy bookshelves for school room
13. Put stuff on walls of school room

Now, those are just the "home" related things. The list doesn't include exercise goals, homeschooling goals, work goals, cooking goals, potty training goals etc.

I think that we will be busy. I am curious to see how far we get!

Conversations with Deacon

I'm making supper. Chicken nuggests and popcorn. Protien and starch. Gourmet stuff.

Enter Deacon.


[short pause]

"Yes Deacon."

[no pause]

"Wouldn't it be cool if I had a hundred million, maybe two hundred million nails?"

[no pause]

"Aren't you curious what I would do if I had that many nails?"

[short pause]

"Yes Deacon. Actually I am curious, what do you want all those nails for?"

[no pause]

"I'd nail them on all my walls and hang key chains on all of them, so there would be key chains all over all the walls."

[short pause]]

"Hmm. You know what? I actually thought of that once or my room, but your grandpa and grandma didn't think it was a very good idea."

[thoughtfull pause]

"Why wasn't it a good idea?"

[no pause]

"Was Grandpa Chris afraid that if you used all those hundreds of nails in your room, there would be none left for him to finish his front steps?"

[short pause]

"No, I think it had more to do putting all those holes in the walls. Deacon, go check and make sure your brother didn't leave the freezer open."

[as soon as Deacon returns]

"Dad, are you almost done with the deck?"

[short pause]


[no pause]

"Cause I was thinking we could maybe go count your nails and see how many you have."

[no pause]

"Because I'm going to need lots of hundreds of nails for all those key chains..."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Controversial Monday: Outdoor Baseball

When I was in elementary school I loved baseball. I had a smattering of cards, knew statistics and followed every game of the hometown team with relentless enthusiasm.

I seldom went to games; however. I was 10 and I didn't have any money.

Now, I am a fairweather fan. I don't mind watching an agonizingly long baseball game on TV. But I don't have time for that. And driving downtown, parking and actually going to a game? Don't have time for that either.

So really, part of me doesn't care at all if the stadium has a roof or not. I would probably only go once every couple years anyway.

But when I hear "This is the way baseball was meant to be played" I laugh to myself.

Maybe outdoors is the way that baseball is meant to be played.

But baseball is also MEANT to be played.

And I can't help but wonder how much it will actually get PLAYED and ENJOYED by playing outdoors in the cold north.

Maybe baseball was never meant to be played up here at all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just a Few Things

This afternoon we have our 20 week sonogram! I am excited to see the baby and have everything checked out. I had asked Deacon if he wanted to come, but when he found out that it was going to be long and that we were not going to find out if it was a boy or a girl, he opted to hang out with Gma Pam and his brothers.

I have a whole list of things I want to get done in the next 20 weeks. Sometime I will post them.

I pulled out some maternity clothes but I have not needed to wear them yet...and actually I think I am probably at least a month out from needing them at all - even though I feel ginormous.

And now, without any further ado, I present to you the conversation of the day:

picture two little boys. One wearing a bike helmet, shorts/short sleeve pjs, elbow and knee pads with a walkie talkie attached to the front of his shirt; and the other wearing pjs (with an off the shoulder top), a bear backpack, Zorro like mask and a walkie talkie in hand.

Deke: "Super heroes are not silly. They are serious."

Roman: "But Super heroes are cool!"

Deke: "Serious is cool. Serious means looking like you are mean, but really you are just serious."

Go save the world from Venom, little Superheros...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We have been homeschooling for about 6 weeks now, and I have neglected to post at all about how things are going.

They are going fine.

It is just kindergarten, and I haven't been super aggressive yet because it has still been nice out etc. Well, nice out until this week.

All I can say is this: Deacon is an interesting child.

He loves the first Boxcar children book we read.

He also loves The Cricket in Times Square that we are reading now.

He likes working on his printing. I frequently have to try to convince him that attaching his capital letters to each other in a "bubble letter" format does not mean that he is writing cursive.

He enjoys his math, but it is maybe somewhat difficult for him. I can see his little brain getting tired and encourage him to stop for the day, but he likes to keep going.

His favorite subjects are literature and history/geography.

He is fascinated by the story "Issun Boshi: One-Inch Boy" which is a Japanese folktale. He also likes the "Dry Bones" song and I have to sing it over and over. We read the account in Ezekiel and he was quite interested.

We have been reading different biographies of people from early American history. Clara Barton is his favorite, although he does have an appreciation for George Washington Carver's invention of Peanut Butter.

Today we read about the Code of Hammurabi. He was a ruler of Babylon and instituted laws. We talked about laws and whether or not they are important. (I agreed with Hammurabi and said that they were, in case you were wondering). The section of the book talks about how he recognized the need for justice, but that some of his laws were harsh or unfair. For example: he had a law that if a doctor operated on a patient and the patient died, then the Doctor's hand should be chopped off.

A couple of hours later we were eating lunch. Deacon said (out of the blue), "So the ruler we learned about today said that if a Doctor xrays a patient and they die his hand should be cut off. That is a bad law. Stopping at stop signs is a good law. Right, Mom?"

I got a little worried that I would have one of those kids who doesn't know basic, practical skills but does know the intricacies of the Code of Hammurabi.

So when Noah got home I gave Deke a shoe tying lesson, slapped some knee pads on him to match Noah's and sent him out into the cold to be his dad's deck assistant.

This accomplished 2 things:
1. Practical life skills for Deacon
2. Me getting to stay inside

All in all, it was a successful day in Kindergarten.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 Things You'd Think I Would Know By Now

1. Leaving an open container of sugar on the kitchen counter is a bad idea. Always.

2. You must NEVER say, "well, we will have next weekend to finish the deck. It is not going to snow THIS early"

3. Don't throw clothes over the dressing room wall. The tag may hit someone in the eye.

4. Cuddling with your 2 year old nightly is an good way to break him of his excellent sleep habits.

5. That there MUST be a moment where a sword fight is stopped and a truce is called- if you miss that moment, it will undoubtedly end in tears.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Controversial Monday, a little early

I don't know how controversial this is, but it should be fun!

One of our local radio stations had a fear factor like gimmick on this week. I won't bore you with the details - only that it sparked a lot of discussion between Noah and I about which of these 5 situations is the most scary.

1. Riding on one of those underneath roller coasters (or any other scary, intense, no pregnant women kind of rides)

2. Holding a Tarantula, Boa Constrictor and Hissing cockroach

3. Standing in a hockey goal (with full gear on) taking shots from a professional hockey player.

4. Eating foods like Squid eyes, lung, tongue and other such delicacies

5. Creating and performing your own stand up routine at a comedy club.

Gotta tell you, number 1 scares me to death. I hope no one ever offers me lots of money to go sky diving or on certain rides, because as much as I would want the money; I don't know if I could make myself do it.

Number 2? Creepy yes, but I would do it.

Number 3 is also scary to me, but it is very quick and I doubt I could get out of the way fast enough, so as long as I was initially on the ice I would be ok.

Eating gross food? I don't know. That is pretty nasty and I am not sure.

The stand up routine would be bad and I am sure not funny, but I don't think it would ruin me forever, so I would do it.

Noah has surprisingly different answers.

What about you? Which would be the easiest for you, which would be the hardest and why?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things Break. All the Time.

We have been married for just about 9 1/2 years now, and in our house for 5 1/2.

And things break, we are finding.

Last night my phone wouldn't charge, my computer wouldn't run from the outlet. We changed outlets. Still nothing.

Thankfully we soon figured out that we had lost power in outlets all over the kitchen and the dining room. We reset the one and now we are able to charge.

But our main computer is on the fritz (hence no pictures on the blog).

And our vaccum cleaner has a frayed cord.

We need to replace our AC in the spring, and the furnace might go with that.

Our furniture is on a rapid decline.

Oh what to replace first?

It is kind of fun to be able to get new things, but it can get overwelming at times when it is just one more thing all the time.

Speaking of things breaking, there is currently a lot of banging and crashing going on in the basement. I believe they are playing Max and Ruby in Grandma's attic.

In other news:
*We are freezing.
*The baby (and my stomach!) is growing.
*Lincoln is talking more.
*We are still trying to finish the deck and patio (inbetween social engagements and rain).
*The house is a mess, and I have lots to do before snow flies.

Have a good Thursday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Controversial Monday:Bikini Edition

Ahh...Bikini edition. You are all interested, aren't you?

Before I go on though, I will make a couple of things clear:

1. I know that I am not always the most conservative dresser.

2. I know that things are not always perfectly proper around our house. For example, just last week my 5 year old grudgingly agreed to give underwear/boxers/boxerbriefs another "try".

But now, let's talk about the little bikinis. Or even just moderately small 2 pieces.

Deacon and Roman are in swimming lessons on Saturdays. One of Deacon's coswimmers is a little girl about his age. She is bound for model-dom. There is no hint of the little girl baby chubby belly on her. She is long legged and very cute. And she wears a bikini. And sometimes while she is waiting her turn on the edge of the pool she dances a little. You know, just the typical little High School Musical or Hannah Montana number.

All cute and innocent, except that she is wearing a bikini and dancing next to my little boy.

And it makes me uneasy.

You see, Mothers of Girls, I am a mother of boys. And I am going to do my best to teach them to respect women, to avert their eyes if necessary. To keep their little hands to themselves.

But what is a mother to do when from such a very young age they are surrounded by bikini clad dancing peers?

And Deacon looks at her admiringly.

I know that now he admires her for her amazing swimming skills and that she is a fun loving little girl - but I am sure that will change at some point.

And then what?

So here is the question:

Mothers of Girls: Do you let your girls wear bikini'sor moderately skimpy 2 pieces? Is there an age that you will/would make them wear something more conservative?

Mothers of boys: am I the only one who is nervous about this?

Everyone else: What do you think about it?

I want everyone to contribute a comment on this! I really want to hear some different perspectives!

[Edit: You can't lead into a post like this and then not leave the readers a picture of a bikini! -NB]

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Controversial Monday: Thursday Edition

So my controversial topic of the week is "Home Alone".
(the picture is one that Noah took. See, that is my reflection in the window)

Noah has been gone the last few days on a work related assignment. He got home last night, right in time to help me put the kids in bed.

I don't like it when he is gone. It is lonely and I miss him. I also don't like being a single parent- but even before we had kids I still missed him when he would be gone.

Thankfully he doesn't travel much.

I gotta tell you, though, I get a lot more accomplished around the house when he is gone. I put the kids to bed early and clean and do projects. Meals consist of PB & Js and Mac and Cheese - so there is little prep and not as much clean up.

So the question of the day is: Do you like it when the people you live with are away for a few days at a time? Do you get lonely? Do you like having the alone time? Do you get more or less done? Do you like having an evening apart now and then or on a regular basis? Or are you miserable if all your free time is not spent together?

Tell me!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I have a particularly energetic little 5 year old boy. I think that I am being accurate when I say "particularly energetic"- I do have 2 other little boys you, know, and he definitely has them beat.

If he doesn't expend some energy before school starts, he is hopping in place doing his math.

But it is hard to fit it in. Basically, if I take him on a run I have two other kids to lug with me. Same with bike rides. So I am trying to get creative.

Yesterday we went to the dirt lot and found a dead mouse. One day soon we are going to go hang out in the ditch across from our house. I need to be more proactive about getting him down to the cul-de-sac and letting him ride around and around and around. I am planning to let him run with me on the track at the Y and get him into the pool 3 times a week.

My mom says I will only make him stronger.

And maybe I will. All I know is that the backyard - though it is great - doesn't cut it. He needs larger open areas.

So I time him as he runs down the street.
And I find trees for him to climb.
And Monkey bars for him to conquer.
And arrange for sword fights and wrestling with dad.

But he really needs more.

Like a farm. With a barn. And a dog. And manual labor.

Maybe someday.

Until then I will be finding ways to keep him running. Like a little hamster on a wheel in a cage. Or something like that.

Any of you have boys? How do you get them active?

Monday, September 28, 2009

If I Were to Write a Parenting Book...

It would be filled with useful chapter titles such as:

"How to downsize a child's rock collection without tears"

"Nap 101: Mathmatical equations to figure out how many minutes a child can nap while still being ready for bed at a reasonable time"

"Secrets to artfully guide your child to find all the 'I SPY' items in record time"

"How to convince your child that not everything you give him needs to be anaylzed for suspicious material"

"Quick reference guide for dangerous swallowed items"

With a special chapter for your kids:

"KDIY (Kids Do it Yourself): How to build a Clubhouse utilizing 3 bent nails and 4 1/2 partially painted pieces of lumbar"

What subjects would be useful for me to add? Tell me, please!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A sticky situation

Here are some pictures from family camp...

A 2 year old amongst sand with a peach...what could be better (or more messy) than that?
Oh wait, I can think of a few things....

He is one determined 2 year old...

And so happy in the water...

Deacon thought he was just about the coolest guy ever...

The rescue dolphin was a hit...

Don't think this was EXACTLY like the game was to be played...

Watch out for your head!

Lincoln thought floor hockey was awesome!


Remember the DTR's of college life? Ok, maybe you don't. Maybe it was just a christian college thing. Anyway, a DTR (or determine the relationship) was code for "serious discussion to see where we are at".

Right now I am trying to find time for Noah and I to have a ETC (Evaluate the Content) discussion.

Evaluating the contents of our house...

Evaluating the contents of our bank...

Evaluating the contents of our minds...

Evaluating the contents of our hearts...

Evaluating the contents of our days...

Our weeks...

Our months...

We are so busy spending time with family and friends. Doing projects and keeping up with the house. So busy teaching and volunteering. Childraising and making time for our own "favorite things".

What to leave out?

Do we need to leave out anything?

Maybe there is enough extra time wasting activities in there that would loosen the schedule if we could eliminate them...

We will see.

By the way, Noah hates DTRs. And I am pretty sure he also hates ETCs.

But, he loves me :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Controversial Monday: Creating Drama on Social Networking Sites

Sometimes inspiration doesn't strike until late at night, hence the timing of this post.

Sometimes I get a little strange late at night, hence the subject of the post.

But all that aside, what do you think of adding a little soap opera drama to facebook; or twitter?

You know stuff like:

Julie is:

"Wondering what to do with some newly acquired could prove disasterous for a lot of people"

"Requesting prayer for a highly touchy family situation...won't go into details"

"Wishing everyone didn't hate me so much"

"Sorry that relationships are (sob) so hard (sob)"

"Trying to reconcile her two best friends"

"Contemplating removing people from her friends list. Some 'friends' can be so hurtful"

"Wishing that more people would get her sense of humor"

You know...statuses that are written precisely to be vague and sensationalistic just to get people to ask, "what is going on?" or "I hope it is not me!"

Appropriate or not?

'Cuz I am really considering putting some good ones on there.

You know, just to shake things up.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What happens when a "Foodie" is married to a "Non Foodie"

The above is a picture of a pie Noah made last week. Banana Cream with a whole wheat chocolate crust. It took a lot of time to make, and a lot of really weird ingredients. My personal mantra is "If 2 ingredients you don't recognize, it may be time to avert your eyes".

But I think that way because I am not that into food. I like food, I like to eat but I don't really care if it is fancy. I don't care if it is the same thing over and over and I don't care if I have to eat quickly in the midst of chaos.

Noah, on the other hand, likes different, interesting, fresh cooking. He would go to restaraunts daily. He gets tired of things if he has them twice in the same month. And he likes his meals to be slow and quiet, full of stimulating conversation and definitely devoid of screaming, whining and the refusal to touch anything that is not a meatball.

So anyway, last week he made the pie, and this week I am doing once-a-month cooking. With a random book and 27 random recipes that we've never tried. It should be an adventure.

Here is the conversation:
J- "I am going to do once a month cooking, and I need to schedule it after the grocery trip that I have to spend $150 at so I can use my $8 off coupon."

N-"I have no idea what you just said, but ok"

J:- "It'll be great. I will make these 27 random recipes and we will be able to eat all month and it won't cost that much money and they will probably even last longer because we don't eat regular supper every night of the week. Like you know, Weds when we are at church."

N- "right, and of course there are the ordering pizza nights and the nights where we need to eat out."

J- "The point of this is to cut down on the amount of times we order pizza and eat out."

N- "I am not so sure about this. There is something to be said for fresh food, grilling, eating out and pizza."

J- "Just you wait, it will be great".

To be continued next month...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The End of Crazy

The other day I was running around the house simultaneously throwing stuff out, formulating a new budget and dreaming of once a month meal preparation plans.

I stopped in front of Noah (who was just standing there leaning against the counter) and said, "do I get kind of weird when I don't have any shifts at work?"

He raised his eyebrows and said, "Yeah. Just a little. You need a shift. Soon."

I keep getting cancelled for my shifts at the hospital. Not enough sick people, I guess.

The other night the phone rang and I glanced at the caller id. It was work. I knew they were calling to cancel my shift. My second thought after that was, "I need to clean and sanitize all the phones!"

I get too much sleep.
I have spare time.
So I do weird things.

Going through Noah's childhood memorbilia, sorting through random boxes in the basement, digging out large areas of sod. And then I get all budget crazy. And than the best stuff happens: I meal plan. I write lists of foods I could make. I make banana bread. I make cookies. I compare prices at grocery stores.

Now, my house isn't really cleaner. Because I don't really clean. I sort, I organize and things tend to get a little messier before they get better. Or before they have the potential to get better.

But I finally didn't get cancelled for a shift.

So maybe I will be a little sleep deprived.

And I little less hyperactive.

And maybe things can get back to normal.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Weekend Projects

This weekend we dumped out all 4 ice cream buckets of Noah's childhood keychain collection. It was kind of fun to look at them all. I remembered giving him some of them when we were younger, and of course there were fun surprises like knives jumping out when you would hit certain buttons...

Noah is saving some, but we did eliminate a bunch of them. Oh, and then there are the ones that Deacon has latched on to and carries around in his backpack. Next up the other 15 boxes of his childhood toys...
In other news, we decided that finishing the deck wasn't enough of a project so I dug up a bunch of sod, Noah built a retaining wall, and now we are going to start paving it with cute little pavers. It is going to be the base of the deck stairs, but eventually the plan is to break up the patio and make it one big pavered patio.
Noah almost took a sledgehammer to the patio so we can do it all right now, but then reason spoke up and we decided to refrain. As my sister pointed out, if we ran into any problems we would be stuck with a mud pit outside our sliding glass door for the whole winter.
And, in case you didn't know, that wouldn't be good.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Controversial Monday: On names

The other weekend Noah and I were having a little fun with baby names. We thought we could probably come up with some pretty good trendy names of our own by using the old combo technique.

so here goes...

Aidler (combo of Aiden and Skyler)

Skyden (combo of Skyler and Jaden, Caden or Aiden)



Logdan (notice the "d" added to the middle, just to change it up)

Jogan (like Logan, but with a "J"- cute, huh?)

Ashdon (like Asher or Ashton but not quite)


Gaver (Gaven and Asher)

I could go on, but here are some for girls:

Emivia (Emma and Olivia)

Grella (Grace and Ella)

Lilla (Lily and Ella)

Grachloe (Grace and Chloe)

So join me today on this Monday- what combos can you create? Who knows,
yours may be the next Nevaeh...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Info

Noah would like you to know that he would never publish pictures of me with my stomach circled unless there was in fact a baby in there. So yes, if any of you is still wondering, the TMZ photos were an announcement :)

The big due date is March 5th. Probably no chance of another 22nd - unless by some miracle my body goes into labor early. That would be something.

Let's see...what else would you want to know?

We won't find out boy/girl before the birth.

I have awesome names picked out, but I will never tell.

Deacon really wants a sister and he cries when we say it could be a boy.

If God gave me a choice, I would pick boy just for convenience sake.

I have been excessively tired (although the fatigue is much better now that I am into the 2nd trimester) and am feeling really overwhelmed this week.

Well, I must move on. Awana, Sunday School and Homeschooling start this week. The deck is still in progress. Bible Study and swimming start next week and it just gets busier from there...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Roman Pictures (AKA: Julie doesn't have time to write today)

I put these in backward, but you can still get the idea.
Roman's wetsuit is the only short sleeved/short pant item he will wear.

He really likes to be buried.

He prefers to wear PJ's...

No matter what he is doing...

And these pictures were before his hair cut...

Gotta take the teddy bear when you go exploring...

Isn't he cute?