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?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer Pictures

Although it caused me much anxiety, the boys climbed all over the deck. They are like little monkeys- and a lot more surefooted than I am.

Roman will ride his bike, but the trike has a place for his stuffed animals...

Kissing my baby...

Our first deck soon as we had enough boards to line 3 chairs up- the boys decided it was time to get the party started! But it was really cold so they mostly opted for sitting on their chairs with their blankies and pillows. At least they weren't jumping over the edge.
Oh...and the most exciting news of the day? Noah put 2 books and 3 pamphlets in the "get rid of pile". I am hoping for more tonight...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Walking in the Moonlight

We had kind of a disorganized day on Monday. Noah's car didn't start, so he got into work late and then got home late.

Going on a run was on my agenda for the evening, but by the time things were settled enough for me to leave, it was nearly 10:30pm. So I opted for a quick 1 mile run and than a cool down walk -just to do something. (I had pushed the boys in the double stroller for a mile in the afternoon, and I think that was harder than my run).

My neighborhood doesn't have very many streetlights and it was very dark out. We live in a neighborhood, but it is surrounded by some ponds, woods and open areas so we do see a lot of wildlife. Right now a bunny and snake coexist in our back yard and I am constantly on the lookout for deer while driving through the hood at night.

I have a one mile route worked out so if I go out in the evening, I can just go around it multiple times and never be more than 1/2 mile from home. Why don't I want to go further than that? Because I am afraid of raccoons.

I may have shared this before (I wouldn't know because I don't label my posts) but a few years ago we were walking through the neighborhood in late afternoon. We walked past a sewer grate and did a double take. I kid you not- Noah and I both saw it- there was a gigantic raccoon peering at us through the grate.

So now I know that raccoons live down there and I am convinced that they are in fact waiting for me to run by at night at which time they will leap out of the sewer and start chasng me with their sharp little teeth and their rabid saliva.

One of the streets that I run on is bordered by a woods that spans a few blocks. I know there are all sorts of scary things back there as well as sewer grates on the street. This is also the street without street lights and where the guy who jumps rope and wears a Slayer shirt lives. (Talk about freaking out- the time I saw him 3 times on my run, one of them when he was standing at the very end of his very long driveway jumping rope and watching me run by. Scary).

That is also the street where the young couple lost one of their brand new bocce balls down into the sewer grate. They were contemplating sending their dog down there to retrieve it and were asking us if we thought it was a good idea. We told them there were raccoons down there. Shudder.

Anyway, so I ended up running a mile and than walking another. I got home and Noah asked me how things were. I explained to him that I was so scared and it was so dark that I had run down the middle of the street. This was to help me avoid raccoons appearing from the grates and any foxes or other creatures that may be dashing out of the woods. He said, "you should be more worried about cars."

Me: "cars have headlights so you can see them. All raccoons have are beady little eyes. Raccoons are like people on meth. They are undpredictable. That is why I despise animals. They are unpredictable."

(deleted long explanation about why mice are much more scary than spiders - which Noah vehemently disagreed with)

Me: "In fact", I said, "as I was running down the other street a car approached me from behind. I observed the headlights so I went to jump up on the curb. But there was a mailbox there. So my foot was going to land on a sewer grate. I diverted my leap so I would land back in the road. I would rather take my chances with the car than with a rabid raccoon."

N: "You are insane. Even if a raccoon was in there he just couldn't leap out. He would have to squeeze out."

Me: "Whatev, Dude. You haven't seen what a determined rabid raccoon can do."

The end.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Neighbor Names

I walk in our neighborhood a lot. I have some friends on our street and I know a few of the immediate neighbors, but not a lot. We have 2 empty lots on one side of us and there are no houses across the street.

But I know who lives in a lot of the houses on my walking route.

There is the family with the 2 little boys who never come out.

There is the new house with the flagpole and the guy who's wife only lets him smoke outside. We think he is a mailman.

There is the couple who are always washing their cars.

And the young blonde couple with the dog that they walk twice a day. (I wonder if they will have a baby? I am always looking for a baby bump on her)

There is the sorority house.

And the white house (we just call it the white house and never mention the hundreds of lawn ornaments, junk cars and well- just junk that clutters the yard)

There is the guy who hangs out in his garage at night with his purple neon lights.

And the skateboard gang that meets on the corner.

Then there is the family with the really crazy prairie grass exhibit :) Hi Jamie!

I could go on. Noah thinks I am crazy.

How do you distinguish your neighbors? Do you know them all by name, or do you refer to them by their idiosyncrasies?