Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

Another round of Isaacisms...

As Jeremiah stood brushing his teeth in the bathroom last night Isaac walked in just babbling. Realizing someone was in there he looked up and stated, "I'm just talking to myself, you don't have to listen to me."

Later as Isaac was getting ready for bed he tried to stall as he excitedly exclaimed, "I have an idea! I have and idea!" He was so animated that I couldn't help but asked what this grand idea was. His answer? "How about I go potty, I don't go to bed, I eat some...ideas, and put on a cape!" I'm pretty sure he got talking and didn't really know where he was going with it.


I put together little candle gifts for friends and neighbors yesterday. Isaac inquired what I was doing and when I told him he said, "What friends?"


And here is Isaac's letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,
Where do you live? I like to do dot-to-dots. I have a sister Kenley. I have reindeer. Snow and Christmas tree with a star on it. I shared ribbons with Kenley. We are a family. I just want to play dot-to-dot.

I love Isaac.

I asked him several times if he wanted to ask Santa Claus to bring him presents or toys for Christmas and his reply was always a polite, "No, thank you." I'm sure that by next year he'll be ready for the greed of asking a magical man in a red suit for anything and everything he sees. But this year it was all I could get him to do to actually sit at the table and dictate a letter. He basically looked all around the room and gathered inspiration from the Christmas tree, a nearby coloring and activity book, curly ribbon and our family picture.

I love how he "signed" it. I told him that if I were writing a letter to him I would write, "Dear Isaac, blah blah blah, Love, Mom" and did he want to sign his letter to Santa, "Love, Isaac." You can see how he chose to sign off.

I sure love that kid!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Santa's Little Helper

Gotta love that smile!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thoughts from a Mom

My visiting teacher recently lost her granddaughter to SIDS. This little girl was put to bed one night and never woke up again. Both her mother and her aunt did CPR on this infant, but it was just her time to go.

On Sunday I spoke to this lady and offered my sympathies. I felt almost guilty as I stepped over to my pew to sit with my little girl, who just happened to be blessed on the same day as the baby girl she had just lost. And even more guilty as throughout the meeting my daughter's behavior grew progressively worse and I eventually shoved her into the arms of my husband so that I could attempt to listen to the rest of the meeting.

But it's really had me thinking about how precious these little ones are. Many mothers would take some extra time with their kids, maybe hug them a little tighter, read that story "just one more time", but I haven't, because I think those things are already an integral part of our day.

Throughout the day I play with, feed, discipline, nurture , teach and care for my children. We play games, give hugs, read stories, sing songs, talk it through when someone gets in trouble and learn about the rules of the house and of the land. I take them to run errands with me pretty much everywhere. I quite literally spend every moment of every day with my kids. But when it is time for bed, it is time for bed.

Both of my kids have their own bedtime routine. Isaac likes to floss and brush his teeth, jump in bed to read a Spiderman comic book, turn out the lights and be told a short story made up by mom or dad, say a prayer and then it is time for sleep. He rarely asks for more than that, and we hardly ever acquiesce if he does. We already let him stay up way too late. Sure, I know I could easily read another story. But I also feel like sticking to his routine builds security. He knows what to expect and he knows that boundaries are not to be pushed. To me that is just as important as him knowing that he is loved.

Kenley's routine is far more simple. We walk into her room, close the door and turn out the lights and she nestles up against my shoulder as I approach her crib. Usually she takes a minute to play with my hair and while she does I sing. My singing is usually interrupted several times as she lifts her head with lips pursed together waiting for a kiss. After each kiss her head returns to my shoulder until she decides that she needs another. When she is done cuddling, she turns away from me and reaches toward her crib. Some nights she completely bypasses the snuggles and just reaches for her bed, in desperate want of rest. I place her in there and cover her with her blanket and she is done. She is ready to sleep.

And as they both go to sleep I think about our day together. I think of all the fun things we've done and how Isaac might even remember some of these things when he is older. I hope we're making great memories for him.

I also think of the parts of our day that maybe weren't so pleasant. Like when I yell instead of collect myself before speaking, because things can be more easily replaced or repaired than a child's delicate spirit. And I hope that there's a tomorrow with all of us to try again and do better.

I think of how tired the both are as they are finally taken away from all other stimulation and given a chance to relax. They fall asleep so quickly and slumber so soundly. And each night I hope that the rest they need is only for the night. I think of how perfect they are, and yet pray that they aren't perfect, that I still can teach them, and that they have more on this earth to do.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Can Someone Tell Santa Where to Shop?

This year I've been asking Isaac what he would like for Santa Claus to bring him for Christmas. I thought that he was getting old enough that he could give me a solid answer and I expected something along the lines of "Batman toys and Ninja Turtles."

Instead, I was surprised when he answered, "chocolate doors." I thought it was a kind of funny answer and that he was just being silly, but he has stuck to that answer. He's been telling everyone that he would like chocolate doors for Christmas, although he's unable to really explain what he means.

So I hope that the other array of Christmas gifts outweigh Isaac's want for chocolate doors. Or that Hershey's comes out with the item on Christmas Eve.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Climbing the Walls

You may think that it is me that is climbing the walls - a stay-at-home mom, two kids and one on the way, no money, no hobby - but you are wrong. Climbing the walls is not an expression here. I mean it quite literally, and it is Kenley doing the climbing.

In the last 2 days, Kenley has climbed her way onto a number of things; the computer desk, her dresser, her booster chair and the table, to name a few. And she does it so stealthily. When she first climbed into her booster chair and seated herself for a meal I was standing in the kitchen and didn't hear a thing until she started banging her fists on the table in her request for food.

Yesterday she climbed onto her dresser via a children's chair and the toybox and apparently "jumped off" by Isaac's account. I was in the shower when it happened and the only reason I knew she had been up there was because she had in her hands some barrettes that I was certain I had last placed in the basket atop her dresser. I told her she was going to end up with a broken head ("like Humpty Dumpty" Isaac added.)

So I guess I'm going to have to pay closer attention to the placement of all items in our home and be on the lookout for anything that should now be viewed as a climbing hazard.

As a side note: I've been getting a lot of headaches lately. I'm hoping they're caused by the eyeballs in the back of my head growing in because those would really help!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tryptophan Trip

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. For anyone who knows me, you know I like love to eat. All of it. And lots of it. My parents usually serve Thanksgiving dinner around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. That gives us all time to eat, digest, and repeat. I love it.

So in anticipation of all the turkey leftovers, here is a recipe that is completely delicious!

Turkey Roll-ups
4 C cubed turkey

3 oz cream cheese, softened
chopped onion and celery to taste
2/3 C mushrooms
½ C slivered almonds
3-4 cans crescent rolls
4 Tbs margarine, melted
seasoned bread crumbs, or crushed croutons
1/3 C chicken broth
1 can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup

Combine turkey, cream cheese, onion, celery, mushrooms and almonds. Unroll and separate crescent rolls. Place 2 Tbs turkey mixture at wide end of roll. Bring the two wide points together, pinch and roll toward narrow end. Roll crescent rolls in butter then in crumbs. Bake as directed on roll package. Make gravy out of broth and chicken soup, serve over roll-ups.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Domestic High

I just made an apple pie. And not just any apple pie. No, no. The pie I made I made completely from scratch. I sliced my own apples, prepared my own filling, cut together the flour and other ingredients for the crust and everything.

But the "icing on the cake?" I made a lattice-top apple pie. No small feat to anyone who has ever tried to do so. Usually I have such a hard time with the pastry that I have to piece together my crust. But I guess today I was in the "domestic zone" and if there were an Ultimate Housewife contest with an apple pie category I would feel very confident in my entry.

I'm not sure how it will taste - it's baking as I type - but D-A-N-G does it look good! If I ever get my memory card for my camera cleaned up I will certainly be adding a picture. You'll have to see it to believe it!

The Things Kids Say

Isaac (with no preliminaries): "I am the future of King Underwear!"

The same: "I can burp my ABC's!"
(Perhaps he should spend less time around the uncles...)

After all the hassle with the insurance from the car accident, and my being emotional because I'm pregnant, last week I finally just laid on my bed and let it all out through some tears. Isaac came in, laid down beside me and comforted, "There's nothing to cry about. Isaac's here."

Gotta love those kids!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

First Date Revisited

Only this time, the ending SUCKS!

So, in honor of our "anniversary," Jeremiah and I decided to go out to dinner to the same BBQ restaurant we patronized on our first date. We've tried every year to go back on that date but this was the first year we were able to. The first year it burned down, the next year it was closed because there was no one qualified to manage it, one year our anniversary was on a Sunday, and so on. For whatever reason it was either closed or we were unable to make it there. But this. was. the. year.

We should have skipped it.

Why? Well, when we arrived at the restaurant the parking lot was full. But they do have an overflow parking lot so as we approached the alley we had to cross in order to get to said parking lot, our car was struck by another car that was barreling down the alley. And he didn't stop. But right behind him were 2 police cars. The idiot driver made a circle around the block and turned back on to the alleyway headed in the opposite direction before he finally stopped. Turns out he was drunk. And it turns out he doesn't have insurance. And it turns out that the policeman who handled the accident report DIDN'T EVEN FILE AN ACCIDENT REPORT! Nope. All that has been filed is the arrest report for the jerk who was driving drunk and evading an officer. As far as the records show, this guy didn't even hit our car. I wonder what happened to the picture the officer took of our smashed in car - and the names we reported to the officer that we collected from the witnesses. Maybe the officer dipped them into his coffee, mistaking them for a donut?

And also, when we finally got in to the restaurant it took 10 more minutes to be seated, they didn't bring us our dinnerware (ever tried eating a salad without a fork?), and it took a long time for our dinner to be served.

Needless to say I don't think I will ever return to that particular restaurant. I think it's luck ran out the door the night of my first date with Jeremiah.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Random Thought

I wouldn't be sure I had a gag reflex if it weren't for two kids with runny noses.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

6 Years Ago...

Today is the 6-year anniversary of my first date with Jeremiah. It was by far the most memorable first date I have ever had. One thing that I remember about the date is how incredibly nervous I was! This was odd for me because I had never been this nervous. Not even on my first date ever. I remember I bought all new clothes and even a ribbon for my hair. I took my toothbrush and toothpaste in my coat pocket and gum in my purse and used them directly after dinner. I even took along a "Thank You" card that I intended to fill out at some point in the evening and leave sitting on the car seat for him to find later. Yes, I felt prepared from all angles.

On that date I had three distinct impressions that this was the man I was going to marry, and the first one came within the first 5 minutes after he picked me up! He told me that he had a hat from a former job as a baker that read "Best Buns In Town" and how he was going to give it to his wife someday. My immediate thought was, "I'm going to have that hat."

Later, while we were bowling I said something about how he bowled like Fred Flintstone, with the twinkle toes and everything. When it was my turn to bowl he encouraged, "Go, Wilma!" and I thought, "I am going to marry him!"

And lastly, as the evening wore on we were all trying to figure out where else we could go. We joked about going to a bar but it would be hard to get me in since I was underage. I was wearing a ring on my left hand and Jeremiah's brother - we were on a double date - said Jeremiah could wear his ring and no one would think twice about me. I pointed out that my ring was a sapphire ring and Jeremiah said, "Just tell them I was cheap! We'll win the perfect honeymoon." (He was referring to a contest that a local jewelry store was holding where you could win a honeymoon to make up for a lousy marriage proposal.) And I remember thinking, "We'll already have the perfect honeymoon."

6 months and 6 days later, we were married. I can honestly say that I knew from our first date that we would be married. I think it was pretty obvious to everyone - although maybe not so quickly. We just clicked. I don't think we rushed it either. We knew enough about each other's beliefs, goals and feelings to know that we would make it - everything else is in the details.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Purely Hypothetical

Hypothetically, would it be so bad if I spilled a bowl's worth of Cheerios on the floor? And, hypothetically, instead of sweeping them up off of my floor, I, hypothetically, swept them into a pile, picked out any dirt that hypothetically existed, and allowed my 1 year old to eat them until her tummy was full?

Because, hypothetically, that could happen.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Teach 'Em While They're Young

I've mentioned before that I taught Isaac about privacy at a very young age. I generally don't mind being shadowed by my children, but I do draw the line when they insist on watching me use the restroom. Now that Isaac has been potty-trained for a while I think he has gained an appreciation for privacy.

This was best evidenced the other night at my mother's house when I told Isaac to use the bathroom after much dancing and grabbing on his part. He reluctantly ran down the hallway - there's lots of fun stuff to do at Gammie's, you know - and finally made it in there to take care of business. He left the door open though, and Kenley found her way to the bathroom as well.

The house was soon filled with Isaac's scream, "GIVE ME PRIVACY KENLEY!"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kenley's Favorite Pastimes and Games

"What fits in the toilet?"

"Look! I can twirl!"

"Floor Food Find" - often played with the ever-popular "Doesn't taste good, but I can eat it!"

"Clear a bookshelf in 30 seconds"

"I'm gonna getcha!" - She hasn't quite learned that I'm chasing her, she often comes toward me, mouth wide open in her million dollar grin awaiting my tickling fingers.

"I can click my tongue"

"Love music, love to dance" - She's gets quite a rhythm going and dances the instant she hears music.

"Bathtub topple" - This means she pushes anything over the side of the bathtub into the water. If nothing is on the side she adds in the game "What's in the cupboard." Last week she retrieved a can of Manwich from the kitchen for Isaac's bath.

And her all-time favorite - "What's Isaac doing?"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

That's the Way it Should Be

Because I am lazy and chose not to work at all ever again outside the home, Jeremiah has been working two jobs and we hardly ever get to see him here. We really miss him, but Isaac seems to be most affected by his absence. But when Jeremiah is home, Isaac pays scrutinous attention to his every move.

When Jeremiah came home from teaching the other day he quickly changed out of his shirt and tie into shorts and a t-shirt. We then sat down to eat together as a family - at about 3 in the afternoon, so I don't really know what meal it was... Anyway, Isaac looked at Jeremiah and noted out loud that Jeremiah had changed his shirt.

Isaac: Dad, did you get into a different shirt?

Jeremiah: Sure did.

Isaac: When you were naked?

(I'm assuming he meant naked in between changing clothes, since Isaac cannot change just his pants, or just his shirt. No, Isaac has to bare it all when he changes clothes...)

Jeremiah: Mm-hmm.

Isaac (looking Jeremiah over thoughtfully): I don't want to see you naked.

(Insert much spraying of food and beverage across the table from the laughter.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kids That Yell "Dad" in the Night

Isaac woke up this morning at 4:37. I have to post what he said because, even at that hour, I got the giggles.

Isaac: Dad?...Daddy? Can you get out of your covers, put your feet on the floor, walk to my room and carry me to your bed?

Jeremiah: Isaac, go back to sleep, bud.

Isaac: But can you carry me?

I get out of bed and go in his room thinking that perhaps he has wet the bed, since he is now sleeping all night in his big boy underwear.

Me: Isaac, are you wet?

Isaac: No. Can you just carry me to your bed...yeah I'm wet.

I flip on his lamp and pull back his covers. He looks dry so I start to reach so that I can feel. Isaac started to put his hand where I was about to touch, but not before I feel that he is, in fact, dry.

Me: Isaac, you're not wet, go back to sleep.

Isaac (rubbing his eyes): I'm wetter than you are.

Me (stifling a chuckle as I turn off the lamp): Just go back to sleep.

Isaac: But I was talking to my dad.

It was funny, but if I had known I wouldn't have gotten back to sleep after that, I might have sent Jeremiah instead.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tug-o-war, Gluttony & Hick Entertainment

Our family went to Spud Day on Saturday. It's been a tradition in our area for 78 years. It's kind of a fairlike environment at the city park and they have a pageant, a parade, give away baked potatoes and lots of other fun things.

We were expecting Kate and her family to enjoy the day with us, but the flu hit their house and they weren't able to make it. I was really looking forward to their visit but, as it happened, this year probably wasn't the best year for us to introduce them to the festivities. The celebration was fun, but it. was. so. cold! I would have felt really bad making her & Josh lug around their children in the freezing cold while they were still recovering from the flu! (Maybe next year?)

We got to Spud Day a little after noon and bought hot scones with honey-butter first thing. Then we met up with Evens and Kelly as we prepared to watch the Spud-Tug. This consists of 1 ton of mashed potato flakes and 1100 gallons of water being mixed in a cement truck. They then pour it into a pit and have a tug-o-war over the mashed potatoes. There were a couple of teams of kids and then they moved on to the adults. Even Evens was on a team - The Undertakers. They stayed in through 2 rounds but eventually lost to The Mutants. I downed a Pronto Pup while enjoying the great view of the losers as they landed face first in the potatoes. It looked so gross! As soon as Isaac saw people covered in the mash he said that it scared him and he wanted to go home. I think he was scared. And in spite of all our efforts of layering clothing to beat the weather, I think that he was also very cold and looking for an excuse to get inside. Eventually Uncle Joey took him and Kenley to Nana's house.

Jeremiah and I weren't exactly sure what to do without the kids - it doesn't happen all that often. And with the weather being so cold and windy all there really was to do was eat. A lot of the vendors had already packed up by this point and the only trailors left were perveyors of fine fair food. Jeremiah treated us to a giant turkey leg and I got a grape Slush Puppie - mmmm. After hanging out a little longer with Evens and Kelly and some of their friends, we too headed back to Nana's house to warm up a little bit before heading out to the rodeo arena for the Demoltion Derby.

It had rained a bit in between and so when we got to the arena it was full of mud - perfect for a DD. We spread out dozens of blankets and sat on the bleachers, drank hot chocolate, filled with anticipation. I have to admit I have little bit of white trash in me: I am a sucker for a demolition derby. I looked around and thought, "Man, these derbies pull the hicks out of the woodworks...and I am numbered among them." So I made the best of it by yelling and screaming and embarrassing all my in-laws. But my shining moment had to be when I left the bleachers to yell at a bunch of 9 years olds who were standing on the arena fence in front of us because "We can't see through your butts!" And none of us wanted to miss the smashing and crashing of these finely painted automobiles in the mud.

It rained a bit more during the derby and Isaac decided to leave with his cousin Caleb and go to Caleb's grandma's house. But Kenley stuck it out - probably because of the nachos. I suppose I have passed the WT trait on to her because she loved watching all the banging. She got a little squirmy between heats, but if there was action she was enthralled. There were three heats, a minis heat, a consolation round and then the championship. It was lots of fun and I left absolutely freezing and with a sore throat from all the screaming. True signs of a good time.

We all headed back to Nana & Papa's house where she treated us to poor-boy cookies and a warm fire. It was just a fun day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Law, According to Mom

A few days ago Isaac crawled under Kenley's crib. I looked over and saw him through the side rail, which was lowered, and said, "Isaac, you're in jail!" Then I did what any hopeful mother of a future jailbird responsible mother would do... "Isaac, there's gonna be a jailbreak. I'm bustin' ya outta here." I lift up the siderail and say, "Run. RUN! Before the cops get ya!"

Since then he has been continually on the lookout for cops, whom I think he's decided are much like "bad guys."

***** ***** *****

Isaac has been very interested in traffic lights and street signs as of late. He knows that a red light means stop, green means go, and that a yellow light says, "Sslloooww Doooowwwnn." He recognizes stop signs and likes to point out the numbers on speed limit postings.

As we went for a walk the other day he insisted that we stop - for a very. long. time. - at every stop sign, even if he saw one across the street that didn't even apply to us. We walked up to yet another stop sign and Isaac said, of course, "Stop sign says STOP!" I was getting impatient at having to wait at every corner and so decided to point down at the green grass and say, "But the grass is green, so we can go."
I can just hear it now..."Yes, officer, of course I saw the stop sign. But didn't you see that tree? It's green. Everyone knows that green means least...that's what my mom taught me."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

An Early Birthday Gift

Kenley has always had a hard time keeping shoes and socks on her feet. All through the winter I was chastised for her cold toes. Truth is, it wouldn't have mattered if I had duck taped her shoes on, she would have taken them off, I'm sure of it.

It's been nice not to have to worry about it (much) over the summer. The weather has permitted bare feet. But the weather is changing.

It's getting cold. We still have warm days, but the mornings and evenings are really cooling off. That brought up the issue of what to put on Kenley's feet. I usually don't spend much on shoes. We hit Wal-Mart and see what they have under $10. If they have nothing, we check Payless in the same category. It rarely goes any further than that.

However, I just couldn't help myself when I saw these at Target. So I bought them and have stored them in my closet for about a month. I took them out a few days ago to admire them and my great sense of style. I also took a closer look at the sole. The 1/4 in thick, non-flexible sole. *Sob* They were obviously not going to work for my still-shaky, walking babe.

I grieved after taking them back. I just thought they were cute. And then I came across an ad for these. I found a local shop that carries them and I bought them. They are way more expensive than I am used to paying for anything. My last pair of jeans (and a t-shirt, for that matter) didn't even total $26.00. But they are perfect for little feet still unsure of their grounding. Plus, they are machine washable and should fit for a long time. And Kenley has been tugging away at them and they are sticking to her feet like a monkey on a cupcake.

So, Happy early-Birthday, Kenley. Just act surprised when you open them next that price, they may be all you get!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

We're Up to Four

Recently, Kenley added two more words to her vocabulary:

"Bir" with accompanying sign for bird. She gets lots of practice with this one when we visit Gammie's house where she has a canary.

"Dah-Dog" with accompanying sign for puppy. I always say "doggy" when I show her this sign and yesterday she surprised me by signing 'puppy' after hearing a dog bark.

I'm amazed at how well she signs. The sign for bird requires a fist with only the thumb and pointer finger opening and closing to each other. Isaac used his whole hand, but Kenley is able to sign it properly. Even with all these new vocal skills, she still refuses to say "mama" and "dada" but I guess we're not as exciting as fowls and K-9s.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

At Least I Shared With the Kids

I am the only person I know who can go to a Farmer's Market full of fresh fruits and vegetables and come home with nothing but a cinnamon roll.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I made this cobbler on Labor Day for the BBQ with our neighbors. It is by far the best cobbler I have ever tasted. What makes it great is the macaroon-like topping. It's got texture, flavor, and looks. Plus it's obscenely easy to make!

Summer Blackberry Cobbler
8 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (slightly thawed if frozen)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant tapioca
Juice of 1/2 a lime
pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375. Toss berried with sugar, tapioca, lime juice, and salt in a bowl. Spoon into a 2-qt baking dish.

Combine flour, coconut, sugar, pecans, baking powder, and salt in a second bowl. Using your fingertips, knead in the butter until incorporated. Mixture should look like coarse sand.

Blend in the egg, then arrange topping over the berries in clumps, covering them evenly. Bake the cobbler for 45-50 minutes or until top is golden and crisp, and filling is thick and bubbly. Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

Also, this is my first submission for Love Thursday. And after you try this scrumptious dessert, you will love me for posting the recipe!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Must. Contain. Excitement.

First, let me begin by saying that I am socially equivalent to a puppy who's been left home all day. I sit and do the things I need to do, but I long for someone to play with. Then, when placed in a social environment, I become overactive. Much like the puppy who jumps up and down and licks the face of its owner when they finally reunite. And while no one thinks much of my jumping up and down, the face licking is a little awkward.

So we have these neighbors who moved in next door a year ago recently. They are about our same age, share our religious beliefs, and they have kids near the same age as our kids. Since they've moved in I've imagined playdates in the front yards where the moms sit and hold the babies and chat away the afternoon while the boys play with their swords and squish bugs. But I think I've mentioned my inability to make new friends. I'm just afraid to do it. So, until recently, the extent of our neighborliness has been to say "hello" in the driveway and in the hallway at church. Thank heaven I have a son.

This week Isaac finally realized that the two boys next door actually live there. And they have toys that he doesn't have. So whenever he sees their car in the driveway he tells me, "I'm going to see my friends." And while I'm afraid to make friends, Isaac is fairly comfortable with it. He walks over to their front door with confidence while I walk timidly behind him (maybe I really am K-9.) He invites them out to play.

They come out, followed by their mom, toting her baby. I yell, "I have one of those!" and run home to wake Kenley from her nap, rip her from her crib and hold her up in front of the neighbor and scream, "See? I have a baby too! Can we be friends?" That's when her kids are told to run inside, they draw the shades and I hear the bolt lock. At least, that's what I'm afraid will happen.

In all actuality, the boys come out, their mom comes out, and the babies are both napping. We start to chat while the boys play. Our husbands come home from work and we all sit and have a good visit. We mention Labor Day. They don't have plans. Neither do we. We have this awesome grill. They like food. We love to play games. They have tons of board games. 5:30 sounds okay!

And so, I think, I think, it may be official. We have finally made a friend, and I'm no longer the family dog.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

5 Quirks

This is kind of like Kiki's 6 Weird Things post(s), except I totally don't think I'm weird. At all. But there are a few things about me that maybe others would consider, well, quirky.

1. I really want to learn how to yodel. Seriously, do you know how much vocal talent and control it takes to yodel? I love to sing and I think learning to yodel would improve my singing abilities by a ton. Plus, how fun would it be to do at family reunions?

2. I love french fries and milkshakes...together. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Think of it as a Fun Dip where the fries are the candy stick and the milkshake is the fruity, candy powder. It's the perfect balance of opposites; sweet, salty; solid, liquid; hot, cold; crunchy, smooth; unhealthy, even more's really good. My favorite combo is Wendy's fries and a chocolate Frosty. Go try it today and see if it isn't just awesome.

3. I kind of like the smell of skunk. Now I'm not saying I wish Glade would put it in their line of fragrances, but every once in a while, driving down the country hiways, I'll get a whiff and mildly enjoy it. (Okay, you can call me "weird" for that one.)

4. I am terrified of overpasses. Well, maybe I'm not afraid of the overpasses themselves, but the traffic on the overpass as I'm driving below. If the vehicle on the overpass is larger than mine I get a heavy feeling in my chest and short of breath. I just know that the overpass is going to collapse under the weight of the vehicle and I will be crushed by the rubble. Usually I am able to avoid it by slowing down or speeding up, but when I don't, I sometimes wish I carried around clean underwear, ya know? (Maybe I exaggerated that last little bit.)

5. Seafood is gross. You'll notice I didn't say, "I don't like seafood." This one is not about me. It's a statement, and it's true. And I'm telling all of you who eat it that I find that beyond quirky, it's just. plain. weird. Why would anyone like something so gross? My husband and I argue about this quite often. He doesn't like asparagus and I don't like seafood. How weird is he?

So now I want to know your 5 quirks. And I promise I won't call you weird, unless of course you post that you like seafood.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Do Toddlers Get PMS?

Isaac sure has been moody lately. He's really acting out of character. The boy who is usually a joy to have around is copping an attitude and testing every boundary in this household. I'm not aware of any change that would have made such an impact on him as to make him act out, so I'm really at a loss for how to handle him.

He's not been really bad, but like I said, he's just not himself. He's usually a good sleeper and he's been waking up in the middle of the night - usually screaming hysterically about the same thing he was talking about right before he fell asleep. He doesn't eat much and I'm sure that has something to do with it but how do I get food into him if he won't slow down to eat? And he's been very disagreeable, that too is uncharacteristic.

Also, he seems to not care about any consequences. When he's doing something he knows he's not supposed to do and I start to reprimand him he immediately places his hands over his bottom. He knows that what is doing will probably warrant a swat across the behind, which I am sad to admit I have administered liberally in the last week. He's been sent to his room, put in time-out, and I've even tried to just ignore him. He always tells me that he's sorry after his punishment, and he can tell me what he is sorry for without me leading him to it, so I know he knows what he's doing is not okay.

Like I said, he's not been really bad. I know he's just testing me, but when do I get the pass/fail mark? How long should I expect this phase of boundary-pushing to continue?

An example of his mood swings.

This morning: You're my best girl in the whole world!

This evening: I never want to see you again!

Is it something I've done?

Question of the Day

Would you rather be good at many things or be the best at 1 thing?


Monday, August 28, 2006

Money Matters

Jeremiah has started to let Isaac have the spare change in his pockets when he gets home from work. Isaac loves to put the money in his piggy bank and almost has the whole thing full. We keep the piggy bank on the top of a bookshelf so that it doesn't get broken or played with.

The other night as Jeremiah was in Isaac's room, Isaac looked up and saw the piggy bank. He blurted, "I want some money." Then he turned to Jeremiah, looked at him for a minute and tried to sound real casual as he asked, "What's in your pockets?"

***** ***** *****
This afternoon Jeremiah came home from his teaching job long enough to change his clothes and head off for his car-washing job. Isaac asked him to sit and play the computer with him for "just five minutes." Jeremiah agreed and added that after that he had to go to work. Isaac was disappointed and said, "But you don't want to go to work."
"I have to go to work so that I can bring home money," Jeremiah informed him.
"Money? Oh...okay."

The Saddest Line Ever Written

"No one was with her when she died."

Do you know the book in which it is written? I'll give you a hint: It's a children's book.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

First Words

So I may not have chronicled Kenley's first steps as quickly as I should have. But I hope to make up for it by posting about her first words, post-haste! (Forgive the cheesy pun.)

Well, what are they, you ask?... No, really. Ask. Ask nicely or I won't tell you. Okay, okay! Quit nagging!

"Bah-bye" she says with the ever-so-cute, palm-toward-herself gimmie-wave.
"Up" complete with single finger pointed up and head tilted back.

This morning she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror across from my bed and repeated "bah-bye" and waved til her little hands fell off. (Okay, so they didn't fall off, but they did get quite a workout.)

Do Not Mix

1 clingy, teething baby
1 attention-starved, fever-ridden toddler
1 busy mother serving the "crimson wave"
1 overworked, home-long-enough-to-change-his-clothes father

This combination creates a volatile mixture. Contents may explode under pressure.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


We'll never grow out of it.

As was evidenced in my previous post, my baby is growing up. Kenley is so busy, she never sits still. She has begun to climb and apparently is not afraid of anything. Gone are the days when I could hold her in my arms and cuddle with her. Now the only way to get her to snuggle up is to walk her to her crib at nap or bed time. She knows that I'm far more likely to continue holding her if she places her sweet, fuzzy head on my shoulder and reaches her hand around the back of my neck to stroke at my hair. I love it when she does this.

The other night as I put her to bed in this manner I savored the moment. With one arm tucked under her bottom and another patting her tiny back, leaning my head on hers, we just seemed to fit. I marveled at this little spirit in my arms, in my care. I felt sad to think that before I know it she will not longer fit in my arms. I held on a little longer before placing her gently in her crib.

Then I started to get Isaac ready for bed. After being with the baby I noticed just how big Isaac was getting. He no longer needs me to put on his pajamas for him. He can "do it by myself." I helped him brush his teeth and then I sat on his bed. When he came in he climbed up in my lap and turned around to give me a great big hug. He placed his head on my shoulder, arms around my neck and legs around my waist. It struck me: he still fits! He was born smaller than Kenley has ever been and yet, 3 years later, he still fits. I held him until he pulled away and asked for his night time story. I read a longer story than usual and sang more than one song before finally turning off his light and kissing him goodnight.

I got myself ready for bed. I stayed up reading to myself until Jeremiah got home. When he finally came in to bed for the night we snuggled up. And you know what? We fit too.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Forgot to Mention...

Somehow I failed to inform the internet that Kenley is walking. She took her first steps in July under the direction of Uncle Dennis. Jeremiah and I weren't necessarily encouraging those steps to multiply, because chasing a three year old and a crawling baby was fine with us for a little while longer, but the inevitable happened and now she's walking. She's getting better everyday. In fact, she's almost completely out of that "Frankenstein Phase." She's walking faster over longer distances and I daresay it will not be long before she is running all over the place. Kenley really enjoys her new accomplishment - it helps her maintain a visual as she approaches those willing to share food!

50 Things

periwinkle queen sheets
Doctrine and Covenants video guidebook
purple gingham baby bib
M&L Technologies mug
a single, pink, baby jelly shoe
3 diapers (unused!)
3 unopened packages dinosaur fruit snacks
April 1985 General Conference audiotapes
Aaronic Priesthood manual
pink baby washcloth
3 plastic grocery bags
Isaac's jacket
a pair of Isaac's socks
2 pair of Isaac's pants
Isaac's sandals
Isaac's shirt
Isaac's shorts
1 pair of Isaac's tighty-whitey underwear
1 bag full of yarn and unfinished practice project
black Sharpie marker
Jacob's Ladder from Mexico
blue hairclip
purple and green sippy cup
Subway card
foam baseball from local ballpark
dust cover for children's book
my scripture case
recent photos of our family printed by our friend Andrew
Jeremiah's History Honor Society Sash from graduation
our digital camera
2 CDRs
box of Kleenex
8 children's books
1 children's book carrying case
1 bobby pin

Are these:
a) 50 things I sold at our yard sale?
b) 50 things I am embarrassed to admit I recently cleaned out of my car?
c) 50 things I am willing to discard if it means more space in my office?
d) 50 things I carry in my daiper bag?

Answer: B.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No Passport Required

Ladies and Gentlemen! I present to you Morocco (as recently experienced at Destinations Inn.)

Yes, for Jeremiah's graduation I booked us a night away from kids, school, work, home and responsibility. A night much deserved and long overdue. We had not had an overnight experience since before Isaac was born.

The pictures can't quite do the room justice, but it was beautiful! When we arrived there was a bottle of chilled sparkling cider and cheesecake in the fridge. The room had everything! Microwave, mini-fridge, fireplace, mood lighting, water fountain, aromatherapy steam shower, chromotherapy champagne bubbler bathtub and projection television. Not to mention the 6 remotes that worked everything. (You can always tell it's a really nice place when they have 6 remotes in your room!)

It was really the nicest place I have ever stayed in, and it was the first time I stayed in a 5 Star establishment. So, um, I won't go into details about what all we did (you're welcome..*wink* *wink*) but I'll suffice it to say that we really
had a good time. And one of the funnest parts was that Jeremiah was COMPLETELY SURPRISED! I actually kept an exciting secret from him long enough to let him see the surprise, instead of telling him about it.

The only downside to the whole thing (aside from having to leave such a fun room) was that after having spent so much time with Jeremiah, things had to back to normal. He had to go back to work and I had to go back to being with the kids. And now we don't see each other much. But we really did have a good time and at least we have some fun memories to draw on when I get to missin' him.

This Boy Ain't "Soup"id

There are some words that I don't allow my boy to say. A lot of them he hasn't even learned yet, and I'd really like to keep it that way. One of the words we try really hard not to say is "stupid." It's not a bad word, per se, and though it often applies, I'd like to raise a nice boy who never calls anyone stupid.

Sometimes, though, he lets it slip. I hear it most often when two of his super hero action figures are fighting. All I have to do is look at Isaac sternly after the offending word escapes and he usually replies, "Oops, sorry." What a good boy, huh? But he's getting smarter.

The other day he said "stupid" in a similar scenario and then looked at me and grinned. I reminded him that we don't say that word. Without a pause he replied, "I didn't. I said 'soup'."

I think I may have a future politician on my hands.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Graduation Day

Jeremiah graduated Friday, August 4. It was a really nice graduation. After spending five years at the university he walked at commencement and is now the proud owner of a diploma cover. (Actual diploma ETA: October.)

The ceremony was wonderfully short nice. It lasted only about and hour and that was great. There were only a couple of speakers and they promoted the university and its merits and, of course, dropped many solicitations to join the Alumni Club so that we could continue to pay them money...only this time it would be a donation. Good luck with that guys! Like we're really going to spend another dime on your campus! They held graduation in the 17 million dollar Performing Arts Center that Jeremiah's tuition helped pay for. This was the first time, and most likely the last, he saw the inside.

And yes, Jeremiah does look a bit like a peacock. While he was ordering his cap and gown he asked if he wanted to "look like a decorated idiot" for graduation. I may have answered, "Um, duh!" Each one of those decorations is an accomplishment! They are symbolic of all the time, effort, and sacrifice, both on his part and the part of the family, that went into his education. In fact, as Jeremiah shook hands with the president of the university (see above photo) the president said, "Good luck, it looks like you did a helluva job." And I have to say, of all the undergraduates, he was by far the most decorated.

His GPA was .05 short of graduating "With Honors," and I consider that a great accomplishment considering he worked almost full time all through school, not to mention the fact that he has a wife and two kids and has had various callings in the church that take up time as well. In short, I am SO PROUD OF HIM! (Here ends my bragging wife segment.)

Here he is with a fellow Education graduate.

And here we all are on graduation day. What a handsome family, I must say. And we really must thank all of those who have helped us get Jeremiah through school. All those who have offered support, helped with research and been resources themselves. Not to put aside Jeremiah's individual effort, but it really took all of you to get him through it. Thanks to you and to Jeremiah, well done.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just Peachy

I left my kids in the front room, unattended - Bad Mom Award, I know - while I went to talk with Jeremiah in another room. Isaac came in to find us and asked Jeremiah to get him a drink. They both left the room and soon after Jeremiah calls, "Gwen, come look at your daughter." I wondered what exactly it was that she was doing that would cause Jeremiah to speak as though I were the only person involved in her conception. I came in to the front room to find her very enthusiastically enjoying a peach. Kenley has only two teeth - on the bottom front - yet she sat there holding a peach the size of a baseball to her mouth devouring its sweet flesh. I had left a gift basket which contained the peaches on the floor and Kenley, being magnetized to food, apparently wasted no time in finding it and helping herself to the goodies found therein. I had only been absent from the room for about 2 minutes, but that was long enough for Kenley to have zealously consumed over half the peach.

I have to give Jeremiah credit for snapping this priceless picture.

Isaac saw that there was another peach left in the basket and decided to join in too. What is gone off of his peach in the picture is all he ate. Evidently he is not threatened by the fact that his ten-month-old sister can "out-eat" him.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This Is Not What I Ordered!

We sat down as a family last night to watch Hoodwinked. It was a totally cute movie that I think I will buy...or if anyone was looking for a good Christmas or birthday gift idea for me...yes I know that's still 5 months can never be too prepared...

Anyway, we popped some popcorn for a snack while we watched the movie. Kenley loves popcorn. Well, she loves food, but she has really taken a shine to popcorn. We bite off all the parts that still have some of the "skin" on them and feed her just the fluffy white stuff. Isaac sat between Jeremiah and I and his feet reached out about as far as our hands did as we handed Kenley each installment of her popcorn. Apparently Jeremiah and I did not do a very good job of keeping her in good supply of the salty snack so she went to Isaac looking to see if he would feed her. She mistook his toes for his hands - and we both looked down just in time to see it - before we knew it she had a mouthful of Isaac's big toe. Kenley didn't taste it for very long but pulled away smacking her lips, which turned down at the edges, and then looked at Jeremiah and I as if we had pulled a nasty trick on her. We, of course, laughed and laughed. In the end, I guess Kenley's the one who got hoodwinked.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quote of the Day

Isaac (from out of nowhere as I scratched his back and watched TV with him): I can't believe my parents!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Growin' Up

Our family went for a walk around the river the other night. As we did so we also walked past the temple. Isaac said, "Look at the castle!" We told him it was the temple and some of the things we do there. He then insisted that he wanted to go to the temple. Jeremiah and I said that we hoped he really did want to go to the temple and that when he grew to be a big boy we would take him there.

We came home and put him to bed. He's potty trained, but we still put him in a diaper at night just in case. When he got up the next morning his diaper was dry! I was so excited and proclaimed my praise by saying, "Wow, Isaac! You had dry pants all night! You're such a big boy!"

His face lit up with excitement. I thought he was proud of his accomplishment until he uttered the reason for the glow, "Now I can go to the temple!"

I sure hope we're able to help him keep that goal and that excitement!

Monday, July 31, 2006


...bring your own monkeys...

A couple of weeks ago Jeremiah's uncle Dennis came to visit Grandma and Grandpa. He brought with him his daughter Kathy and her twin daughters Raven and Alexia. It was fun to see them (and meet them, too) and Isaac just adored those girls. We tried several times to tell him that they were his cousins, but he only referred to them as "my friends." I think he was a little confused by the fact that they were identical, so he didn't even bother learning their names.

One of the fun things we did with them while they were here is go to the zoo. Here are Alexia, Isaac and Raven in the play area near the kids zoo. It was fun to walk around and see the animals. We actually hadn't done this for a while. Isaac gets to go to the zoo more than anyone in our family because sometimes Nana takes him during their playdates. Most of the animals were out and about, so we got to see most of them.

For the size of our small city we actually have a fairly nice zoo. The most recent addition is an Asian Adventure area and it's my favorite. The walkway is lined with bamboo and they have some Asian-inspired architecture around the habitats.

We spent the longest time in the monkey house, reconnecting with our closest relatives. The kids really seemed to enjoy it in there and the monkeys were oddly attracted to our group.

We also had the girls over to our house and they did an excellent job of keeping me cooled off. Our kiddie pool got filled with water and they brought cupfuls of water to dump on my legs. I'm sure going to miss them!

Jeremiah and I had hoped to have them all over for dinner, but their visit was short and their dance card was full. It was so fun to get to visit with them though and we look forward to their (and everyone elses) next visit.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Book of Gwen (Chapter 28)

1. Therefore, let it be written:
2. She who cuts her brothers hair, for no fee, the same shall have treasures in heaven. For it is she who does the work of her mother.
3. And also, she who cuts the hair of her brother-in-law, even for a small fee, she too shall have treasures in heaven. For it is she who does the work of her mother-in-law.
4. She also shall cut the hair of her children. They shall learn in their youth that the hair on their head shall grow back. That, by the time they are old enough to care about the vanities of good looks, she might have perfected her methods and thus cause others to stare and snicker no more.
5. And she who cuts the hair of her spouse shall have the greatest treasure of all. For she shall not send him to Dollar Cuts, only to fix the cut when the spouse arrives at the door of his house with great asymmetries in his hairline.
6. And she shall sweep up the hairs that have been cut off their heads.
7. And she shall be allowed to go to the salon for her own hairstyle, for she has saved the money of the family by cutting the hair of each.
8. Thus, let it be so, Amen.

The Girl Who Wouldn't Smile

This is a picture of the girl who has a grin as wide as the Nile. What? You can't see it? Oh, well, that's because she refused to show it for the hour that we were at the portrait studio trying to capture just that.

We took her for her 9 month photos a little while ago. She woke up in her crib fashioning said grin. She laughed as she bathed. She coo'd in the car on the way. She clapped her hands at strangers passing by as we waited for our turn in front of the camera. Then, when placed before the backdrop, my baby turned as inanimate as a box of hair. Even so, had it been Panteen hair, it may have been more lively than my daugher. She refused to smile. She refused to even turn up just the corners of her mouth in an almost smile. We employed every stuffed animal, squeaky duck, flying brother and the like, things that, until that point, were tested, tried and true ways to make her smile. We even pulled out an Otter Pop wrapper in an attempt to put that newly-elusive smile upon her face. Nothing. Pretty soon she was just as frustrated as we were and began to fuss a little. Giving up, I smashed my head on the platform in front of her.

Giggle, giggle.

Again...SMASH!...laughter. Yes, it was working! Just a few more times...SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! Fits of laughter. Only, she was looking at me, not the camera. Oh would have to do; Mom doesn't have that many brain cells left to spare.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

By Popular Demand

I have been making applesauce cookies lately. They remind me of my childhood. But I have to admit, I hated them as a child. I don't think that I disliked the way they tasted so much, it was more that these were the only cookies everyone else in the family seemed to always want. I wanted sugar cookies or oatmeal raisin...just some variety. Anyway, as an adult I have developed an appreciation for these cookies and their wholesome goodness. And so, without further delay, I present to you the recipe.

Applesauce Cookies
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cloves
2 cups sugar
2 cups applesauce
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 1/2 cups flour

2 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together butter, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, sugar and applesauce. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to applesauce mixture and mix well. Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes. Let sit 1 minute before removing from pan to wire rack to cool. Makes about 7 dozen.

Note: I'm pretty sure that this recipe is for a double batch and can easily be halved.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mistakenly Malicious Mascots Menacingly Masqerade at Minor League Game on Monday

Well Gwen assured you that I would contribute the riveting conversation between me and our son as he sat trembling on my shoulders at the recent minor league baseball game we attended…But first, a disclaimer or two….to begin: my son is definitely a little fraidy cat about some of the most innocent things that many kids are drawn to like ants to a chocolate covered toddler, and yet loves other things that make teenagers cower and scream.

For instance: those commercials that have a hundred monkeys working in an office, eating paper, putting their phones in banana splits, photocopying their rear ends, (THAT’S HILARIOUS!) leave him screaming like any normal man at a Freddie Prinze Jr. movie. But a marathon of Jurassic Park, with huge dinosaurs ripping every creature to pieces, bloody parts everywhere, etc. is a riveting piece of entertainment to him and has been since about 18 months. So, the baseball game…

Isaac is deathly afraid of the team mascot roaming the stands.

I wish I could say the mascot was something nasty like The Devil or at least a little freaky like the green lobster they used to have, but no… it’s a bird. Pretend it’s a fat, grey, molting Big Bird with a hat on and you are in the neigborhood. So while this mascot roams the bleachers handing out candy and getting high fives (like my 1st grade principal on the last day of school), my son runs in the opposite direction before he wets himself.

After assuring him that it's okay and helping him high five the floppy beaked bird, Isaac insists on staying on my shoulders. About five or ten minutes later we have the following conversaion:

Isaac: (Still on my shoulders scouring the stands for the malicious mascot), "Daddy, is the bird gone?"

Me: Yes, son the bird is gone.

I: Is he all gone?

M: Yes he is ALL gone.

I: Is he coming back?

M: No, he is not coming back... (and if he does I am taking him to get a cold, seven dollar hot dog as long as he doesn't see the stupid thing again).

I: Did he drive away?

M: yes.

I: Did he go home?

M: Yes he probably went home...(really hoping that kid's contract doesn't require him to work past the seventh inning)

I: Did he take off his costume?

M: Yes, he took off his costume. ( I SWEAR that I did not tell him it was a costume, but wouldn't it have helped to know it wasn't real? I don't know...)

I: Did he go to bed in his room?

M: Um, yes, I think he went to his room.

Only then was it safe to crawl off my shoulders and take the water bottle away from his sister.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Laughed 'Til I Cried

You really must read this post over at Notes From the Trenches. It's kind of gross, but I am still laughing. Also, I am very thankful that I have not (yet) had any such experience.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Guessing Game

Let's look and see what Kenley's been eating! What do you think it is?

(And yes. That is my baby standing all by her onesy.)
Dirt? No...let's look again, how about a close up?

Poop? Thank heaven, no. Any more guesses?

It's her favorite...Oreos!

P.S. This is what happens when you teach a 3-year old to share.

Missing Bucka

My kids really miss their "Bucka." He's been in Nevada since the end of May because he's brave and went back to school to become a pharmacist. He has almost completed that task and he's in Nevada in the middle of his second rotation.

We've been going to my mom's house a lot this summer and everytime I tell Isaac that we are going to Gammie's house he always says, "And Bucka!?!" He'll be very excited when, in August, I finally reply, "And Bucka!"

Kenley has missed him too. Her favorite spot to fall asleep was just over his shoulder, and no one can get her to sleep faster! We're so proud of him and looking forward to his return from exile! Love you, Bucka!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

We went to our first ball game of the season last night. Our credit union sponsored the night so our tickets were free. Have I ever mentioned I love free? Anyway, we got going a little late so our first hour was spent huddling under an umbrella trying to shield our eyes from the sun. Mostly we just jostled around and got poked by the darn thing but I must say we were very close as a family under there. The kids did their share of fussing. Isaac was having a great time clear up until the top of the 2nd and then he said he wanted to go home.

Jeremiah bought some bottled water from the concessions stand and Isaac whined - after he'd returned to the bleachers - that he wanted Root Beer. Jeremiah told him no and after much weeping and wailing I took Isaac to get one, thinking that at least he would keep the straw in his mouth for the rest of the game and therefore be quiet enough for us to hear the only heckler at the ballgame, who we were fortunate enough to sit directly in front of. Oh, how my "good parenting" ideas go awry. Isaac was happy with the Root Beer for 3.2 seconds and then decided he didn't like Root Beer anymore. Thanks son. You owe me $3.25, by the way.

Kenley was pretty well behaved, aside from her usual squirming. She's not at a point where she's very happy to sit still, but at least she didn't bawl all night.

We sat in front of a lady Jeremiah had some education classes with and she had some connections at the ball park. She brought my each of my kids a squishy baseball and that helped them to be entertained. Also, I was kept occupied making sure they didn't roll off the bleachers.

After the sun went down the kids settled down a bit and the game was far more enjoyable. I think I even got to see some of the 5th inning. For a while Isaac and I sat a couple of rows higher than Kenley and Jeremiah. Isaac had fun going between the bleachers "just checking on dad." They threw candy between innings and I really should have paid more attention to how much my boy got his grubby little hands on. I think his sugar intake last night alone should last him a lifetime. But all that candy in his mouth kept him from whining.

Our team won and it was a fun outing for our family. After the game was over, they opened up the field and let the kids run the bases. Jeremiah and Isaac ran around out there taking special care to touch each base. They looked like Calvin and Hobbes. All in all, it was a fun night. I really wish we would have had our camera, but since blogger isn't letting me post them anyway, I guess the internet hasn't lost anything.

Stay tuned for Jeremiah's post of a conversation he and Isaac had about the bird mascot.

Poultry's Just Another Way of Sayin' Chicken

Yum. Yum. And, oh yeah, yum. Last night I made an awesome rotisserie style chicken right in my oven. I wanted to use the rotisserie attachment on our new grill, but I didn't have an extension cord so I found this recipe instead. It was super easy to prepare and tasted so great! It was the most tender chicken I've ever made, it fell right off the bone. I scaled it down to only use one chicken, but I think next time I will go ahead and make two so that we can use the leftover chicken for soup or something - like Kate's newfound Chicken Tetrazzini recipe. You really must try it!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Long Time No See

We finally have our bathroom finished. Well, at least functional. All that's left is putting on the floorboards and caulking around the window casing. It's been time consuming but it was fun for me to work on it with my husband. It took about 9 days, but we didn't do anything on it for at least 3 of those days because we were playing lazy waiting for caulk and paint to dry. It looks pretty good, even though we're amateurs. I'd post some pics but blogger hasn't been allowing me to post 'em. But I'll get some up some time.

Hey, I didn't say it would be an interesting post.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And The Winner Is...

This year's "Most Generous, Unexpected Gift From a Visiting Relative Award" goes to....

Aaron and Mary Foust
of San Deigo California
for the 32" Stainless Steel Grill
and accessories - pictured below
So naturally everyone has an open and standing invitation to mosy on over for a BBQ*. We'll fire up the grill in all it's glory and stick on a kabob - or whatever your drooling heart desires - for ya.

*For those who have attended our previous BBQs and waited patiently while we messed around with the charcoal, lighter fluid and matches, we promise we won't make you wait an hour or so for dinner, like we did last time,

Monday, July 10, 2006

What It's All About

The other day our little family went shopping. It did my heart good to hear Isaac observe, "We're all together. We're a happy family."
We may not get to be all together very often right now but our family is full of love for one another. One of Isaac's favorite things to do at bedtime is have me list all the people that we love. We have so much family (and many friends) that we care about, he often falls asleep before we finish the list.
We are so grateful for family!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Project is larger than expected.
Have to replace entire tub surround, greenboard and some plumbing.
New tub surround is 3 feet shorter than old tub surround.
Have to tape & texture walls above new tub surround.
Have to replace plumbing stems for faucet knobs.
Have to caulk around new tub surround and bathtub.
Have to paint entire bathroom.
Not enough damage for an insurance claim.
Want to take shower in my own home.
Want to bathe my kids.
Want to go to bed before 2 AM.
Want to put up pretty new shower curtain with coordinating towels.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What Lies Beneath

This should be a pretty interesting day for us. We've had some water damage accumulating in our bathroom for a while and we've finally decided to make the necessary repairs. Jeremiah started the project yesterday by locating the source of the leak. We were very fortunate to find that we just needed a tighter seal on the pipe for the shower head. We still have to pull off the tub surround on the wall with the faucet though. There's been so much water leaking down there for who knows how long that we need to replace the greenboard behind it. We're thinking that we can salvage the tub surround and put it back in place (author laughs a nervous, yet hopeful, laugh.) So we will have the water shut off for the majority of the day.
I said yesterday what a fun project this would be and Jeremiah told me that cosmetic changes are fun, repairs are not "fun." That's probably because they're something you have to do instead of something you choose to do. And also repairs usually snowball. But we're hoping for the best. In the end all our work should make our bathroom look exactly the same. However, we'll know, that like so many things, it's what's on the inside that counts.
On to the repairs!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why I Love My Husband

Here's the short list.

He honors his Priesthood.
He never comes home and asks "Why isn't dinner ready?" or "Why didn't you get the laundry done?"
He is an active father to our children.
He is a hard worker.
He is intelligent.
He has the best sense of humor.
He tells me I'm beautiful, even when I don't have on any make-up and my hair is not styled.
He has never complained about it when I've asked him to stay home with the kids.
He supports me in all my personal decisions.
He listens to me when I need him to.
He has a cute backside.
I know that I can trust him.
I know that he truly loves me.
He has conversations with me at night even when he's really tired.
He has never said no when I've asked him to give me a foot massage.
He watches movies with me that I know he's not interested in, but does not complain.
He is very kind to me.
He has never spoken angry words at me or belittled me in any way.
He supports me in my role as a mother.
He is an excellent teacher.
He saves every note that I write him, even if it only says I've gone to the store and I'll be back soon.
He does not act like he's my father, he acts like he's my partner.
He laughs at my not-so-funny jokes.
He is kind to others.
He makes me laugh.
He lets me cry for no reason without asking questions.
He makes me feel safe.
He changes poopy diapers.
He shows me affection.
He does not get upset when I want to spend a lot of time around my family.
He often chooses to spend time with us while we're awake and finish his other things after we've gone to bed.
He doesn't put his own needs before the needs of the family.
He is not conservative with the words "I Love You."
He never tells me that I call him to often at work, no matter how many times I call him just to say nothing.
He never speaks ill of any of my friends.

All The Fun Things

We had a fun Independence Day. We slept in until 10:00 and then got ready to head up to my brother Ben's house to join in his hometown's festivities. We hit the craft fair first and I found a great floral arrangement at an awesome price for my front room. (But I don't know how it looks in my house yet, I left it at Ben's!)

Then we went around outside and looked at all the vendors' booths. We weren't in the market for a lot of the wares, but we let Isaac "go fishin'" about 8 times in the fish pond. He wasn't interested at all in the prizes - which is understandable since they looked like someone had been saving every Happy Meal toy for the last 8 years - but he was intrigued with the mechanics of putting that bent nail into the hook on the wooden fish. He caught a couple on his own and then resorted to hand fishing. After picking up some BBQ pork sandwiches we walked out to Main Street for the parade.

I don't know what it is about parades but I get really excited watching them. I often yell "Yay" and even a few "Whahoo"s. I time it well though letting my excitement escape just as those who are tossing candy to the kids are passing. I'm a sucker for free candy! Last year I was 6 months pregnant but that didn't stop me from elbowing the youngsters competing for my salt water taffy! Not that I need any more candy at my house, I have an entire bucket full. And that is not an exaggeration.

By the time the parade ended we were all pretty hot, so Ben let us into his house to cool off. We hung out for a while and Isaac played with the dog. A big step for him. A week ago he would have been screaming his little head off just at the sight of Judah - the schnauzer. But we've been working on that with him.. but I digress...

We left their house in the early afternoon so that we could get home in time to entertain Jeremiah's dad and brother. Since I hadn't planned on feeding company and had no meal ideas handy we stopped at good old Wal-Mart and picked up some fried chicken and potato wedges. I also made a pasta salad - so what if it was from a box - and Brent brought some strawberries. I made some pink lemonade and I must say the whole meal hit the spot.

Jeremiah and Brent set up my swamp cooler too. Boy am I thankful for that thing! After they were all done we headed over for the biggest fireworks display west of the Mississippi. I love watching the fireworks. I like to sit close enough to feel the vibrations from the explosions thunder in my bones. I couldn't help but think last night as I watched the show how thankful I was to live in a country where I could hear that many explosions in rapid succession and not fear for my life. I am so thankful for the USA! I know it has its problems but we are so blessed to live here! I can't help but tear up when I see that old Star Spangled Banner accompanied with the same titled hymn.

Anyway, after that we headed home. Jeremiah was so clever and got us home within minutes avoiding the usual traffic jams and detours. We sat out on the front porch and watched the neighbors across the street light off their own fireworks. It was just a fun day for us. The thing that made it best was that Jeremiah actually got to experience a paid holiday and not have to work! I'm really glad that we were able to spend the holiday together as a family.