Sunday, December 30, 2007

Next best thing?

For so many reasons, we chose to NOT put a fireplace/wood stove in our home when we built. I don't miss the mess, the massive danger factor (have you met George?) or the space it would require. I do, however, miss the crackling flame...

Well, Wendy found the solution. For Christmas, she found me a beautiful candle. The fragrance is appropriately "Fireside". I love it! Not only does it smell fabulous, but it has a special feature. It has a wood wick. It crackles as it burns so it sounds like a teeny-tiny fire. When the kids are all downstairs with dad, it's smells and sounds quite nice up here.

I thought I saw them at Target, but apparently I am confused. Here's the link to Amazon: WoodWick Candles. They look nice, smell great, and even sound comforting. Thank you Wendy!!!!

Scary little thing...

I am still parked on the couch, recovering from foot surgery. My foot is propped on three pillows. My glass of water and TV remote are next to me on an overturned laundry basket. Laptop perched where else? On my lap.

As I'm working on my unnecessary new project (see: 366 Glimpses... to the right), a bald little melon pokes his smiling face around the screen. He's been pulling up on furniture for a while. Now, he's working on the cruising skill. He just walked down along the couch to say "hello" to the mama. Cute. Oh, and no, he doesn't crawl yet. Despite his daddy's coaching, Cael is not interested. Yet.

Yup. Those are construction cones. Yes, it's indicative of my delayed posting on all things these last few weeks. You see... my laptop only has so much memory. Seems I've used it all. I am not to save anymore anything to my hard drive until I figure this out. We're investigating our options and hope to have a (even temporary) solution in place by New Year's Day.

So, I might do a bit of posting and wait on the photos... Or I might just wait.

Either way, know that we are still here. Alive and well with LOTS to post once doing so will not crash my computer.

"I've been everywhere, man. Crossed the desert bare, man. Breathed the mountain air..."

Actually, I haven't been everywhere. Not even close. Here you can see where I've been... Add Mexico and Canada and that covers my limited travels. However... I have lived in 25 different homes in 6 states. So, I haven't been "everywhere" but I've covered a lot of ground in a few of those states!

create your own personalized map of the USA

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cael and his buddy Bret

"Bret gettin' mugged by Cael" At least that's what Bret's daddy posted!

Aren't they cute? Bret is 2 months older than Cael. Bret's faster and smarter, but has no siblings. He was not keen on being mauled by another little person. Cael, on the other hand, knows nothing else. And Cael likes to touch Bret's bald head. (You know Cael can't reach his own yet...) Oh, and when Carol put Bret's PJs on, I just had to put Cael in his. Gotta love Costco!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oh no... It's happened!

I truly thought we'd dodged this particular problem this Christmas. Nope. Cael has discovered the Christmas tree. He doesn't crawl. He manages to scoot backward, then turn around to investigate new treasures. Argh! The tree is quite the reward for getting around...

(He's not going to "crawl" anytime soon. He much prefers to pull himself up on furniture and such. I think that's a good thing. Right?)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

30,000 Pounds of Bananas...

I can't help but hear that song in the back of my head whenever I type "bananas".

Anyhow... it's more like 1/4 cup of bananas here... Cael had his first "real" food this afternoon. I don't count rice cereal as "real" food, 'cause who eats that stuff besides babies?! Yuk!

I have the lofty ambition of making all of Ole's food. I've always intended to make all the kids' baby food and have never ever done it. Until today. Today, I mashed part of a banana with a bit of water and, lo and behold, he ate it. He loved it. We're betting that Cael's going to love most food.

Kjersten was in charge of documenting the event.


Oh, does the baby love bath now that I let him sit. He's always liked baths, but now he LOVES them! He wants to "catch" that glorious water falling within reach...

More happy roly poly Ole...

All Brennen wants for Christmas?

Want some new socks, George?

First nap in the high chair?

I just love it when my kiddos nod off in the high chair. It's just so innocent and sweet.

"Hmmmm... I'm tired. I think I'll close my eyes and take a snooze. No matter that my siblings are running laps around me. No bother that I could fuss a bit and get moved to my soft crib or the even softer lap of my mama..."

George and the compromise...

George wakes in the middle of the night on occasion. He likes to come into our room and ask to sleep with us. Since I often have Cael, I always say "no." Jason, on the other hand, often lets him climb on in- at least for a while...

The other night, I had just put Cael in the crib and collapsed into bed exhausted! It was late. Cael was a bit fussy. In comes George. Ummmm... no way! I sent him back to bed. He burst into tears. Loudly. I realize, he's going to wake Cael. Ack!

I leap from my comfy bed and haul him out of the room. I offer the couch. He counters. He wants the rocking chair. I explain that he won't fit! It would very uncomfortable and so on... He insists. I realize, I am wasting precious time whilst Cael is inching closer and closer to his next wake. I relent.

Sure enough, Jason gets up at the crack of dawn (early flight) and gets ready, traipsing in and out of the living room. He never noticed the bundle on the chair. George slept there until 7:45 when I dragged him off, lest we be late for co-op.

Comfy Brennen?

Have I mentioned that Cael is a happy baby?

Here he's playing Legos with big brother Rhys and loving it!

I'm so far behind... Where do I start?!

How about with our Christmas tree? It's been up since the day after Thanksgiving. Really. I even took the picture the same day. I love my tree. Pictures never do a Christmas tree justice and you can't see the ornaments I love so much, but you get the idea. 9 1/2 feet. 2000 lights. Beautiful.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving musings and Christmas anticipation...

We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner here at our house with Jason's parents, sisters, and their families. I haven't had Thanksgiving in our home since we lived in Spokane. I enjoyed having family here and making dinner. However, we don't care for leftovers, so I happily sent most home with them. We played "Ticket to Ride"and a few games of "Rage." I didn't think to take any photos. I never do at Thanksgiving. I'll do better at Christmas.

Today, the kids and I are taking a big break. Lou and I made cookie dough. Sugar to roll and cut out later. Chocolate chip to ball up and freeze. We're listening to Christmas music while I blog and she plays with Play-Do. Cael is napping and the other boys are downstairs watching Brennen's new favorite movie, Toy Story. Now, if only Jason weren't at work...

After naps, we'll venture into the garage and retrieve the Christmas bins. The tree is 9 feet tall and will have to wait for Jason to get home. The rest, the kids and I will do.

With the sun shining on all that glorious snow and Christmas carols playing on the stereo, it seems that the Christmas season is truly upon us!

If only I'd have known then what I know now...

Know how that is? Well, as far as relationships, I am quite fond of two books that Jason and I read last year. For Men Only and For Women Only. Both of this books provided much insight. I loved For Men Only. Yes, the author recognizes that women will read this book, often before allowing their spouse an opportunity to read it. The book helped me understand myself a bit better: why I do what I do... Now, For Women Only was a great reminder on how differently men and women process information.

Once we'd read the book(s), Jason and I both decided that the pair would be our wedding gift to all future brides and grooms we know. We feel like much miscommunication and frustration would have been avoided had we read these books 15 years ago.

Now, you know that Sara and Josh were married 2 weeks ago. Guess what we gave them? You guessed correctly! Here's what Sara had to say on her blog: Sara's blog. We pray that they will avoid some of the misunderstandings newlyweds (and not-so-newlyweds) are prone to have. I think they're off to a great start!


Cael had his six month check on Wednesday. He's still above the 95th percentile but he's gaining more slowly. Doctor agrees, he's perfect in every way. He got his six month immunizations and he got a flu shot. Since we were there, I opted to have all the kiddos get their flu shots. No warning. No prepping. They did great. Lou and George were a bit teary before the shot, but both agreed afterward, it was unwarranted.

Showing off their Snoopy band-aids. Can't see Ole's. They are on the top of his chunky thighs...

New toy box for baby Cael...

I admit, he's exceedingly easy to entertain. But, you have to admit, all those colors and the mess potential would thrill any six month old!

Snow! We've got snow!

Why we live where we live... Can't beat this view!

Couldn't get George to look at me. He just couldn't help but stomp in the snow while I was attempting to get a picture. Gotta love three year olds.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Who on earth is this prepared for Christmas?

Checking the mail on Monday, I was greeted with this surprise...Christmas presents!!! Now, my childish excitement was quickly overcome by feelings of inadequacies. I've barely begun my Christmas shopping... And she's already shopped, wrapped, and sent. Argh!!!!

Then... I read the enclosed note. Jamie explained that it was merely a storage issue. Her small house cannot contain both a Thanksgiving feast and Christmas gifts. She "had" to send them to free up some precious space. Ahhhh... I feel better! Now off to sing some Christmas "Car-i-oke" with the CD she sent. Thanks Jamie!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cael can do two new things...

He can wave. Cute. Not sure he "gets it" but he sure likes to do it. He can also move... He sticks his legs out in front of him. Then, he leans forward, scoots his bottom forward, and inches toward the desired destination. Today that destination was a Statue of Liberty constructed by George built with Legos and Larry the Cucumber. (missed a photo of the stature- whoops!)

Here's a picture of Cael. Note the wake of toys. He makes a nice clear path behind him...

Give a six year old girl a blank slate...

... and get a totally unexpected drawing:She wrote the numbers 1 thru 43 up at the top. Above the illustration of yours truly, she wrote, "my favorite presidents [sic] is George Washington." I wonder where my children get their oddities? Certainly not from my side of the tree!

How many kids can fit in one chair?

Well, at least four...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How to find time to blog?

Call it a "family movie night." We have Evan Almighty from NetFlix and some Boy Scout popcorn. We enjoyed the movie, ate the popcorn, and mama got the blog up to date. What more could we ask for in a family night?

Boring field trip? Nahhhhh...

Going to see a little airplane might seem like it would be less than thrilling to Rhys. After all, he has a grandpa who flies a helicopter. He also has an uncle who, not only flies a plane, but lets Rhys fly it as well.

Wrong. He loved it. We took our middle grammar class to a flight instructor to learn a bit about flight. We're in the middle of studying the Wright brothers so it only makes sense to go sit in a little bitty plane. I, personally, prefer to fly in planes that have their own bathrooms and beverage service.

He can sit... almost!

Ole is getting much better at sitting.

Sometimes his enthusiasm has unintended results!

Kjersten's got her daddy's gift...

She was so sweet to want to rock baby Cael.

Next time I checked, she'd put him to sleep, just like her daddy does!

Speaking of weddings...

15 years ago on November 7th, Jason and I were married. I still can't believe it's been that long. The only thing that gives me sense of how long we've been blissfully wed is that we have a 10 year old child and a few more... Beyond that, it alternately feels like we've been married a few short years or forever. Somehow, it doesn't feel like "just" 15 years.

We didn't have anything planned other than dinner at our favorite steak house. Wouldn't you know, those same kiddos that give me perspective also give me the opportunity to stay home. Brennen woke up that morning with a nasty stomach bug. We had to skip grammar co-op and our anniversary dinner. Oh well... we can go to dinner another night.

Sick baby boy sleeping on the bathroom floor. Poor George.

Weddings make me cry...

Years ago, I worked for a photographer, helping with weddings, when we lived in Spokane. I occasionally coordinate wedding for our church. You'd think with those two jobs, I'd get over it... Nope. It's like a birth. I don't have to know the people. I just am so moved by two people beginning their lives together as one.

Now, it seem that family weddings are no exception. This is the first person in either of our families to marry on either side since Jason and I began dating. Except us- duh! (Well, my dad is the exception and no one was invited to that.) That's seventeen years + without a wedding! Wow!

So, Sara and Josh got married November 10, 2007. Outside. Really! It was a bit breezy but otherwise unbelievably nice. Now, I have my first brother-in-law. Good thing we like him! Welcome to the family, Josh!

Kjersten and her grandma. (We didn't coordinate clothes. We just got lucky!)

Rhys' chosen seat for the wedding... Isn't he handsome up there?

Married... at last!!!!

Jason's family with the new addition...

Friday, November 9, 2007

I'm having a temper tantrum! Care to join me?

I am so annoyed. I am trying to purchase songs for download right now. No big deal. I do it all the time. I use my VISA debit card on or iTunes. Very easy. Not tonite.

I organize the songs. Double check my cart. Hit download.

"Error: we do not accept international credit cards." Huh?

I can't verify my debit card info because I entered it when we got our new cards 3 weeks ago (a bank-wide fiasco in itself). Once the info is entered, you can only actually see the last 4 numbers. So, I try that card again. No go.

I try re-entering the card. That confuses poor Another "error". I try Jason's debit card. Same bank account- different debit card #. "Error: we do not accept international credit cards." Argh!

I am beginning to panic a bit. This music isn't for me. It's the "soundtrack" for my sister-in-law's wedding ceremony tomorrow. Really.

I try our money market account's debit card. That works. Whew! I figure Wal-mart's got a problem.

Next, I head over to Netflix to update our debit info there. Remember, I said that we got totally new cards a few weeks ago. We pay a few bills this way and those folks are not going to be happy when my debit card won't go thru... Well, that seems to work.

Feeling emboldened, I go to Alltel (cell phone) next. After arguing with the log-in screen for some time, I manage to convince it that I do, in fact, know my mother's maiden name. I update our info there and guess what I get? Bingo!

"Error: invalid credit card."

Fabulous. I call the 800# on the back of the card. The woman cannot find any record on either debit card. Never mind, I used mine at Target last night and Jason used his at Costco. Both transactions have already cleared my checking account. What gives?

And who is going to fix this for me BEFORE Monday?!?!

I swear this is the last issue I will have with this bank. Jason's had this account for 20 years. A year or so ago, they switched names (still a local credit union). Since then, we've had issue after issue. Some annoying. Some a giant pain in the butt. So have my in-laws. Think we'll be bank shopping soon. (Yes, I realize they have precious little control over the debit card thing... but it's the last straw.)

Well, I just burned the CD. All is well in the world tonite. The bank? I'll deal with them on Monday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An apology....

I have to apologize to my friends. I have been rather lazy about keeping in touch: in person, with "real" mail, by telephone, and via e-mail. It seems that having a newborn again has magnified my weaknesses. I already struggle with balancing all of my obligations and my friends. My family, fortunately, stays at the top for the most part. It's the ever growing to-do list that seems to drain the energy I once had for relationships. And precious baby Cael gets first dibs on all the energy I do have.

If I have not called, written, e-mailed, or made a coffee (in my case, Diet Coke or iced tea) date with you in some time, please know that I still like you. I still want to talk to you, hear from you, or be with you. Give me a bit of grace here and I will get my act together soon.

Here, have a Coke while you're waiting...

An interesting music video...

On one of my e-mail loops, a woman posted about this video being played as part of a sermon. It's by Nickelback, a secular group that I know nothing about... (gosh... I'm getting old!) Anyhow, the video is intriguing and the song isn't bad.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's sad. Really sad.

Cael likes football. Cael likes TV. It's sad. Not that he likes them. More that he's had exposure to these things at such a young age. That's just how it is with my boys. It's their daddy's fault!

Here he is. Leaning across daddy's lap. They are both watching Minnesota Vikings highlights on the computer (Go Vikes!), while they watch the Sunday night game on the TV. Yes, that's a Vikings hat in Cael's hand. It's George's.
I didn't catch Jason in the picture for a reason. Poor guy spent a good chunk of the day replacing struts and such on his Subaru. Then, he came home and grouted my bathroom. He's tired and dirty. But, not too tired for football!

Double yolks? Why?

I was busy wasting, I mean cracking, eggs for co-op tomorrow. Lo and behold, I cracked an egg and there were two yolks! O course, I broke one yolk. I thought that was interesting. Then I cracked the next egg and got another two yolk egg! What gives?

I guess it's not that uncommon. For more information on egg oddities, look here: Odd Eggs Be sure to read about "fart" eggs. Rhys will find that particularly funny!

Grandma co-op.

We have two co-ops. Our Monday co-op is Tapestry of Grace. Wednesday is our Shurley Grammar or as my littles call it "Grandma co-op." Of course, grandma isn't there, but no matter...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Playing hooky...

It's the 1st Friday of the month and we didn't go to MOPS this morning. I just needed to stay home and play with my littles and snuggle the baby.

Thanking God for good friends and a great steering team to fill in for me!

Whose feet are these?

Yes, they're mine. I spent a good part of the day with one sock off before it struck me as odd. I had a good reason, that I won't bore you with. Only that it had to do with Spaghettios.

Surprisingly, it wasn't uncomfortable. It seems to have a temperature regulating effect. Perhaps Kjersten isn't as silly as I thought.

(For the record: I have both socks on as I type...)

Good bye faithful friend...

Actually, I had a love/hate relationship with this thing. I loved that it worked. I hated that I needed to use it.

15 years ago, my cousin, Colleen (Young Adventures), gave us an iron for a wedding gift. (Thanks Colleen!!!!) It was well used over the years. Unfortunately, as will all small appliances, the life span is never as long as we hope for. It's thermostat has gone awry. It seemingly heats to the temperature of molten lava and refuses to turn off without being unplugged.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye... may you be recycled as something FUN, like an iPod or a pencil sharpener!

Cael is a natural!

I've been postponing the inevitable... Food. Cael is a big boy, who likes to nurse... a lot! He is 5 1/2 months and is very interested in what we eat. He watches intently. You can tell, he's trying to figure out how to get what we have and what he's going to do with it when he acquires it!

I had him into the lactation consultant the other day and we say the doctor while we were there. He has LOST an ounce in the last 5 weeks. Read: not gained anything!!!! Both the LC and the Dr. tried to convince me that he's just perfect. He's still above the 95th percentile. He's following the same curve his siblings did. Apparently, baby's weight at birth and subsequent growth are indicative of how healthy the pregnancy was. Around 5-6 months, genetics kick in. Then, their growth pattern adjusts to their heredity. They think he's just transitioning. (I don't know if this is the same in formula fed babies.) Anyhow, he's fine. He's doing all the things a 5 month old should do. He nurses well, pees often, and is happy, content, and busy.

Diagnoses? Healthy baby boy who can start solids anytime but has no pressing need to do so! He does, however, have a daddy who is anxious to start the kiddo on food. So... I acquiesced and bought some rice cereal.

Yeah. He loves it. He has none of that "what is this stuff?" and "why must you shove it in my mouth?" In fact, he's quite sure, he could shovel it in faster.

Yet another step in his quest for independence... Now, here's some video of the event.

And some photos:

I can help you, mama!

Here. Gimmie that!

Friday, October 26, 2007

My stick figure family picture...

I got the link from Life is Good (my friend Cindy's blog). It's just too cute. You can have a custom sticker made for your car. Wendy (Truly Blessed) did hers too... What fun!!!

Whoops. Here's the link... Our Stick Family

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Big bad baby boy can sit...

Here's Cael. 5 months on Sunday. He is getting very good at sitting. The Boppy behind him is for the mama's peace of mind- nothing else. He's emptying his toy box and having a great time. He still thinks he's getting away with doing something naughty while he's happily removing one toy at a time!

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