Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake...

... is not all I had hoped for. Long time to make and we think it's a bit dry. The frosting is awesome and I'm sure we won't be throwing any of it away, but I doubt I'll make it again. Here's the link: chocolate cake. If you decide to try it, let me know. I have some tips for you!

Here's the finished product:

I'm flunking Financial Peace University

Really. Dave Ramsey would NOT be proud. Besides being lazy about budgeting (back on track now), I've been spending my babysitting money on non-necessary things instead of paying down our debt.

I'm only watching Daniel & Christian for 3 weeks this summer. The original plan was to trade babysitting for a pool. Well, they are really missing having a pool (it's disassembled in their garage). We aren't too anxious to have a big pool. So... we ditched the swap idea and, instead, Mary Beth is just paying me. Hence, the money wasn't counted on and has no spot in the budget. It could, but I just didn't include it.
So, now I'm having a bit of fun with the money. Like the Flip Video. And now... a kitchen gadget. Yeah, I know everyone has one. We even had one (remarkably similar, in fact) and I gave it away 10 years ago. Now, we've seen the light. Actually, we've seen too many episodes of America's Test Kitchen. This is a "must have" so... now we have it (again).

Now, I have to use it right?

Actually, as part of my book group reading "Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands", we've decided to do something kind and unexpected for our husbands each week. I picked making an old-fashioned chocolate cake using a recipe from... where else? America's Test Kitchen. Yeah, well... it's got about 100 steps. Yikes! Nothing hard or weird. Just a lot more work than Betty Crocker!

What a mess the mama makes!

What a mess George makes! Stay tuned for an update and photo of the finished project. By the way, it smells wonderful in here!

Awesome women!!!!

This weekend, I had a MOPS leaders training for the coming year. We get familiar with the coming year's theme and plan our year's meetings. These women are an incredible help to me. MOPS would not and could not happen without them.

Here we are doing what we do best... talking!
Here we're getting instruction from Tawnya on how to bead bracelets.Here we are beading the $%&!@ bracelets. (They were much harder to string than we anticipated. These are for our small groups next year and, had they not been necessary, we would have abandoned the project as soon as we began!)
Here's baby Cael snoozing at the bowling alley.

Here's a couple of girls resting up before bowling some great games! Tired, baby Cael?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stupid blogger...

I cannot figure out the formatting issue on the post below. Please ignore the random line breaks. If you know how to fix it, please share. If it involves skill with editing Html, I am out of luck! Argh!!!

What Rhys is reading...

Besides the obvious (Thanks Grandma Margaret!!!)...

We also found this gem at Costco.

I've read quite a bit about it on-line. Here's a clip from Neat-o-rama:

"The Dangerous Book for Boys” is the one book that I wish I had when I was a young boy. In today’s age of computer and video games, this book reminds you that there is still a place for knots, go-karts, treehouses, as well as stories of adventure and courage. The Dangerous Book for Boys is more than just a book -it’s a manual on how to recapture Sunday afternoons and long summer days. It covers things that belong in the quintessential boyhood, like the five knots every boy should know, how to navigate using a compass (or awatch or a stick if you don’t have a compass - yes,it can be done), and how to make invisible ink (how? With urine, of course!)Can’t tell the difference between latitude and longitude? This book will set you straight - it has general (well, for boys anyways) knowledge chapters on dinosaurs, famous battles, ciphers, and more. It even has a chapter on - gasp -girls!

Love "the" mobile...

Told you... It is the greatest! Ole doesn't hiccup much. In fact, the only time he hiccups is when he's watching under the mobile. He gets excited, laughs, gasps and hiccups ensue! Very cute!

My boys...

Kjersten is gone to Minnesota with grandma. Mama is doing computer things. What shall the boys do? Duh... watch a movie!!!! They're actually watching The Fugitive. Well, Jason and Rhys are. Brennen is playing with is cars and Cael is watching the boys watching the movie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Time for a quiz...

True or false:

a) Cael is longer than 2 feet?
b) Cael has gained an average of more than 3/4 lb. per week- since birth?
c) Cael now says, "I love my mommy"?

The answers:

a) True. 24 1/4 inches.
b) True. He now weighs 16 lbs. 4 oz. That's the 90th percentile (for a four month old!!! We had to look that far ahead to see him on the chart!!! He just turned 2 months!!!)
c) True. Although the untrained ear might hear, "Gaaaaa" Now, you know what he really means!

Obviously, Ole had has 2 month check today along with his 1st round of immunizations. The mama survived! (He yelped, then nursed, then slept....) He's remakably strong for a 2 month old (according to his doctor) and awfully darn cute according to everyone else. But... you already knew that!

You decide...

Sitting or "controlled falling"?

Garage Sale

Well, in the interest of clearing out some of the prolific clutter and making a few dollars, we had a garage sale. The other two families in our home group plus another friend, joined with us as we invited complete strangers (and a few friends) to haul our crap home to their house after paying us for it. What a deal!

Unfortunately, last week was really hard for me. I had a talk to do for Women's Ministry. Then I came down with a nasty case of mastitis. I also began watching Christian and Daniel. Ack! If not for the help of Amber, I wouldn't have participated in the garage sale. She came over one morning and with the 10 kids running amok, we prepped for the sale. She is awesome!!!

Cael helping get ready:

Why are they eating on the floor, you ask? Have you seen the kitchen table?

Baby Analise for sale:

Vacation Bible School

This is from last month but I just found the SD card. The littles went to VBS at grandma's church. They had so much fun. The theme was "Avalanche Ranch." Grandma did a great job putting this together.

Some photos with grandpa's hat:

He's trying to figure out how to get my Diet Coke.

She's touching the horse (while she thinks no one is looking)...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pool needs water. No water for grass.

Here's the little with their friends, Daniel & Christian, in the pool. Notice no grass surrounding the pool. Grass or pool? Pool or grass? Pool won this year. Better luck next year, yard!

New Toy

Gee... thanks Michelle! She introduced me to this fun little camera... I decided that we have too few videos of the kiddos. Part of the problem is not wanting to haul around the HandyCam. My digital camera does good video but it's a pain to shoot stills at the same time and 1GB only shoots 15 minutes. So... this handy little thing shoots an hour and you can capture stills from the video easily. Fits in the diaper bag. Downloads quickly. Makes the mama happy!

Tummy time as it was intended!

Turns out- he does like tummy time. Mama, however, is over it! Seems that it only takes a time or two and they learn to roll over. Hmmmm... Not a good skill to have at this tender age. I don't need him getting around on his own. He can scootch by pushing with his toes and now he can roll from front to back. Fabulous!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rhys' idea of fun...

See those nasty welts surrounded by bruises on his arm? Yeah, that's what he's smiling about! And there are more on his leg and other arm! He and dad played paintball yesterday with kids and adults from his martial arts school. They both had a great time. (I just don't get what is so fun about getting pelted by balls of bright pink paint in 100 degree weather, but then again, I am not a boy!)

Tummy time gone wrong...

I am guilty of not providing much tummy time. I'd rather hold the baby when he's awake! So as not to contribute to weak neck muscles and delayed crawling, I put Cael on his belly this morning. (George is still sleeping- so it's safe...) Anyhow, he seemed fairly entertained so I ran downstairs to switch laundry. Gone 3 minutes. I come back and, yeah... Cael is snoozin'

How's he going to learn to crawl if he won't stay awake!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mama didn't do it right...

Cael likes to be tucked in when he sleeps. I do a pseudo-swaddle. It's awfully hard to swaddle a 14 lb. baby! Anyhow, apparently I didn't do it right. The other day, I went to check on Ole while he napped. He had pulled his blanket up and "tucked" himself in properly.
I love the fat little hand peeking out at the top...

What a face!

Cael has inherited two distinctive traits separately identifiable in his older brothers...

#1 Angry Eyebrows (not hard to coax when mama has a camera and the boy is in the shower!)
#2 "the lip" (I thought this was a learned expression used to elicit sympathy or laughter!)

Swimming pool...

Boy... morning comes much too early sometimes. Cael got up rather early to nurse and didn't go back to sleep before the rest of the littles woke... Too bad for the mama.
Both Brennen and Kjersten had the same question for me as soon as their little eyes opened. "Can we go swimming now?" So, by 9am, I had the two little ones headed to the pool. Brrrr.... They had a ball. It'll be more fun this afternoon, when it's 100 degrees and the sun is actually shining on that side of the house. (Rhys and Jason are gone to karate and then paintball so Rhys will have to wait until tonite after church to dip his toes...)
No photos, because I could not juggle Cael, my book, my diet Coke and the camera while watching the kiddos. Next time...


Michelle got Cael this little Carters outfit from Costco. Cael has a number of summer outfits from Costco. We love them. They're cute and the price is right! Thanks Michelle!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Our Trip- Part 1 (Off to Spokane)

We didn't know if we were going until Wednesday night. My van went in for brake work on Tuesday. What should have been $150 and few hour fix turned into a $1000 fix and they'd have to order parts and we'd have to order tires. As annoying as that was I am so grateful to have it in for repairs. Its problem could have caused serious damage or injury on our trip. I am thanking God that we decided that pesky little brake problem should be repaired before our departure!

Anyhow, that meant borrowing my dad's CRV and driving it along with our Subaru to Spokane. That also meant traveling with Eddy most of the trip (he took the bus home a few days after we returned).

11 hours. Really! That's how long it took to drive! (Well, and stop to nurse the baby, change the baby, take George potty, feed baby again, get a snack, change baby again... You get the idea!) George managed to finish potty training on the trip. Yippee!!! The kids were a breeze on the drive. I never heard a whine, complaint, fussing, anything... even Cael. He literally did not fuss once until we were pulling into Michelle's driveway that night.
Snacks on the way (in the Wal-mart parking lot a few hours into the trip)
We're very grateful that Michelle and Steve allowed us to stay with them. The six of us and our gear take up a lot of space! Jack is delightful. He's almost 6 months and will be scooting soon.
Jack and his mama...
Cael and Jack (first "play date")...

George "snowboarding" on a plastic swimsuit form from Costco. It's a wonder he didn't kill himself on that thing. Crazy!Jack and his contraption... (apparently babies don't get hurt no matter how hard they bounce- or this little boy should be in traction given how enthusiastically he jumps!)

Our trip- Part 2 (On to Moses Lake)

Well, with no relief from the heat... we headed on to Moses Lake on Friday. Jason, Eddy, and the kiddos (minus Ole) went early. They geocached on the way and had a great time. The mama and Cael followed that evening.

We had a good time visiting, hanging out, and meeting Dan's family. His parent's 40th wedding anniversary necessitated a large party! His sister, Holly, and her family were home from Germany. His sister, Megan, was home from Philadelphia. We couldn't miss the opportunity to meet his sisters. He loves his family so much and it's apparent. I'm so glad we could go!

Of course, we finally met David as well. He's about 2 1/2 months older than Cael. Who knew... Cael is huge next to him (except in length). Of course, David is doing the things a 4 month old should do. Cael is still in the "pet rock" stage. I'll bet when they come in September, David is getting around on his own!

Geocaching en route...

David and his mama, Lyliane...

Comfy George? (Can you say "totally exhausted"?!?!)

Bald meets bald...


Dinner with family

A bit out of order here, but worth its own post!

We had dinner with my Grandpa Ed, my Uncle Ed, and my Aunt Kati. Uncle Ed barbecued (over charcoal, of course) hot dogs. We had a great visit while the kiddos played out back. (This is what reminded us that, yes, the kids do need water for summer play! *See below for Jason's remedy*)