Friday, February 29, 2008


After talking to my friend, Kelly, about how her children have grown, curiosity got the better of me. I weighed and measured each kiddo just for fun.
  • Rhys is 55" (30th percentile) and 77 lbs (50th percentile) for an 11 year old. He'll be 11 in 6 weeks and I'll bet he's going to do some serious growing soon.
  • Kjersten is 47" (45th percentile) and 45 lbs (20th percentile) for a seven year old girl.
  • Brennen is 40" (50th percentile) and 35 lbs (50th percentile) for a four year old. He'll be 4 in 7 weeks.
  • Cael is aprox. 27" (20th percentile) and 22 lbs (75th percentile) for a nine month old. I couldn't get a good height on him, so I'm going to assume he's taller that that...

This, of course, is indicative of nothing. What matters is that they follow their own curves on the chart, ensuring that the kiddos are indeed growing. But it seems to confirm our suspicion that our children are NOT going to be tall!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Brennen and the bath...

I love bath time mama!!!

Hooked a big one, did you George?

Checking out the raisins (toes)...

Happy little thing.

Cael doesn't like something....

Yeah. He opens his mouth. He lets me spoon the green beans in... Then he politely scrapes them out of his mouth with his fat little fingers and plays with them. He'll let me feed him the entire bowl. He just won't keep them in his mouth. Oh well... we figured there was at least one thing he wouldn't like...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jason laughed at me...

I can't even tell you what happened because you really do NOT want to know. Jason came home to me bathing Brennen tonite at 8:30pm. He NEEDED a bath immediately! I had already spent the better part of the 8 o'clock hour cleaning. You don't want to know. Suffice it to say, three year old potty-trained boys cannot be trusted with personal hygiene. Argh!

And Jason found my description funny. Gross. Whining. Graphic. Cranky. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But funny? Not even! Of course, he assured me that I would find it funny at some future date. Ha ha.

Lucky for you, no pictures of this either...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby news...

'Tis no small thing, to be loved by something so fresh from God"


Meet Abigail (Abby) Jean. This is my dear friend, Wendy's, newest addition. Born Monday morning, weighing 9 1/2 lbs. and 19 1/2" long. She joins four older brothers and two older sisters. Looks like all the others! You can see them here.

Welcome baby girl. We're glad you're here...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Kjersten... Where's Cael?"

"In the laundry basket. He's resting and drinking some water.""Ummm... okay, I gues..." Poor baby boy. He's just an interactive play thing for the seven year old. He doesn't seem to mind, however.

Remember "cankles"?

Ankles + calves = cankles. Pregnancy affliction. Unless you're Cael.
Who else has a fat roll on their calf (leg, not cow...)

Weird yolk... again.

Almost didn't use that one. What on earth makes a yolk that shape? A bit creepy...

Lunch with a view...

She is going to be a great baby sitter. Who wants to sit at the table for lunch when you can look at the local wildlife instead?

She loves her PJs....

Lou got this Disney t-shirt from Jason's aunt, Sheila. Jim & Sheila have six boys. I think she said she bought it on a trip to the Magic Kingdom hoping that some day... Well, when they babysat Rhys and Kjersten so we could go to a Minnesota Vikings game, she brought out the shirt to use as PJs and sent it home with us. Wonder where Brennen was? Just barely growing in my belly. Yup. 4 1/2 years ago.

Yes. She still wears the shirt. Still loves it. I need to send Aunt Sheila another thank-you note.

Valentine's gift...

No... not from Jason, but from my friend Carol. She and Bret came and played with kiddos so Jason and I could go out to dinner on Valentine's Day. She even brought dinner for the kids. No cooking for me! (Her hubby had band practice so it's not like she ditched him to do this!)

Carol and Bret.

Carol's helper and fellow photo journalist for the evening.

Thunk!!!! Who's watching the baby, Carol? Oh... yeah... You're taking pictures! :)

Sure, we both fit in here...

Bret (with Cael crawling on his back).

Hey Bret, What is this thing?

Hmmmm... I ate all my cheerios... Wonder if Bret will share some of his?

I, on the other hand, will share my toys.

Check out those fat little hands.

Oh.... Bret's bald head....

On your marks... Get set... Go!!

Bret with teeth. Cael with drool.

Well, hello friend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dinner delivered...

My friend, Cynde, brought us dinner for Valentine's Day. She knew we were going out but brought it out knowing we'd make it sooner or later. Cute heart shaped pasta, alfredo sauce, and homemade Red Velvet cupcakes.

Turns out, I went out to dinner with some MOPS moms the following night. Jason was more than happy to have pasta and chocolate for dinner. Thanks Cynde!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another 1st....

Of course, no one seems to know how this happened... I was hiding in my bedroom talking on the phone to my friend, Carol. Obviously, things like this happen when the mama isn't supervising...
Seems Ole likes Oreos. Who'd have guessed? The other pictures (with giant smiles) were blurry and didn't have the added bonus of George picking his nose. Gotta love dads taking photos!

Why we simply must have health insurance...

Or why Jason thinks kids must have daddies. I suppose he's right. I mean, what mother would plop her precious 3 year old on a blanket and send him careening across the house, narrowly missing the kitchen island? Note how concerned the three year old is...

Nobody likes me... Everybody hates me... Guess I'll go eat worms..

Actually, I never even got out of the spectator seats in the courtroom. And I am bummed!

I finally got called again for jury duty. Years ago, when I was pregnant with Kjersten, I got called once. I was quite willing to go. I went. I sat. For two longs hours on a wooden pew. The case settled and we were dismissed.

This time, the logistics were more complicated. Four kids instead of one. Nursing that little one. Hubby busy with work. Jason said he could work from home and I didn't have to ask to be excused. I mean, what if my chance doesn't come again?

It doesn't cancel. I go. I take my newspaper and a bottle of water. If nothing else, I'm going to enjoy a little people watching and doing a crossword puzzle without littles.

Do you know, they call 42 (or there about) people for the prospective juror pool? Grrrrr... I immediately did the math and realized I had a slim chance at best. It was a DUI case that seemed to take issue with whether or not one should recognize that, if all the signs on the interstate are silver, perhaps YOU ARE DRIVING THE WRONG WAY!!!! The jury "voir dire" was interesting, although I didn't really get to participate. My instruction was to listen and answer the questions in my head. Should they eliminate all 12 in the jury box, the alternate 15 sitting in the front of the courtroom, and the 11 other spectators ahead of me... I might be called. No kidding. I was (through a random process, undoubtedly...) second from last of the 40 of us that showed.

Well, somehow there were enough seemingly fair and intelligent people ahead of me. They neither needed nor wanted my willing assistance. :::sniff sniff:::

Here's the thing. I have experience with drivers driving the wrong way on the interstate. More than once!
  • 11 years or so ago, a woman drove the wrong way on the interstate from a neighboring town. She hit a truck head-on and the whole thing ignited. I remember sitting on the backed-upinterstate in the driving snow watching the helicopter. It was unable to fly back to the hospital due to weather. Quite a scene.
  • 6 years ago, I was driving home around midnight. The man in front of me got on the interstate by turning onto the off-ramp. I, in utter disbelief, called 911 while getting on the freeway via the ON-RAMP. We drove side-by-side. He on his side of the freeway. Me on the other. Then he realized the error and swerved across the median and onto the right (my) side. The dispatcher asked me to follow him, which I did. He pulled over at a truck stop and got out. I was unable to ID him so the sherrif couldn't arrest him then. He did, however, wait for him to leave and the man was arrested later for DUI.
  • A few months after that, Jason and I were coming off the interstate (via the off-ramp) and coming down the on-ramp was an old woman in a red BMW. I don't know how far she travelled the wrong way, but she didn't have the slightest idea that's what she'd done, or so the sherrif said.

See... I'd have been perfect.... Maybe next time... Instead I got to sit for three hours this time. I think I even get paid $15 for it. I'll take it.

I have created a monster....

A few months back, we made pizza with the boys in co-op to demonstrate assembly lines v. individuals completing a project from beginning to end. My friend, Heidi, made the pizza dough. I kid you not, it was the very best pizza crust I've ever had. Ever.

Now, it's on our menu at least twice a month at Jason's request. He's experimenting more and more. He makes very yummy cheese sticks and now he's onto making deep-dish pizza. It may not be pretty, but it is so good!!!! Oh, and he always lets the kiddos make their own.

(It's like having a night off of kitchen-duty and I love it!)
Deep dish dinner....

Here's her recipe. She says the olive oil is what makes it so very good!

Pizza Dough

2 cups very warm water
2 pkgs dry yeast
5 1/4 - 6 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix ingredients and knead for 5 minutes. Place in a bowl greased with olive oil, cover with towel. Place in oven that has been warmed to 200 degrees, then turned off. Let rise 20 minutes. Divide into 3 crusts. Top with pizza ingredients and bake at 450.

I let my kitchen aid do the kneading for me and it works well. I also make sure the dough is coated with olive oil from the bowl before letting it rise. To get a crispy bottom on the crust, brush some olive oil on the pizza pan before putting the dough on and baking.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wanna know to combat feeling 'blue'?

Post about it for the world to see...

I'm feeling a bit pathetic for airing my woes to all of you. Thank you for all the caring comments and e-mails. I've never felt unloved, but I certainly feel very tended to right now.

Seems kids, homeschooling, obligations, and life can wear on us mamas. The cold, yucky weather and being 8 months post-partum don't help either... So, i'm going to cut out as much as I can, get as much sunshine as I can find, take a nap, and read those e-mails and comments again.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Our version of a pet...

We don't want "real" pets. Where we live, we have the outdoor, fend-for-themselves kind. Here's one.Oh, I need to read the book to my camera. Those close-up shots elude me. I'm missing my Pentax SLR. Of course, I won't go back to film, so I guess I better start saving for a digital SLR... (Pre-Dave Ramsey, I'd already have it. And a nice VISA bill to go with it.)

Guess what?

SD cards can swim in a glass of milk, take a shower in the sink, dry off on the dish towel, and still have my pictures intact... Whew!

And Cael has just discovered that the cold glass on the french doors is within reach and fun to lick. Whatever entertains him...

Friday, February 8, 2008


I hesitate to post something so personal but I'm going to anyhow. I seem to be failing at many things right now and I'm hoping that writing them out lends me some much needed perspective.


I know that us mamas should allow ourselves grace. I explain this often to my dearest friends, to MOPS moms, and to those I barely know on a regular basis. I know how hard being a mama can be, and yet... I see my failures as insurmountable and unforgivable.

Today, after being up most of the night with sick baby Cael, I wimped out. He was fussy. I was cranky. I figure he was hungry but I was totally out of ideas of what to feed him, energy to make anything, and motivation. I gave him formula. I know that's not a big deal, but to me it is... Four kids, five years so far of breastfeeding, and I've never made a bottle of formula for my kids. I feel like there is so much I can't do for my children, the least I can do is nurse them. Today, I was too sore, too tired, too exhausted to do even that. I knew that if he was hungry, he would drink the bottle, be full, and go down for a nap. I was right. I took a much needed nap as well.

I won't elaborate on my other failings as a mommy right now. Other people think my kids are well behaved. I don't want to burst every last bubble. (They are well behaved most of the time. But when they're naughty... They are oh-so-naughty!)


I'm tired. I am not doing well at coordinating this year. I've always been a rather hands-off leader. "Here's your responsibility. Tell me how I can help you. Do it how you want. Just do it well." This year, I'm not being much of a help to my leaders. Four years into my MOPS group and it runs fairly well, but I think my lack of involvement, motivation, and enthusiasm is apparent. Unfortunately, I think it's also contagious.


I have an unmotivated 10 year old. Like mother, like son? He's managing to get his assignments done, but barely... The two of us could teach classes "101 Ways to Procrastinate" or "Procrastinating for Dummies". Sadly, I can see how my bad habits are taking hold in him. I simply must help him to develop new habits.

By the way, his actual schooling and Kjersten's is great. Whew...


Am I not taking care of my family? We're sick again... 8 months of health and now Cael can't seem to shake his cold. Jason, Brennen, and I are all sick. Again. Is my house not clean enough? Do my meals not include enough vitamins? Do we not wash our hands enough?
And to add insult to injury, I'm still gaining weight. I've gained a LOT of weight since Cael's birth in May. 8 months and I weigh nearly 50 lbs. more than when he was born. Yes, you read that right. Yes, I've been to the doctor. No, I don't have thyroid disfunction.


I stink at housekeeping right now. That's an understatement. My house is a mess. Not only that, my closets are a mess as well. I'm a neat-nick in private. Even when the kitchen is drowning in dishes and the living room floor is nowhere to be found, my closets are tidy. Inexplicably, I care more about my silverware drawer than the kitchen table. Right now, neither is presentable.

I might have a grip on the grocery shopping, laundry, and my sock drawer, but for the life of me, I couldn't find Cael's social security card or the instuctions to the baby mobile. It's driving me crazy. My house is a mess and I can't seem to care enough to buckle down and do anything about it.

Being a wife

No... Jason doesn't complain. Ever. I am so very grateful! However, I've been thinking lately, if I were his employee and I were him, I'd fire me. Not only am I not getting much done, what I am getting done is not done well. He loves me immensely, but he deserves more than my good intentions.

The rest of the story...

I know that my family has a strong history of depression. I am keenly aware of that and don't think that's my issue but will talk to Jason and get his perspective.

I think I am overwhelmed at the weight of obligations that I am not particularly vested in anymore. I am working at taking those off my to-do list.

I also know that there are seasons in life. Right now, mine is being mommy to small children who demand a tremendous amount of attention and energy. Homeschooling will not always include little ones underfoot, but I know for sure, someday I will miss that too. This season is to be embraced. My lessons to be learned undoubtably include: patience, persistance, flexibility, and finding joy.

I can do this. Especially with you doing it alongside me. Thank you.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

Dry dock

I have no idea why Kjersten parked baby Cael in the bathtub. But.. she did and he loved it. She's going to be a great babysitter!

Super George

Complete with monkey PJs and a crown that says "God Loves Brennen", this is what George wore to the dentist's office yesterday. It was a day worthy of it's own post, but suffice it to say that some battles are not worth fighting. Therefore, "Super George" accompanied me to Kjersten's dentist appointment in full costume. The staff loved it.
(Disclaimer: This photo was taken before the disagreement on appropriate attire for outings began...)

A blessing...

"The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

I saw this hanging in my favorite store when I was pregnant with Cael. I immediately knew it belonged above his crib. This is Kjersten's favorite verse. She often asks me to tell it to her. Now, in his new room, it hangs in it's rightful place where it cheers my soul each time I see it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Real life rescue heros...

George and Ole are still sick. I took the two big kiddos to co-op, dropped off my teaching stuff for the day, and headed home. George was not happy to go home. He loves co-op. A bribe of a snack and watching his "Rescue Heros" movie helped.

As we were driving home, we saw a large plume of black smoke. I could see it was below our house, and being the middle of winter, I wasn't too worried about another fire. Out of curiosity, I took another road home. Just a few blocks from our old house and a few blocks from the fire station, we passed this house under construction fully engulfed.

We actually drove by before the fire trucks arrived. There was a police car there so we knew emergency services had been dispatched. I turned around (bad, I know... No one likes a gawker!) and snapped this photo with my cell phone the block before the fire.

We waited for the fire trucks to pass, the drove by and snapped another picture. Once I assured Brennen that no one lives in that house, he was totally impressed to see real rescue heros in action. Then we came home, watched his movie and ate lunch. Now, off to nap...

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Rhys has been learning about "foreshadowing". How fitting that I have photos today that do just that... Want to guess. No, I'm not smiling. I have, however, quit wanting to cry.

I went to town to get gelatin for a WWII recipe (yuk, by the way). When I came home, the kiddos were happily eating dinner. Rhys pipes up that they learned a big lesson while I was gone.

"Mom, we really should keep the gate at the top of the stairs closed. "

I immediately wanted to throw up. Sure enough. They left the gate open and baby Cael fell all the way down our stairs. We have a very long staircase. It ends in cement floor with a carpet remnant thrown down. My precious baby boy tumbled down the stairs and I wasn't here. (I have since realized that my being gone was probably a blessing on many counts.) He's seems fine. I keep checking his pupils, his skull, and all his extremities. I'll keep you posted. Yes, I'm still upset about it and still worried about baby. By the way, this is the first time anyone has fallen down the stairs. Amazing.

Guess who likes Rhys' cooking?

Of course, he does!!! He's having his first "real people" breakfast food. Pancakes. Yum!

Here's Rhys making those pancakes. I promise, the kid does smile. Lots. By the way, breakfast was great. I think he has a new job around here on the weekends.