Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

The Lord is risen indeed...

Our "family Easter basket" included puppets for the kiddos, cups for baby and kitchen gadgets for the mama and the dad. Oh... and a little bit of candy for good measure! (Note: the tooth fairy made another visit to our house...)

Thankfully the snow has melted. Following dinner at Auntie Sharon's and Uncle Ron's, the kiddos had an Easter egg hunt. (They have grass! I'm a lot jealous...) Our kids had great fun searching for candy-filled eggs alongside their cousins.Through the view finder, it wasn't apparent. What? The disaster-in-the-making. See it now?

In the midst of egg-hunting, he couldn't resist the rings...

I love that my kids are still so kind to one another.

Seems George needed a break from the action.

Can't beat a bag full of goodies in the hand and a basket-full at home. Life is good!

Guess who got some of grandpa's chocolate cake?
Cael was tired before we got to dinner. Then, he ate and ate. He's so tired here, Sara was watching him rest his head on the tray and pick up Cheerios with his... tongue!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


We're watching "The Ten Commandments" on TV tonite. Rhys was shocked to learn that this movie was made in 1954. His comment?

"That explains a lot. It's the same exact camera technology as Battlestar Galactica!"

He isn't really grasping that there is a 30 year gap between this movie and his beloved '80s space show. Nor does he care!

Brennen and the lip...

No, not the cute pouty lip thing he does...

The lip that seems to break his falls onto pavement, brick, hardwood floors, etc... You'd think that he'd develop some reflexes. Perhaps he has. This time, it wasn't that he didn't catch himself. It's that he couldn't. You see, he had the brilliant idea to tuck his arms into his shirt and then jump off the dining room chair. Duh.

This time, he managed to do some significant (although seemingly non-permanent) damage. It bled for 3 hours. Yup, three hours. He cried nearly the whole time. I did not photograph the monster pile of bloody washcloths.

Instead, here he is with cold washcloth #172. Note the wet shirt. It's the third or fourth change of clothing as well.

Here's the damage a few days later. He tore whatever that thing is that holds your lip to your top gums. His primary complaint wasn't the swollen lip. It was that it hurt to walk because it made his teeth "bounce." Poor baby. Most of his pain has resolved, but a close look still says, "OUCH!"


Bret turned one and is NOT happy about it...

Too much excitement left Bret with nothing but annoyance for the "birthday cake" photo op.

Really did not want the cake. His mama got smart and we moved onto the presents. (I'm guessing Bret got cake for breakfast this morning. Oh... maybe that would only happen in our house...)

Brennen and Bret's cousin, Kristian, helped unwrap Bret's presents. Bret was perfectly happy to play with the wrappings and let the big boys get the goods. With so many people, the opportunity to photograph the baby boys together was nonexistent.
We had more fun than we're supposed to, seeing as we crashed a family party. We ate too much. We hogged the Wii. We stayed too late. We had a great time!!!! Thanks Bret, Carol & Kris!

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Ed!

(Left to right, front to back: Grandpa Ed, Aunt Joann, Tom- my dad, and my uncle Ed)

My grandpa turned 90 years old this week. It seems impossible that my grandpa can be that old.

To celebrate grandpa's birthday, my dad drove home last week. My dad lives out here in a nearby town. It's quite a drive to his hometown. I even gave him grief for driving so far for such a short weekend. But, now that I look at the pictures of him with his sister, brother, sister-in-law, and his dad, I only wish I had gone too.
I love my grandpa. I don't call him anymore, nor do I write. Dementia is taking its toll. Physically, he's quite healthy. Mentally, it's anyone's guess whether he'll know who I am. Last time I was visiting, I drove him home. He was quite frustrated with me as he was sure I was lost. I wasn't. He was delivered safely home, but it was stressful for him. It makes me so sad. I am, however, so grateful that my aunt and uncles live near grandpa and spend so much time taking care of him. I know my dad is too.

Stupid Winter Wonderland...

Drove home in a snowstorm last night. You know... No visibility. Driving snow. Do you realize that tomorrow is Easter? It's technically spring now. Would it be too much to ask for moisture in the (extremely rare) form of rain?! Please!

My bathing habits have global consequences.

This is my new theory. Seems my brief morning showers tip the precipitation levels in the atmosphere just enough to cause... snow.

  • Wake up to nice, dry, bare ground.
  • Shower.
  • Witness sudden snowfall. Two mornings in a row so far...

Coincidence? I think not.

Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew...

Oh boy! New food. Think I'm going to love potatoes...

"Ack! Out! Get them out!!!! Help! Icky squishy something in my mouth. Get them out!"

Poor Cael. Seems to have a texture issue like his mama. He did allow Jason to continue to spoon them in.

Spoon in. Scrape out. Repeat.

Anyhow, I can't make potatoes of any sort without thinking of this song: Mashed Taters.


I fear we have a dud. We've been waiting for 13 days for our caterpillar to turn into a butterfly. (For the record, I dislike butterflies as much as any other bug, but it is a very cool process to observe.) I have noticed changes in the chrysalis so hope springs eternal. Perhaps he's waiting for an Easter debut, just to emphasize the beauty of his transformation.

A bit of sunshine and out they go...

Nice shot, Rhys!

Note our serious lack of yard. (Oh, and the open door. You'd think my bug-phobic kids would leave the door closed. You'd be wrong.) We're, and by we I really mean Jason, are building a retaining wall on the left side of the house. Once that's complete, we'll be able to plant grass here without having it wash down the hill. Some day kids... some day...

Desperate for spring...

Last Sunday, we took the kids for a walk down by the river. Cool weather and a hint of snow did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. We are so ready for spring!!!!

We have a early "small-people-approaching" warning system for the local wildlife. Brennen. This poor deer is either deaf with poor eyesight or extremely brave. Since the audible alarm didn't alert this poor thing, he didn't sense incoming chaos until he caught sight of George. Boy, deer can move quickly when they want to!

Kjersten took a picture of mom and dad.

Comfy, Cael? (A bit later, the backpack provided Cael a different vantage point. He enjoyed both.)

Brave little spider.

Great entertainment for George. He'd throw rocks all day long. Too bad there's no floating target out there. We did convince him that he cannot throw rocks over his siblings' heads, despite his (truthful) insistence that his aim is good and he doesn't actually hit them.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Next to eating, I think this is Cael's favorite thing to do... He's figured out that the cup I give him to play with is for more than just drinking bathwater (yuk). Filling it and dumping it over the side is great fun as well. Not an issue if it's dumped into the adjacent sink. However, a nine-month old cares little of which direction the water goes to disappear. Hence, the puddle at my feet as I bathe him.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

He calls me by name...

Actually, Cael calls everything by my name. "Mama" It refers to all things.

No, it's not his first word. "Da da" holds that distinction. But "mama" is his favorite. Followed closely by numerous squeals, "blah, blah, blahs", and general jabberings.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Abby update.

Abby does, indeed, have RSV. She and her mama were released today and Abby's got her own oxygen tank at home. I think Wendy said that would last about a week. She's three weeks and one day old. Poor little thing... (and that is NOT a current picture- just one I stole). Thanks for your prayers!

Hmmmm... what's a debt snowball?

I posted this comment on a blog in which the family is weighing what do about debt. I thought I'd put it here also for a bit of explanation and update...

We are ardent Dave Ramsey fans. We didn’t used to be. After all, I’m married to a CPA. We know how to “use” money, right? Wrong. We (mainly me) are not to be denied what we want, when we want it. Well… That’s how it used to be… Then Dave came along. Slowly, but surely, over the last 12 months, we have changed our thought process and at the same time our finances, our hearts, and our family tree.

Dave would say: Get $1000 in the bank today! Scrimp by for a few weeks and take EVERY single extra dollar. Sell stuff. Deliver newspapers or pizza. Just do it NOW! That becomes your “beginner Emergency Fund” or “Murphy repellent”. That money is ONLY for emergencies. Period. If it gets used (on brakes, for instance) it must be replenished with the same gazelle-like intensity.

Next, we commit to taking on NO MORE debt. It has to stop. We have proven again and again that, despite our knowledge and great intentions, we cannot get ahead using debt. All we get is more in debt! We have not used a credit card in 18 months. Mind you, we’re still paying on a few, but we haven’t added a single $1 to our credit card debt. You know what the Bible says about debt. We don’t pick and choose what we believe and we know that Lord wants whats best for us. I don’t believe He would tell me that I am the exception to that “slave to the lender” idea.

Now, we’re in the midst of our “debt snowball.” Minimum payments on all but the smallest debt. All extra monies toward that smallest debt until we pay it in full and off the list it goes! It has been very motivating for us to take item after item off that list over the last year. In addition, we have had “life” happen and have paid cash for all of it. Massive car repairs, medical bills, propane (Ack!), and such.

Our bills are not for cars, nice furniture, fancy vacations (although I would like all of those things). They are for little life things over the last 15 years. A little here. A little there. No more. Now, we are 100% intentional about our spending. Our marriage was always great. Now, it’s even better. We have a “budget meeting” twice monthly (when dh gets paid). Our communication about all things has improved with this simple step.Our next steps will be refinancing the house to a 15 year mortgage, fully funding our emergency fund with enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses, and then kicking our retirement back into high gear while setting aside for the kiddo’s college.

Right now, we’re “living like no one else, so later we can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!” We cannot wait to be debt free and no longer be a slave to VISA. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we’re running toward it as fast as we can.

Debt will never create blessings in your family. If you want more info, look here: Dave Ramsey.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A little prayer please.

Wendy's sweet baby girl, Abby, is in the hospital. She's come down with the nasty cold that's making the rounds in their household and given her age (a mere 3 weeks tomorrow), they admitted her to make sure she gets enough oxygen. No word yet on whether it's RSV. No matter. It's still nerve wracking to have a child hospitalized...

Abby's mama (and daddy at home with the other six kiddos) would appreciate your prayers. Thanks in advance.

Friday, March 7, 2008

How to confuse the husband.

Wash the car. He won't recognize your van in the nearly empty church parking lot. He will be quite confused wondering where you are...

Cael loves fish...

Goldfish that is...

Cinderella and Spiderman

I'm not really sure what they were playing, but Kjersten insisted she needed to take some pictures of George and her friend, Emma. Regardless of the plot, every good story needs a princess and a super hero!