Monday, August 25, 2008

Home schoolers say ENOUGH already!

Home schoolers are a threat. With often extremely limited funds, they persist in putting out sharp, polite, balanced, astoundingly well-educated young adults. Gosh, I'd be threatened, too.

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(I don't often discuss our family's decision to homeschool, but sometimes I get so tired of the grief endured by homeschooling families- ours included! On days like those, I need to read articles like the one above to refresh my passion for protecting my ability to educate my children... It is a fight well worth fighting!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Camera hog...

Here I was trying to get a photo of Bret. Cael (nearly naked and not the intended subject) would have nothing of it.
After repeated attempts, Bret left. Cael happily stayed for my photographing pleasure!


Ole has that toddler chortle. If you have or have had a toddler, you know the one I mean. It's the one where they think something completely normal and routine is very very funny. And the laugh is totally contagious which merely eggs him on...

Tired baby...

He doesn't allow for much rocking these days. Fortunately, Cael's extremely easy to lay down for naps and at night. Just wrap him in his blankie and tuck him in. No fuss.
So... Jason's generally out of his "rock the babes" job. Unless, we manage to wear him out so completely that baby can't help but conk out in dad's arms. What a treat!

This makes my head hurt...

My children seem to spend a lot of time upside down. Cael is not exception. This seems to be his preferred perspective these days. Oh.... to be 14 months old. Never a dull moment! (And, yes, he can and does somersaults!)

Meet Clyde...

This is Clyde. He's the "trainer dog" for my canine-phobic children. Both Kjersten and Brennen seem to be making significant improvements in the fear-of-dog arena. I credit Clyde. I mean, honestly, how could you be scared of him?! He is the sweetest, oldest, most mellow basset hound ever. He's what we wanted when we got Ruby. Instead we got the ONLY hyperactive basset hound on the planet. Perhaps Kjersten remembers Ruby and that's what she's scared of?!

In any event, they are becoming more tolerant of dogs and will actually seek out being near dogs. Especially the neighbor's dog- Clyde. (Did you actually think WE got a dog?!? Ha ha ha!!!!!)

What is this animal?

I know... it looks like a cat. I would agree. But... had you watched him out my bedroom window with Jason and I, you would agree: definitely NOT a cat. Much too big. Initially, I thought it was one of the neighbor's black labs. It did not, however, bounce and play and the ever-present black lab brother was nowhere to be seen. Then it occurred to me that I have never seen the labs "slink" and "prowl". They're far too excitable for that.
So, with no "all black, dog-sized, cat-like" animal known to our area, we are stumped. The animal control dispatcher laughed with (at) me as we guessed what it could be... The FWP lady thought I was crazy and offered no suggestions either.
In any event, I am a little hesitant to send the littles outside these days... Hopefully, the neighbor kitties will suffice should this creature decide to lunch in our neck of the woods!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lucky George!

(Well... I have no idea why that's so small, but I'm not going to fix it...)

9-6pm? Sounds like work hours, eh? Nope. That's how long we were away from home today. Jason likes to tease, "Aren't stay-at-home moms supposed to stay at home?!"

We took grandma to the airport. Toured Target for some (non)essentials. Patronized Papa Murphy's in order to bring lunch to Tawnya. Invaded Tawnya's to hold baby Ryan (9 weeks tomorrow) and we have not one picture to show of him. Left Rhys there along with a meal for later. Went to the wading pool for a few hours with Amber, Amy, & Nicole. Swallowed gallons, I'm sure, of pool water. Ewwww... Sent Kjersten home with Nicole and her girls (with new PJs purchased from Target- good impulse buy, huh?) Treated George and Cael to dinner out with just the mama. Jason had a business dinner, so I could not seem to muster then enthusiasm to cook for the little boys and me. No matter. We went to Dairy Queen. Good call, George! And, yes, he very much enjoyed his ice cream sandwich! Thanks for asking!
Over all a great day. Saw his grandma. Played with Blake. Had pizza. Napped in the car. Played with Zeb at the pool. At at Dairy Queen. Watched 3 Ninjas with dad. Lucky George!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm just a little black rain cloud...

I'm just a little black rain cloud
Hovering under the honey tree
I'm only a little black rain cloud
Pay no attention to little me
Everyone knows that a rain cloud
Never eats honey, no, not a nip
I'm just floating
around over the ground
Wondering where I will drip

Hmmmmm... What is this???

Cael seems greatly confused and entertained at the same time by the sight of a sleeping George. Perhaps he's never seen George still or quiet? In any event, he was intrigued and spent a fair amount of time talking to and poking Brennen. And, no, it did not wake up the four year old.

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Look what the mama did!

Please forgive the shadows and bad lighting. I wanted you to see his "real" smile. (The kid is so stinkin' happy all the time, but getting him to really smile in a picture is impossible!)

I cut his hair. Jason loved the bowl cut, but Brennen is just like Rhys. Hot & sweaty. Having a mop of hair on top makes it much worse! So, I cut off pounds of hair. What a good sport George is. He's just thrilled to have an "army guy" haircut!

(This is a direct result of our Dave Ramsey plan. I'm now to cheap too spend any money on haircuts for Rhys & Brennen. Watch out Cael! When (if) you grow hair, you're next!!!!)

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All Grown Up.

We seem to have become some sort of destination resort area for the blue birds. The babies left and are back now. And they brought the rest of the family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins... We have a herd of bluebirds. It's actually a bit unnerving. We have lots of windows and to see bunches of birds swoop by all day long is.... well... a bit creepy!
However, we are reassured that the babies are doing well on their own. They like to perch on the deck railing or the swing set and our pool has become a favorite birdbath. (Ewwww... It's being drained today!)
As I type I can see three of the babies on the deck. Guess they like our view too!
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Jason & the Cookbook

Do you have a good cookbook? One that has useful information & great recipes that actually work? Well, we do. Click here to see it. It is the very best cookbook we have ever owned!

Now that Jason has an awesome "new-to-us" grill, he's been desperate to try something new. Grilled Butterflied Chicken with Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw won the recipe debate. Of course, he made this while I was gone for the afternoon, so I missed it, but he took photos as requested.

So tender, the leg fell off.

The finished product.

Verdict? Chicken: very tender and very yummy! Coleslaw: good but not creamy enough (Jason likes deli coleslaw and he knows that's not the culinary standard to emulate!)

By the way, the ATK folks have two magazines that we LOVE as well! Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. Jason likes the "Illustrated" for all of it's technical information and more complicated recipes. Be forewarned- it's illustrated in black & white. No color photos. Very utilitarian. I, however, prefer "Country." Same people. More practical recipes along with very good information and reviews. Well worth subscribing to both! (If you click my links, you'll see a link on their sites to order a free issue. Do it! You will NOT be sorry!)
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