Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Planes, Babies & Automobiles

Yesterday I woke up in a guest bed in Iowa & went to sleep in a guest bed in Nevada. In between times I rode in a van to Minnesota. Sat in an airplane for one hour waiting to be de-iced. Spent an hour in Utah trying to find my connecting flight that had changed airlines & flight numbers & somehow completely disappeared from the computer system. Sat on that runway for an hour waiting to be de-iced. Arrived in Nevada. Drove to California just so I could say I'd been in five states in one day. Drove back to Nevada & crashed in Michelle's baby room. Now it's time for me to do what I came to do. Which is whatever I can to make Michelle feel ready for the baby that will soon be arriving.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Open Fire

We had chestnuts to roast, but we were all much too lazy to try it. Maybe tonight.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Snowed In

Well, we are stuck in Iowa City for the time being. It's too bad our plans got changed & we probably won't being seeing some friends we had planned to see. Boo hoo! However it feels a bit exciting to be snowed in. I'm feeling incredibly lazy. So lazy that I can't be bothered to post photos right now, but picture a roaring fire, lots & lots of food, family that we don't see nearly often enough & plenty of games!

Friday, December 21, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

Is for someone to pack my bags, clean my house & pay my bills. That's not too much to ask is it? Sigh...I guess I better get off the computer & go get dressed or something.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mama-in-Training

This little trainee has all the answers already. For instance the minute the baby makes a peep of any kind our trainee knows immediately what she needs. It is always, "Milk, the baby needs more milk, right now!" It doesn't matter if I have just fed her a 5 ounce bottle or if the noise baby made was a laugh. The answer is more milk. It's seems my little trainee doesn't quite believe that I could possibly know how to take care of a baby. I thought all the answers came when the kids became teenagers, not when they are 3 3/4! You know what that means, fun days ahead!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Weather Outside is Frightful


But the fire is so delightful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Do I Have To Cook Tonight?

We were at a potluck for lunch today & we're still stuffed. Here's what I ate;
Bean dip & chips
Artichoke dip & fresh veggies
Salad
Ham & Pineapple
A Chicken Enchilada Casserole Thingie
Rice
1 Deviled Egg
1 Brownie
1 Cookie
1 Bite of Cake
Half of a Piece of Cheesecake
Hot Cider
The kids are out playing in the snow. Don't you think they'll be happy with hot cider & popcorn for supper tonight? What can I say, it's Sunday folks!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Girlish Obsession

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I made the mistake of giving in when Ayla was begging for "little girl lip-stuff" at the store today. She has spent a large portion of the day putting it on her lips & tongue (it tastes good you know.) Oh Ina, a girl after your own heart!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If You Give A Mom A Cold Afternoon

If you give a mom a cold afternoon, she's gonna want a cup of decaf to get through it.
If you give her a cup of decaf, she's gonna need some cookies to go with it.
If you give her some cookies to go with it, she's gonna need to work it off at the Y.
If she works it off at the Y, she's gonna notice how cold it is outside.
If she notices how cold it is outside, she's gonna need some decaf to warm up.
And so the cycle begins.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful

Our Thanksgiving company just started their long drive home. After they left we worked on the "things we're thankful for" book that Micah needs to complete & return to school on Monday. Micah is thankful for turkey. Ayla shouted (from the toilet) that she's thankful for bacon. I'm thankful that we have tons of leftovers, that the kids are now napping & that I can go take a nap myself. Poor Craig is at work, so I'll have to ask him later what he's thankful for. We are all thankful that Matt, Amy, Ethan, Dillon & Zachary were able to spend the holiday with us. Hope everyone else enjoyed theirs & we'd love to hear what you're thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm Slipping

Last night Craig told me he was worried about me. When I asked why he said it was because we were hosting Thanksgiving & usually by this time I have half the meal prepared & ready to be cooked on the big day. This year I have nothing done other than the grocery shopping. I can make the pies, cranberry sauce & stuffing tomorrow can't I? For some reason I've been in a fog all fall. It never really seemed like fall to me & I'm just kinda frozen in place waiting for it to happen. At this rate winter is going to hit me pretty hard. Oh & Ayla has been driving me nuts lately. She's permanently glued to my side. Her "reason" for this is that she's scared of the old maid from our card game. Sound familiar Uncle Seth?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

FYI

Micah will not answer you if you call him by his name. I found that out moments ago when I asked him if he'd like to play Old Maid. He was on his knees staring at me & refusing to answer. Finally he said, "I'm not Micah anymore, I'm a squirrel & my name is Sara." Just thought you might like to know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

School Lunches

Why do the majority of parents let their kids eat the school lunch no questions asked? Ayla & I went to Micah's school this morning for a "Books & Breakfast" event. We were served little cups of juice & super-processed cinnamon rolls. About an hour after we left it was snack time. They usually have cheez-it type crackers or some other kind of carb & milk. They can have chocolate or regular milk. Guess what most kids (mine included) choose? As we were walking out the door I noticed that only one other kid had brought lunch from home today.
This is what everyone else was served at lunch-time;
French Toast
Strawberry Topping
Low Fat Pork Sausage
Hash Brown Patty
Oranges and Kiwi
Milk Choice
Again a milk choice. Like given a choice most kids will choose regular over chocolate. At the charter school Micah & Ayla's cousins go to they have a policy that no candy is allowed. Joanne brought snacks for their Halloween party & guess what they were? Baby carrots, dip & juice. I was at Micah's school on Halloween & my job for the morning was to help the kids frost & decorate sugar cookies for their morning snack! I was talking to my friend Amy yesterday & she said that at her son's school fruit snacks are a standard morning snack. What are the ingredients in those, Shannon? I'm guessing it's something like food coloring, sugar, high fructose corn syrup & oh yeah 2% juice. It's really not that hard to feed kids healthy food. You just have to think about it a little bit. OK, I'm done with my rant for the day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fatty Just Woke Up

I started looking through old photos today. Here's a funny one from Todd.




Black Eye

Another Todd photo. I think this one was taken about 3 years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blue's Clues

This morning Ayla had the fridge open & was insisting on having Blue's Clues for breakfast. What? What could she possibly mean by that? I peeked my head in to see her pointing at last night's couscous! This kid cracks me up.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Might Take Too Many Photos Of My Kids

The kids were playing pirates. They seemed to be in their own world. Then I made the mistake of walking by them with my camera bag in my hand. They were suddenly before me posing & perfoming like trained monkeys. Maybe I should start to find other things to photograph.







Thursday, November 8, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

Check Out These Lyrics

Yesterday morning all four of us were in our bedroom getting ready for mtg. Actually Ayla was ready & was just staring at herself in the mirror & singing a song that went something like this.

Ayla is so pretty today.
Mommy is so pretty today.
My Daddy is not, cuz he has little bit of hair.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We're So Lucky

The kids have so many friends in the area.
Here's the group we went trick-or-treating with.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We Don't Need More Sugar....

But, these cookies are kind of a tradition in our house.

Having a birthday just days before Halloween meant that I had the best birthday parties growing up. (Thanks Mom & Dad.) They were always good old-fashioned costume parties. A dear family friend always made me whatever kind of cake I wanted. If we were lucky she threw in some of these cookies too. Something amazing happens when you mix peanut butter cookies, frosting & candy corn! Mmmmmmm!

Here's to another year of special traditions!





Monday, October 29, 2007

This Weekend Actually Happenend

I took a solo flight to Chicago. I stayed with dear friends in their apartment downtown. I ate out almost every day. I got a massage. I got a manicure. I got a facial. I got my hair styled. I took a nap. I took a bath. Thanks Todd & Ina - this is a birthday I won't soon forget. Thanks for the break, dear husband. I won't begrudge you your days of hunting now!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shopping at Trader Joe's

Miss Ayla

Mister Tavis


Monday, October 22, 2007

Princess

I've always kinda discouraged some of Ayla's more girly tendencies. However, I do believe the princess phase is here to stay!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ayla's Insight

The other morning at breakfast I asked Ayla what makes her the most happy. Her response was, "God does, He does not make me sad, only Ayla makes me sad."

I'm glad we have kids to make things so clear for us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blah!

Is anyone else tired of this gray, rainy weather? I feel so blah & unmotivated. I've been awake 3 1/2 hours & I've only just now finished breakfast. My good intentions of accomplishing lots were sucked up into the bleak atmosphere. Ayla is begging me to go to the Y, so perhaps after I work out for the first time in 5 days I'll get my groove back. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 12, 2007

No School Yesterday or Today

It's amazing the difference one child can make in your household. It's amazing how quickly I adjusted to having just one child at home every day. With Micah home these past two days everything is magnified. Our household has been louder, messier, more hilarious, more devastating, weirder, more imaginative & better somehow.

I love to spy on kids. They are so funny & strange.


I have no idea what they were pretending here, but it involved a sleeping bag, a scarf & some of the cushions from our couch. It was also very loud & uproariously funny.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Confession Time

When I'm on the phone my kids can get away with murder. They will invariably ferret out any junk food in the house. They could come to me asking to eat an entire bag of marshmallows & I will nod my head & wave them away. I'm feeling a bit guilty. Does anyone else have a confession that will make me feel better?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What A Mess!!

Convention was over 4 days ago & my van still looks like this. Every part of my van looks like this. My bedroom & laundry room aren't much better.

If that's the case, why am I sitting here in blog land? How come I'm not cleaning & doing laundry?

This is why. I have 2 munchkins wandering around the house undoing everything I've already done. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.





Monday, October 1, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Productive Day

What a Saturday. I managed to cook & freeze my pumpkins, toast the pumpkin seeds, make a final batch of tomato sauce, a batch of chicken broth, 4 dozen cookies for convention & a boatload of bran muffins. Craig managed to single-handedly tear down our little shed. The kids were in & out all day "helping" wherever they were.


Here's the shed site at the beginning of the day.

Here's the shed site after Craig flexed a few muscles!

Pretending something fun on the 4-wheeler.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Words of Wisdom

"This was not a good idea, Mom"! That's what Ayla said to me a little bit ago & I have to agree. We did something I hate to do, but occasionally we HAVE to do it. We just got back from Wal-Mart!! I didn't like to, but I HAD to go today. I've had an extreme urge for snickerdoodle cookies & we were down to our last 3/4 cup of flour, so you see, we had no choice but to go. We braved the rain with our "sunbrella" purchased on a previous trip to Wal-Mart. We made it in just fine, but a very slight gust of wind on our way out turned our "sunbrella" inside out. At that moment our keyless entry decided not to work. To make things worse, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to unlock the door with a regular old key! Needless to say we were sopping wet when Ayla delivered her words of wisdom. Maybe one day I'll learn to just stay home when I get the urge to go to Wal-Mart. One can only hope.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Funny Shots

I think people aren't noticing what's funny in the sunflower shots. Look very closely at Ayla's pants. She was just posing in front of the sunflowers & I caught a true Kodak moment.


Enjoying candy from Grandpa Mike.



Going...going...



Gone






Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anniversary

Six years ago today, we heard Micah's heartbeat for the first time. We started off the day excited about our appointment with the midwife. Then the terrorist attacks happened. We began to feel scared & then sad. We thought about canceling our appointment with the midwife, but decided to go in the end. That day we heard evidence of the little life within, but had to wonder about the kind of world we were bringing our child into. I'm glad to say that soon after these events we felt peace. I'm sure every expectant parent feels excitement & terror, joy & sorrow when they think of becoming parents & of what the future might hold for their little ones. I'm writing this mostly for my dear friend Michelle who will soon bring new life into this world. Good luck Michelle & Don, may you have peace & joy in this new beginning.
















Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New Favorite

Not much new to report around here. Micah still loves school & Ayla loves being numero uno all day long! It's super-duper hot again, but that shouldn't last too much longer. We are dealing with all our laundry after a long weekend in Iowa. We also have many ripe tomatoes to take care of soon. If we hadn't had hail damage to our garden we'd have more tomatoes than we could possibly deal with. I love this photo of Ayla & Lexie in the hammock. It just feels like summer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Heaven

Now that Micah is gone all day I have a three foot high shadow.


This is what my shadow decided to wear today.




This is what my shadow said as we walked to the mailbox this afternoon.


"Where is God?"


In Heaven


"Why is God in Heaven?"


Because that's where He lives


"Why does God live in Heaven?"


Ummmm.....I don't know


"I know why, Heaven is special"




I think I'm really going to enjoy this alone time with my shadow.






Friday, August 24, 2007

School Bus

Today was the second day of school, but the first day on the bus.

For now we have to walk to the end of the neighbors drive-way to catch the bus.

He looks so small in comparison to the bus. He could barely lift his feet high enough to get on.

Finally on the bus & happy about it.



Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kindergarten Begins

This morning was perfectly planned, but you know what the say about best laid schemes. The whole household was excited & nervous. The nervousness became apparent around 7 am. Several things happened then. Micah dropped his egg on the floor & proceeded to flip out. We got it cleaned up & then I promptly spilled his orange juice. I didn't flip out, but I felt like it. We got that cleaned up & then out to the end of the driveway with time to spare. We were calmly waiting for the bus & finally it began it's ascent up the neighbor's long driveway. Right at that moment I realized I forgot Micah's name tag. The name tag is very important for a kindergartner. In addition to his name, it has his parents names, our phone number, the name of his teacher & the bus he's supposed to be on. Just as I began my sprint back to the house the bus was coming down the neighbor's driveway. I sprinted back to the end of the driveway with the name tag & two things became apparent. 1) My Aunt had videotaped the entire thing. How embarrassing. 2) My Aunt was laughing uproariously, because after all that hard work the bus turned back toward town instead of picking up our Micah! I then began the frantic search for the bus garage phone number. Why would they not put that number in the student handbook?! Anyway, I managed to contact them to find out that they did indeed forget Micah. I ended up driving him on his first day & maybe that was good. I was able to walk him into the school & give him one last kiss before letting him go. Now the next chapter of our lives begin!



Notice the absence of his name tag!


Poor Ayla doesn't know what to think.

He made it at last & is trying hard to be brave.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cabin Retreat!


We spent the weekend with Todd & Ina at their family's cabin. It was a truly relaxing weekend & lots of fun for the kids (big ones included!)



Ina can't stand it when Todd flosses his teeth. I can't imagine why.



Fun on the lake.



Auntie Ina with baby Ty.



The 3 buddies, Micah, Connor & Ayla.



Brian & Craig took the kids on a long fishing trip in the boat.


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Ayla showing us what she calls "the internet"