Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 100th Post!

For my 100th post, I thought I would try to do something fun. My idea was to think of something fun or special that happened in each month of 2007. Some of them were easier than others since most of the summer was a blur of hospitals and a new baby.

My List of Thanksgiving for 2007
  • January - we found out that baby #3 would be a boy; quite a change from our two girls!
  • February - S and I celebrated 6 years of marriage and had a wonderful, child-free weekend away, courtesy of Gran
  • March - we made our last trip to visit Nana, Papa, and PJ before H was born
  • April - got the nursery ready for a boy (even though he wasn't due until June, I was nesting like, well, an expectant mother)
  • May - H was born
  • June - the girls took their first trip away from home without their parents (they spent a week with Nana, Papa, and PJ)
  • July - K turned 5 and had her first big birthday party; L turned 3
  • August - K started Kindergarten and L went to school for the very first time
  • September - my best friend visited for some girl time
  • October - visits from all the grandparents
  • November - my birthday!
  • December - Christmas with the attack of the brined turkey

I hope that you will find this list both humorous and sweet. 2007 has been quite a year, including 3, yes 3, ER visits for me, and my very first ride in an ambulance. It's a shame I don't remember most of the ride. I'm so thankful for all I've been given. We are very blessed!

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Tonight, I'll be watching my beloved Auburn Tigers take on those other tigers from Clemson. I have plans to lounge around for awhile and watch this one last game of Auburn's 2007 football season. I really hate this time of year, when football season is over. It's just such a sad time. But before I know it, it will be September, K, L, and H will be a year older and I'll be gearing up for the start of the 2008 season.

Happy New Year (and a hearty War Eagle)!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different

Anyone tired of me talking about Christmas? Yeah, me too. So on to another subject.

(I actually can't believe I forgot to mention this little gem earlier but I've had a lot on my mind, I guess. That, or I'm getting old.)

A couple of days ago, I was doing some housework and K was looking for something to do. So I asked her to get me a drink out of the fridge in our garage. Both girls like to do this kind of thing because it gets them out of having to clean up. Within seconds she was back saying that there was a cat in our garage. I went out there to look but saw nothing and heard nothing so I assumed the cat had gone out without K seeing it. Our neighbor has 3 cats and all 3 at one time or another has been seen in our garage.

About an hour later our neighbor came by and S answered the door. I was in our room with a mound of laundry and went to see who was at the door. I heard her say, "Well, if you see her, please let me know." I knew immediately she was talking about her cat so I informed her that K had seen one in our garage. All of us went back to the garage and started looking for the cat. Again. When our neighbor called for her cat, we heard a faint meow. Coming from the car. Coming from inside the car. Knowing that none of the doors had been open, I knew that the cat must be tucked up in the engine.

We open the hood and look around for a few moments when we see two golden eyes staring back at us. The cat, smart creature that it is, must have gotten in our garage the night before through the side door and, searching for a warm place to sleep, found the car. Only she was stuck and couldn't figure out how to get out. Cats, they are smart little things.

With only a little coaxing and, thankfully, no clawing, S and I were able to turn her around so that she could get out the way she came in. I'm just thankful that we didn't need the car that morning, otherwise there would be a real mess to clean up.

This should serve as a good warning to all of you to make sure that your garage doors are closed up tight.

New Christmas Music

Even though Christmas has come and gone, I promised to blog about my experience with the new Michael W. Smith album, It's A Wonderful Christmas. Well, I was finally able to listen to the entire album even though I wasn't doing something Christmas-y (I don't think folding laundry is considered a Christmas activity). I will say that I love his previous Christmas albums (appropriately titled Christmas and Christmastime) and if you haven't listened to them, I highly recommend them. There is always a great combination of traditional music and new songs, a little something for everyone. I am all about good Christmas music.

So, onto my "review." This is a great album. For the first several days after listening to it, I couldn't get the first song, Christmas Angels, out of my head. I would describe it as an unexpected song because it starts out instrumental and the chord progression is not what you'd expect. There were some songs that I could hear in a movie. I could just picture a wide shot, sweeping the snow-covered landscape, exploring, in great detail, God's creation. Or little children sneaking down the stairs to peek at what Santa left under the tree.

If you are at all inclined to purchase new Christmas music after the holiday, please add this to your list. It's worth it!

Friday, December 28, 2007

What Did You Get for Christmas?

There are several things that would be on the list of favorite gifts this year (see post below for mine and S's). But the best thing the kids got was the Cootie game. I remember playing this years ago and it was kind of boring. The girls, however, are having a blast with it. K and L love playing it and it forces us to play with them. Usually, I'm not a game-player but for some reason, this one has been really fun. I've enjoyed getting to play with them and see their personalities erupt. They even played it with a friend yesterday afternoon.

One note to the makers of Cootie: could you please, in your next redesign of this game, include two girl-colored Cooties? Also, if you would, please include two girl-type accessories for the Cootie? You see, right now there's only one hair bow, one set of eyes with eyelashes, and only one pink Cootie (although the box shows a purple one. But that's neither here nor there. Pink will suffice). It would save a lot of hassle and fighting for my little girls (and my hair would be ever-so-grateful to you as there would be much less pulling out of the hair over said fighting).
But we really are enjoying it!

Something I've Never Done Before

So, ask me what I did on Wednesday. Seriously. Go ahead and ask. Okay! Stop pressuring me! I'll tell you. I went with S and the kids and ordered our new car. YES! A brand new car. I've never had a brand new car much less ordered one to my exact specifications. I was blessed to be given a car when I turned 16. I drove that until S and I purchased something a little more family-friendly about 7 months after we married. I still drive that one so a brand new car is a foreign concept to me.

Oh, y'all, I'm so excited/scared/elated/in a world of "what have I done?". I'll give all the details when we actually get said car. It's a beauty!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Making New Memories

I must say that Christmas 2007 has to be one for the books. So many fun and funny things happened that I don't know that I can include it all in one blog. I'm going to do my best so just bear with me.

First, on Christmas Eve, Papa, PJ, S and I enjoyed a meal of wine and cheese. It's become a little tradition of ours to do this on Christmas Eve when they are with us. It was delightful until I tried to cut the end of my thumb off with a very sharp knife. No trip to the ER was necessary (I've had enough ER visits for this year, thank you very much!) but there was blood and I had a large bandage on my thumb for opening presents on Christmas morning.

Christmas morning saw grandparents up before grandchildren. I didn't really think this was possible on Christmas but it was. The girls didn't get up until almost 8. We ate breakfast, then H demanded his breakfast. Since I'm the only one who can do that for him right now, I excused myself to take care of that business.

As I was sitting on my bed nursing H, S came in and said that he'd had an accident. That's not something I want to hear coming from him. He comes around the corner and I see that his shirt is soaking wet. You see, S likes to brine his turkeys. They are the best turkeys you've ever put in your mouth, moist and delicious, never dry. Well, in order to brine them, he puts the brine and the turkey in a trash bag, then into a cooler for the night. As he was lifting the turkey out of the cooler, the bag split, sending all the liquid and the 13-pound turkey splashing back into the cooler. Brine went everywhere: on the floor, on the counter, on S, on the windowsill, on the dishwasher door, on the living room floor, on the ceiling (I kid you not). So Papa, PJ and S spent the next 20-30 minutes getting all the brine (which includes a good deal of spices) off the surfaces it did not belong on.

The presents were fun to open, the meal was delicious and filling and tiring all at the same time. Stockings were opened and S even got to build a fire, which made it feel even more like Christmas. We spent Christmas night playing a game that K got. At one point, K, L, H and I were on the floor playing this game while S doted on the fire and Papa and PJ were playing with their presents (Sudoku for PJ; a WWII book for Papa). It was the perfect picture of a cozy Christmas night, all that I'd ever dreamed for my kids. This is a memory I never want to forget.

By the way, the turkey was delicious!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Memories of Christmas Past

I posted a few days ago about one of my favorite Christmas Eve memories. Today, I thought I would post one of my favorite Christmas Day memories.

Christmas when I was 11 was a pretty memorable one. There are other that stick out, like the time my mom and I made it to my grandparents' house only minutes before a huge snowstorm hit. Or the time my cousin, Ebie, got a Cabbage Patch Kid from her mom (my aunt). Only Aunt Jane had waited just a little too long to get said doll and was left to choose from the boy dolls. Ebie's doll came named, as did all the CPK dolls, Clint Lionel.

Back to Christmas at 11. We were there a few days before Christmas and my Papa, in typical male fashion, had a few gifts left to purchase. One thing he wanted to get was a phone for Ebie. Of course, I wanted a phone, too, even though I had gotten a very cool Snoopy phone the previous year. Papa would always pick out one gift for all his girls (my mom, me, my aunt, and my cousin) that was just from him. I was sorely disappointed when he came out of the store with only that one phone. I had a bad attitude about it for the rest of the day.

Christmas morning rolled around and my bad attitude reared its ugly head when Ebie opened her phone. She was very excited, as any nine-year-old would be. But then I got to my gift from Papa. It was a small box, much smaller than the phone. I opened it up and inside was a beautiful silver heart locket. I felt so guilty about wanting some stupid plastic phone. The locket was beautiful and I knew that he had me in mind when he bought it. I immediately put it on and gave him a huge hug. What a wonderful Papa I had!

Quotable Quotes

L is probably my most quotable child. K comes up with stories, has a very vivid imagination and a tender heart. And since H really isn't talking just yet, L would be my most quotable child.

Well, we have another L gem of wisdom. This is after she came home from school and told me that her teacher read the story of Handsome and Gretel. Anyhoo, we were in the car the other day on the way home from school. K had gotten a treasure from the treasure box and L wanted to see it. K said no. L said, "Please let me see it." K, again, said no. "But K, God wants us to shay-yer!"

I just had to laugh!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just FYI

I had H weighed at the doctor this morning for his RSV shot and he weighed in at a whopping 20lbs, 7oz. My word that boy is big!

A Favorites List

I thought, with Christmas just 4 days away, I would post my 10 favorite Christmas songs. Not that any of you really care but I thought it would be fun to share the songs I like to listen to the most when the season rolls around. I do have an unwritten rule that I will not listen to any Christmas music until December 1. That way I don't get tired of all of the songs before Christmas actually gets here. I also tend to decorate my house much later than most people for a similar reason. So, without further ado, here are my 10 favorite Christmas songs (in no particular order):
  1. Behold the Lamb of God - Andrew Peterson
  2. Gloria - MercyMe
  3. No Eye Has Seen - Michael W. Smith
  4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Amy Grant
  5. Welcome to Our World - Chris Rice
  6. Labor of Love - Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson
  7. It Must've Been Ol' Santa Claus - Harry Connick, Jr.
  8. Silent Night - Sarah McLachlan
  9. Christmas Lullaby - Amy Grant
  10. A Baby Like You - John Denver

Sorry, S, but Christmas in Hollis by RunDMC fell short this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Praise Baby DVD

On my sidebar is an ad saying "My Baby is a Praise Baby". H got a Praise Baby CD as a shower gift and I have loved it. So when I saw that there was a Christmas DVD available, I jumped at the chance to get one. I received my certificate in the mail today along with a really cute bib. I'll let you know how it turns out!

The CD is of praise songs and hymns sung by an adult and children. It is very well done and we have listened to it over and over again in the car (K and L adore it). If you have young kids and are looking for a great praise CD for your kids (that won't drive you crazy) I highly recommend this one!

Christmas Eve Memory

When I was growing up, our Christmas Eve's were almost identical: eat breakfast, play with neighbors/cousin/grandparents/aunt and uncle, eat lunch, rest at home with family, eat dinner and prepare for church, go to church (favorite part was singing "Silent Night" while lighting candles), go home, get ready for Santa, have trouble going to sleep.

One year, however, was distinctly different. My grandmother had been ill with cancer and was going down hill fast. I was a senior at Auburn and having a hard time being in college while trying to assert my independence as an adult. Let's just say that life wasn't so easy for me.

My mother and I headed up to D.C. to spend Christmas with my Mimi as we always had. My aunt, uncle and cousin couldn't make it that year so it was just the three of us as my grandfather had died several years earlier. Mimi was so weak from the cancer and surgery that she couldn't make it down the stairs to have Christmas in the (completely finished) basement as we always did. So we took the top part of her fake tree and put it upstairs in the living room. It was a little tight but we made it work.

With Mimi being so weak, she stuck close to home and expected the same of us so we weren't able to do most of the things we loved to do. We did manage to escape a couple of times but stuck close to her because she wanted it that way. One of our outings, incidentally, was to the drug store near her house where we discovered "Smints". We still laugh about that one. (I guess you had to be there.)

On Christmas Eve, the weather was terrible. My mom and I had decided that we were going to go to a Christmas Eve service, even if Mimi didn't go. We were planning to attend the service at McLean Presbyterian Church, which is, incidentally, where S and I would meet less than a year later. The roads weren't exactly easy to navigate but we figured we could make it and needed a trip out of the house. We were like caged animals, ready for some wide open spaces.

Just as we were planning our evening out, Mimi told us that we could go but we couldn't take her car. She really didn't want us to leave. I remember being angry and frustrated with her, not understanding why we couldn't go out for just an hour. I was so disappointed and was afraid that it wouldn't feel like Christmas if we didn't go to the Christmas Eve service.

Trying to make the best of a difficult situation, my mom made the decision to have our own Christmas Eve service at home. We all gathered in the living room after dinner. My mom read from Luke 2 and I sang a carol (I don't remember which one). Then we prayed, all of us taking turns. Mimi went last and thanked God for her daughter and granddaughter who stayed home with her and for sending His son to save us from sins. She thanked Him for her family who wasn't with her and said, "Amen." Then we turned out all the lights except for the tree and sang "Silent Night." It was a beautiful service, one that still brings tears to my eyes as I recall it.

Mimi died the following March, succumbing to the cancer that ravaged her body. We were all with her. We were able to spend one last Christmas at her house before having to sell it. While the last Christmas we had with her was very difficult, it is, in some ways, one of my favorites. I learned a lot about family, about God and His ultimate plan that I don't always understand, and that even little outings to the CVS can bring great joy (Smint, anyone?).

Monday, December 17, 2007

And the Rush Begins

This is going to be a crazy week and it all started yesterday. I had to make cupcakes yesterday afternoon for K's teacher's birthday celebration today. Her birthday is the day after Christmas (which isn't so great) so we surprised her and celebrated a little early. Then I had to be at our evening service early so I could sing with the praise band. I was pooped when I went to bed.

Today has been non-stop. Blessedly, S is in town this week to help out. He still has lots of work to do but he's at home and I can leave H home to run errands, take kids to school, etc. Actually, he took the girls this morning which was a huge help. We're having friends over tonight so I have to get the house ready for them, including their children. While I'm not a huge fan of large groups of children, I love these kids. They are all sweet children and friends with my kids so it makes the time with them fun.

L has to bring snack on Wednesday (I'm making cupcakes again. Cake mix and frosting were on sale a couple of weeks ago, buy one get one free. That was just too good to pass up. I'm usually one to make things from scratch but, frankly, I need the break this week. Who are you to judge me?!) There are two more parties on Friday and the girls both get out an hour early for the Christmas break.

Then, we have to get ready for my dad and stepmom, who arrive on Saturday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to having them here as it's been a couple of years since they have celebrated Christmas with us. In and amongst all the parties and preparing for guests, I also have to finish my shopping! And all this fun is on top of our regular activities. I have a feeling I'm going to crash at some point. Did I mention that I still have to cook Christmas dinner? Fortunately, S, my dad, and stepmom will help with that so I'm not left to do that on my own. I'm thinking I'm sleeping in late on December 26!

With all of that said, may I not forget the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It Finally Feels Like Christmas

We have finally (finally!) decorated our house for Christmas. I've been waiting for S to get back in town to get a tree and have put off getting out all the decorations until we had the tree. Since he's in town for awhile now, we got our tree this morning. The girls were so excited they could hardly stand it. We put up all the stockings and other decorations last night after dinner.

Now, when I say "other decorations" I don't mean that we have that many. We have a nativity set that I was given as a wedding gift and I still remember who gave it to me. It's been added onto over the years and I still love it's simplicity. I also have 2 beautiful nutcrackers that are very different in their themes. My father and stepmother gave me one of them many years ago (they have a huge collection themselves), a very traditional looking nutcracker. We received the second one from S's parents last Christmas, a Crabber nutcracker as a tribute to S's hometown of Baltimore. It's beautiful but not very Christmas-y.

The one thing I can't seem to find is my wreath. A couple of years ago, I bought a fake one for $5. It was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up. The only problem is that I can't find it. All our Christmas stuff is in one place in the garage and I still can't seem to find it.

Next week is going to be busy with parties and gatherings. I'm looking forward to some of it, dreading other parts. The one thing I'm truly thankful for is the family I've been blessed with. This is going to be a wonderful Christmas - I can just feel it!

Add This to Your List of Christmas Treats

These things look awesome. I haven't made them myself but have had something very similar. My guess is that I would have a hard time turning one of them down...

Edited to Add: I made these this morning before church. They are heavenly and were devoured by all in our family who are currently eating solid foods.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Favorite Time of Year

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the music (if you haven't heard Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson sing Labor of Love then you're really missing out), the focus of fellowship with friends and family, the food, the decorations, the lights glowing from the windows and doorframes of houses all around. Of course, we don't have a tree up yet but that's an entirely different post.

But that got me thinking: why aren't we doing this all throughout the year? Max Lucado touches on this in his book God Came Near, so this is not my original idea but I am expounding on what he wrote. Why aren't we focusing on Christ as our risen King all 365 days of the year (or 366 in the case of 2008) as opposed to this one day? Aren't we supposed to celebrate Him everyday?

And why don't we get together with our friends, neighbors, coworkers, family at other times in the year? We really should. I realized that I only saw my dad's parents at Thanksgiving and my mom's parents at Christmas and sometimes one other time in the year. We should open our homes, welcome in others. The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of your time. We all have very busy lives, some busier than others, but if we're taking the time to slow down one day of the year, why can't we take just a little more of our time and focus on Christ the other 364 days?

I've noticed that as I get older, we tend to focus on the parties, the gifts, the decorations, the tree, the food (which is a huge part of the holiday. Please don't get me started on food because S and I have had many discussions about what's to be eaten on Christmas day). But when was the last time you invited your coworkers or your friends to your house for dinner? And Christmas parties don't count. Just think about it.

So here's a challenge for you (again, to the five people who regularly read this blog): invite someone to your home for dinner or dessert and coffee and some fellowship in 2008. And don't wait until this time next year. Do it after the holidays, after every present has been unwrapped, exchanged, worn, broken in, broken, and loved on. After all the food has been eaten and your stomach returns to its normal size. You can serve soup and salad to cut down on calories (just check out BooMama's site for some soup recipes. There's bound to be at least one that you're willing to try).

O, come, let us adore him,
O, come, let us adore him,
O, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Name Change

For the five of you who actually read this blog, you may notice that I've changed one of the names in the header. As I mentioned awhile back, H's nickname of Moose just wasn't sticking for some reason. I don't know what it is but we just can't seem to call him that. It's almost contrived.

One name I've noticed that S uses a lot is Chunky Monkey. And it's so true, y'all. He really is a chunky monkey. Oh, the boy has fat rolls everywhere and aren't we thankful for those fat rolls, especially since he had absolutely no fat on him when he was born. So we're sticking with Chunky Monkey, at least for the time being. If he's anything like his father (who was 11 pounds at birth, by the way), he'll thin out as he gets older.

Maybe this name will stick!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I Have No Title But it is a Funny Story

On the way home from school yesterday, both K and L were crying. (Then H started in so all three were crying which made me want to cry. But I digress.) That means, at least in our house, that they are extremely tired and in need of a nap. K didn't sleep long but did play very quietly in her room. She was quiet enough to allow L to sleep. For quite awhile.

When she got up, L came in my room and said, "Mommy! There's something in my bottom!" This is a phrase I do not enjoy hearing as it could mean so many unpleasant things. She was crying and I was convinced that she had messed in her pants. So I, begrudgingly, turned her around, prepared for the worst.

She did, indeed, have something in her bottom. It was the daddy from her dollhouse and a Snow White bedroom slipper. I'm guessing she put them there for safe-keeping or maybe she was just saving them for later. Wouldn't want K to get her treasures!


It's A Soup-Tacular!

I found this link on BooMama's website and thought it was a fabulous idea. Even though it's not that cold where we live, it's definitely soup season. I'm posting two recipes that I love. They are both hearty and delicious although one is a little, um, richer than the other. Enjoy!

Beefy Lentil Soup

1lb ground beef
1C dried lentils, rinsed
1C sliced carrots
1C sliced celery
1C diced onions
1C cut up cabbage or green beans or corn or any veggie you want
1C finely chopped green pepper
1pkg beef ramen noodles-discard flavor pack
2 lg beef bouillon cubes or 2Tbls "Better than Bouillon"
46oz V-8 juice
4C water
1bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef. Add chopped veggies & cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on high until mixture boils about 10 minutes. Reduce heat & simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Note: You can use ground turkey in place of the beef and it's just as good.

Chili Blanco

1 pound great northern or navy beans, soaked overnight
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
6 cups chicken stock
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
2 (4oz) cans mild green chiles
2 tsp cumin (or more to taste)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups Monterey Jack, grated
1 cup sour cream

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add drained beans, stock, garlic, chiles, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Cook at a simmer until the beans are tender (this can take several hours).

Just before serving, add the chicken, cheese and sour cream. Mix well and continue cooking until the chicken is warmed through.

Serve with fresh cilantro, salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Note: You can use two cans of drained, rinsed white beans if you don't want to deal with dried ones.

Monday, December 3, 2007

H is 7 Months Old!

I can hardly believe the month of November has come and gone. H is growing so rapidly weighing in at a whopping 19 pounds, 3 ounces. He's smiling and giggling a ton these days. He's also discovered faces and his own feet. We're still working on solid foods and we get some really interesting faces when he tries new tastes. It's very funny and very cute. He has a way of melting my heart, no matter how tired I am. It is a joy and a blessing to have him in this family!

Christmas Preview

I took several photos of the kids today trying to get a good one for our Christmas card. I did get a good one but I'll post that one after the cards go out. In the mean time, I thought I'd share this one because it's just too sweet to share. Plus, there's a story behind it.

When I was pregnant with H, I really wanted to get a couple of "belly" shots since it was to be my last pregnancy. One shot I really wanted was of the girls kissing my tummy to be followed up after H was born with one of them kissing him. Well, the belly shot never happened but the follow-up did. Plus, I got to fool around with my new editing software, playing with the black and white feature. It was so fun!

At Long Last, Pictures!

I know I've been horribly delinquent posting pictures of our family as of late. The truth is that S got me a new computer for my birthday and I hadn't, until today, figured out how I was going to load pictures onto the computer without the software that came with the camera (that is long since gone). It turns out, though, that with the special software that came with the computer, I don't need the camera software.

Anyway, on with the pictures...
The box H's new stroller came in

Sassy McBritches (to borrow a phrase from BooMama)

L's Thanksgiving program in which she actually participated (unlike her sister)

The girls with their new friend, Boo

Our New Friend

When I was about 7 years old, some friends of mine came to stay with us for the weekend when their parents went out of town. (I realize now what a luxury that is!) We were out in the backyard when we spotted two peacocks that had escaped from the zoo nearby. My friend, Bo, ran inside to tell my mom. He said, "Miss Pattie! Miss Pattie! There are peacocks in the backyard and I'm not lyin'!" We still laugh about that today.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. After lunch, I forced the girls to go outside and play. I don't know what is going on with them but lately they haven't been interested in playing outside. They do their best to come inside every 30 seconds for various reasons, the most popular being a trip to the bathroom. They were outside for all of a minute when they came running inside and K exclaimed, "Mama! There's a turtle on the back porch! A real live turtle!"

I told them not to touch it and went out to inspect it. Sure enough, a small box turtle had found his way to our porch in search of food. He was covered with dryer lint (from the load that was, at the time, being dried) so I cleaned him off and put him back in the grass. The girls wanted to touch his shell and I told them they could as long as I was out there with them. K decided that we needed to name him "Boo" because that was a good boy name. Not sure where that came from!

We watched Boo for the next hour or so as he made his way back to the porch, across the length of it, then back out into the yard. The last I saw of him, he was digging under some leaves, trying to find a worm. Every now and then, K would say, "Where's Boo?" and then try to find him. L said that he left our yard to go explore the neighborhood.

Friday, November 30, 2007

And the One-Liners Just Keep Coming

This morning, at breakfast, K was talking about the freckle that L has on the palm of her hand. K said it was strange and L replied, "It's not strange!" I told L that is wasn't strange, it's unique, it makes her special. She said, "It's not special!" I said, "Yes it is. You are special because God made you that way." Her reply?

"God didn't make me special! God made me L_____!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Think She May Be Coming Down with a Case of OCD

On Tuesday, I took K to the dentist. She is a great patient and did everything she was asked to do. I must give some of the credit to the hygienist who explained everything to K beforehand and even let her play with some of the equipment. And in the grand dentist tradition, K got a goodie bag filled with all things dental: floss, kid-friendly mouthwash, toothpaste, and the beloved toothbrush (Pirates of the Caribbean!).

Ever since that day, K has become obsessed with brushing her teeth. And flossing. And rinsing. After every single thing she eats. Especially if it has sugar in it. Sugar of any kind. Like after she ate a pear for a snack yesterday. After she got home from school. After dinner. Before bed. Before school this morning. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash included.

I realize that it is probably just a phase but there's only so many times you can brush your teeth!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh, the Things They Say

I have always been able to talk with my children easily. We just have fun together. We usually talk about what they did that day during dinner. I have long thought that K would be my most vocal one, that I wouldn't have to ask much of her, that she would tell me things and L would be the one I have to pull information out of. This has not been the case as of late. When I ask K what she did at school her answer is, "I don't know." It's as if I have to pull teeth to get out of her what she did at school.

L, on the other hand, is a fountain of information. She told me that she and her friends were going to get motorcycles, pink, of course, and ride around. They had this whole plan to ride around on their pink motorcycles with their pink helmets. Of course, that's just for the girls. The boys were going to have black motorcycles except for H (one of her boyfriends). H was going to get a red one because red is his favorite color.

I would love to be a fly on the wall in L's class. The conversations that must go on!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

War Eagle! (And Happy Belated Birthday to Me)

So, we won! It was beautiful. I'm still kicking myself because I didn't get a t-shirt a few years ago that said "Fear the Thumb" in reference to our streak of beating Alabama. Now that shirt would be obsolete and I am, frankly, a bit superstitious about such things and if I had actually gotten the shirt we would have lost last year and I would get no satisfaction out of that shirt. (Sorry about the run-on sentence). But we won last year and this year, too. Oh the joy! It was a great birthday present.

Actually, ten years ago, my 21st birthday was the day of the Auburn/Alabama game. I lived by two football players. The game was in Auburn. We won at the last second on a field goal (a very long field goal as I recall). It was just fabulous. What a birthday that was.

Fast forward ten years and my how times have changed. I am so thankful for the life I've been given. I have a wonderful husband, three beautiful children (even if they are beasts at times) and family and friends I cherish. This past year has been full of smiles and trials and I wouldn't change one minute of it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Music

You'll notice on my sidebar that I have a link for the new Michael W. Smith Christmas CD. I believe that I'm going to get a free copy just because I blog and I signed up in time. As soon as I get it, I'll let you know what I think. If you click on the link, you can listen to several of the songs. Even if you're not a fan of MWS, his Christmas albums are wonderful. They are always the first ones I listen to at the beginning of the Christmas season, to get into the spirit!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Parfum d'Old Spice

Ever since we got our new toilet, the girls have wanted to use it rather than their own. Why bother with a used one when a new one is available? So when L came into my room and asked if she could use my potty, I begrudgingly said yes. I usually make them use their own but I guess I'm getting soft in my old age.

She went in, closed the door, did her business, and flushed. I was working on the computer, just outside the bathroom door, and realized, several minutes later, that L was still in there. Then I heard rummaging. Not a good sign from a 3-year-old in her parent's bathroom. I told her to get out of there. She dropped what she was doing and obeyed (good girl!).

Since it was time for dinner, I escorted her out of my room and into the kitchen where I smelled some sort of perfume. It smelled like air freshener at first but I couldn't place it. I asked the girls if they had sprayed something and, of course, they denied it. L asked to be picked up and I, again, obliged. (See? I am getting soft.) That's when the smell got stronger.

Apparently, L had put on her father's Old Spice deoderant while rummaging in the bathroom. She even got it in the right spot. I know she missed her Daddy last week but that's a little over the top!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pictures Coming!

Oh, I've been so blog neglectful this week. With an out-of-town husband and a sick child I've had my hands full this week. Fortunately, S is back and will be for awhile. For that, we are grateful.

One fun thing I got to do this week was do a knitting demonstration for K's class. The librarian at her school asked if I would show the kids some hand-knitted items and I was happy to oblige. I could have thought of a thousand reasons not to do this (H needs a nap, H needs to eat at that time, L is sick, I have other errands to do, etc.) but I really wanted to do this so I made the time. Just to see the look on K's face when I told her what I was going to do was proof enough that I made the right decision. She was so proud to have me in her class and to share with all her friends. I'm so thankful I got to do that.

Now, the demonstration was really just a way to show the kids the different tools used in knitting, along with different yarns used and things that can be made by hand. While I didn't have a whole lot to show them, I had plenty. Remember this is a group of five-year-olds. They were really more interested in the yarn and feeling the different textures.

So, I'll try to do better about blogging this week. I have a few pictures to share, including L's first Thanksgiving program. She was really cute!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Children, The Cats

My dad and stepmother have 3 cats: George, Audrey, and Proctor. They are sweet and funny cats, mostly hiding when we show up with our brood. The one thing they love is a good box. I don't really know what it is but a good box will provide hours of entertainment for these animals.

(Can you see where this is going?)

Today I got a new stroller for H. We purchased a "travel system" when I was pregnant with K that has lasted all these years. The carseat part is still just fine but the stroller part is, well, falling apart. All of the straps have dry rotted so that I can't buckle H into it should I want to take him out of his carseat. I find that detail to be very important in a stroller. Since he's already proven to be a wiggle worm, I don't want to risk him falling out of said stroller.

I found a great deal on a stroller online. Free shipping. Excellent price. Tons of accessories and attachments. Clearance item. Cool color. Did I mention that I got a really good price? Anyhoo, it came today and I spent the last half hour putting it together in our kitchen. It really wasn't that difficult except for the two little girls "helping." As I was figuring out all the accessories, the girls found the box. They played in that thing forever and it's still sitting on the floor of our kitchen.

I've just gotten a really good idea for Christmas...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's the Little Things

Earlier today, I posted about rest for the weary. I needed that today! And just when I thought I had to do everything, the girls go and surprise me. As I was putting them to bed and turning out the light, I noticed that they had very carefully laid out their clothes for tomorrow. I didn't tell them to do it, they just did it on their own, shoes included! It was the sweetest thing.

H is 6 Months Old!

I know I say this a lot but I'm so amazed at how fast H's first year is going. He's getting so big so fast, it feels like one really long day since he got here (a friend of mine says, "The days are long but the years are short"). For those of you who need to know specifics, H went to the doctor this morning and he is a whopping 18lbs, 15oz and 27" long. He is a chunk! He's gained 13 pounds in 6 months. That's a lot to me. The best news is that he's all caught up for his age group, landing in the 75th percentile for a normal 6-month-old boy. That is great! No wonder my arms are sore by the end of the day!

(I'm including a picture of L and H because L wanted to be in the picture and I took about 10 trying to get both of their faces in the frame. It wasn't my best picture-taking venture.)

Rest for the Weary

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Matthew 11:28-30

Monday, November 5, 2007

So That's Where it Is

We, like the majority of Americans, have 2 phones. We have only one phone line but we have receivers in the kitchen and our bedroom. About a week ago, I realized that I could only find one of them. I hit the page button on the base and was able to find one, conveniently located in my hand, but couldn't find the other one. I looked in all the normal places, including all the cushions on the sofa and the chair. I looked under all the furniture. No phone. It was gone.

The other day, however, the girls were playing in the living room and the kitchen. They went to their cabinet in my grandmother's china cabinet and I noticed what looked to be a phone. Sure enough, there was the other phone, complete with a dead battery. I had to explain that these phones were not toys!

Friday, November 2, 2007

In Memoriam

Fishy - July 2005-November 2007

This post is dedicated to our faithful friend, Fishy. He was such a good pet, never asking for anything other than food and clean water. He celebrated many milestones with us, including the birth of our son in May. And while Fishy wasn't the type of pet to sit on your lap, he served a special purpose as the very first pet we ever owned.

Fishy, you will be missed!

(Please note: the above picture is not of our sweet Fishy but it's the best I could do.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Because I Don't Want to Leave Him Out

Since H didn't get dressed up last night, I thought I would post my favorite picture of him. I took it with my cell phone so the quality isn't that great but thanks to modern technology, and a husband who understands it all, we were able to transfer it to my computer.

At Least I Didn't Forget My Camera

I just so happened to remember my camera last night as we went trick-or-treating for the first time. This is our first year to do that mostly because I just didn't want to bother with it. Frankly, the girls never asked and I never mentioned it. But now that K is in kindergarten and has friends that talk about trick-or-treating, we had to go this year.
We have some wonderful neighbors but I don't know them all that well and we would be limited to about 6 houses for our trick-or-treating debut. Plus, I really didn't want to drag H around the entire time so we joined some of our friends in their neighborhood. They have lots of kids on their street and I actually know more of their neighbors than I do of my own. (I realize this is sad).
Here are the highlights of our trick-or-treating debut:
  • K and L getting dressed up as princesses, yet again
  • L and her friend W being petrified (and I do mean petrified) of a man in a mask. The mask wasn't that scary and it was someone we all know but they were petrified nonetheless
  • L deciding, after a very short time, that she'd had enough of the trick-or-treating and joining Mama in handing out the candy
  • L saying, "Here boy" or "Here girl" in reference to the children coming to get candy from us
  • L saying, "Mama, cover my eyes. He's scary!" (At which point she took my hand and covered her face)
  • The Daddies pulling the kids in the wagon and the Mamas sitting in the driveway handing out the candy. It was a great night!

Ice Princess K

Ice Princess L

The kids at the end of the night (Honestly, walking around is so tiring!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Think She May Be Calculating Her Next Move

Tonight, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, K drew me a picture. She was so proud of it and showed it off immediately.

"Where should we put it?" I asked.
"I know! I'll put it under your pillow. That way, L won't find it."

She ran to my room to put the sweet picture under my pillow. L, who had been doing puzzles in the living room, piped up and said, "I'm going to find it, Mommy. I really can find it."

Oh, these children really are interesting!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's in a Name?

H. Bug-a-boo. Big man. Little man. Hot stuff. Buddy. Big boy. Chunky monkey. Chunker. Chubs. Mama's boy. Moose.

These are all names I have been known to use in reference to my son. When I originally started this blog, we really thought Moose was going to be his nickname. Not something that other people called him but what we called him at home, just like K is Munchkin and L is Monster. Frankly, I don't like the name Moose but S seemed to really like it and I just couldn't stop the madness. Actually, I didn't really like Monster, either, but it stuck and there was no getting rid of that. And there are plenty of days when she lives up to that name.

The funny thing is, Moose isn't really sticking. As much as his father likes it, it's really hard to call H Moose. For some reason, it's just not working. And when S tries to call him Moose, it sounds contrived, almost forced.

(By the way, most of his cousins and some of our friends call him Baby H. I have a feeling that will continue the rest of his life. On his wedding day, the family will be saying things like, "I can't believe Baby H is old enough to get married!" and other such nonsense.)

I don't know what nickname he'll end up with. Both Munchkin and Monster were adapted at a very young age so we shall see what happens.

What are your kids' nicknames?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Of Naptime and Camera-Forgetting

We just got home from a pumpkin carving party which was completely fun. However, I forgot the camera. This seems to be a recurring theme in my life. The party was fun although I didn't bring a pumpkin with us to carve. Why would I bother with a silly thing like that? It really all has to do with my forgetfulness in purchasing one sans children yesterday and my unwillingness to purchase one with all three in tow. Somehow, it just wasn't something I wanted to do. Oh well. Fortunately, my friend had an extra and even carved it for us. She said it was a gift for H's first Halloween.
Since I don't have any pictures from the party, I thought I would post this one I took of L after "nap time" today. I told the girls they had to stay in their room and be quiet or we wouldn't go to the party. Well, they stayed quiet but there was no napping involved in nap time. This is the outfit L had on when she came out of her room, complete with a bathing suit that is two sizes too small and her favorite stuffed frog.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pictures From the Weekend

Here are a few pictures from our weekend with Papa and PJ. We had such fun with them and were sad to see them go. Enjoy!

Fall Festival

This weekend, Papa and PJ came for a visit. We haven't seen them since they were here in May to help out after H was born. S had to go on a business trip, leaving me to care for a preemie, two little girls and recover from an emergent situation. It wasn't pretty. I never would have survived without their help. They did countless loads of laundry, cleaned my house from top to bottom and made my life much easier.

Friday was our school's Fall Festival. The girls got all dressed up as "Ice Princesses." I'm not real sure where the Ice Princess came from but I went with it. Since we have tons of princess dress-up stuff, I saw no reason to spend $14.99 on another princess outfit. I found some inexpensive crown/earring sets and added those to our existing costumes. The girls were so excited about the crowns and earrings that they had no idea that most kids get new things for Halloween/Fall Festival. H got to wear a bumblebee costume I purchased for K for her first Halloween. He wore it for all of five minutes, just long enough to get a picture.

The festival was fun. The girls had a great time although it took them a little while to warm up to the large crowd. The best booth, according to K, was the "Go Fish" booth. It's there every year and the little kids (preschool and kindergarten) get to fish for candy. This year, however, they gave out live goldfish. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I really hope I get a fish."

Let me take this opportunity to recall a story from my own childhood. My dad took me to the state fair when I was about 10. My friend, Susan, went with us, along with a couple of other girls my age. We played games, rode rides, ate junk. All things you normally do at the fair. We all played the throw-the-ping-pong-ball-in-the-fishbowl game and one by one, each started winning a fish. Susan, however, didn't win a fish. My father made me give her my last ball and, wouldn't you know it, she won a fish. I was the only one who didn't. This has been a sore spot for a very long time.

So when K said she really hoped she got a fish, I flashed back to my 10-year-old self and did all I could to make sure K got that fish. I was so proud when she fished a fish (which was promptly named Aurora)! Fortunately, we had an extra fish bowl at home and some fish food so Aurora has taken up residence in our living room.

After over an hour of wandering around, the adults (and H) were ready to go home. The kids had a blast and we have survived yet another school-related function.

I left our camera in the car so I will post pictures from said festival as soon as Papa downloads them from his camera and sends them to me. For now, here are a couple of pictures of the kids prior to the festival.

The Animal in My House

My Dad and stepmom, PJ, have been here this weekend. More on that later. I had to post this little story, though, because it's really quite humorous.

On Friday, we went out to lunch to a little place on the water. It is one of their favorite restaurants to visit when they come see us. After lunch, Papa and PJ took the girls down to the water's edge to look for shells. Among the average seashells was this beautiful shell that looked to previously be home to a crab. So we took home a few shells, including that one.

When we got home, we put all the shells on the phone stand in the kitchen. We went out (to the Fall Festival at school which is an entirely different post), came home, fixed dinner, and chatted for awhile. At one point, the former-home-to-a-crab shell fell off the phone stand. Since the children had been around it, most of us chalked it up to it being too close to the edge. My comment, however, was that the shell was in the middle of the stand and I believed a creature was still in the shell. So we put it on the kitchen table and watched it for at least an hour. Nothing. Figuring everyone else was right and there was nothing in there, we put the shell back with the others and went to bed.

The next morning, K got up and went to the kitchen to look at her shells. Papa was in there making his coffee (not something that is normally done in this house since neither S nor I like coffee) and K asked, "Where is the crab shell?" Papa looked and, I kid you not, the crab shell was gone.

We looked everywhere for that thing. It wasn't underneath the phone stand or anything else in the kitchen. We got out a flashlight and looked under the stairs, under couches and chairs, everywhere we thought the crab could possibly be. We even slid the china cabinet away from the wall and looked under it. Y'all, the crab was gone. Just plain gone. I figured we would find it when it died and started smelling.

This morning, when K and L got up at 7:00am (no earlier because of our new rules), they both came running into my room and said, "Mommy! We found the crab! We found the crab!" In my sleep-deprived stupor, I told them to bring it to me. I asked them to show me where they found it and it was right by my door. That's a trip through the kitchen and down the hall for this little critter. Yet when we turned the shell over to see if we could see anything other than shell, there was nothing, not even a little foot, to be seen.

We watched the shell all morning and no movement whatsoever. So I took a few pictures of the shell, which is very pretty, and decided to return it to its natural environment. For all you animal lovers out there, have no fear. The crab was returned to his/her previous home safe and sound.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fruit Muffins and Baked Oatmeal

Over the weekend, S made two things for breakfast that were just wonderful. One is a family recipe that we've made many times before and they are always a hit. The other is a new recipe found in a church cookbook. I thought I would share both with you. The muffin recipe is ours but the oatmeal recipe is from the A Taste of Trinity cookbook. I've never even been to this church but they have some wonderful recipes! Maybe one of these will inspire you to make something yummy.

Fruit Muffins
(I would call these blueberry muffins but you can use any berry you like and I prefer raspberries)

3C flour
2C sugar
1Tbs baking powder
1/4lb (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
1C milk
2C fruit

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until a fine meal is formed. Measure out one cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the eggs, milk and fruit to the remaining flour mixture. Place in muffin tins lined with paper liners. Top batter with dry mixture that was set aside, evenly distributing the entire amount. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes 20-24 muffins.

NOTE: Frozen fruit works best in this recipe, as fresh fruit tends to break up more easily in the batter. You can also add the zest of half a lemon to brighten up the flavor.

Baked Oatmeal

3C oatmeal
2tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1C milk
1/2C oil
1C sugar (half was plenty for us or you can do half sugar, half brown sugar)
2 eggs

Mix together oatmeal, baking powder, salt and milk. Add oil, sugar and eggs. Pour into greased round or 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (until firm and lightly browned). Serve with milk.

What's Going On

I'm back, y'all! Not that I've gone anywhere but I just haven't posted in almost a week. I wish I could say that I'd been somewhere spectacular (like Alaska as my friend Jennifer did a week ago) or that something completely wonderful had happened that kept me from blogging. Alas, no such luck. It just the same old thing happening day after day.

The thing is, though, I'm much more comfortable with that right now than I was just a few weeks ago. I'm beginning to relish the time I have with my children, knowing that in just a few short years, they won't need me as much as they do right now and, sadly, won't want it, either. I'm finding joy in being a mother to three small children. They are needy but they are mine and I want to be there for every new step. So allow me to brag on their most recent accomplishments.

(As a side note, they have all had their moments of non-compliance this week, confirming, in my mind, that they are not perfect).

K is learning to read. This is so much fun to watch. I bought her a set of books that are for very beginning readers and she is flying through them. We only do one or two at a time because she gets tired of it. However, she loves to read them and feels so accomplished when she reads a whole book by herself. It's a sweet thing to watch her little mind expanding.

L is going to be my little athlete. We have been practicing volleyball and she can bump with the best of them. Honestly, the first time I tossed the ball to her, she hit it right back to me. I know I couldn't do that at three. Her Daddy is so proud.

H is, as I said previously, is getting big. He's starting to push up with his hands which is the beginning of the end as far as being immobile is concerned. He's also getting his two bottom teeth. And he is the cutest baby boy I have ever seen. His smile is so sweet it just warms my heart.

So that's what is going on with the kids. I'm so thankful for them and the wonderful blessing they are on this family. Sure, they wear me out but it's a good kind of worn out!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Is anyone else in a cooking slump? I would say that I am except that I haven't really had to cook too much lately. This week has been filled with some really wonderful dinners cooked by my loving husband, who is a much better cook than I. I'm the baker, he's the cook.

We've also discovered a new vegetable: sweet potatoes. Now, before you go nuts and say that this particular vegetable has been around for ages and many a child has loved this sweet root, I would not be one of those people. Yes, I'm Southern and should love them as they are a staple in the Southern kitchen. However, I have never really liked them except when my stepmom PJ makes them. I don't know what she does but they are good. Well, S made baked sweet potatoes and I mashed one of them up to give to the girls. L could not get enough and wanted more when there was no more to give.

For those of you familiar with our family, you know that L is quite a picky eater. She isn't required to finish the food on her plate but doesn't get any options other than what is put in front of her. Anyway, the discovery of the sweet potato as a viable vegetable has been wonderful.

So, what did you have for dinner tonight? Anything good? Just so you know, S prepared steak, cottage potatoes (provided by his mom before she left) and green beans. It was all so yummy, especially since I didn't have to cook it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

H is Getting Big!

When our screen saver comes on, it is a montage/slideshow of all the pictures stored on our computer. As you may have guessed, most of them are of our kids although some are very random. For example, I have a picture of a bumper sticker that was produced after the 2005 Auburn/Alabama game that reads, "HONK IF YOU SACKED BRODIE" in reference to the umpteen times the former Alabama quarterback landed on his behind in said game. It was funny.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with football or random pictures. Well, it sort of has to do with random pictures. Anyway, one of the pictures I saw was this one when H was brand new and had only been home from the hospital less than two weeks. He probably weighed about 6 pounds. He was so tiny! I remember his very skinny legs as he had almost no fat on his body.

Fast forward to this picture I took this weekend. He is a chunk! I have no idea how much he weighs but I can tell you that he is still nursing and is not yet on any solids. He is a growing boy.

Just look at those double chins! It is amazing to see how well he is doing despite all the issues surrounding his birth. I am so thankful for our little man!

He Is Famous

A friend of ours has recently opened a children's shop in our area. Several weeks ago she asked if H could be a model for some of her really cute clothes for an ad in a local magazine. Of course I said yes. So H and a baby girl, V, were in this photo shoot. The pictures turned out great even though by the end of the shoot both babies were tired and ready for naps. I'm only posting a couple so you can see how cute they are together. I know V's mom and we enjoyed being pregnant together so it was fun to see our babies in pictures together.

An Encouraging Weekend

I just want to say that I had a blast this past weekend. My mom (aka Nana) was here for the weekend and we had a wonderful time. After such a tough week, it was a welcome sight to have both Daddy and Nana around. I got to sleep in, I wasn't the only adult in the house and I didn't once have to prepare a meal. Oh, did I mention that S and I got to go out to dinner and a movie? And Auburn won. It was just wonderful, a true blessing.

But wait! There's more! Then (this is the best part) Nana and I got to go shopping! Oh, it was so much fun. We spent all day Monday shopping our little hearts out while K and L were in school. S graciously agreed to pick them up so we didn't have to worry about getting back at a certain time. H tagged along with us and was so good all day. He didn't get a very good nap and slept really well that night but he was just a great sport the whole time. I even got to take Nana to a great little place for lunch without any interruptions from children. H was there but he was so good! (I think I may have already mentioned that). I was able to get several things that I needed (and a few that I didn't) since I have only a few things that really fit now that I'm not pregnant any more. I hit some wonderful sales and I would say my best find was a pair of pants for $6.97 from Old Navy. Oh, and a great pair of jeans that actually fit. They were not $6.97.

We were both exhausted by the time we got home but it was so worth it. The last time my mom visited, I got almost no time with her so this little trip was just a blast and much needed on both ends. We laughed the entire time and enjoyed being mother and daughter, as well as friends.

Here is a picture of the kids with their Nana and one of L that I just had to share. We have more fun to look forward to as Papa and PJ are scheduled to come in the next couple of weeks and we haven't seen them since May. H has changed a lot since then and the girls are so excited to see them. Should be fun!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Enjoying the Weekend

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for us as we adjust to S's new job. He is home now (blessedly!) and let me just tell you how excited the girls were to see Daddy. They were, well, very excited. It was so sweet.

And now that Nana is here, the weekend is even that much better. The girls were thrilled to see her and I became instantly invisible upon her arrival. That's actually not such a bad thing after a long week.

I'm sure I'll have plenty of tales from the weekend so enjoy yours with your family (or wherever you may be!).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fun at Home

My children are my usual photo subjects and this post is no exception. My mom gave H these pajamas and I thought they were so cute; I couldn't wait for him to be big enough to fit into them. I thought they were huge and that it would be Christmas before they fit him. They fit just fine now!

I realize that most of the pictures on my blog are of L and H because I tend to take the pictures in the morning when K and L are at school. Since L is home with us two days a week, she gets her picture taken, too. I'll try to get more pics of K up soon.

As I write this, H is in his rocker chair and chatting up a storm. He's just started this in the last week or so. Not that he wasn't talking earlier but this is almost non-stop. He just chatters!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mod Girl!

I just wanted to wish my dear friend, Mod Girl, a happy birthday. I have known her since we were in kindergarten and we have been through a lot together. She has always been a wonderful encourager and faithful prayer warrior for whatever the need. So check out Mod Girl's blog and wish her a happy birthday!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Friday Family Fun

Ever since school started, we've been having Friday Family Fun night. This is, typically, pizza and a movie. While this wouldn't thrill most of you, it's such fun for the girls and S and I have fun with them. We rent a movie that all of us will watch (which isn't always easy) and we have pizza.

But the pizza we eat is no ordinary pizza. Instead of ordering from a chain, we make our own, which makes the night even more fun. The girls get to make their own pizzas (K, cheese and mushroom, L, plain cheese) and S and I get to be creative.

This week, I created what I think is my new favorite pizza. We start with store-bought crusts that actually taste very good. My pizza had goat cheese, caramelized onions, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil (from our herb garden), and fresh mozzarella. Yum! For those of you who need meat on your pizza, try adding a little prosciutto. S did that and it was really yummy.

I encourage all of you to get in the kitchen with your kids. We have a great time together and there are plenty of things that both K and L can do to help. I have vivid memories of my mom letting me help her in the kitchen and I think that's why I like to cook today. And let them help clean up, too!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

The other day as I was feeding H, I was watching the Food Network and, more specifically, Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentiis. She is, frankly, too skinny to be a good chef but everything of hers that I've ever made has been delicious (I'd just like to insert a shout-out to Michelle who loves her, too). And she has the best lifestyle ever, jetting off to Italy and the Mediterranean whenever she feels like it. Must be nice. She made some wonderful Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze. They looked so good, a really good cookie for spring. However, it's not spring. It's technically fall but since it still pretty much feels like summer around here, I decided I didn't care that it wasn't the season for these cookies and made them anyway.

You really must try this recipe. It is a wonderful, light cookie and it is so easy to make. I will warn you that they are addictive and could possibly add to your waistline but they are delicious. And when I say light, I mean they aren't heavy, as in dark chocolate, but light in flavor, hence the lemon. I will say that I take absolutely no credit for these cookies. Don't blame me if you become addicted, too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

H is Five Months Old!

I'm really having a hard time believing that he's already five months old. This is going by way too fast. He's such a fun baby right now, very easy going, only complaining when there are real issues, i.e., hunger, dirty diaper, etc. It's hard to get him to smile for the camera so you'll just have to trust me that he really does smile a bunch, especially for his sisters. I'm also learning that a major difference between boys and girls is the amount of despair involved when there is both hunger and sleepiness. It's not a good combo for anyone, really, but the boy must have his food and his sleep. There's no doubt about that.
I have no idea how much he weighs right now but I know he's put on a little bit since the last time we were at the doctor's. He has finally outgrown his 3-month clothing and is on to bigger and better things. And he is beginning to enjoy his excer-saucer, thanks to some wonderful friends. I didn't have one for the girls and didn't really want to buy one for just one child. Thanks Kristie and Karina, for letting us borrow yours. It's a huge help. His favorite part is the mirror!

Finally, a smile!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I'm having a rough time this week with S gone for the third week in a row and there's no end in sight at the moment. I have more to say on this subject but it's late and I really want to make sure my words are clear. In the meantime, I had a conversation with K tonight that I really wanted to share.

Shortly after I put the girls in bed, I sat down in my room and just started to cry. I prayed for God to provide someone to talk to. K poked her head out of her room and this is pretty much how the conversation went:

"Mommy? Are you okay?"
"No, I'm not."
"What do you need?"
"I just need a hug."
"Well, I can give you a hug. Can I come give you a hug?" So she came and sat in my lap and gave me a hug. I continued to cry.
"I miss Daddy a whole bunch, Mommy."
"I do, too. It's hard for Mommy when he's not here."
"Well, your kids love you an awful lot and so does Daddy." That was exactly what she said.

That made even more tears fall.

Monday, October 1, 2007


When L was a baby, a friend of mine gave me this wonderful Tummy Tub. It is the best, hands down, tub for babies. I wouldn't use it for newborns but once my kids are old enough to hold their heads up, it is the best thing in the world. It looks like a large bucket with a rubber ring at the base to prevent skidding.

Tonight was H's first experience with the Tummy Tub and he loved it. The girls were more than eager to help so I let them take some pictures. This was the first time that H had a smile on his face during bath time. The girls were doing their best to help and what helped the most was that they were entertaining him. He kept smiling at them and really enjoying himself.

(A bit of a disclaimer: S hates this tub. I don't know why but he can't stand it but he's out of town this week and I will use what I like. Oh, and what H prefers, too.)
H enjoying bath time
All smiles and bubbles
This is the picture K took (notice H is standing in the tub, something that made me a bit nervous)
This is the picture L took (she's not much of a photographer but she's only 3)