Archive for the ‘Kiddos’ Category

She’s a Whole Hand!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

This is the first birthday in the family to fall on a Sunday in a long while. This matters greatly, you see, because of the way birthdays work here. Since Levi’s day off is Sunday, we tend to save their party, cake, and presents for Sunday afternoons. On the morning of the actual birthday, pancakes and perhaps one small gift are served up. Little Red got to have pancakes and cake in the same day! Lucky girl!

I seem to have a knack for getting a decent “blowing out the candles” shot. Not this time. Dangit. So, I jokingly asked Audrey to pretend really quick, and she obliged. Posed or not, she’s a cutie.

Her obsession with Hello Kitty continues. Especially very tiny Hello Kitty things. These are more pieces to a little town-themed play set.

AJ found a new favorite for her – a Hello Kitty that is purple! Purple being Audrey’s favorite color, this was quite the find, indeed! Bonus: she gets to color the dress!

Of course, there was also a pretty little outfit from Miss Sabrina – who always seems to pick something the girls would pick for themselves! It came with shiny purple shoes, but those are saved for “church time,” because they’re so fancy!

I can never seem to get over each birthday that comes along. Each one takes me farther and farther away from the baby stage. Further up and further into uncharted territory. Yes, I’ve had a five-year-old before, but not THIS five-year-old. I may be the best expert on my kiddos, but I’m certainly learning that they’re experts on me, too.

This journey we’re all on together is an interesting one, to say the least. There are challenges and delights around every corner, and signs at regular intervals that say in big, bold letters: “This too, shall pass!” I welcome these signs.

It’s the other signs, also placed at regular intervals that I tend to ignore. The ones that say “We’re growing up, Mom!” Yeah. I just ignore those most of the time. On birthdays, though, they cannot be ignored.

“I’m a whole hand today, Mom!” she told me excitedly, along with a very apt demonstration. I cried.

Happy birthday, my little Apple-cheeked Monkey Sunshine! You never fail to delight and exasperate me. Part of me wants to keep you pocket-size always. Part of me longs to know you as an upright woman of God. Part of me wants both at the same time. I love you so much, Little Red, and I always will.


Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Tischel learns to appreciate the culinary arts.

Day 12: Words Squeezed In

Friday, February 18th, 2011

A picture of something I love. Well, that was easy.

I found this note on my bedroom door at the end of a very rough day, which capped a very rough week. Can you tell he couldn’t quite fit all the words in, so just squeezed them in where he could?

My heart melted – the cliche works here, folks. It really did. Everything that child put me through this week was worth every minute. Levi and I were both home at the time, so we hunted him down and smothered him with lots of love. He may be crazy and disrespectful at times, but he has a heart of gold.

I found out later that he also wrote little notes for each of his siblings, and posted them at the heads of their beds. They are still there. The kids don’t want to take them down, and I won’t be the one to make them.

How about you? What do you love?


A Sprinkling of Us

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Life has been so crazy the last few weeks. We seem to do a weird cycle every few months where there is always something on the calendar, and I long for rest. I think that’s why I’m so dead-set on Sundays being slow-down-and-do-nothing days. You may have noticed that I simply haven’t posted everyday lately. Part of that is due to the busyness of things lately, and partly due to my computer being commandeered in the late evenings by my sister. Her laptop’s wireless card broke, so that’s her only chance to get online and take care of some things.

Anyway, I thought I would take a break from the photo challenge to just share a few pieces of my life lately. Probably not in any particular order either.

Schel likes making new friends. Even if she has to tackle them to do it. Big Audrey definitely doesn’t mind, though.

These sillies joined little C in his “I’m-so-tired” rocking ritual. They added some serious decibels to it as well. (See video below.)

For Valentine’s Day, Levi took me to a local micro-brewery, where I had a glass of “Passed Stout” along with my smoked salmon enchildadas, which were amazing! Yet another new place to try, and I’d like to go back. Only this time, I want to take a group of people – this place has a marvelously laid-back “hanging out” feel to it.

Check out the beer menu:

That is some serious creativity, folks. They have a bumper sticker above their kitchen entrance that says “No crap on tap.”

I always thought I didn’t like beer. Turns out I am actually a beer snob, and I don’t actually know anything about beer. I can’t stand Coors or Bud or anything like that. I prefer darker “hoppy” beers. Whatever “hoppy” means. This amuses me.

I had my first public speaking engagement last night at our local Birth Network chapter meeting. I spoke on how changing positions can make your labor go faster (yes, it really can), and I loved it!

I was kind of nervous about my approach. I was confident in my ability to speak, and my knowledge of the subject, but a bit worried about the “fill-in-the-blank” handout I chose to use to help folks remember what they learned. I thought it might be a little cheesy, but the response was really positive!

A huge shout-out to my good friend and fellow doula, Carrie A, for the loan of her pelvis and baby, as well as being a kind moral supporter for me. I really was nervous, and her presence really helped me stay calm and confident. Her hubby was kind enough to get a couple of shots for me too, and here is one of them:

Other News of Note in the Faery Inn:

  • Dain is mastering the art of potty-ing with quicker success than I thought he would. I think the “Marshmallow-for-Everyone” approach is working well.
  • All four kiddos have come down with some sort of nasty fever/cough/puke bug. Thankfully, the puking seems to be finished, but the fevers are sticking around.
  • AJ and Schel are moving out this weekend. That is just weird. They’ll be moving into a friend’s basement temporarily, as this will be a mutual benefit. I think she’s planning on getting her really and truly own place by summertime, with the help of tax return funds.
  • I finally read “Mansfield Park” for the first time, thanks to Sabrina. And I loved it. A very different feel to this one than other Jane Austen books.
  • Schel is signing “Eat,” “More,” “All done,” and is waving “Hi” and “Bye” with much enthusiasm!
  • My Dad is off of his self-injections. Now we’re just keeping an eye on the brain tumors. His appetite is back, for the most part, though Mom still has to drive him around everywhere.
  • My mom is back on facebook, and I’ve really had a blast chatting with her when she’s on. I love my Mom. She’s sort of awesome and stuff.

I realize I haven’t done Thankful Thursday for a couple of weeks now. Honestly, it has simply slipped my mind. How about I promise to be back next week? Good.

How about you? What’s going on in your life?


Day 8: Good Medicine.

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” ~Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

I’m supposed to post a picture that makes me laugh. I’m just glad I have a bajillion to choose from, thanks to my short people. All I had to do was pick the most recent one. This short person is not technically mine, but I love her like she is.

This is Sassafrass enjoying her first bean quesadilla. Go on, laugh. You know you want to.

Feel better? Good.

What makes you laugh? I’d love to know, and laugh with you!


Day 5: So THIS is how much He loves me!

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

The birth of my firstborn.

I will never forget that moment.

The moment I felt the weight of him in my arms instead of my belly.

Before his cord was cut or the placenta was birthed.

Before I even saw his face.

I finally knew.

That I could never give him up for anyone’s sake.


And I thought to myself, “So this is how much You love me!”

And I wept.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” ~John 15:13 (NIV)

This was day 5 in the 30-day Photo Challenge, and I was to share a picture of my favorite memory. I couldn’t think of a better memory than this. Today, anyway.

What is your favorite memory?


Boys’ Day Out

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

As I mentioned before, Levi received two tickets to a local NBA game from my parents for Christmas, and I couldn’t go with him, because I was teaching that night. So, he decided to take Durin instead. Though Levi and Durin have done many “manly” errands together, this was their first real father-son outing.

They had a pretty good time, though the unsportsmanlike conduct of one of the teams, and the announcer really grated on Levi’s nerves. Even Durin could see it, and he doesn’t fully understand basketball yet. Still, Levi said they both had a good time, and Levi really enjoyed talking to his son on the drive up to the stadium. Durin came home so dead-tired, and went to bed in his clothes. It’s a day he’ll remember forever, I’m sure!

I sent the camera with Levi, and he brought back a few pics:

My guys, looking all alike and stuff. I love these guys.

The view from their seats:

My eldest. He’s really, really growing. And that bugs me a little. His is one of the sweetest faces I’ve ever seen:

Steve Nash warming up. (Apparently, we are Suns fans.)

Durin got a kick out of the mascot when he came into their section:

I love that my husband really enjoys being around his kids. They never seem to be a nuisance to him. He’s always up for a few kids in his lap, even when he’s playing WoW, or a wrestling match, or taking them on an errand with him. He’s such a family man – more than any other man I’ve met. (My father and FIL excepted.) It’s like he lives to be HOME with US.

I love it. I love HIM.

How is your week going? Mine is crazy, but it’s my own fault. Oh well. Looking forward to new starts is always nice.


If Today Goes as Planned…

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

…we will have had our first full week of school since Thanksgiving week. Talk about a “Holiday Break!” Eesh. I think that’s the one plus about homeschooling: that we can take breaks whenever we darn well please. I’m thinking school won’t end until the very last week of June this year. Oh well. It’s not like we’re going anywhere anyway.

For Christmas, I bought the kids some dinosaur excavation kits from Usborne books, and we’ll be cracking those open today. The girls will do a stegosaurus, the boys a T-Rex. We just did a very short unit on archeology and how it helps us learn about world history, and the kids became extremely interested. Durin now wants to be an archeologist when he grows up! I have to admit that visions of my boy in desert garb, sweating over a delicate fossil in the hot sun in a faraway land danced through my head. I liked that picture very much! So, I want to give them a small taste of what it’s like to excavate something, and put it together.

They’re a little young, but they’ll have me to help and guide. I’m hoping Daddy will want to participate too, since he has a long weekend this week, and the kits will take several days to complete.

I have been getting tired of just reading to the kids about things – and while they enjoy the pictures and information, they were getting burned out just listening too. Being newish to homeschooling, I wasn’t really sure where to look for hands-on things. A lapbook didn’t appeal to me at this moment. I wanted something in three dimensions. Then, I was invited to my friend’s Usborne show. I’d forgotten about this wonderful company that makes educational books and kits for kids of all ages – up through high school! I’d been introduced to the company through another friend before, but hadn’t really thought about it until the recent book party.

Needless to say, I have found yet another great source for hands-on reinforcement of what my kids are supposed to be learning. Lydia has been complaining that she has a hard time remembering what we learned “last week,” and I am hoping this helps.

I’ll take pictures of the kids using their learning tools from Usborne soon, so you can see what we’re doing. Also – I have to be honest, I’ll be hosting my own show on the 20th, in the hopes of earning some more tools for the kids, and I’ll be sharing the link to my e-show here on the ol’ blog, just in case you want to help me out by trying some of their books out on your own young’uns! 🙂

As for homeschooling, we really are having fun learning together, and most days are going more smoothly than before. I still enjoy just sitting at the table with the kids and doing our lessons together.

Oh! Before I forget! Audrey informed me during Christmas week that she is ready to learn how to read. So, she had her first phonics lesson two days ago. We’re going to take it slow, but she is quick to remind me that she needs her reading lesson! She’s very eager, and I’m sure she’ll pick up on it quickly. I have to say that teaching my kids to read is my very favorite part of this whole thing, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing it “click” inside their little heads, and seeing their confidence grow. There is nothing quite like it.

Pray for me as we keep walking this path. It’s a harder one than I thought it would be. It’s a good thing it’s also more rewarding than I thought it would be, or I would have given up long ago.

So, how was your week? Good, bad, ugly?

I’ll see you all for Monday School, right? Go into church tomorrow morning with an open mind and heart, and ask God what He wants you to learn. You might be surprised! Then, come back and share it. Write a post, or just let me know in the comments Monday morning. I’d love to learn from you, too.

Thankful Thursday: Snow Day!

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

This week, I am thankful for the simple fact that it finally snowed here! Starting last Thursday, I might add! The kids (and the grown-ups) were all so excited to see big, fluffy white flakes coming down hard and fast. It snowed all afternoon, through the night, and into the next morning. We got about four inches or so at our house, I think. I don’t really know for sure.

Immediately, the kids were just itching to get outside and go sledding or build a snowman. However, since the temperatures were still well below freezing, Mommy just wasn’t willing to let them go out. Fortunately, Daddy’s day off came on the first day it began to warm up enough that the snow would be nice and sticky, but not so much that it melted off in one day. There wasn’t enough left to go sledding, but there was plenty for a snowman!

I am thankful that the father of my children is playful.

I am thankful for the love on his face – his heart is so tender toward his kids. Dain was throwing a very tiny snowball at him, and Daddy obligingly let himself be “gotten.”

I am thankful for these kiddos, and the unbounded joy they bring me, without even trying.

I am thankful for bundled-up babies experiencing snow for the first time. Oddly enough, she’s not screaming about the snow – she HATES the snow suit, because it doesn’t allow her to move like she wants to!

Such a lovely day they had, and came inside to enjoy hot chocolate with marshmallows. The big ol’ pile of wet snow gear on my carpet (of course), and the muddy snow tracked across my kitchen floor went largely unnoticed by me.

Days and moments like these slip too easily away, like pearls from a string. Having kids has taught me how to catch those pearls, and cherish each one as a treasure. I am thankful for these simple lessons, simple moments, and the ability to share them with YOU. Thank you, ever so much, for visiting my little corner of the internet today. Have a blessed and joyful day today!


To join Thankful Thursday, click on the button at the top of this post, and go from there. If you would like to read more of this week’s Thankful posts, visit our host for the month: Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

What are you thankful for this week?

Love and Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

This post is brought to you by HTML Superwoman. A.K.A. Erica, without whom there would be no pictures in this post. I kid you not. Go tell her “Thank you!”

As many of you know, we had a birthday today. And once again, I had a hard time with it. I really really did.

Our very own Cuteness turned four. That’s right, you heard me. Four. My little fuzz-headed baby is gone. I don’t think I noticed when she left, but she’s just not here anymore. She’s so lady-like and helpful and conversational and silly and sweethearted. I just hope she grows up knowing how dearly she is loved – not only by Levi & I, but by God.

Ok. I have to stop now, or I’m going to cry. And I can’t type & cry at the same time. Kind of impedes vision, and snot doesn’t do wonders for a keyboard either.

When asked what she wanted for her birthday, Cuteness consistently replied “Presents.”

“What kind of presents?” I asked.

“The kind I like. Lots of them.” came the reply.

I love a child who is easy to please. If it’s pink, purple, sparkly, or adorned with fairies or princesses – we’re good to go.

See? I did it!

See? I did it!

Cuteness had also informed me she wanted a cake with strawberries on top. Real strawberries. And I was feeling adventurous. So, I tried my hand at this wonderful Strawberry Dream Cake recipe. I succeeded. Mostly. The recipe calls for three thin layers of cake. One layer did not survive the Removal From Pan Phase. No idea why. Still, I had two layers left, and since cake tastes great no matter how funky it looks, I didn’t worry after that.

It turned out B-E-A-utiful! If I do say so myself, and it was far easier than I thought it would be. Which is good, because I foolishly had no back-up plan.

The night before, I procured a cheap-o pink tablecloth, some princess plates, and balloons. (Balloons also being a particular wish of said little girl.)

I put it all together during naptime. And had a lot of fun. I let Turbo help me set out the plates, and he did a magnificent job, I must say. And he kept counting everything. So we homeschooled today! LOL

Needless to say, I was getting exciteder and exciteder (as you can tell from my poor grammar), and just couldn’t wait to see those big blue eyes light up! And I was well-rewarded. I wish you could have seen her! She was so delighted – in a way only a child can be. Completely satisfied with everything she saw, and so grateful! She uttered “Thank you” at least a dozen times or more…touches a mother’s heart to the core. That spontaneous gratitude.

She received her name in letters from her Granny & Grandad, an adorable Disney princess outfit from the Stewy’s, and Sleeping Beauty (complete with play make-up) from Mommy & Daddy. The gift she was most excited about? The $0.88 bracelets. I kid you not. She immediately had Daddy open them, so she could don all of them.

I put in her new Sleeping Beauty movie, and got dinner ready. She loved it, of course. All the older ones did. Turbo really loved the part where the prince slays the dragon – that’s my boy for you!

And that signaled the end of our festivities. Simple. Sweet. Dripping with love and strawberry cream cheese frosting. Here are a few pics for you.

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