Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I have acquired a new skill over the last few weeks. I can now tell the outside temperature based on the slushiness of my Diet Coke being stored in the garage. I can get within a degree or two every time.

(Having nice, cold Diet Coke without using up all my fridge space is the one and only good thing about winter.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Florida, Anyone?

Or Arizona? Or Aruba? Or Hawaii? Yeah, Hawaii sounds good.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Believe

We've never really done the Santa thing with our kids. They just see him as a character from books and movies. I asked them about it this year. If they wished we had Santa come to our house. They said no. They were fine with things the way they've been. "Besides," said Adam, "There's no way he could get to all the houses in the world in one night." So we believe in the spirit of Santa, but not so much the guy in red himself.

But after this year, I'm seriously considering rethinking Santa. You see, he has been visiting us for weeks. Our family has been affected by the economic downturn and somebody told Santa. He has sent envelopes with money and gift certificates. He has delivered boxes of food and gifts. And on Christmas Eve he outdid himself by leaving on our front porch boxes and bags of gifts for our family. I was completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our own personal Santa (or Santas). This Santa knows us well because the sizes were right on the clothes and the gifts for the kids were perfect. There were games and puzzles and toys and even a few very thoughtful things for Arrty and I. We have played lots of hands of Uno Spin and Adam is working on his puzzle as I type. And Julianna is completely in love with the blue elephant and butterfly doll that she received. (I saw the same doll while shopping and almost bought it for her because it is so cute and perfect for her since her room is decorated with butterflies.) For a brief moment I started to wrack my brain to try to figure out who could have done such a wonderful thing for our family, then I decided that the gift tags said Santa, so I would just go with that. I hope, though, that somehow all those who have been so very kind to us know that we are truly grateful.

And I hope that next year, we'll be able to do the same for someone else.


I enjoyed seeing Marmitetoasty's Christmas tree ornaments so much that I decided to share a few of ours. Our tree is covered with all kinds of ornaments. Some are handmade by the kids. Some were given to us as gifts. And some were bought during our traditional ornament shopping trip.

Adam made this one when he was 4.

And he made this one in kindergarten.

Josh made this one in 1st grade.

And he made this one when he was 5.

This is our 2008 family ornament.

Adam's 2008 Bumble ornament.

Josh's 2008 Santa fisherman ornament.

Julianna's 2008 skating Care Bear ornament.

My angel in an egg ornament. It must be at least 25 years old.

We all love to open the ornament box and remember Christmases past. And look forward to all the Christmases to come.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I really should be frantically wrapping presents. But I'm instead here blogging. I just had to say Merry Christmas to those of you who may happen to stop by. I hope you have the best Christmas ever!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A rose by any other name...

I have encountered a problem that I wasn't expecting when we named Julianna. Some people pronounce it Juli-aw-na. But it's Juli-anna. Just like it looks. Don't get me wrong. Juliawna is a fine name, but it's not my daughter's name. So what do I do? So far I have let it go if it's someone we rarely see, like the doctor. If it's someone who we see often I just make sure to say her name correctly a few times hoping they'll catch on. I honestly never thought there would be a problem with the pronunciation or spelling of her name. (Apparently you can spell it Juliana, too.) I hope that she doesn't spend her life correcting people about her name. I can just see her in 15 years rolling her eyes and saying, "It's Juli-ANNA."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Day

I make the rules and I say that if schools get a snow day, homeschoolers do, too. At least these homeschoolers do. Besides, it's going to take my students and co-teacher all day to dig us out.

This is Arrty standing next to his Explorer. I'm glad he's the one with the shovel and I'm the one with the camera.

The boys are trying to make a path out to the dog's house. The snow is up to their waists. We also use the swing set to measure our snow. It's well past the seats already.

They're making progress slowly but surely. By the way, the dog was in the house last night so he isn't snowed in his dog house. You can't see him but he was trying to "help" with the path. He's a huge chocolate lab and as he ran through the snow, all I could see was the top of his head.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


*We went to a Christmas party at Santa's house this week. Really. He and Mrs. Claus are in our Bible study group. Check out the link. It was great fun and even better fellowship. There was dinner and a gift exchange and "Frosty the Snowman" read by Santa himself.

*I have discovered that there is a magical moment each night when, if I put Julianna to bed after prayers and songs, she will go happily to sleep all on her own. If, however, I miss that moment she isn't nearly so happy about the whole thing.

*Speaking of Julianna, she had her 6 month check-up this week. She is 25 inches long and weighs just under 15 pounds. She is in the 25th percentile for height and 20th for weight. Lots of people tell me that she's tiny, but I guess I didn't realize it since I've known her since she really was tiny. But she is perfectly healthy and right on track with her development.

*I went Christmas shopping this week and was once again surprised at all the grumpy people. Even those who were also Christmas shopping. I was so not grumpy. How could I be when I have people to buy presents for and a little bit of money to buy presents with?

*After the boys helped Arrty's grandma move yesterday, his aunt Cathy took us all out to dinner at Tomato Street. We don't eat there often and I always forget how yummy it is. I had tomato basil soup with garlic bread and chicken parmigiana with fettuccine Alfredo. Mmm. I ate the leftovers for breakfast, but I wish I had more for right now.

*I am feeling a little overwhelmed this week because even though our family has gone from 2 1/2 jobs this time last year to half a job now, we are still being provided for by our heavenly Father. We have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and a pantry and fridge full of food to feed our children. And we are so very blessed by the people in our lives who love us.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


...while the boys were watching a movie.

Adam: "She's a bad singer."
Josh: "It's opera. It's supposed to be bad."

Friday, December 05, 2008


I was just explaining to Adam why Julianna can't have stuffed animals to sleep with. That it's not safe for her yet. To the boy who has no less than 20 stuffed animals in his bed, that made no sense. He said, "Where did you hear that? You don't always have to believe what bloggers say!"

Really? Bloggers? I thought I could always believe bloggers.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

6 Months

Julianna turned 6 months old yesterday. 6 months. Half a year. I can't believe it. She does something new everyday it seems. I think because I'm an older mom this time I am appreciating this whole baby thing more. And because she's our last. Really this time.

When I was pregnant I knew that I was going to breastfeed even though it certainly isn't my favorite part of mommyhood. I was hoping to make it to 5 or 6 months with her like I had with the boys. Then she was born. The first day was easy. She was a good nurser from the beginning and I was more confident and less anxious about the whole thing. The second day was not easy. She wanted to eat all the time. And when I say all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME. I remember praying that second night, when she was attached to me yet again, for my milk to come in so that she would be full for a few minutes. And of course, it did and she was. But at that point I was a little worried. I told myself to stick it out for a week. Then when I made it that week, I thought I'd try one more week. Then I thought I would shoot for a month. By the time she was a month old, we were both old hat at the whole thing.

So here we are at 6 months and I'm trying to decide what to do. I have reached my original goal. But now it's so easy. And convenient. And free. And Jules doesn't have any teeth yet.

So I'm thinking maybe just a little longer. A couple more weeks. Or at least until that first tooth appears.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Julianna has another cold. She was better for a whole 4 days. Now there is more coughing and stuffiness. Where did she get it? None of the rest of us are sick. I'm usually not overly paranoid, but I'm wanting to keep her home and away from the world just to keep her well. Poor little thing.