Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, today is November 30th. That means that with this post I have succeeded in blogging everyday this month for Nablopomo. It has been a stretch to think of something each day to write about. But it has been good, too. It also means that tomorrow is December. Time to get ready for more holidays and winter weather and fun. It also means that it is officially my sister's birthday month. (Yes, she celebrates all month. Happy birthday month, Ada!)

So, Nablopomo is done for another year. I made it. Phew.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Frosty #1

Here is the first snowman of the year. He was completed last night at about 8:15. He only stands about 2 feet tall which is good because the only carrots I had for a nose were baby carrots. The boys were very proud of him. But, sadly, today he is more of a snow blob than a snowman and only has one eye and no mouth. Oh, well. I'm sure they'll have lots more opportunities to build snow creations in the months to come.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Again

We had a great day yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving with family. Good food and great fellowship. And as is our tradition, today I cooked for our family. For as long as we've been married, we've not spent Thanksgiving at home. But every year I buy a turkey and all the fixings and cook all the traditional dishes a day or two after the actual day. So we have Thanksgiving twice. I mostly do it for the leftovers and so that we can have thick turkey sandwiches and hot turkey sandwiches for the next week.

Julianna tried sweet potatoes for the first time yesterday. I thought that was appropriate. She didn't much care for them though and ended up smacking the spoon out of my hand and flinging mushed sweet potatoes everywhere. So she ended up with more sweet potatoes on her sock than in her tummy.

We also played Pictionary. The boys versus the girls and Josh. The boys won thanks to Adam. Who knew he was a master Pictionary player? (He guessed lots of the answers right, but his first guess pretty much every time was, "stick person.")

It was a good day. And I was reminded once again what I have to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today I am thankful that I have everything I need to take care of my children and that I am able to get up every morning to do so.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last night I was up with Julianna 4 times. Since she's had a cold, she's been waking up more because of the stuffy nose and coughing. And I didn't want to let her cry because she would just cough more. But now that the cold's pretty much gone, I have to make a choice. Do I do the "cry it out" method or the "non cry method" to get her to sleep through the night and get herself back to sleep? The "cry it out" method is just how it sounds. When she wakes up in the night and cries I would just let her cry herself back to sleep. The idea is that she will eventually cry less and less and be able to sleep on her own. The "non cry method" is when she cries I would go in and pick her up and comfort her but put her back down before she is back to sleep. I would have to do this every time she cries even if I have just put her back to bed. This method is supposed to teach her that it's bedtime and I'm there for her but it's time to sleep. I used the "cry it out" method with the boys and they have both always been pretty good sleepers. And they don't seem to be scarred for life because I let them cry. So what do I do? She'll be six months old next week and it's time for a good night's sleep for the both of us.

By the way, I totally jinxed her sleeping through the night between the ages of 1 month to 3 months. I was bragging to anyone who asked and now I'm paying for it. So I'm not going to mention that she is finally starting to take a pacifier instead of using me as her human pacifier. Wait. Did I just jinx that, too?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Well, I missed it. Again. My two year blogiversary was November 4th. I always think it's later in the month. For two years I've written about my life. Two of the hardest years of my life. Here's hoping the next two are easier. And that I don't miss my 3rd blogiversary.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Have I mentioned that homeschooling is hard? Well, it is. It's a real challenge trying to teach ancient Rome surrounded by all the distractions like toys and bikes and a baby sister and 24 hour cartoon channels. And then there's the mom thing. "But mom, do I really have to write my spelling words?" "Aww, mom, can't I just write 4 sentences instead of 6?" Then there's the fact that we have a 5 month old baby in the house who has absolutely no concern for who Julius Caesar is or what 4 times 9 equals. She kind of sets our schedule for us. (Although I can nurse her and give a spelling test at the same time.) And I fully admit to being overly flexible. "The sun's shining? Sure you can play outside." "You've never seen this Scooby Doo? Sure, you can watch it." Don't get me wrong, we still do school everyday and are pretty much on schedule. But that's mostly because I was a teacher before I was a mom and am pretty good at combining lessons and integrating different subjects.

So, yes, homeschooling is hard. But I realized something a few nights ago. The boys wanted me to lay with them at bedtime and I really didn't want to. I am with them all day every day after all. I really just wanted to watch Grey's Anatomy without interruption. But lay with them I did. And they started some conversation. I don't even remember what it was. But I do remember thinking that I know my children better now than I ever have before. Spending half the day talking with them about books and history and art and science and the world has allowed me to know them in a way I never could have without this experience. I know that it will be good for all of us in the long run. I know that down the road I will be glad that we made this decision. And tomorrow I'll try to remember that when I'm explaining again why they do, in fact, have to write all 6 sentences.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Yes, yesterday vampires made me happy. Here's why. I went to see "Twilight" with my "Twilight" friends. It's a movie that's been made from the first in the crazy popular book series by Stephanie Meyer. The main characters are Bella, a teenage girl living in Forks, Washington, and her vampire boyfriend, Edward, and his vampire family. Katrina shared the books with me a few months ago and I devoured them. (No pun intended.) I know that they will never be considered classic great American novels, but I loved reading them. I was entertained and absolutely fascinated that the author could come up with such detailed explanations of everything from the landscape to the thoughts of a teenage girl to all the hows and whys of vampires. My imagination is limited which is why I mostly write non-fiction so to read a story with such creativity was a real treat for me. And I was really looking forward to seeing the movie even knowing that I might be among the oldest members of the audience. So here's what I thought about the movie. I liked it a lot. The casting was well done for the most part. The same feeling of teenage angst and brooding from the book was there along with the excitement of young love. They did a fine job of portraying the vampires from the way they looked to the way they moved. Obviously they couldn't do justice to a 500 page novel in a two hour movie, but I still really enjoyed it. And it was fun to go with my girls and giggle about our glow-in-the-dark plastic fangs.

And, by the way, the lady three seats down was much older than me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

5 Things...

...that made me happy today.

1. Tea parties
2. Friends
3. Vampires*
4. Toothless grins (babies, not old men)
5. Girl's night

*More on this tomorrow

Friday, November 21, 2008

Get A Clue

Thursday nights have become family game night at our house. Last week it was Dominoes and Triple Yahtzee. Last night it was Clue. I hadn't played Clue for years. Like 20 years. And the boys had never played. So we all had to learn (or re-learn) together. It was really fun to watch the boys try to strategize their moves and figure out who did it, with what, where. Well, Josh had a strategy. Adam mostly moved from room to room and suggested that he (Mr. Green) did it with the lead pipe. And he had a hard time not commenting on each clue card he received. Yes, the lead pipe is bent like someone really used it to hit someone else. Yes, the knife does look old fashioned. Yes, it is weird that daddy is Col. Mustard when he actually can't stand mustard. But we got through 2 whole games of Clue. I won the first one which was kind of surprising since I wasn't trying that hard. And Arrty won the second one. Which wasn't surprising at all because he was trying really hard. And it wasn't Mr. Green with the lead pipe either time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"If more people listened to Ma Ingalls life would be a lot simpler."
Alison Arngrim, season 6

I've decided that I want to be Caroline Ingalls. She was one of those great pioneer moms who could make one chicken feed her family for days. She could make them all clothes without patterns and then use the old, worn out clothes to make quilts to keep them warm when the snow blew in through the cracks in the walls. She could milk the cows and make butter from the milk. Then make perfect bread or biscuits to spread the butter on without a recipe. And while the bread baked, she could cut out paper dolls for her daughters. She read and sang to her children and taught them what they needed to know. She disciplined Laura when she got into trouble for teasing Nellie, but she wasn't too hard on her because she knew that Nellie deserved it. She taught her children the value of everything and helped them to be glad for what they an orange in their Christmas stocking or a handmade doll. She appreciated her husband and did what she could to support him in all he did. She encouraged her children to be and do whatever they wanted. She worked hard every day and did all she could to give her family the happy home that they shared. That all sounds pretty good to me. So that's why I want to be Caroline Ingalls.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Size 3

Today I used my last size 2 diaper and had to open the size 3's that I bought at Costco. They looked huge! How could my tiny baby daughter possibly need such huge diapers? They are for babies who are 16-24 pounds. I don't think Jules is quite 16 pounds, but she is surely getting close. Too close to need another Costco box of size 2's. So I tried it. And guess what? It wasn't as huge as I thought. It was a little big, but it worked.

I think mostly I didn't want her to need size 3. To me she is still a size 2, or even 1. Five and a half months has gone by too fast. It just doesn't seem possible. And size 3 diapers was just one more reminder that they grow. They grow fast.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Dinner

In yesterday's post I mentioned family dinner but I don't think I've ever written about it here. For years, for as long as I can remember, my family has had at least one night a week where we all have dinner together. It started out as just the four of us. Mom, dad, my sister, and I. Then it turned into a once a week event. Over the years it has grown to be the ten, soon to be eleven, of us. But it is much more than just a meal. We tell stories and share our lives and laugh at and with each other. We watch our kids play and grow together. We talk about memories and make new ones. So, yes, it is family dinner because we do eat delicious food every week. But it's really so much more.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend? We had a weekend?

I spent the entire weekend pretty much sitting with a sick baby in my lap or asleep on my chest watching kid's movies with a sick 7 year old. I lost count of how many movies we watched and how many Kleenexes we used. But today there seems to be a turn around. Julianna is smiling more and sneezing less. And Adam is actually outside playing with Josh on this beautiful fall day. I may even bundle the baby up and go for a short walk this afternoon. One more day of rest and hopefully we'll be able to go to family dinner tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Party Time

I've been having parties at my house lately. But I didn't need to invite anyone because I had plenty of guests. And even if I would have invited you, you wouldn't have wanted to come because my parties were "pity parties." And the guests who came weren't invited and were not any fun. You see, the guests were worry and anger and selfishness and anxiety and sadness and guilt. They came without warning and came in through doors that I thought were locked. Sometimes they brought friends, too,--fear, chaos, and loneliness. And they were terrible guests. They came in and made a mess and wouldn't leave when I asked them to. They just lingered around and touched everything. They hung around when I was trying to teach my boys and care for my baby and love my husband. They whispered in my ear as I tried to do all the things I'm supposed to do each day. Right before my eyes, they seemed to grow as they fed each other. And then one day I saw them for what they were and I was tired of the parties. I was tired of allowing unwanted guests into my life. I was tired of these things ruling how I lived. So I kicked them out.

I knew, though, that they would be back if I didn't invite new guests into my life. So I replaced worry with prayer and anger with love. I invited generosity and peace to take the place of selfishness and anxiety. Joy replaced sadness. And my favorite new guest, grace, swept guilt right out the door. My new guests are great. And they bring friends, too. Friends like patience, mercy, and self control. They don't make messes but clean up the ones already here. They, too, touch everything in my life, but with light instead of darkness. They hang around my family, but instead of spreading pain, they lavish goodness. And best of all, they bring their own whispers to guide me through each day. They remind me of my blessings. They help me see the cutest smile in the world on my sweet daughter's face and point out the goodness in the hearts of my sons. These wonderful party guests help me appreciate my husband and be grateful for all he does for us. They gently show me how to prioritize my life and remind me that a spotless house isn't as important as a memory made. So now, when I have parties at my house, there is no pity allowed. Those old, dark, miserable parties have been replaced by "peace parties" that pass all understanding.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Cold

Is there anything more pitiful than a sick baby? Poor Julianna has a cold complete with watery eyes, runny and stuffy nose, and coughing. She's being a real trooper and isn't complaining much, but I can tell she doesn't feel well. She's not her smiley, happy self. Hopefully a few days of rest will help.

(Adam is also down with the same cold. And I woke up with a sore throat. But mommy can't get sick.)

Friday, November 14, 2008


I watch Grey's Anatomy. They almost lost me as a viewer in the last few weeks, but I decided to give it one more chance. And last night was better. It was back to more patient/doctor stuff which is the best part. I'm glad. I would have missed Bailey and Izzie and Alex and George if I would have had to let them go. And now that Denny is haunting Izzie I have to stick around.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hair Today...

Today as we were going to the car to head into town, it was very windy. We actually checked the stuff in the yard and on the porch to make sure it wouldn't blow away while we were gone. Adam forgot something in the house so I walked back in with him. As we were fighting with the door to keep it from blowing too far, Adam said, completely out of the blue, "It's a good thing none of us wear wigs." Yes. Yes it is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


12 days into Nablopomo and I'm struggling to think of something to write about. Here are my options. The art of diaper changing. Multiplication tables. Verbs. Kitchen cleaning. Laundry day. Or the fact that I really wish I was lying on a beach somewhere.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Movie Day

We took the kids to the movies today to see Madagascar 2. It was pretty good. I liked the first one better, I think. The boys have been to the movies many times. It's always been one of our favorite things to do as a family. They have always been very good movie goers. They sit still and watch the movie and don't disrupt. And so I was curious to see how Julianna would do. She actually has been to the movies several times. The first was when she was two weeks old and we went to see Kung Fu Panda. She nursed and slept through the whole thing. Then she and the boys and I went to many of the free movies this summer which she also slept through. But today she was wide awake and so curious about everything. She looked around and took it all in and I could almost see the neurons firing in her little brain as she experienced this new thing in her life. She watched the movie for a while then watched the audience for a while then got sleepy but fought falling asleep (I think she was afraid she'd miss something exciting) so I took her out and wrapped her in our sling and stood in the aisle watching the movie until she fell asleep. She then napped most of the rest of the movie. All in all she did very well. And it's fun to think that in a few years I'll have someone who will actually want to watch chick flicks with me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Seeing Spots

Did you know that babies are born without freckles? They are. It's hard to believe that my sons, who's noses (and cheeks and arms) are sprinkled with freckles now, were born completely unfreckled. Josh's first freckle appeared behind his right ear when he was about 5 months old. Adam's appeared at about the same age...behind his right ear! I know. Weird.

And guess what we found yesterday. Julianna's first freckle. It isn't behind her right ear which would have been freaky. It is just to the right and above her belly button. So cute!

One more first. They seem to happen every day lately.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Proverbs 16:9

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pink Continued

Well, my sister is all showered. Her baby shower went well this morning and she was happy which makes me happy. She got lots of great gifts. Tons of pink of course. And so many cute clothes. So here's what I'm thinking. Julianna gives all of her cute clothes to her cousin, so shouldn't she get to wear the new ones, too. She'll give them back before the baby needs them and will be glad to break them in for her. Okay, maybe not. But the clothes really were cute.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Today I baked. We are having a baby shower brunch for my sister tomorrow and I got a little crazy. Here's what I made...

lemon blueberry coffee cake
orange blueberry bread
orange rolls
banana muffins
chocolate chip banana bread

All that's left to do is drizzle on the glaze and eat.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

First Flakes

And so it begins. Today I drove home in the first snow of the year. The further north we got, the more snowy the flakes. The boys were thrilled even though it was just barely enough to make the ground and trees the slightest bit white. But me, well, snow and I have a love/hate relationship. Actually I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I don't really know how it feels about me. I love it because it's exciting to see those first few flakes fly and it really is beautiful when the whole world seems to be covered with a glimmering, white blanket. And there are few things better than sitting in front of the window with a warm quilt and a cup of tea watching the world turn white. I love snow, too, because my kids love it. The building and sledding and throwing never seem to get old. So I love snow.

And I hate snow. I hate the shoveling and cleaning off the car in the morning (which I won't have to do this year since I'm staying home with the kids). I hate being cold for four months straight. I hate wearing winter coats and boots and getting the whole family bundled up like Eskimos to go anywhere. But most of all I hate driving in snow. I hate worrying about losing control of my car or sliding off the road. And what's worse, I hate having to worry about the drivers around me even more than usual.

So today it snowed and I love it...and I hate it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Don't give up what you want most for what you want now."--Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to explore the flora and fauna of the hills. She watched "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley" on TV and played "slap jack" with her grandma.

Then one day she woke up and she was sixteen and in high school. She loved to sing and read and write and was determined that she would never get married.

Then one day she woke up and was twenty and married. She loved movies and her new husband and wasn't sure if she wanted to have children.

Then one day she woke up and had a baby. She loved him more than she thought possible and was determined to be a good mommy.

Then one day she woke up and had two babies. And she loved that one just as much as the first one.

Then one day she woke up and those babies were going to school and reading and wanting cell phones. She loved to be read to and was determined that no eight year old boy needed a cell phone.

Then one day she woke up and she had another baby--a sweet, beautiful little girl. She fell in love again and knew that this little girl was sent from above.

Then today she woke up and looked around and wasn't quite sure when all this had happened. Just when did that little girl who loved to watch tadpoles and look for four leaf clovers become this woman with a husband and three children and a sink full of dirty dishes? And she wondered who she will be tomorrow.

Monday, November 03, 2008


"The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."--Mark Twain

Good advice for a wannabe writer like me.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Extra Time

Today is the day we "fall back" and therefore have an extra hour in the day. Most people talk about using that extra hour to sleep, but our family uses it differently. Every year on this day we get up at our regular time and go out for breakfast before church. We couldn't remember when we started doing this, but I think it began one year when we forgot to set the clocks back and showed up for church an hour early. Today though, all these years later, instead of just the two of us having breakfast out, all five of us did. How our lives have changed. And so today, when I really could have used an extra hour of sleep, I instead used my extra hour to make a memory...and enjoy french toast.

And today Julianna is 5 months old. Her personality is really starting to come out. Right now she is lying on her tummy (which she rolls to often) and "talking" up a storm. She is happy and giggly and cuddly and growing way too fast.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Today is November 1st and therefore the first day of Nablopomo, which stands for National Blog Posting Month. I have once again joined this crazy group of bloggers with the goal of posting on my blog everyday during the month of November. This is challenging for a few reasons. One, coming up with something to write about everyday is harder than it sounds. And, two, actually finding the time to write is even more difficult. So I will write everyday but I give no guarantees that everyday will be the brilliant and witty posts that you're used to. :)

Secondly, November means something else. It means that the holidays are just around the corner. Adam asked me this morning how many days until Christmas. 55. That's how many days until Christmas. And before that comes Thanksgiving. I love this time of year and am looking forward to it. I get a warm feeling just thinking about days spent with family and the yummy smells as I walk into my mom's house on Thanksgiving day and decorating the Christmas tree with my kids and sitting in the dark with a cup of hot chocolate watching the lights twinkle. And this year will be especially fun as I watch the whole thing through the eyes of my daughter as she experiences it for the first time.

So it's November. And November is good.