Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scissors and the Ten Commandments

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How, oh how, might I possibly relate those two?

You do remember whose blog you're reading, don't you?

The kids (i.e. McKenna and Zachary) found a hairbrush today under a chair and I suggested they play hairdresser.

One would assume I would know infinitely better than make such a suggestion.

The two sat down and played in the house for a bit and then it got suspiciously quiet. I found them outside still playing hairdresser. With scissors.

Fortunately, I caught them before it went too far and I was able to contain the damage done.

McKenna went back inside and while in her room she started reading her kids Bible. A few moments later she came into the kitchen with a rather distressed look on her face.

"Mom, I was reading my Bible and I broke two of the commandments. 'Always tell the truth' - I told you I didn't have scissors, and 'obey your mom and dad' -I didn't obey. That's not good."

We had a great little talk about the grace of God and forgiveness at that point, much to her relief. It's just nice to know that there are things sinking into her mind...even with temptation leading the way.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Costco Needs a Sign

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Apparently I am spatially challenged. Either that, or I have become so accustomed to Costco that I feel that whatever IT houses will fit without issue into my house.

They should have a sign, I tell you. It's really hard to visualize an object in your itty-bitty house with 8 foot ceilings when you are standing in a bright, HUGE warehouse with 50 foot ceilings.

A bohemoth of a dresser seems so t-i-n-y.

Until you try to move it into your house and nearly break not only your back, but also the piece of furniture trying to lift it off the truck.

While it did all fit into our room (although there is not an inch of space left on the wall with the nightstands and our bed), I just laughed when I stood in front of the dresser after it was all in place.

It really didn't look that HUGE at Costco. It does look great, but I so don't want to move that sucker again anytime soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who Wrote the Bible?

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Before they were out of their room the other morning, the girls were having a rather heated conversation.

M: How do you spell "George Washington"?

L: no answer





quiet conversation between the two girls

L: McKenna, George Washington didn't write the Bible. Jesus did.

M: Oh. How do you spell Jesus then?

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Am I Smarter than a 7 Year Old?

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I had a moment of panic today as a mother. I felt that I had scarred my children educationally for life. All because of one little tv show.

The culprit? Little Einsteins.

photo courtesy of Disney Channel

If you've watched the show (or heard it playing over and over ahem in the background over the din of children in your house), you might recall that they feature prominent composers, famous artwork, etc... during each one of their shows.

Today, I was playing some music from a keyboard we bought and "Ode to Joy" started playing. Immediately there was a hush over the kids and they started yelling, "It's the Buggy Wuggy song!" And they even sang it for me.

Insert pin to pop my happy parenting bubble.

I turned around to Laurianna and said something along the lines of: "THAT'S what you remember?" and turned back around to literally bang my head on the keyboard.

And then? Laurianna called me and when I turned around to talk to her she had this ever-so-thoughtful look on her face and said: "This song was written by Beethoven. And...I believe it was his 9th Symphony."

My mouth was hanging open. I (at that point) did know it was Beethoven but didn't know which symphony it was - I was just impressed that she knew there was more than one to begin with.

And my 7 year old officially knows something I don't. It was his 9th.

Ahhh...sweet redemption.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Backseat Conversations

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It never ceases to amaze me in our house how quickly conversations can go from being very serious to oddly strange in just a few moments.

Although it shouldn't surprise me, especially with my kids.

While driving, we were having a serious conversation with Zachary about Jesus. After much explaining back and forth about some things, his three-year-old mind was finally grasping some of the concepts.

Z: No, Jesus doesn't live in heaven - He lives in my heart.

Me: He does live in your heart when you ask Him too, but He also lives in heaven.

Z: Oh. (insert pause) Heaven is in my heart.

That just sums it up better than I could ever try to put into words.

As Rick and I were giving each other that "did-you-hear-the-sweet-thing-your-son-just-said" look, the so-touching mood of the car changed quickly with the backseat conversation between Laurianna and McKenna.

M: I think I just poopied in my bathing suit.

L: It was probably just a toot. Is it squishy?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yes, they cost more but...

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...between-the-glass blinds are worth their weight in gold. I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Running Away

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While security in our house might not quite be on par with Alcatraz, we do have certain lockdowns as safety precautions: padlocks on medicine cabinets (yes, I'm serious), matching combination locks on our backyard fence (which Zachary can climb over anyway), and a very effective child safety knob on our main entry door that most adults cannot open.

Today after seeing Clifford at the movie theatre, I asked the kids if they would ever run away. Laurianna quickly said she would never do it because she loves us too much. McKenna on the other hand was a little silent.

I looked at her in the rear view mirror and asked her again. She looked away for a minute, looked at me and said, "No. Besides, I can't even open the door!"

Head on over to Mary's for a little more Tiny Talk today!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ten Years Later...

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Rick and I celebrated our 1oth anniversary this last weekend at a nearby bed and breakfast and just being together...

...without kids!!

We were so incredibly blessed, even just for ONE night to be able to slip away, spend some time together and just have fun.

Rick surprised me on our way to the bed and breakfast by offering to stop and find a casual dress for me to wear. None of the shoes I would like to wear are (ahem) fitting at the moment or are anywhere close to comfortable due to a certain toe being broken.

But offering to go shopping with me? I had to check his temperature. I'm not a big shopper myself. Do I love a bargain? Yes. Digging for said bargain? Not so much. And last time I went dress shopping I ended up crying in the dressing room. Mainly because I wasn't pregnant, but it looked like I was. We found a cute dress though that he loved (and me too!) and called it a successful day.

Dinner. Walking. Spending uninterrupted time together. We even managed to get a few pictures of each other...ok, more of me, but that's ok too - some cute ones for Rick's desk at work. Need to remind him that I can smile and I do clean up nicely. *grins*

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meeting my Husband

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My husband is feigning sleep. Because I am trying to convince him that it would be FUN for him to write a post on this blog. A sort of "He Says, She Says" on how we met. He has a small grin on his face and doesn't quite seem convinced.

Why about how we met? Well, this past weekend marked a tenth wedding anniversary for Rick and I. And eleven years together as a couple. It's really amazing how ten years can go by so quickly!

So...our story begins...

I moved to our town eleven years ago - very last minute - to start working on my graduate degree at a local university. I didn't know a soul. Couldn't even figure out what the local grocery store even looked like. Keep in mind this was before the boom of Walmart Supercenters - I could have figured that out.

My first Sunday in town I attended a local Baptist church because it was close to my apartment and it was visibly recognizable as a church. I'd poured over the yellow pages the week prior trying to find a church and tried to search out a few, but many of them met in different buildings and since I wasn't familiar with the town...well, the Baptist church was just easier to start with.

The church secretary was sitting behind me and later was a plethora of information on local grocery stores, shopping, and upon finding out my church background - referring me to a church that might be more of a fit for me personally.

The next week I attended that church and found a seat all by my little lonesome. Prepared to worship. Can you guess who was on worship team that week?

I remember one of the first thoughts that went through my mind was "Oh. Wow!...noticing ring finger...He's single!"

And then - "I am NOT here to meet a man! I am here to go to school."

Rick remembers seeing me come in and was going to ask me out that Sunday, but decided to wait and see if I came back the next week. I remember little else about that Sunday, but did like the church and decided to come back the next Sunday. So I did.

That next week I wanted to spend some time talking to the man in charge of the college group and also the youth pastor, since I had spent the last seven years working with my youth group at home. On my way to meet the youth pastor, I passed Rick and just said "hi" as I walked past him. After the church service while I was talking to the leader of the college group, I noticed Rick hanging around. And hanging around. And then he finally walked up.

I'm assuming he introduced himself (I don't remember much about this part), but at some point he invited me out to lunch, and I accepted. We picked a restaurant and got to know each other a little better.

Many of you probably don't know how to say my name (and many people who do know me can't quite say it either, so you're in good company, don't worry). And that day was no exception for Rick. While he was praying over lunch, he stopped in the middle of praying..."Thanks so much for this food and for.....quietly asking...'How do you say your name again?'"

He is so never going to live that one down.

After talking we decided to spend a little more time together.

***I will mention here that I still knew virtually no one in town, and did not call my mom after church to let her know I was going out for lunch.***

Rick ended up driving me around town after lunch and showing me where things were, and then took me back to his house to just hang out. We ended up having dinner together, went to a baseball game and then out for ice cream. By the time I got home it was after 10 pm.

My mom (who lived twelve hours away) was a little worried. There were SEVEN messages on the machine from her when I got home. As a mom now, I can understand her worries, but I was stuck up on a cloud somewhere, and just gushed about Rick to her. And sent an email to my pastor back home telling him about the wonderful man that I had just met....and who had paid for dinner. Sad, but true. While there were many other qualities that Rick possessed, at that point I was most impressed by how he treated me. He didn't make me pay. Didn't expect me to pay. Treated me like I was special.

And that made a world of difference.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Fun with Sponges

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Now I can't take credit for this game - just the "me-ified" version. I saw this game in Family Fun magazine and despite the fact that we don't have a full-size pool, I adapted it to work in our little kiddie pool.

The kids LOVED it! And really, in the middle of the hot summer, when the kids are hot and cranky, one hour of squealing, laughing kids makes it so worth it.

The Family Fun version needs:
  • 3 pool noodles - shaped into a ring using duct tape
  • 3 (or more) plastic plates/bowls
  • Sharpie
  • Sponges, cut into pieces
  • A large pool
My version needs:
  • Sponges, cut into squares (we used a different color for each child
  • Plastic/foam bowls or plates - you can only fit so many in a pool
  • A Sharpie
  • A kiddie pool

Write different numbers in the bottoms of the bowls (1-5) assigning "points" to each bowl. Once the pool is filled, float the bowls/plates in the pool and let the kids take turns tossing the sponges into the bowls, earning points. The kiddo with the most points wins.

This game lasted for about 10 minutes and then it turned into several different things for the kids. Zachary had a great time trying to toss the sponges in and identify the numbers. McKenna and Laurianna were trying to add and skip count as they tossed theirs in. Kaleb just kept trying to grab everything or throw anything else into the pool.

Then the kids figured out that the wet sponges make some lovely wet shapes. On Mommy. So we spent about twenty minutes with Mommy being chased around the yard screaming and soaking wet, until the hose came out in my defense and then the screaming was reversed.

I tell ya' - it's quick, painless and pretty cheap when it comes down to it. And you can't beat that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Breathing Holes and Drain Pipes

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We were sitting at breakfast the other morning and Zachary started choking on his drink. Laurianna quickly piped up, "It must have gone down his breathing hole."

Yeah. It's something like that.

He finally quit coughing, ate a little more and tried drinking again. This time it all went much more smoothly and he looked at me and said, "It's ok. This time it went down my drain pipe."


To remind myself of the above story and wanting to blog it, I called our home phone from my cell phone while we were running errands and left a message. A few minutes later, a huge tow truck drove by us hauling a fire engine.

Zachary, of course, was thrilled beyond measure and began yelling to the girls, "Look! A tow truck is hauling a fire engine (repeat several times loudly)."

McKenna responded with, "Was it a TOAD truck? Ribbit..Ribbit? Get it Zachary? A toad truck?" :::endless peals of laughter:::

The humor was lost on Zachary, of course.

Then from McKenna again. "Mom. You might want to call home and put that on the answering maching too so you can blog about it. Remember...toad truck...ribbit, ribbit." (Mommy meanwhile doesn't pick up her cell phone fast enough). "Mom! Aren't you going to call? Wasn't that funny? Are you going to call?"

Mommy then quick pretend dials and leaves a fake message...which apparently still worked, since here it is on the blog.

Don't forget to head on over to Mary's for Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's Blue and Purple and Hurts All Over?

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How about my foot?

We took a trip to the pool yesterday, which quickly took a turn for the not-so-fun.

Suffice it to say, it involved one of our children, a behavior issue, and although it wasn't intentional, an unpleasant ending for me. And I am serious when I say that labor and delivery never felt as miserable as this.

My toe is broken. And ever so pretty too. I took a picture of it just for memory's sake. And no, my toe is not freakishly longer than my big toe...go figure.

Any suggestions on how to catch the kids when I can hardly walk?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Visiting with my Mom

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My mom was able to visit for a few days this past week. And it was such a welcome visit. We haven't seen her since last May when we were up visiting (she lives 12 hours away). My dad has been living with us since February 2007 as they are in process of moving to live near us.

The kids had such a wonderful time playing with her and just enjoying the time that they had with her (and me too!). Thanks so much, Mom for making the trip (and I know that you are thrilled with me posting pictures...hee hee).

While she was here, she was pulled into many games, toys and oddities. At the Children's Museum, Laurianna spent much of her time making Oma a bouquet of paper flowers.

Mom spent time playing with the girls during their rest time and after she had left yesterday I talked to the girls, who were playing with some dollhouses we bought them for Christmas. They play with them occassionally - rarely enough to make me consider dropping them off at a local thrift store. Over the last few days though, they have played very actively with them. I asked the girls about it and tried so hard not to laugh when Laurianna responded, head drooping (literally) and ever-so-despondently, "We just never knew how much fun they could be until Oma showed us."

Do you know what my Mom was playing with them? Robbers and thieves. Those poor little Sweet Streets characters will never be the same again.

It truly made me realize how much I miss my Mom - and can't wait for her to be here near us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Forget Botox

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You can forget those costly injections. My friend was kind enough to supply me with a one-time prescription for this great "pharmeceutical".


Warning: May cause weight gain if used incorrectly

Directions: Simply break off the desired dosage and consume. You should quickly be overcome by stress-relieving endorphines and no longer concerned in the slightest about your wrinkles.


NOT TO BE TAKEN seriously.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Latest Perfume

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I think I need to invest in some new perfume. Or something.

Last night Rick snuggled up next to me when I was sitting at the table working and after a moment asked if I was wearing a new perfume.

I thought about it and realized I hadn't put any lotion or other scent on that day and tried to figure out what he was smelling.

It's my new fragrance. Monsieur Clean avec Febreeze.

Apparently my husband is attracted to the smell of clean.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Day of Firsts

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Every time that Kaleb has a "first" happen, I am reminded that there is also a "last" taking place. Since he is the last little one that we will have, it makes all the things he is learning just a little more special. And at the same time makes me relish each moment for what it is.

Kaleb still isn't talking much at all - and while he's 19 months, I'm not worried much. Because there is enough going on in the house that the poor boy can't compete. Yet.

But tonight the little man sat next to me on the couch and despite the fact that he has ignored the same questions for months now, he decided to answer when I asked him where his nose was. He pointed to it and then clapped for himself. He was his own little cheering squad.

And then he pointed to his ears, hair, eyes, feet, hands, mouth, teeth, bottom...all when I asked, each time clapping when he pointed. Scrunching up that little nose in excitement.

The boy has apparently been holding out on me. Absorbing it all and then just let it all out at once.

So. Stinkin. Cute.

When Laurianna was younger we pushed and anxiously waited for each little thing she did. But with Kaleb...I can wait. And want to wait as long as possible. Because once he finishes all those firsts...he's technically done something for the last time.

And while it's exciting to see what he can do, it's sad to see the end of something too. Although I will say, his venturing into the land of speech will be a MUCH welcome release from the land of shrieking.

Monday, July 7, 2008

One of THOSE Days

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It's just been one of those days. Profoundly so.

It started out with a headache and then I had the brilliant idea of running errands with the kids and topping it off with a trip to our library. I will preface the rest by saying that the accoustics are wonderful in our library.

And I'm sure everyone in our town is thankful for that at this moment.

We managed the few errands and then...

...the library.

The stacks of books, the toys, the overabundance of children were apparently too much for a little man and myself. And a Mom needs to stand by her boundaries. And stand I did...

Zachary kept running with another little girl back and forth through the stacks. So after the third time of telling him to stop, I said we were leaving.

And the screaming began. And the semi-kicking. And crying.

Yeah. Those librarians were LOVIN' me!

We finally made it home. Life stayed fairly crazy. And now we have a little boy on probation from going to the library for awhile. And a momma who might just be slinking back into the library without kids for awhile.

Perhaps they won't recognize me then.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mini Office Lapbooks

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This last week I've been busy getting things ready for the upcoming school year. This weeks goal was to get together some mini office lapbooks for the kids. A mini office is essentially a go-to place for your kids to get information to commonly asked questions related to schoolwork.

If you want a little more information on making mini offices for your kiddos this year, head on over to my other blogsite Our Homeschool Creations for some more pictures and detailed instructions.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Should I Be Concerned?

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I bought the kids AlphaBits cereal and gave it to them for breakfast. Zachary was ever-so-excited about the letters and a few minutes later he called for me to come to the table and see what he had spelled.

The first word he did all on his own:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Our Summer Challenge

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We are blessed to have a local library that does a summer reading challenge for kids, and our kids were so excited to participate.

And finished reading all 25 books the first week of the challenge.

Umm...there's a whole lot of summer left.

We quickly moved on to Barnes and Noble and have successfully completed the form for a free book for both of the girls. Twice.

I made up a little chart for the girls and Zachary to complete another challenge for me: read 75 books for the remainder of the summer and get a special treat - a stuffed animal that they each were eyeing at the bookstore last time we went. They cheered. They jumped for joy.

Read this document on Scribd: Summer Challenge

Even better, they can earn extra points depending on the size of the book (Laurianna) and for helping Mommy out around the house with extra little projects - but it has to be done cheerfully and with no complaining (there's always a catch!).

Just wanted to share it with you all too, in case you are interested in having your own little challenge in your house. You should be able to download the pdf by clicking on the blue "Summer Challenge" words underneath the document picture. I am LOVIN' the Scribd site at the moment!!

On Ice

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I opened up my freezer the other day to find this:

Because really. Where else do you store a dinosaur?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Chicken and the Egg

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I am so avoiding "that talk" with my kids. Part-fear. Part-dread. Call me wimpy if you will, but knowing the barrage of questions that Laurianna will inevitably ask, I am avoiding it as long as possible.

Granted, I won't wait until she's 20, but she's 7, so I figure I have a little bit of time, right?

Meantime, I skirt the issue. Give vaguish sort of answers that appease the wondering mind. Enough to satisfy, but not enough to unleash a deeper understanding.

While we were driving the other day, the kids had a lovely conversation going on amongst themselves about getting married and having babies. They asked me questions about why I had to be in a wheelchair with Kaleb's birth (c-section), and why the doctor had to cut my tummy, etc... That conversation spurned a "I'm NEVER having a husband! I don't want any babies, 'cause I don't want my tummy cut open!" - from McKenna.

Then a deeper question: "Mom. Do you have to have a husband to have babies?"

Me: "Yes. God has someone special for you." (I'm not going there yet either).

Laurianna pipes in: "Yeah, McKenna. It's just like chickens. If you don't have a daddy chicken, you don't have a chick. You just have an egg you can eat."

And there you have the birds and the bees all summed up nicely from a 7-year-old perspective. And at the moment - that works just fine for me. :)

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