Thursday, April 22, 2010

The funny things....

This one is too funny not to record. Debbie had Max and Maya last week when we were at Carli's Regionals. She was driving in the car and they were all buckled in the back with her kids. The boys were talking and Maya chimed in occasionally. She must have had a hang nail or pulled the end of her fingernail off and was showing it to Max. Max in turn says to Maya that you could tell her DNA just by testing that tiny piece of fingernail. Where that came from I have no idea. So she must have been thinking about it the rest of the way home. When they got to Debbie's house before they got out of the car she announced; well I guess if you bend the nail here in the middle it sort of looks like an A. The boys didn't get the connection but Debbie couldn't stop laughing and I couldn't either when she relayed the story to me.


Report cards came home this week. I was reading over them with the kids. They were all very good. Each one did quite well. When I was looking over Maya's kindergarten report it doesn't give traditional grades but shows where the student is mastering the skill. Under the one category is personal information such as; knows address, recites phone number, knows birthday. Maya had developing beside the knows birthday block. Developing? In my mind this is a no brainer, we make a big deal out of birthdays so I'm thinking she should remember her own. Here is how the conversation went with my sweet little blondie.

Me: "maya it says here you don't know when your birthday is, do you know when it is?"

Maya: " well I know it's in February" with that look of duh mom on her face, and then with all seriousness she says " but is it always on the same day?? " I almost start laughing but manage to ask " do you mean like the day of the week, because it isn't always on a Monday or Tuesday"

Maya: " no the same number, is it always on the same number??"

Oh my sweet little Maya Papaya, yes love it is always the same number. And I giggled the rest of the evening on that one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't you cry mom...don't you cry

Madi gives the sweetest kisses, she puckers up those plump little lips and lays it on you. Her new thing has been to take my face in both her still chubby little hands and look deep into my eyes and say "don't cry momma, don't cry" Then give me a sweet little kiss. I always ask for another, and another until she says "That's it!" It is the cutest little thing and I love how sweet and sincere she is when she says it. Now I am not sure why she thinks she needs to tell me to not cry, I mean it isn't like I walk around bursting into tears all the time but it is still the cutest thing ever, and if it gets me more Madi kisses, I'll take it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Morning noise ...

It's still early and usually all I hear at this time is the hum of the laptop and the occasional noise in the upstairs bathrooms as only a few of us are awake at this hour. I try to start the day with an hour of quiet, the calm before the clamor of the day, but the last few mornings someone else has decided she likes the early morning hour too. Little miss Maggie has changed her schedule a bit and now seems to want some uninterrupted time with mom. I can hear her from the living room, upstairs beside my bed she starts talking, babbling and making small cries. She's really saying "Hey, hello, I am awake and I want up now please!!" I let her talk for a little, and listen to here sweet sounds, I go to her crib and peek over the side, watch her face light up and break into the most beautiful smile. How could I not want to spend the quiet morning with this sweet little wee one, even if it is not so quiet anymore.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A tale of 2 cakes...

I have had the chance to create 2 very different gift cakes this past week, plus try my hand at 2 sweet little babycakes(cupcakes). Overall each one was a success! I love how these come together and how fun they are to make. I love that each one is different and filled with all kinds of different goodies depending on the recipient. I love making them look like "real" cakes. Pretty much I just love everything about them! The first cake I made for a friend who is hosting a baby shower. The second cake is for a bridal shower I am attending on Sunday. I love how it turned out using a tablecloth and napkins. My favorite part of the gift is a pitcher used as the center for the cake. Sooo cute!!

photos: "babycakes" cupcake, diaper cake, bridal cake

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A taste of Spring......

Oh how I love spring!! The higher temperatures, the warm sun on my face, the smell of freshness in the air. We have had a little taste of spring these past few days. The kids are in heaven, racing to get home from school to change and head back outside. There are still piles of snow where it was plowed high but most of the ground is bare and muddy. Madi, Maggie and I sat out on the sidewalk today and drew with chalk. The warmer air felt delicious and is the antidote I needed. I was starting to get a little of the winter blahs and had no energy but the change in weather has definitely helped. I forgot how much I LOVE spring!!

photo: Madi & Wilken; "let me out there" (love the hat Madi)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.—Thomas Merton, in a letter to Jim Forest dated February 21, 1966

Parenting can sometimes feel like a never ending circle of saying the same thing a million times, making the same requests, getting upset over the same things. Trying to control the outcome of the situation without much luck. I saw this quote and it struck such a cord. What if I try to just concentrate on each day, each moment of parenting, realize it's value, enjoy it and move on. Knowing in my heart I have done my best and leave the rest to God. The work of parenting is important stuff, and if I concentrate on that work it is the best I can do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food Fight AKA a battle of the wills

Zak & Sonic....need I say more. We have a love hate relationship around here with Sonic. Oh the fun drive in atmosphere, the amazing drink concoctions and the better than average burger. Zak's favorite happens to be the foot long chili cheese dog. I know, terrible for you food, but every once in a while it is a fun treat. Tonight Zak got it into his 11 year old brain that he wanted Sonic for dinner, and that is what we should have. It was an off night, activities, errands and running around. We didn't sit down together like normal and no one ate the same thing. Since Dan and Zak hadn't had dinner yet he thought they should go get Sonic. Dan wasn't in the mood, and it was getting late so Sonic wasn't even offered as a choice. Well Zak wasn't thrilled, he can be quite stubborn at times and decided he wasn't going to eat if he couldn't have Sonic. What? Was I actually witnessing my son revert in actions to 2 year old behavior? I was, and it wasn't pretty. I know he is only 11 but he is usually very mature, and to see this behavior over not getting the food he wanted was hard to watch. Dan said fine, don't eat and left it at that. Eventually Zak fixed himself PB&J but it was much later. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry, I mean really, Sonic? What was this really about? I'm still not sure but I want to know how to turn that kind of determination(aka stubbornness) onto something productive. Maybe dangle a chili cheese dog out in front:)
photo: Zak goofing around

Peeper poison

What is it with my boys and poison ivy in the winter???? About this same time last year Max got such a bad case of poison ivy that got infected it landed him in the hospital for 3 days. This year both boys have poison on various parts of their bodies. Ouch!! Poor Maxie has it so bad on his private regions that we had to go to the doctor (who had to hide his giggle). Max was put on medication and given strict orders to not be touching vines and vegetation outside, and to most definitely wash his hands before going to the bathroom:) I know how it happens, we have a warmer than normal day, the boys head out into the woods to play and someone goes pee on the tree. I keep thinking he will soon learn but I guess boys will be boys. I'm sure one day we will look back at these times and laugh, but probably not until he has learned how to not get poison ivy on such sensitive areas:)
photo: Max with afternoon snack, smoothie, on his face. Poison gone

A concern for Maya

Maya's report card came home today with a surprising little note attached. Her teacher has been out due to a broken bone and they have had a substitute in her class for a few weeks. Apparently little Miss Maya has not been very cooperative with the substitute. Oh she does her work and listens to directions but is having a hard time keeping quiet in class (no big surprise there) but what is a bit of a surprise is her not following instructions. Such as being told to stop something and turning right around and doing it again. Oh my, not my little Maya Papaya. So we had a little discussion about respect and why we respect our teachers, even though they aren't our "real teacher" (her words, not mine). Little Miss social butterfly was being a little to social and not very respectful. Thankfully the "real" teacher is returning next week. Oh the adventures of school.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet memories

Yesterday I was getting the video camera ready to take to Carli's meet. As I was digging through the disks to find a blank one I had a pile that weren't labeled. So I decided to check this job off the list (you know, the list of things that need done at some point, when that might be is a mystery). I sat down with a sharpie and my computer to try and quickly scan through the disks to label them. What I saw stopped me in my multitasking tracks. There on the screen were my babies, still looking like babies. It took my breath away. I could here the little lisps in the speech of some and see the sweet little chubby faces. In the daily mess of life, time slips away so fast. The rate at which astonishes me when I stop for a minute to look around. As I sat here, eyes glued to the screen, I was so thankful for those sweet memories captured on film. I resolve to video more of those moments so years from now I can have the same joy I experienced yesterday. Sweet moments, sweet memories and a gratitude to big for words.

The season begins

Gymnastics competition season that is..... Carli starts her season as a first year level 9. I am amazed when I watch her, she started off so many years ago with a wobbly little cart wheel and floppy handstands. To think how far she has come is amazing. I think I get more nervous than she does. I want her to do her best, I don't want her to be disappointed, I really don't want her to get hurt. Watching her flip around is amazing, thrilling and heart stopping for me. I am so proud of her and that determined spirit. She works so hard and dedicates so much of her time to her sport. Good luck peanut!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Morning

The kids are home from school today, in-service for the teachers. Chanon's kids are here while they head to John Hopkin's Medical for Dixzen. The volume in the house has gone up a few decibels and little feet are running everywhere. Some days it is best to give in to the crazy and just enjoy the ride. We made baked apple donuts for breakfast, which were to die for yummy. Cinnamon and sugar is everywhere but they were so good hot out of the oven, a keeper for sure. I have bundled them all up and sent them outside to play. A little fresh air and exercise will keep them happy. The big boys are in the tree house and the little ones are on the play set, it's a really nice sight for a day in January. I have the kitchen about half clean and I realize that it will be soon time to start lunch. I see little messes all over the place but let it go. I am going with the flow today and trying to just see each moment for what it is. Let the fun begin!


If you can't gratefully work with what God's given you today, how can He entrust you with much tomorrow?"

Thought provoking question....

How to convey that message to the children is something I struggle with daily. If you aren't faithful with little, can you expect to be given much to be faithful with?

I also struggle knowing how much I have been given and how to best manage that. I have been blessed with so much, such sweet joys and all I can offer is thank you, and pray that I show my gratitude with my actions each day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freezing Friday???

Where's the snow? or at least a little ice that we were promised by the weatherman last night before bed. I love delays and snow days, probably more than the kids. I woke around 4 after nursing Maggie and went to the window and.... nothing. I went back to bed thinking there is still time, praying for just a little precipitation to make my morning. But I am awake again, ready to jump into the swing of the morning routine and there is still nothing. No delays this morning, no extra hour of sleep for the little ones, no slower morning with time to linger over breakfast. I'm a little disappointed, I'm sure the teachers would not approve :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a whole lot of nothing equals something really special

Hanging out together, watching some tv, playing games(my new favorite, bananagrams), and taking afternoon naps together. My idea of a perfect day. We had such a nice day here together at home. No obligations, no place to be and nothing on the has to be done agenda. That rarely happens around this house and I have to say it was absolutely lovely. Snuggling in bed to nurse Maggie and nap a little with her was so sweet. I am so grateful for times like this and feel so blessed for all the little and not so little people in our home. I can't imagine life without them. Connections were strengthened, cuddles were had, laughs were shared; as close to perfection as we get around here.

photo: Maggie's sweet slumber

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Drama at Tumble Town

These are some of the moments I know would be forgotten if I didn't write it down or would they??

We had a lovely morning, Maggie Mae was christened in a moving service. I had everything prepped and ready at home to have everyone back to the house for lunch. It all went pretty smoothly. The food was yummy, all the kids played together without any major scuffles and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. About 10 minutes after we arrived home, Zak said he wasn't feeling well and headed upstairs to lie down. Definitely not normal. He fell asleep for 3 hours, not an easy feat with the noise level in this house. He woke up and said he felt better. Which was a relief because we had Elly and Wilken's party that evening at Tumble Town. As a mother to 6 I should have known better. We loaded the car and headed to the party. Things started off great, all the kids were having a good time. Then Zak started to look a little green, and I really mean green. I told him to head to the bathroom and I would gather up the kids to head home. He didn't quite make it to the bathroom..... Yes there in the middle of tumble town Zak tossed his cookies, thankfully Dan was close by and grabbed a trash can for most of it. Can you say gross! I can. I started the clean up process on the floor but there was no carpet cleaner. I made do with some dish soap. I don't think the teenage girls working there were to thrilled. At least I did the clean up. Needless to say that party won't be forgotten for some time. We left Carli and Max stay with Nanna and took the rest of the brood home(with a plastic bag for the car ride, you know, just in case). What a day!
photo: Zak when I noticed his color changing

The Christening

Maggie Mae was baptised on Sunday morning. It was such a lovely service. She was so good and alert through the baptism. She didn't even cry when the water was poured on her head. She just looked into the congregation like what are all you people looking at. She was a little angel. After the service we had everyone back here to the house for lunch. The menu consisted of party chicken, buttered egg noodles, salad with my version of Olive Garden's Italian dressing, carrot cake, coconut cake, brownies and other tidbits. It was the first time I had used my crock pot to keep noodles hot and it worked wonderfully. I put a little butter and a tiny bit of water in the bottom to keep the noodles moist. I was thrilled to have that crock pot trick to add to my arsenal. I love my crock pot!! Everyone seemed to have a nice time. Maggie was passed around between the relatives and cuddled by all. The other kids were very well behaved and very excited for Maggie. It was very sweet. I felt so blessed to have everyone there supporting Maggie and our family on her special day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Random thoughts this morning....

1. Where is that pee smell coming from?? (edited to add: found...diaper behind the trash can in the boys bathroom, gross!!)

2. How many loads of laundry I have done this month. (40 if you're wondering, that's an average of 4 a day)

3. When will this stomach flu completely leave this house? Soon I pray.

4. Why are shoes always left where they don't belong?

5. I wonder when Madi will start potty training?

6. When I am going to get through the photos I have downloaded onto my laptop but not edited or backed up?? (1943 pictures)

7. What is for dinner??

8. How many days do I HAVE to leave the house this week? It is sooo cold out and I have so much to catch up on here at home.

9. How can one dog shed so much hair??

10. Will I get to starting Maggie's scrapbook today? I hope so!

11. I need to pick a picture to use for Maggie's thank you cards from her baptism celebration.

12. Do I need to pick up more diapers this week? which leads back to #5....

So many random thoughts going through my brain at the moment, trying to tame them into some kind of cohesive plan for the day (well rest of the day, I didn't realize it is almost noon) Where does the day go?

Friday, January 8, 2010

That smile...

You are the smiliest child, you wake with a smile and break out that open mouthed smile so many times a day it makes my heart hurt. It doesn't take much to bring on the light up your eyes smile and I love that about you. The joy in your face is priceless and I pray you continue to see that joy and share your smile with us for years to come. I love you my little Magpie!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Evenings outside....

The long days of winter can take their toll on everyone from time to time. The kids spend so much time at school and indoors that they all get a little batty. The bitter cold we have been experiencing hasn't helped either. But in an effort to get outside everyday we bundled up for a little evening play outside. The sun warmed enough today to melt away some of the snow and dry up the sidewalks and driveway. So Maya dug out the sidewalk chalk and Zak pulled out his skateboard. Madi just likes to put on her boots and gloves. Not a sight we normally see in January but definitely a welcome one. Snow is expected to fall tonight so it will be back to the sleds.

The day I lost it over a chocolate truffle.....

Have you had one of those days where no matter what you did you were behind and you couldn't seem to get caught up? One of the days where the kids are in hyper drive and dig out the second it is cleaned up. Where for no reason whatsoever things pile on top of things until you can't remember what the things were you were supposed to do in the first place.... Today was one of those days, it seemed nothing was accomplished, messes were everywhere and I had more on my to do list at the end of the day than at the beginning. Nap time was off, neither little girl wanted to sleep and both wanted held continually. Just plain crazy. Plus I am trying to get back to a semblance of a healthy diet after the last month of fudge and mints for breakfast, lunch and dinner (the sugar with drawl may not have been helping things). So as I am praying for grace, making dinner and waiting for the arrival of Daddy to break the "spell" of the day it hits me.....Dan bought me a lovely little bag of chocolate truffles for Christmas, bless his soul. OK I know it may sound a little pathetic that the thought of chocolate could make me almost giddy but it did. It really did. With my improved mood and daddy home we made it through dinner without much fuss. I was resolved to have a peaceful bath and bedtime routine, all the time the thought of that sweet little truffle in the back of my mind. With the littles in bed I headed to the kitchen to grab my little piece of sanity for the day, I grabbed the bag and it was very light.... Are you kidding me??? I opened the bag to find one lonely little truffle in the bottom of what should have been a full bag of candies, and it was a white chocolate one at that. I hate to admit this but I could have cried, cried over a chocolate truffle. There is starvation and suffering all over the world and I was standing in my cozy, warm kitchen almost in tears over a chocolate truffle. Where were my priorities? I know it wasn't really the candy, I felt like those who had consumed my chocolate were insensitive, thoughtless and rude to me. I needed to get a grip. I called the culprits (I knew who they were) into the kitchen to express my displeasure with their actions. I had to laugh when I saw their faces and listened to the stammering when I asked who might have eaten all of mommy's truffles. Children and chocolate, what was I thinking? Next time I need to find a better hiding spot.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


My word for 2010. Engaged. I want to be engaged in parenting, engaged in each moment, engaged in life. Fully present, soaking in every detail and memory being made. So many times I find myself not really in the moment. I'll be playing with a little one but making multiple lists in my head at the same time. I often find myself at the end of the day wondering what I really did that day. I run on autopilot to keep the house running and food on the table and everyone where they need to be. But by running on autopilot I often fail to stop and really listen or really see what is going on around me. This year I am going to try wholeheartedly to engage every day. Stop, look and listen to all that is happening around me, to all the blessings I have been given. Time is flying by so quickly with these dear little souls I have been blessed with and I want to soak it all up. The laundry can wait.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy Happy New Year!! It's a new year although I didn't stay awake to see it in. Some days the need for sleep is just to great to ignore. We did have a fun filled New Year's Eve. We took the kiddos to the bowling alley from 2-5 for a New Year's party. They even have a countdown to the New Year at 4:00 for the kids. There were games, food and as much bowling as one could squeeze in for 3 hours. Max was in heaven. He loves to bowl and just danced around in pure delight. I can't quite remember an activity bringing him so much joy. We met friends and cousins there so that added to the fun. Dan and I even bowled a few games. It really is fun to do and it has been so long since we have gone. Maya and Madi liked rolling the ball with Dan's help. Zak tried to out do us with the most strikes. And Carli only bowled a few rounds, she's to cool for us:) No she had a bit of a headache she was trying to get rid of. After the party we headed to the store to pick up some shrimp and sparkling cider. Our tradition is to have steamed shrimp on New Year's Eve. We came home, jammied up and sat down to our feast. We opened up the game basket the kids received for Christmas and played a few games. Then the kids ran amok until I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. We put the littlest 3 to bed and let the bigger 3 stay up to watch the ball drop. Unfortunately I couldn't keep my eyes open that long. I woke to kisses from the kids. What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year.