Saturday, December 29, 2007

How to Make a Seven Year Old Boy Cry

We just finished watching Harry and the Hendersons.
Remember that movie from 1987? It starred a much younger John Lithgow as the dad who took his family camping in the Cascades just outside Seattle. On their drive home Bigfoot jumps out in front of and is struck by the wood paneled station wagon. The tale that follows is about how the Hendersons take home what is believed to be a dead sasquatch, who then comes alive and torments the family in the middle of the night. In the days that follow the family falls in love with the vegetarian creature. Bigfoot then escapes into the city of Seattle and manages to elude all the authorities and one Saquatch hunter out for the kill, all the while making himself known to unsuspecting non-believers throughout the city. Of course he is found by Mr. Henderson, who manages to bring him back to his home and works out a plan with a not so cruel Sasquatch hunter to get the big, smelly creature back to the forest, while still eluding the mean hunter who has never experienced the endearing qualities of the hairy guy now dubbed Harry.
I'll stop there, so as to not ruin the ending. However, I will mention that there was about 6 swear words scattered throughout this PG rated movie that caught me off guard, including one by the young son.
Throughout the entire movie Ben kept asking me if that was a man in a costume, or really Bigfoot. This is coming from my boy that has believes that he transforms into a superhero merely by tying a cape to his back, but has always been skeptical of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth fairy. What's a mom to say?
Towards the end of the movie, I hear a few sniffles on the couch next to me. I look over and Ben has his glasses off and is wiping his eyes. I said, "why are you crying buddy?" He says "if we find Bigfoot, can we keep him mom?"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

He did it!!

My husband has graduated from college! It has been a long hard road for him and our family, but it is over! I am very proud of him. College is not easy when your young and fresh out of high school. Imagine doing it 20 years out of high school, with a wife, two kids and a full-time job! We are so thankful to have that season in our lives over and look forward to the next adventure that God has in store for our family.

Gingerbread Houses

One day after school this week we had Ben's friend Lauren over after school to decorate gingerbread houses. They had alot of fun and created quite the masterpieces. When Lauren's mom came to pick her up we decided to go grab some dinner together. Dave and Cooper were out together having dinner with another friend, so it was just Ben and I along with Lauren and her mom Vicki. We decided on Applebees, since it was close. As we were getting ready to leave, Ben asked if I could give him $20 and just drop him and Lauren off at Applebees. When I asked him what Vicki and I would eat, he said "you two could go to McDonalds".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

She's gone crazy!!!

Shannon over at EightCrazy is doing a very fun giveaway. She is giving away a handmade, one of a kind bracelet made by GemsByGeorge, who happens to be her mother-in-law. So, go check out Shannon's blog, it is full of very creative ideas! Then go check out GemsByGeorge to see the beautiful work that she does and read about how she came to create these amazing pieces.

Our Disneyland Trip

The boys and I arrived home from Disneyland nearly two weeks ago. We had a great time. The trip included my mom, my nephew Caleb, Ivana (a Slovakian exchange student staying the year with my parents), my two boys, and myself. The drive (yes we drove!) was uneventful. We left Vancouver at 3:30am on Sunday morning, and drove all the way to Solvang, California that day. We stayed the night there and the next day we leisurely made our way to Anaheim, stopping along the way at Santa Claus Beach outside Santa Barbara so that Ivana could see the Pacific Ocean for the very first time!
It was very fun to experience that with her. While the kids were playing in the surf we saw a small pod of dolphins swimming about 50 feet away! After that stop we detoured through Beverly Hills and Hollywood to see some of the sites, including the famous Hollywood sign before driving to our hotel in Anaheim. Tuesday morning we enjoyed breakfast with some characters at Goofy's Kitchen. The food was very good (although definitely not low fat!) and the characters visited us right at our table. There was a chance to bang a few pots and pans with Goofy, and a little magic performed by Peter Pan. It was lots of fun and worth the expense in my opinion. With our bellies full, we headed over to Disneyland, and spent the whole day there in the park. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was the favorite ride of Grandma, Caleb and Ben. I did get Cooper on it once, but only by bribing him with the prospect of picking out a souvenir after the ride. He agreed, we got in line, he tried to change his mind, but in the end he rode it. He was a bit scared, but when it was over he agreed that it was a little fun, but refused to go again!
Wednesday was spent mostly in California Adventure and the favorite ride of the day was Grizzly River Rapids. Fortunately it was sunny and about 80 degrees, because we got wet! Thursday we drove to San Diego to go to Sea World. It was a very chilly 50 degrees that day, which allowed us to have our pick of "splash zone" seats at the Shamu show. What a great show! It really amazed me how smart those killer whales are.

Sea World was neat, but it was a little difficult to enjoy after we got wet. The highlight of that day for me was feeding the dolphins. I plunked down the ten bucks for eight tiny fish just for the once in a lifetime oppurtunity to put them into the mouth of a porpoise. It was very cool. The dolphins come right up to the wall, you pat them on their nose then toss a fish right into their mouth. It is necessary to get it right into their mouth, otherwise the scavneger birds snatch them right away.
Friday we spent the day in between Disneyland and California Adventure. That afternoon Cooper and I escaped away for a bit in search of his favorite characters. He patiently waited in line for 20 minutes for the chance to snuggle Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. What a treat that was for me to see the joy in his face upon meeting his 100 Acre Woods friends. Later that afternoon, while my mom took Cooper and Caleb back to the hotel for dinner and a rest, Ben and I headed over to tackle the ominous Hollywood Tower of Terror. We had been over a few times to ride, but the line had been over 45 minutes each time with no FastPasses available. This time there was a 10 minute wait. So we psyched ourselves up and headed in (actually I psyched myself up and had to bribe Ben with the promise of hot cocoa after the ride). IT WAS SOOO SCARY! There is nothing that compares to the "out of your control" feeling that you experience while free falling with only a seatbelt holding you down. The ride ended and it took serious effort on my part to get my jello legs to work. We then proceeded to ride it two more times before heading off for overpriced Hot Cocoa.
Saturday it was time to pack it up and start the long journey home. We had a great week and were very blessed to have had the oppurtunity to go. Grandma (my mom) has made the trip so many times with her grandchildren (that was her 7th trip!) that she has become quite the expert. She buys each of the kids a fanny pack to carry a lunch into the park with them, and puts dinner in her crockpot each morning so that it is ready when we get back to the hotel in the evenings. It was so great to be able to save money by not having to buy the park food, and it made it possible to have little treats like the carmel apple that Coop and I shared while waiting in line to see Pooh, or the Hot Cocoa that was way overpriced. My boys and my nephew were so well behaved and I really enjoyed having the oppurtunity to steal a little time away with each of the boys seperately. Thanks for the great week mom!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home from Disneyland

We had a great time! I am so exhausted and have not had a chance to download my over 200 pictures. Don't worry I won't post them all!
I really need a vacation to recover from my vacation.
Busy week, preparing for graduation in THREE days! This has been a long road for my hubby, so we are celebrating!
I'll get disney pics up soon.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tonight I colored.........

really. That's what I did. Me, a color book, and a box of crayons. It started out with Cooper asking me to color with him, so I told him that we could color for a few minutes before bed. He has a giant coloring book with the Nick Jr. characters, so he picked out a Backyardigans page for me to color and a Diego page for himself. He pulled out the giant box of crayons and markers, and I went to my secret crayon stash for my barely used, still sharp, unbroken box of 24 Crayola Crayons. You see, I am a self confessed crayon snob, just like Shannon is a self confessed tree snob. I could actually not care less about my Christmas Tree, but my crayons MUST be Crayola, and they must be new and unbroken. So I keep a stash, and when they no longer meet my standards I add them to my children's collection. I know, it's petty and superficial and shallow and wasteful and all those things, but it's who I am. Every year during the back to school sales I stock up on crayons. At 20 cents per box, I can afford to supply my habit with five boxes for the year. Then when I do sit down to color, I actually enjoy it!

The real issue here is not my affinity to a certain brand of crayons, it is that I really did not have the time to sit and color for as long as I did. You see, Cooper and I colored together for about 10 minutes, then he was done and it was time for bed. After I tucked both the boys in and prayed with them I went back to the coloring page instead of doing the so many other things that I should have done.

Like fold these............

Or decorate this.................

Instead I colored this................

And I enjoyed it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Baby is FOUR!

Happy Birthday Cooper! I can hardly believe that four years have gone by since you were born. Mommy had a craving for Pumpkin Pie when I was pregnant with you, but could not eat it because I had Gestational Diabetes. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through Thanksgiving without a slice. It turned out that I didn't have to, you decided to make your appearance three weeks early on the day before Thanksgiving. What a gift you were! You spent the first week of your life in the NICU, and were a bit of a grumpy guy, but I don't blame you. All those nurses did was poke and prod at you. When we finally brought you home we knew our family was complete! You are so special to us. You are a fun little boy. You are always willing to try anything from new foods to new adventures.

Your daring spirit has kept daddy and I on the edge since you started walking. After you learned to walk, you quickly learned to climb, then took on the challenge of riding a scooter before you were two. When that became to easy you decided to learn to swim, and this summer you began jumping off the diving board into 11 feet of water. You were three and a half, and mommy was a nervous wreck.
You are daring and you are brave but what I love the most is that you are so sweet, loving and cuddly. No matter what adventure you are on you always stop to give hugs and kisses and at the end of the day you always want to snuggle and have "face". I hope we never lose those moments.
As you continue to grow, I pray that you will continue to seek new adventures in life. I also pray that you will discover a love for Jesus to carry with you on your adventures.
Happy Birthday little buddy! We love you so much.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving with the Rosebrook Clan

Every other year we spend Thanksgiving with my family. The great thing about it is that everyone in my family is on the same schedule, so Thanksgiving together is a HUGE deal. As in 33 people with just my immediate family. This year my parents have an exchange student from Slavakia, so there was 34 for dinner!

We left our house around 9 for the usually three and a half hour drive to my parents. It turned into five hours because of traffic and construction through Everett. Our boys are used to the drive, so they were very good. Cooper and I both took pretty long naps while Dave drove and Ben read. Dinner was supposed to be at 2, but the turkey took a little longer than expected to cook, so we weren't late, and I even had time to make the candied sweet potatoes, yum!
After dinner there was rough housing and games, and the chance to just hang out. There is 19 kids ranging in age from 17 years to 7 weeks and we managed to gather them all, except the baby, who was sick of being passed around, on the stairs for a picture! You can't see them to well, but there is Chelsea, Amanda, and Ivana (exchange student) all 17, Darian, Brandyn and Breanne all 15, Shaylene 14, Alyssa 13, Cannyn 12, Andrew 11, Brystan and Jesse both 10, Caleb 8, Benjamin 7, Libby 6, Abby 5, Cooper 4, and Jonah and Olivia both 3. The joy of it all is that for the most part the kids all get along so well! It is very fun watching them grow up.
Friday morning my sister and I ran to Fred Meyer for socks. I usually stock up for the whole year at the day after Thanksgiving sale. We got to Freddies about 10:30 and were out the door by 11! No early morning crowds and lines for us. Then we just hung around the rest of the day eating leftovers, and taking a drive out to see our othere sisters almost finished new home.
Friday evening it was time for another Rosebrook Family Quarterly Birthday Party. After the brith of all those kids we finally smartened up and started having quarterly parties. Once every three months we get together and celebrate birthdays for all the kids in that quarter. So it was time to celebrate the 4th quarter kids (Andrew, Cooper, Jonah, Olivia and now Baby Darius). We rented out a Jungle Playland all to ourselves! It was so much fun. Again, all the kids had a blast together. The big kids played right along side with the little kids, and since we had the place to ourselves there was no worry of other kids getting trampled.
Saturday morning brought the chance to sleep in for Dave and I. Cooper was up early with Grandma. I got up around 9, Ben was next at 10:30 and then Dave emerged around 11! That is such a rare thing for us. After we got up we just sat around at my mom and dads until after lunch time at which point we decided it was time to either take a nap or head home. So we packed up and got on the road.
What a great, relaxing weekend! I am so thankful for my amazing family. While we have our issues (what family doesn't?) getting together is such a great time. I cherish the chance to pass on the importance of family to my kids and I hope we have these traditions for many generations.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Scones and Little Birds

Benjamin was assigned a project last Friday that is due tomorrow. And we completely forgot about it over the weekend. Possibly because we were having far to much fun cleaning up the gazillion leaves in our yard and trimming all the rhododendrons and it just slipped our minds that we were supposed to create a food to take to class on Tuesday along with a 2 minute report about his heritage!
It was so tempting tonight to just throw a bottle of Ketchup in his backpack and call it good because we are pretty much of the Heinz 57 pedigree. There is so many heritages to choose from that just about the only food we could not send was chips and salsa! But we decided on Scones, and his English heritage. His report is more centered on the United Kingdom, which includes England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all from which he draws his heritage. So tonight we set out to make scones. Now granted, I have never really had a scone that I enjoyed. They always seem to be to dry, and difficult to swallow. Maybe that is why they are always paired with tea or Starbucks coffee. But every website that I went to on my quest for the "perfect" (translate: easy) scone recipe dubbed theirs the "most moist" scone on the planet. So after a little surfing I found two recipes for scones and took them into the kitchen along with my seven year old to create our heritage. I adapted and married the two recipes to fit the ingredients that I had available and off we went. He measured and sifted the dry ingredients while I combined the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Then I showed him how to "cut in" the butter. Of course my graceful "cutting" turned into his shower of flour flying everywhere. Then we combined the wet and the dry, added some cinnamon and raisins (our adaption), rolled, cut, brushed with cream, and sprinkled the top with cinnamon and sugar and into the oven they went. Fifteen minutes later out came the yummiest, most moist scones I have ever tasted! I should offer my adapted recipe to Starbucks. Of course, yummy and moist translates into calorie ridden and forbidden, but I did taste one. After all I could not send a treat to school that I wasn't sure tasted delicious, besides it's our heritage!

Oh yeah, Cooper spent the evening pretending he was a little bird. He flapped his little wings all through the house, jumped off the back of the couch pretending to fly, tried to peck his dinner, and then tonight when I went to tuck him in to bed, he was laying on top of about 15 stuffed animals stacked under his blanket. When I asked him why, he said it was his nest and he was going to sleep in it. Okay. All I can figure is that Diego must have saved a little bird this morning on his show? However, when I just checked on him and it looks as if the little bird has fallen out of his nest.
Is anyone, besides me, watching the countdown? We are under a month until my husband graduates from college!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Fun Giveaway

Check out my friend Michelle's Blog to see how to enter for an very fun giveaway that she is doing. While you're there take a look at the work that she does. She is very gifted and uses her gifts to bless others. Check her out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I love my house

I really do. Our house is very small. It is 1302 sq. ft. And with two boys it seems smaller than that some days. But I love it. We sold a larger house on a very small lot in order to buy this smaller house on a much larger lot. When we first came to look at this house I thought for sure there was a mistake in the pricing, I thought it should not have been within our budget because of it's desirable location and the size of the lot, but it was. The location was to good to be true, the yard was exactly what I was looking for, and I had told our realtor that I didn't really care what the house looked like as long as it had a big yard and was within one of three particular public school boundaries. We saw the house on a Friday evening, within 6 hours of it being listed, and had a full price offer in by 7 am the next morning. We were the second offer, the first was contingent on the sale of their other home, so we slipped in because our house was already sold! God wanted us to be here. We have a big yard for our boys to play in, our house is on a flag lot so we have a very long driveway which is perfect for bike, skateboard and scooter riding. We are in the boundaries for a fabulous elementary school, and we have the most amazing neighbors that shower my children with love and affection. So, unless my husband gets a job out of the area (like perhaps the Port Orchard area?) I feel like this is the house I want to live in for a very long time. I do not have a desire to have a much bigger house, but we can and probably will add about 500sq ft. on to this house in the near future.
That said, I do feel like there is some things that I would like to do to make the space in our house more useful, organized, and homey. So here are a few of my dreams...........

This is the pantry I have:

This is the pantry I wish I had!

This is the office, in what is supposed to be my dining room, I have:

This is the office, in what is supposed to be my dining room, that I wish I had!

This is the kids creative area, in what is supposed to be my dining room, that I have:

This is the kids creative corner, in what is supposed to be my dining room, that I wish I had!

So do any of my blogger friends have any advice on how to achieve these dreams without breaking the bank? Oh yeah, and did I mention that I am decorating challenged?

Monday, November 12, 2007

An ode to my big sista....

Kris is my sister. She is number 4 and I am number 5 of six kids. Our mother had six kids in 9 years, and the biggest age gap is between Kris and I; 2 years 9 months, and that is because there was a stillborn brother between us. Growing up we were not particularly close. We were so different, she was very quiet and reserved, I was loud and obnoxious. She was frugal, I was not; when we would get to go to the store for candy hers would last all day sometimes more, mine would be gone in a flash, and then I would be so mad that she still had some. She was very strong, I was a wimp. Kris was also a very hard worker, and would be so dilligent about saving her money. She bought her own first car when she was 16, she moved out on her own when she was 18, and married when she was 20. I admired her growing up, but she was always a mystery to me.
Kris is not one to draw attention to herself, as a matter of fact, she is very modest and pretty shy. But she cares very deeply. One day when I was about 11, Kris was out in the woods next to our house trying to save a cat that had wandered up a tree and would not come down. She had been trying to coax it down for quite sometime, but it would just not leave it's perch. The cat was sitting in a 'Y' in the tree about 15 feet above ground. Kris decided to go up the tree to bring the cat down. Just one problem. The tree had no branches. But up she shimmied. She got a few feet off the ground and decided that her shorts were to tight to shimmy in, so down she came, removed her shorts, and up she went again, in just her undies, shoes and shirt. Just as she reached the 'Y' where the cat was perched, something happened and Kris lost her grip and fell. Flat on her back. She was hurt. After a few seconds of shock she told me to go call 911 because she could not move. Did I mention that we were the only ones home at the time and we lived 15 minutes from the nearest podunk town?I ran back to the house, called 911, explained what had happened: they would send an ambulance. Then I ran back out to the woods where Kris was still lying on the ground, in her underwear. With the wind knocked out of her, in a somewhat delusional state, Kris then asked me to put her shorts back on her. So I did what any good little sister would do. I put her shorts back on her. Never for a second did either of us think that she could have a spinal cord injury and me moving her even the tiniest bit could do more damage. We just knew that we didn't want the paramedics seeing that she had been climbing the tree in her underwear. The paramedics arrived just about the time that our mom was pulling in the driveway, and they hauled Kris off to the ER. There was no serious spinal cord damage, but she was definitely hurt. If I remember correctly there was a couple of broken ribs and some deep bruising, and the mystery of how so much dirt got in her underwear. Oh yeah, a few days later the cat came down from the tree and died.
When she was 16, Kris let me tag along with her, her boyfriend Nikko (he was an exchange student from Sweden or Switzerland or Finland or somewhere like that) and a few other friends to the Worlds Fair/EXPO 86 in Vancouver, BC. That was amazing! Here I was, 13 years old, along with all these cool teenagers, in a foreign country. I'm not sure I'll ever let that happen with my kids, but it was so awesome for me then.
Not long after that, Kris moved out on her own and my parents, younger sister, and I moved to Georgia. There was not much communication between Kris and I during that time only because we were so different and there wasn't much to communicate about. During the summer before my senior year of high school, Kris married Joe.Then off they went to Alaska where Joe had been living and working. While in Alaska, Kris had her first son Brandyn. Eventually she and Joe moved back to Washington and settled near Bremerton, where their second son Andrew was born.
In the past 12 years my relationship with Kris has evolved. Besides being sisters, we have become great friends. Not that there was ever a rift or anything between us, I just think that 'adulthood' has brought us together; that and her cancer. She is a Breast Cancer survivor, and during her illness we connected. We have bonded over having two boys; each the same age apart, and each set of boys so much alike. She is an amazing parent and I have learned a ton by watching her and Joe raise their boys.
We still are so different, but now we just laugh at those differences. We tease each other about being her being OCD and me being ADD. She starts a task or a project and completes it to the very end and does it to perfection. I start a task and then get sidetracked and start another task, then I decide to go have some fun, and only get back to completing any tasks after she gets after me to get it done. She has helped me on just about every home improvement project I have ever done. In our first house she helped me paint my family room/dining room red. That was a big job because it required 3 coats and it was a big room. Then the week before Cooper was born she came down and helped me paint his room. Yet another big job because we did stripes. Another time she helped me take the small deck off our old house. Last year she helped me paint Cooper's bedroom in our house that we live in now. Again, a big job because we did a road around the entire room. Recently she came down to help with the tear out of our old kitchen cabinets and painting of the kitchen (red again!). This past weekend she was down again and this time she rearranged my living room and helped me get my house organized. The funny thing about the work we do together is that we don't usually start working until well into the evening and usually go until the wee morning hours. The night we painted Cooper's nursery we started around 9 pm and finished at 5am. She was just into remission and I was 36 weeks pregnant!
Know what else Kris does? She cuts hair. She used to do it in a salon before she got sick and now she just does it in her kitchen for her family and friends. She gave each of my kids their first haircuts. And she does a much bettter job than The Barbers.

So to Kris, thank you for being such a great sister and an even better friend. I appreciate you so much. Not just for all you do, but for who you are and how you love! You have been a rock to me. You are steady and strong. Thank you for loving me and my family so generously. I love you! YMF................

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Was I too hard? (as in does the punishment fit the crime?)

I have been having some struggles with Ben lately. Actually it seems like I have been having struggles with Ben since he was about 18 months old. Not always the same struggle, we will get one issue (usually character issues) straightened out, and something else will rear it's ugly head.
So the latest one has been about being "trustworthy". I have explained to him that being trustworthy means doing what you say you will do and making good choices even when I am not around.
So today was the Book Fair at school. Ben has been dilligently saving his money for Disneyland so I gave him $6 this morning to buy a book at the book fair. Now remember this is huge for me, because I do not usually buy anything more than the necessities for my kids, but he loves to read so I broke my own rule. When I gave him the money we discussed that he was to use it to buy a "chapter book". Since it was my money, I felt that I could put that stipulation on it. He agreed, put the money in his wallet and went off to school (which is a little scary in itself ; a seven year old with six bucks in his pocket). This afternoon when I picked him up he promptly showed me the book that he bought. It was not a chapter book! As a matter of a fact the book had absolutely NO WORDS in it. He bought a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Poster Book. It is a book with pictures of the characters and scenes from the movie, and besides the front and back cover there is not a word in it. Just pictures. The kid reads at a sixth grade level and he brought home a book without a single word to read. Oh, and he bought 5 large erasers that look like surf boards and twenty dollar bills.
I was mad. I asked him why he did not stick to buying the agreed upon chapter book, and he said "there were no chapter books." Apparantly the kid thinks I just fell off the turnip truck. I was at the book fair this morning and saw a huge selection of chapter books. I put no other stipulations on the money except that he buy a chapter book. He could have bought a SpongeBob chapter book and I would have been fine with it.
So for his discipline I made him pay me back the $6 from his Disneyland savings and I decided that he would need to return the Harry Potter Poster Book (because he knows that we aren't reading or watching the Harry Potters at our house) and 3 of the erasers (he had already given one away and the other he had used).
Does the discipline fit? Would you have handled it differently?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

MY Children will NEVER

Gina tagged me to do this post. Go read her list, and then laugh because she has five kids and it's only just begun. So here is my list of things my children would never do:

  • stash candy under their pillow "just in case I get hungry in the middle of the night"
  • turn up their noses at any resemblance of a vegetable
  • suck Sprite up their nose, through a straw, in order to know what it was like to drink like an elephant
  • have "bees" (applebees) or "Donalds" (mcdonalds) in their first ten words spoken
  • wrap an entire roll of dental floss (36 ft) around every fixture in the bathroom thus creating a "boobytrap" for their mother to encounter at a time when she had to pee so bad she could barely hold it. (I tried to take a picture but the translucent floss did not show up in the picture and so all there was to see was the dirty bathroom)
  • squeeze out and smear an entire tube of toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.
  • dump their entire brand new bottle of shampoo in their bath with the water running (I guess I should supervise my kids a little better when they are in the bathroom)
  • tell me, their father, their siblings or any one else for that matter that they "hate" them
  • repeat or mimic (in public) any unsavvory comments muttered by their parents out of frustration

So there you go, there are some of the things that I truly believe my children will NEVER do (again).

Any other mothers care to go there?

I did it again!

Another one of my sisters has entered the blog sphere!
Allow me to introduce Kris.
Why would you want to read her blog?
She is so creative. Not necessarily in the "crafty" sense (although she can craft), but more in the "something from nothing" sense. I see junk or garbage, she sees a whole new functional use.
She is productive. Need help with a project? Call Kris. She can do anything and will do it well.
She is frugal, no make that miserly, and that is not a bad thing.
Besides, she's my sister. Why wouldn't you read her blog?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Calgon take me away.......

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and worn out. It has been one of those weeks. I look around and it looks as if nothing has been done around my house. When the reality is that I have spent all my spare time this week making a milk carton costume and finishing the chocolate chip cookie costume that my mom started and then mailed to me. The costumes were a big hit, everyone thought they were so cute and creative and at one house those costumes even scored extra candy for my kids because as the lady put it "you just don't see original, innocent, homemade costumes like that anymore". That means that extra candy is really mine, right? So while the costumes were cute, there is a sense of disappointment that it is all over.

The other issue that has me overwhelmed is that my dryer broke last Friday. Ugghhh, do you know what a pain it is to be without a dryer? Over the weekend I kept up with the laundry just by doing a load and then immediately hanging it on the wood clothes rack (that I normally use for camping!). But as the week has gone by it has not been easy keeping up. The repairs were scheduled to be done yesterday, but after figuring out what it would cost to have them come repair it I decided I could just buy a new dryer for a little more. Then I did a little research online and decided that I could probably fix this one myself. I would just need to get the parts. No problem, there is a Sears repair store down in SE Portland that has the parts in stock. I just need the two hours (minimum) that it will take to get down there to pick them up, so it will have to wait until Saturday. Until then, I have laundry hanging all over my living room and bathroom and a pile that needs to be washed but I am out of hanging room.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Right or Left Brained

I found this rather interesting, especially after the coffee bean picture:

Weird thing is that when I first looked at the dancer she was spinning counter clockwise (making me left brained) then I scrolled down and read what that meant. When I scrolled back up and looked at her again I saw her spinning clockwise...............I think I'm going crazy.

What do you see?

Milk and Cookie

Monday, October 29, 2007


I convinced my sister Gina that she needed to set up a blog. Actually, I took the liberty of creating it for her and posting her first post.
(it was an article she had e-mailed to me that she was submitting to her MOPS newsletter).
So here it is!
Expect great things because she is funny, smart, witty, creative, frugal, and SHE HAS FIVE KIDS!

Disneyland on a Shoestring

The boys and I are going to Disneyland!! It seems kind of strange, with money as tight as it is and Dave not being able to go because of school, to be taking a vacation, but this will truly be a shoestring budget vacation.

My mom promises all her grandkids (all 19 of them) that she will take them to Disneyland the year that they turn 7. The grandkids are all pretty close in age so her trips always include two kids and sometimes three. This year it is Ben and Caleb's turn to go. I think this is her fifth trip with the grandkids, so she has it down to a science. However for safety reasons, she asks (and pays for!) a parent to go along. This time I get to go along and since Dave will be working and preparing for his finals the next week he is not able to keep Cooper home with him, so Coop gets to go also.

We will be staying at my parent's timeshare, so we will have a kitchen which I hope to put to very good use. My plan is to try not spend any money on food in the parks because it is soooooo expensive. I would love any hints or suggestions on meals to make, snacks to take and money saving vacation tips in general!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For Kris and LeeAnn

I was hoping to just be able to post finished product pictures and tell the story about how this came about (just a little hint.....I got the cabinets for free!!), but because the guys I work for are doing the work when they have time, I am at their mercy for the finished product. So here are some pictures I took last weekend while the tile was setting. Since my camera broke right before we started this project I wasn't able to take a before shot, so I will have to search the archives for a picture that shows the cabinets I had before.

The guys are having to build and hang one more cabinet for above my stove (micro-hood), re-hang my microwave, and put up the crown moulding. I still need to touch up my grout and paint, do the caulking, put the electrical covers back on and re-attach my base trim.
The "graffiti" says "I love Dave". I decided that since my microwave was going back up there it would be a fun thing just leave. The red paint ran down the wall though, so it looks a little creepy.
More pictures to come, I can't get any more to download to blogger for some reason..........

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Things I know for sure after yesterday......

I know now that 25 lbs. of grout goes a very long way. I did not need to mix up the whole bag!

I know now that it will take a week and a big bottle of lotion to get my hands recovered.

I know now that grout is forgiving.

I know now that grouting is neither easy nor fun. No matter what Heather thinks!

I know now that the sense of accomplishment was well worth the work!

Pictures of my kitchen soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Camp Dutter

Cooper has a special name for his brother. He calls him Dutter. That was how Coop's first attempt at saying brother came out, and it stuck. We know that Cooper can now say the word brother, but we have allowed Dutter to remain as his special name for Ben.

Tonight was a fun family night, it started with pizza out with some very dear friends (We Love You Dumonts!) and then a fun filled family worship night at church. When we got home and I was putting the boys to bed, Coop wanted to sleep with Ben. That is usually cause for disaster because Ben is the one who falls asleep instantly and Cooper will lay awake in there and talk, sing or make just about any other noise, which really bothers Ben, then they end up fighting and then mommy ends up unhappy. Well, tonight Ben agreed to a letting Cooper sleep with him and I of course threatened that they would be seperated if there was any problems. The boys decided to get out the tiny indoor tent and set it up in Ben's room to sleep in. So the tent was up, the boys were snug in their sleeping bags, and I had prayed with them and was leaving the room when I heard Coop say "Dutter, your the best brother I ever had.", to which Ben replyed "I'm your only brother, but your the best brother I've ever had too."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Five things I know for sure

My friend LeeAnn tagged me to post about 5 Things I here goes:

I KNOW that God is my Father. The One that I can depend upon for all things. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Deut. 31:6), and because He gave his Son Jesus to die for MY sins, I will have life for eternity with Him in Heaven (John 3:16).

I KNOW that believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins is THE ONLY way to heaven. You cannot get there just by being a good person, or living a "clean life". We are all sinners and the Bible says that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

I KNOW that I rely to much on outside sources for my happiness when I should be relying on GOD and only GOD.

I KNOW that my three year old does not cover his ears out of disrespect when I am yelling. He truly does not like to hear me yell. I need to quit yelling at my kids.

I KNOW that I feel much better about myself and am a happier person when I work out regularly. Why can't I just get my hinney to the gym more often?

That is a little bit of what I know. Not sure who is left to tag.......Maybe my sisters should start blogs, so Michelle, Angie, Kris, Gina and Darla. What do you all know?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Yummy Dinner

Here is a really easy and very good recipe for Chicken Pot Pie that my kids LOVE! I make this often during the fall and winter because it really tastes like comfort food without all the labor. I call it Mara's Easy Chicken Pot Pie because the recipe comes from my friend Mara. Here it is:

Pie Crust for top and bottom of 9" pie
2 C. cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1- 15oz can of Veg-All Original Mixed Vegetables
1- 10 3/4 oz can of Campbells Cream of Potato Soup
1/2 C. milk
Thyme to taste
Pepper to taste

Place bottom pie crust in 9" pie plate
Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl
Pur into pie pan
Add top crust, crimp and cut vent slits

Cook in 375 (preheated) oven 40-45 minutes
Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

My Shortcuts and Hints:
*I usually use the Pilsbury premade pie dough, just because it is convenient and my mother never taught me the secret to her excellent pie crust.
*Whenever we have a store bought rotisserie chicken I pull the leftovers off the bone and freeze them until I have enough for a pie.
*I often make two pies at the same time and freeze one for later use or to give away when someone needs a meal brought to them. If I am making two pies at the same time I will use an extra can of Veg-All split between the two pies just to sneak in a few more veggies.
*Do not salt the ingredients before tasting. The Veg-All is salty already, and you could end up with too much salt!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Monopoly Outrage

I played Monopoly tonight with the boys. I have always loved that game. I remember playing it with my sisters and dad when I was a kid, I used to play it in college with my roommates (cheap entertainment!), and I had played it once before with Ben. Tonight's game was a quick one. We started at 7:15, with full knowledge that bedtime was at 8. I was really impressed with the educational value in a game of Monopoly. Ben set up the game and was the banker. Cooper and I were the realtor. Ben did an excellent job as the banker, he was able to make change for all the transactions very quickly, even when I payed him with a $500 bill for a property that only cost $120, he came up with $380 as my change. Cooper got to roll for me and helped me count out the spaces as we moved our race car along the properties. I was also impressed with Ben's financial prudence. He bought wisely, and in the end was the winner with more in cold hard cash and mortgage values than Coop and I. So why the outrage? Well, as we were putting the game away Ben said "I want to get Electronic Monopoly." I asked what Electronic Monopoly was and he explained that instead of having money you got to have cards that you just run through a machine. So after he went to bed I came online to check out this "Electronic Monopoly". Sure enough here it is.........

Instead of giving children the learning experiences of setting up the bank, distributing the fake paper money for each players beginning funds, and making change, now kids learn about using plastic (credit) to buy properties, pay rent and utilities, and even to get out of jail all in the name of Monopoly. As if our national consumer debt crisis were not bad enough, even the institutional game of Monopoly has gone the way of plastic. This is scary. I have seen in my own children the dangers of living in a no cash society. I once told Benjamin we could not buy something because I did not have any money with me, and he said "just use that gold card mommy". This cashless world makes it seem as if we have an endless supply of money available to us at the touch of a few buttons. It is possible to never "see" your money by using direct deposit, debit or credit cards, and on-line bill pay. I believe that we are doing a huge disservice to our children by having them never see the process of a paycheck earned, a trip to the bank, cash in your pocket, and a budget or list to stick to.

I am as guilty as most, but have recently started a new money process with both of my boys (this is another one of the great parenting skills I have gleaned from my sister Kris!). My boys both get an allowance for basic work that is expected because they are a part of our family (ie. keeping rooms clean, dirty laundry picked up, clean laundry put away, dishes cleared, and an overall helpful spirit); Ben gets $5 per week, and Cooper gets $1.50 per week. The boys and I then sit down with our change jar, their wallets and three envelopes for each of them. The first envelope is labled 'tithe' (or giving), the second is labeled 'long-term savings', the third is labeled 'at-home savings'. The first thing they do is put 10% into their tithe envelope to be taken to church. The remaining balance is then split in half (in Ben's case the balance of $4.50 is split into two piles of $2.25 each). One half is put into long-term savings, and once a month we take the contents of that envelope to the bank for them to deposit into their savings accounts. The remaining balance is again split in half, this time with half going into the save at home envelope and the other half going into their wallet. The wallet money is for them to spend however they want, no questions asked and is usually spent on candy, video games, or Icees at Target. I also give the boys the option of putting more than the allotted amount into their savings from their spending money. The save at home money is used to buy the bigger "i wants". As in I want a Webkins, I want a Transformer, etc..... I almost never (except in my weakest moments, which are very rare or for gifts) buy my children any more than the basics; food, clothing and hygeine items. If I am going to a store in which my children might find something desireable, I always let them know ahead of time that we will be going there, thus giving them the opportunity to bring along their wallets if they wish, although I never directly suggest it. If my boys find something in the store that they want to buy but do not have enough money with them, I do not pay the difference on a promise to be payed back when we get home or when they get their next allowance. I tell them that they may not buy things on credit with me. If they really want the item they can go home and be sure they have enough money to cover the cost and on our next trip to that store they can then bring along the correct amount of money. If they have enough money at home and the item of desire is still a priority, I usually make it a point to take the child back to the store within a few days. But often the child gets home and decides that the desired item is not so desireable anymore, and the money continues to builds up. This technique has worked wonders for our shopping trips and the boys understanding of money. They still get cases of the "i want"s or the "can we get"s but I always tell them that if they have enough money with them they are welcome to spend it.

Of course Cooper is not able to count out or split up his money on his own, so I do it for him, but he sits there with me through the process, and he is very excited to put his "spending" money in his wallet (all 34 cents of it each week).

Needless to say, I will not be buying (or allwoing my children to buy) Electronic Monopoly, and I hope others avoid it also. There is still a chance to reverse the debt crisis in our society, beginning with the game of Monopoly.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's been a while....

since I've blogged, and two people actually noticed! No one big reason for my absence, just a bunch of little ones. After the news of our little friend Luke it seems like my "stuff" is rather trivial (it is). Also, I am having new kitchen cabinets put in and my house is in a major state of disarray. Our house is small (1302 sq ft) and the kitchen makes up a big portion of that, so to have everything from my kitchen, in boxes and piles, in my living room has created so much clutter that even my brain feels cluttered. The kitchen cabinets are a whole seperate blog, I think it will be titled Huge Blessings, but you'll have to wait until the kitchen is done and I can post pictures before I tell the story of how this came about.

Speaking of pictures, my camera broke two weeks ago. The LCD screen went haywire. So I pulled out the paperwork to check the warranty. I had bought the camera last fall, so I knew it was getting close. Fortunately, I had 14 days left on the warranty! So I hurried and mailed it to the repair shop. Just yesterday I got an e-mail saying that it had been repaired and was being shipped back to me. Hooray!

Ben's school pictures came home on Friday. I am not sure I like them though. They are fine pictures, it is just that one of the great things about Ben is that his hair is rarely combed, and even when it is combed it is still usually pretty messy. Well, it looks like some picture day helper took it upon themselves to tidy up Ben's hair, thus making him look nothing like the Ben we see every day!

I am thinking about sending him for re-takes and pinning a note on his shirt that says "my mom says not to come my hair please!"
Remember the whole class picture? The one of all the students and the teacher lined up together. You know how there was always one kid who had that "deer in the headlights" look? This year it was Ben! definitely one to save for the wife to see someday!

Ben came out of his room about 20 minutes ago wanting me to feel his loose tooth. It is his first loose tooth and has been loose for almost 6 months. He is coming up on his dentist appointment next week, and I told him that if he didn't get it out that the dentist would pull it. So tonight it was just about ready to come out. I told him to get an apple out of the fridge and to take a bite. He did and it worked! The tooth didn't come out in the apple, but it loosened it enough that he was able to just give it a little twist and out it came. He was so excited! He called his dad at work and Grandma and Papa Rosebrook to tell them. And now the beutiful tiny little baby tooth is nestled safely under his pillow, waiting for the tooth fairy to bring him his moolah. I wonder what the tooth fairy does with all the teeth she will be collecting over the next few years? Does she save them as keepsakes or toss them? Comments appreciated!

Please remember to continue praying for Luke as he courageously battles leukemia.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pray for Luke!

We have some friends whose seven year old son has just been diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Please lift this family up in your prayers. They are embarking on a season of life that no family ever should have to endure.
Luke is beginning chemotherapy immediately, and while the statistics for this type of leukemia are scary, we believe that God is capable of miracles.
The sepcific requests from the dad at this point are:
1. A "brave heart" for Luke (he has a fear of needles!)
2. A new form of normalcy for their family, especially the two other children as their mom and brother will be away at the hospital for an extended period for treatment.
3. That God will be glorified through all this.
4. Healing for Luke
Here is Quote from Steve's (dad) e-mail that was sent shortly after the diagnosis:
"Praise the Lord! The Lord is good all the time, and He truly has been good to us. He is strong enough to accomplish whatever He wills. He is the only One who loves Luke even more than Vikki and I. I don't know (thankfully) what lies ahead of us, but I absolutely know that God is good!"
I will update as I hear more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I am throwing a little party tonight. I only invited myself, since it is kind of late, but you all can celebrate with me when you read this.
What am I celebrating?
Thank you for asking.
I am celebrating a major parenting milestone.
We are completely and totally a diaper and pull-up free house!
Cooper has been day time potty trained for well over a year, but we have been putting pull-ups on him at night. Well, for the past two months or so he has been waking up dry nearly every morning and yes, I re-used the dry pull-ups for a few nights before tossing them. (Which is not nearly as bad as my sister who rinses, dries and reuses disposable swim diapers!) Two weeks ago we used our last pull-up and I decided not to buy any more. I figured I could take him to the bathroom before I went to bed, and since he usually wanders into my room in the night I would have to make it a point of telling him to go potty before he gets in my bed.
It has worked. He has not had a single accident since he quit wearing the pull-ups!
(Isn't this about the time most people start wanting just "one more"? Cuz i don't have that feeling at all!)

Fish Update.......

The fish are Dwarf Platies, and it appears that Bubbles is actually with child, or shall i say with fry. I "Googled" the information and came up with a picture that looks exactly like Bubbles with her white belly. The info i read said that she and Flipper would probably eat the fry unless they are protected in a "breeding net". So, do I go buy the "breeding net" or allow nature to take its course? HHMMMM.......

Monday, October 1, 2007

Responsible Pet Ownership

I am NOT a pet person. As a matter of fact, I really see no purpose in having most pets. I know I'll be hearing it from some people for those comments, but that is my opinion, and this is my blog, where I can post my opinion, so there!
I have had animals, some as pets and some not. For a while growing up, we had a small "farm". We raised chickens, rabbits, a few cows, and pigs. We had a humongous sow named Kupcake; she lived out towards the back of the property, and every year we would put up the side rails on my dads truck, load up Kupcake and drive her to a farm across the river for a conjugal visit. She'd stay a few days to be sure the job was done, and then we'd bring her home and about four months later she'd have little piglets. They were so cute! One litter had an exceptionally small runt that we brought into the house and hand raised for the first month of it's life, just like Charlotte's Web. I think we even named him Wilbur, but unlike the book, reality is that Wilbur met the butcher. I was careful to not get to attached to any of the animals, because they were not usually pets. Besides, it is easy to stay unattached when you have to help with the castration. Yes, I have participated in pig castrations. Care for more info? Ask me about it sometime! I have also participated in chicken butchering, and it is true that when you cut off a chickens head, it can still run around for a short period of time. On butchering day we would have dead, headless chickens lined up on the kitchen counter waiting for the boiling pot. You have to boil a chicken for a short period of time in order to get it's feathers off. And the horrific smell of boiling chicken feathers is something I will never forget.
We also had a few family dogs and often some stray cats, but rarely did pets ever live in our house, with the exception of the runt pig and the occasions when the dogs were let in to get out of the elements. What I remember was that every animal had a purpose. Cats were mousers, dogs were security and everything else was breakfast or dinner!
Now, as an adult, I do not see any reason to have animals as pets, much to the dismay of my children. And believe me, we have tried. When Benjamin was a toddler, a neighbor offered us a kitten from her litter, so we took it. It proceeded to chew up every pacifier that Ben left laying around (which was okay with us since it was time for them to be gone) and pee on my carpet. Since the idea of having a litter box and a toddler just completely grossed me out, I was trying to train the cat to go to the door to be let out, but it just didn't seem to be working. So when the neighbor girl came asking for her kitty back I eagerly obliged. Goodbye Samson.
Shortly after that my sister gave Benjamin a goldfish as a gift, because he was still a toddler the fish had to stay in a common area of the house. One evening after Ben had gone to bed, I cleaned the fish's bowl and left it on the counter next to the sink. The next morning as I walked into the kitchen I noticed that the fish was no longer in the bowl. I asked Dave about it, he knew nothing. I searched for evidence that Ben had somehow done something to it, but there was no mess or anything. As I looked around the counter for the fish a slight glimmer in the garbage disposal caught my eye. I looked in, and sure enough there was Dorothy. She must have jumped out of the bowl sometime in the night, landed in the sink and flip-flopped her way into the garbage disposal. Dorothy was dead.
A few years ago, another offer for a pet came our way. A friend of a friend had a litter of fullbred Black lab puppies. Did we want one? Dave and I talked about it, and decided that a puppy could be fun for our kids. We went to the house and picked out our little male black lab and I named him Tucker (cuz I knew that he would tucker me out!). We brought Tucker home and he proceeded to cry all night, every night for the next week. We were determined to kennel train him, so at one point I even slept on the floor outside his kennel to keep him company. Finally he slept through the night. Then he became a full blown puppy! And puppies chew. And Tucker chose Cooper as his chew toy. And soon Tucker was bigger than Cooper. Tucker would see Cooper and go bounding across the room, knock Cooper down and proceed to "chew" on his face and ears. It was all fun and games to Tucker, but Cooper didn't think so. Cooper would start crying and screaming at the sight of the dog; which Tucker took as his sign to start barking. That in turn would send Ben into hysterics, and he would try to run away. Tucker the puppy liked running, so he would chase Ben. Ben would climb whatever he could to get away from Tucker, and Tucker would run circles around whatever piece of furniture Ben had climbed, barking. The puppy was having so much fun. But I wasn't. Something or someone had to go, and since it's against the law to sell your children, it would have to be the puppy, who by the way was the sweetest dog when my children were sleeping! So after eight weeks with Tucker, we found him a new home. He went to live with a young, single guy who worked for his dad's construction company where all the guys took their dogs to work with them. When he picked Tucker up he loaded the kennel and stuff into the back of the truck, picked Tucker up and put him on the front seat right next to him. Off they drove. So long Tucker.
Well, now it has happened again. Again the offer for a pet came our way. This time my nephew was selling a five gallon aquarium. He offered the entire set up, including two small fish to us for $12. I told Ben that we could have it if he paid for half. I was trying to teach him responsibilty. Of course Ben is not one to pass up a chance to spend his money or mine, so we now own a cute little fish tank, with a lid! Here is the problem. I think one of the fish is either sick, crazy or pregnant. I can't remember what kind of fish they are, they look like little goldfish, but they aren't actually goldfish, they are dwarf something or anothers. Ben has named them Bubbles and Flipper. Well, Bubbles has a large, distended white belly and Flipper does not. They both used to swim to the front of the tank when we would approach it, but now when we are standing at the tank only Flipper comes to the front and Bubbles swims frantically back and forth at the back of the tank. I guess we'll find out soon what her issue is. Does anyone know the gestation period for fish?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rain Gear Required

Today was the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Benjamin, Cooper and I walked with the American Family Insurance team in honor of Paige, Ben's friend from school who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in kindergarten. The walk was held at Oaks Park with lots of festivities planned for before and after the walk, and free ride bracelets for all participants. Sounds like fun, right? One poured down rain! Not just a small sprinkle here and there, but 3 straight hours of steady NW rain! The walk was 3.1 miles (5k) and we had fun walking with friends from Ben's school. We did try to stick it out for a few rides afterwards, but by that time we were so soaked that standing still while waiting in line only chilled us to the bones! So after only one ride we decided to head home, with the promise to return to Oaks Park when the weather made it more enjoyable.

Thank you to all who donated to help Ben reach his fundraising goal of $200. Together our team raised over $5000 for Diabetes research all in hopes that someday Paige will be cured!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Here is a very creative dad!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Notes from our life

Today was school pictures. Ben did not chose the suggested blue polo with stripes. I'm okay with that. We were trying to figure out how he could get away with wearing the funny glasses (see Stink-Bombs and Carnival Prizes) but decided that it could create problems with other students who didn't have the cool, fuuny glasses to wear in their pictures and whose mothers would probably scream if the prints came home with their child in them. So only the normal glasses went to school today.

You know how most children have a security item? A lovey, binky, or blanky? A bond with that special item that makes them feel secure and safe? Ben has Squishy, a gift from his older cousin Andrew.

(yes, he's really asleep and yes, that is where squishy was when I checked on him)

And Nutter Squishy (as in another squishy), there on the floor. My lame attempt at replacing a once lost Squishy.

They were so close to being similiar. Or so I thought. Who knew that he would be rejected based on minor differences? So what if Squishy has felt feet and Nutter Squishy has silk. Who cares that Nutter Squishy still had his stuffing in his nose, his right ear still intact and a slightly different bowtie? Apparently my then 18 month old did. Luckily Squishy was found within a few days, and Nutter Squishy took his place as a favorite floor decoration.

So, what is Cooper's security item? Well, funny you should ask. We tried to get him attached to Nutter Squishy, but he rejected him also.

Cooper is attached to.......................


Not just any face, but MY face. Although Daddy's and Dutter's (brothers) will do in a pinch. He will walk up to me at random times, usually fueled by exhaustion and ask for "face, mama". That means that he wants me to hold him and allow him to cup my face in his tiny, often grubby and sweaty hands. He holds my face and squeezes my ear lobes, sometimes just a few seconds of "face" is all he needs, othertimes it is necessary to have a full on snuggle time of "face". This past summer, I worked on limiting "face" time to just in the evenings and mornings at home, just as any parent starts to put limits on kids' security items. But every so often he will still approach me while we are out and about with a request for "face, mama". I usually indulge him.

Someday his wife will thank me!

Stink-Bombs and Carnival Prizes

Stink-Bombs...........inevitably the combination of those words would be uttered in my house.
I blame it on public school.
No matter, those two words were the topic of much amusement between my boys tonight. Possibly brought on by the dinner of Taco Soup full of kidney and garbanzo beans?

And what could be more fun than stink-bombs and silly glasses, picked up as prizes at the Church Picnic yesterday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blogging is good for my soul

I have decided that blogging makes me a happier mom. Maybe I should have started this or at least some form of journaling years ago. This is a great way for me to look at my days and my life and realize just how blessed I really am. Blogging has helped me focus on the good things in my life that I want to share with others. Not to say that I don't have struggles daily. It just seems that the good is brought into focus when I am thinking about what to write about.

Just yesterday Benjamin and I were on our way to soccer practice. It was just he and I in the car, and he said "mom, I've had a happy life." I said, "you know what buddy, so have I." He then responded, "let's play the happy game. You name one thing that has been happy in your life and then I'll name one in my life." Whoa........that just came from my seven year old? We've never played the "happy game" before, so for the next four minutes that is what we did. I was happy to have God in my life. Benjamin was happy to have Jesus in his heart. I was happy that I have a wonderful husband who is working hard to make our lives a little easier by finishing his degree. Benjamin was happy that he has a mom and dad who loves him and only spanks him when he is disobedient (yes, both my children know and use the words disobedient and obedient often). I was happy that I have two fun and mostly obedient children. Benjamin was happy that he has a cute, but sometimes annoying little brother. I was happy that I get to play soccer on Wednesdays. He was happy that he gets to play soccer with Jonahs and Trenton. I was happy that I have lots of brothers or sisters. He was happy that I took him and Cooper to Booster Juice for a smoothy that afternoon.
You get the idea.
It was a short drive to soccer practice, but quite possibly one of the most memorable moments I have ever had with my big boy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A funny one courtesy of Mara

Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day. They picked out a box of Tampax and proceeded to the checkout counter. The man at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?" "Eight", the boy replied. The man continued, "Do you know what these are used for?" The boy replied, "Not exactly, but they aren't for me. They are for him. He's my brother. He's four. We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. He can't do either one."

Can't you see my boys doing this?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Is this bad of me?

Tonight at dinner the topic of "school picture day" came up. It is a week from tomorrow, and fortunately Ben had a haircut last week, so we don't have to worry about the week after his haircuts before his hair looks normal again. But we did discuss what he should wear for picture day. This year Ben has taken to picking out his own clothes, he often says to me "I'm seven mom, I can chose what I'm going to wear" then promptly puts on what I have suggested. He does like to look good! So during the discussion about what to wear for picture day I suggest a nice polo style shirt that is blue with multi-colored stripes. He agrees to wear it with his brown cargo pants (Yes, I know, the pants don't show in the picture.......) Only then did I remember that for his kindergarten pictures he had on a blue polo style shirt with stripes

and for his first grade pictures he wore a different blue polo style shirt with stripes.

So, I am wondering if we should continue the picture day theme, and if we do, I feel like it would now have to continue all the way through grade school, or should we hang up the blue polo shirts with stripes and go with something else? At least it's not as bad as the school pictures that shows my sister Kris in a shirt one year and me in the same shirt the next year. But, we have not started school pictures for Cooper yet...this could be fun!