Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to my sweet Ellie!

You are absolutely beautiful, inside and out. You are driven. You set goals and nothing gets you distracted. Just like your dad. :)

You are also such a compassionate girl. You are wonderful and patient with little ones and you are always willing to give a helping hand.

And, you keep us laughing. When you are in charge of the camera, you fill our scrapbooks (or more accurately, our computer) with images like this.

And, you are always sweet to pose for your brother when he has camera duty.

I love watching you grow up, even though it is happening too fast!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting (Running) Away

While normal people are ticking off items on their long Christmas to-do list, I've run away from home.
Or, I've run away from my to-do list.
Either way, I needed a break.
This is where I am for 2 weeks...

I took the family with me though.  I didn't need a break from them.  Can anyone find Gideon?  (It's like Where's Waldo)

We are loving life right now in Sedona and I refuse to think about what is waiting for me when I get back home.  I left without doing any Christmas cards, I haven't finished my shopping, and I have no idea what I'm wearing to Tony's Christmas party for work.
And, you know what...
I'm okay with that.
Look at this view from my patio.

My husband is so sweet to do this for me.  I was in pretty sad shape and I think he recognized the need to do this before I went off the deep end.  I'm taking this time to pray about my priorities and change some old habits and thinking patterns and hopefully that will help me to handle things better when we get back home.
Tomorrow, we are heading out for a day trip to the Grand Canyon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Say Cheeeeese!

It's Christmas card time.

Typing that just made me {sigh} and kinda slump down in my chair.

Not because I don't love Christmas cards. I do. I line them up all over my living room and love looking at all of our friends and their smiling children.

It's the smiling children part that's killing me.

I can get my children to all smile...just not at the same time. So. I end up with a roll of pictures with 4 smiling children aaaand one that's looking away...or scratching his back...or looking like he's in pain.

But, they're having fun.

And yes, Gid's eating a lollipop. It's the only way I could keep him with everyone else instead of chasing the cat across the yard.

Monday, November 15, 2010


After our referral for Gid, we couldn't wait to hold him and get to know this little boy God had chosen to be our son. We wondered what his little personality would be like. He seemed very serious in every picture we saw. Then, we heard from people who met him that he was very cautious about new people and wouldn't smile for them. As our meeting got closer, we received updates that he cried a lot with tummy aches and was hard to console.

I started praying.

Not praying for an easy peasy baby.

But, praying for a baby filled with joy.

Who would find joy in our family.

Who would bring joy to others.

Now, what comes to mind when I think of Gid is...Joy.

In every area, he is filled with joy.

That doesn't mean he never cries.
And he has certainly won every stare down he has faced.

But, who he is, what he has shared with our family and everyone he meets.


Thank you, Lord!


It might help if we take the cap off. I would love to know what he was thinking.

Monday, November 1, 2010

5 Sweet Treats

The whole gang. Ellie's wearing the same costume my mom made for me when I was in 5th grade. I can't believe it's still in good shape. Gid's wearing the costume I made for Car when he was a baby. Tate has his Pap's old army clothes. So far...all FREE! Car had his heart set on Mario - I think he just wanted to wear the HUGE sticky mustache. :) I (with quite a bit of my mom's help) made Bear's Indian costume for her. She had to be a Warrior Indian girl though, so she made her tomahawk and grizzly claw necklace.

We went to a friend's neighborhood to hang out since no one comes to our house. Gideon (aka Tex) wavered between being proud of his cowboy outfit and trying to figure out what in the world was going on. He looks confused in most of the pictures.
We definitely ended up with enough candy to fill various birthday pinatas for the course of the next few years.
Oh wait - I refuse to do pinatas.
hmm... where will all of that candy go???

Oh well, let's forget about the candy and look at this sweet cowboy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Many Hats I Wear

I've read those emails that try to make moms feel better about staying home with their kids - like they need some reassurance that there's value in "just" being a mom.

I know.

That's silly.

But, it's true we wear many hats as moms.
Chef, chauffeur, nurse, teacher, maid, referee {grin}...
I can't even list them all.

As you can see lately, it appears "Blogger" has just about fallen off that list for me. There is so much around here that is just not getting done that I feel guilty getting online and writing a blog post.

I like having my blog though. I like feeling connected to my long distance friends. And, I like having a record of our lives we can look back on. (there's another thing that's not getting done - scrapbooks. ugh!)'s what we've been up to lately.

We celebrated our very first Gotcha Day on August 24th. Yummy Ethiopian food!

Tate started tackle football. (hmm. that's was about when I stopped having time to update the blog. I'm starting to see a connection.) {wink}

Bear just turned 7 on September 10th.

Car Turned 9 on September 11th (yes, the very next day)

And, Gid fell in love with the tractor

Pucker up...Look at that pucker!


Friday, June 18, 2010

You're Welcome

It has come to my attention that not everyone knows about the awesome, free blogging software...Windows Live Writer. It is SO easy. And, it's FREE. It doesn't leave weird spaces between the lines, it's super fast uploading pictures, as a matter of fact, you can just choose all of your pictures at once and upload them one time.

I don't have a lot of time to blog (like any of us DO), so it really drives me nuts when I have to mess with the software too long. I want to type something, upload a few pics, and move on with my day.

I had to share.


Go here to download it.

Did you catch that it's for freeee?

It doesn't work with Macs and I miss it. It's made by Microsoft for Windows...that should have been my first hint I wasn't going to be able to use it on an Apple. I really think I'm going to do all of my blogging on another PC in the house just so I can keep using it.

Let me know if you try it. You'll thank me for it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Time to Breath

We've been running non-stop around here lately. We worked hard to hurry up and finish our quarter so we could take a break in school. We started our first week of summer with Ellie heading off to camp.

For Six nights!

I don't have pictures because she took one of those disposable cameras that you have to take someplace to have developed. How did we do that in the olden days??? I'm not sure when we'll see those pictures.

We welcomed her home and then Tony and Tate left for a mission trip for a week. Tate loved it and wants to go back next year. They did a little VBS during the day and then had community block parties at night. Tony said it was hard work with little play and the kids did great.

Knocking on doors, inviting the neighborhood out to their block party each evening.


Having a mini VBS time with the kids.
Now, we are ready for a little R&R. I'm not sure what R&R stands for. I do not think it means what I think it means because I painted all day. Well, we did take a break for a quick swim.
Oh, and a quick update on the kittens.
I think they're here to stay.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Play Time

It's that time of year again...time for the school play.

Except when you homeschool, the stage is at the nursing home and a friends deck in their backyard. We performed at the nursing home this morning and the kids did an awesome job! I'm so proud of how hard they work. And, so thankful for the sweet moms who are willing to share their talents and work with my kids to teach them things I know nothing about (ahem, acting!) Seriously, two of my friends are working with 28 kids to put on 6 short plays...foooor freeeeeeeee! (do you remember that from Bedtime Stories?) We just have to come up with costumes and props for our kids, which is fun for me.

I have a couple of pictures of the kids I snapped "backstage" (aka: the activity room at the nursing home) I'll try to get some more cute pics to share when they do the performance on the real stage (err...deck) tomorrow night.

Car's a raindrop


So is Ellie, but she's a little fancier.


Bear's thespian skills may blossom later, but for now she's happy coloring.


Gid entertained himself with a hairbrush...notice the poofy hairdo.


Now, off to rest for tomorrow's big show.

Friday, May 7, 2010

So Thankful

Happy Mother's Day!

I can't believe I get to be mom to these sweet kids. They informed me yesterday that Mother's Day weekend had officially started. I came into the living room to find the phone on the chair with my heating pad in it for my back. (how old am I???) Okay, they knew my back had been bothering me and were just being thoughtful.


I was supposed to sit while they made homemade pizza. They did a great job! I didn't sit though...moms don't do that. I chased Gideon. But, I didn't have to cook, so it was still quite a treat!

Tate's straight from the shower, getting the dough started. I think pizza is his favorite thing to make.


I love you guys! You make me so proud!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Learning New Things


We've been learning all kinds of new things around here. One thing I haven't learned is how to get my pictures on the computer. Tony changed everything up and has been busy, so I'll get some new pics up soon. Hopefully.

Until then, here's one of Giddy from Easter. Nevermind the blue lips...he was playing with the dyed eggs. I'm sure there is some photo software that would fix this cutey pic so he doesn't look oxygen deprived, but that's not one of the things I am learning either.

What we Have been learning is...

~ How to say mama (instead of calling everything Dad)

~ How to do hand motions to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Bear worked with him on that one)

~ Sign language for more, all done, please, and thank you

~ Oh, and how to WALK! What a Big boy!!! will be coming soon. No telling what else he'll be doing by then. He's growing up FAST!

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Apology to Bob

My to-do list is too long.

I’m not getting to everything and there’s not a lot I can weed off.  It all has to be done.  Inevitably, things get missed and due dates get passed.  You know, with stuff like, oooooh, let’s just say having the cat fixed.

It was hard though to get the timing down.  We have to wait until she’s old enough, but before she gets pregnant.  That’s a pretty small window of time.

I noticed the cat was looking a little fat and I could hear Bob Barker’s voice at the end of every Price is Right telling me to have my pets spayed and neutered.  I kept thinking, I’m SO sorry Bob…I’m an irresponsible pet owner!

But, the bright side…the kids got a great science lesson.

From what I’ve heard, cats tend to find a secluded spot and quietly have their babies and one day we find kittens.  Well, Josie decided to bless us with front row seats as she had them right outside our back door in the jogging stroller.

Yes…the stroller!


and cramped.

The kids didn’t care how gross that was.  They were too busy watching “bubbles” come out of the cat.

That cracked me up!

We pulled up some chairs.  I should have popped popcorn.  It was quite a show.  I only thought I was going to hurl once.

So, we’ve welcomed four baby kittens now.  This was such an awesome experience for Bear!  She loves animals and has tended to momma and the babies non-stop.  She says the babies are either “milking” or sleeping all the time.

IMG_0913 IMG_0916

I’m sorry, Josie…do you need a little privacy?


Sweet Josie.


We moved them out of the stroller so I could burn it clean it up.


So, back on my to-do list is to have the cat fixed.  But, I have to wait a while after she’s had kittens, I think.

great – here we go again…


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Green Smoothie Boy

Our family has started trying to eat more of a whole food diet and one of the easiest ways we have found to incorporate more servings of fruits and veggies in our diet has been green smoothies. 

I have to say, I definitely feel the difference.  I have a LOT more energy and just feel better overall.  And, as a mom – I’ll take all the energy I can get!

Now, the kids had plenty of energy before, so they are not as excited about drinking green smoothies.

Well, except for Gideon.

If he sees me with a smoothie, he grunts until I share it with him.  And, of course I always share with him because he makes the cutest face when he’s drinking from a straw.  Oh, and bonus…he’s getting lots of great nutrients.

Here’s what I generally put in our smoothies (depending on what we have on hand):

water, spinach, kale, flax oil, kelp, blueberries, peaches, and bananas


Look at this face…





Also, six months ago today we held our sweet boy for the first time.  It feels like he’s been here forever.  I’ve had so many people tell me he looks just like our kids.  Our pediatrician even said it and said they just pick up on facial expressions and start looking alike.  I love those comments.