Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow?!?

Snow in December in Carolina. That is a rare thing. And I did not get one single picture. Can't believe it. But really, I can. This weekend was the Dedication of our new church home.

And remember the cake? The whole time it was snowing, I was working on the cake thinking, "this is crazy. I'll never be able to get there with this cake. Why is it snowing, now?!" Well, for all my agonizing over the snow, not only did we get to the church with the cake, on time, over 800 other people did too.

I think these will be the best snow pictures I could have:




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

5 Days till Cake!

No really, the important part is the dedication of our new church home. But my little part is this cake :-) Glad to celebrate with cake making, then I don't have to be sad about leaving the church where I have celebrated so many major moments of life. Looking forward to new milestones in our new church home.

Here's the cake topper picture so far. Now I just have to let it dry and don't mess with it till Saturday!


The drawing in the background was my paper plan. The container of fondant I bought to make sure the black was juuuust right. This Satin Ice was easy to work with but literally started to dry out before I was even through cutting it. The finish on the black piece isn't quite smooth. But my son assures me no one will notice. (We will after all be celebrating the new church home, not the cake! Good thing I have children to keep me grounded.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homeschool Schedule

Lots of things can be said about a homeschool schedule. The best thing though is to be flexible. Because you really never know what is going to happen. On the other hand, an actual schedule can be effective.

I've been reluctant to put something down on paper. Mostly because the schedules I've seen on other websites seem so...complicated. But after a few days of terrible two's something had to change. And that means a clear, simple schedule for the Our Lady of Good Remedy Catholic School.

I want a schedule that is consistent day to day and would incorporate most of the things we already do. Like the 10:30-11:30 time slot will accommodate PE on Tuesday with out too much second guessing about who is doing what. (PE is actually from 11-12, so I'll be with Holly at 10: 30 anyway getting her dressed. And the usual outside time with Bill is nicely replaced with playtime in the nursery at the YMCA).


After naptime is anybody's guess! We never know how long Holly will nap and the other children's activities vary from day to day. Science and Art class some days, Students in Training on Wednesday, friends over or grocery shopping, and Karate class.

Chores, if you notice are daily and the same everyday for everyone. Bored with doing the same chores? Too bad. Sometimes life is boring. If that seems too "boot camp" like, well, its just 30 minutes out of the day. And I like things simple and uncomplicated. And what a great opportunity to offer up this small act of service for your family :-) Each child is to do their best, I help with what I can and after 30 mins, chores stop, school starts. I finish up what's left as the day goes on. With help from Holly, of course.

Time's up! I love that my to do list includes crayons and play dough, along with laundry and cooking. Off to play with Holly. Life is good.

*** Edited 12/15 After a few days of trying out the new schedule, I think we have a successful plan. Holly is still a handful, but with everyone knowing when their turn is, school is getting done.
One more thing, I didn't list prayer time, but we always start the 9am school day with prayer.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cake Plans


A little blurry, but the actual rose window in our church.

Pretty soon our new church will be dedicated. I can't wait! The building is so beautiful and large. No more cramped standing room only. Although several major moments of my life have been in our current church building and I will miss this, I can not wait for our new church home to be completed.

A major part of our church has always been the stained glass windows. Massive, gorgeous art of several Saints, one of Mary and one of Jesus. Those were moved out of the old church a few months ago. I can't wait to see them again!

After Easter, Mary Frances asked if I would make one (there will be a few) of the cakes for the church dedication. I was thrilled. And have been planning the cake ever since. The inspiration for the cake came from the windows and this ad in a magazine.

Doesn't that like almost like a stained glass window? Maybe, if you squint your eyes. And picture it in color. So I began to scan pictures, print, and color my plan.... I hope to use the pie topper to cut out the pieces in fondant and assemble it on the cake. Black fondant has been ordered. The rest I will make. Here's the idea in black and white.


You'll have to wait with me, to see the whole thing in color! Say a prayer or two for me, that this plan works! I so want to create something special for a really special day.

A Little Cake, A Lot of Elmo!




Two years. Two years. I can't believe Holly is already TWO. Over the last 6 months Holly has just grown up! She is talking really well. Has great control of "command sentences". She loves to say "Sing. Guys. HappyKnowIt."

And the no-daily-medicine thing is like a miracle to me. Occasionally, Holly still needs Zyrtec. But no Prevacid, no Nexium, no Mylicon and definitely no Tylenol almost everyday.

Although Holly spends lots of time like this:

She also spends some time like this:

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Little One Feather!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 8

Last post on the subject. There is just a few more things to consider when you want to keep strife out of your life.

What I want is peace, what I want to avoid is disharmony, quarrels, hatred.

Nothing creates an environment for gossip and harmful chatter quicker than a group of women. (Hey, I am a woman. I can say that.) Years ago, I used to scrapbook with a very lovely bunch of women. All of us young mothers. Most of us with kids in the same preschool. Still, I knew those scrapbooking nights were prime opportunities to gossip. And that meant disharmony.

I posted that verse from Psalms in my scrapbook box where I would see it. Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips Psalm 141:3 Some days, I wish I could have it on a teleprompter everywhere I go! It is so important to watch what you say.

Every encounter you have is a chance to see Jesus. We will end this reflection on finding Peace and Joy in the midst of hurt feelings with the following verses.

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:18

Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23

Then Peter approaching asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Making of a Christmas Star

Almost as soon as the Festival of Trees was over last year, I began crafting a star for this year's tree. That was right in the middle of Anna and I cutting out lots and lots of paper snowflakes.

A star took shape pretty quickly from cutting out a snowflake and then gluing it to a dowel, in a few layers to make it 3-D. However, by June, that star wasn't looking so hot. In fact, it was drooping. Mostly because the middle section of the snowflake was cut out. Perfect for a snowflake, but not for a 3-D standing star.

The search was on for a better star than the one I made last year, which I loved :-) And I hope my Aunt Jackie did too, since this is all for her Christmas tree. I found this youtube video and thought I had landed on something. Even though the video is in fast forward mode (!) I was able to make this:

With Anna's help we added the sparkle of glitter. And I liked it. But not enough. Today, I tried again, cutting the points a little pointier (is that a word?) and added some cut outs, like in a snowflake for texture. The results? A perfect paper star for my Aunt Jackie's tree.

Today is the tree decorating day, and the Festival runs through the weekend in Downtown Salisbury. Last year there were over 50 trees decorated! This is such a fun event. Glad we can be apart of it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Plenty to be thankful for, never stop being grateful for the prayers and support over the last two years. Holly is doing super great as well as the rest of us.

Thank you, God, your mercy and care. Amen.

And a little cake humor for holidays...here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 7

Really can there be more to say about this? Yes, because sometimes strife is caused by more than just one thing. Maybe its a bunch of little things. That all add up. Then what do you do, when you find yourself in my original predicament? Thinking "I can't believe they just did that!"

My part is to stop strife before it spreads. I have to mind my own business, be aware of my own motives, and especially my own words.

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

The start of strife is like the opening of a dam; therefore, check a quarrel before it begins! Proverbs 17:14

Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips Psalm 141:3

An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord. Proverbs 15:18

The fool immediately shows his anger, but the shrewd man passes over an insult. Proverbs 12:16

When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cookie Mojo

Christmas Season is fast approaching. The Olympics of Cookie Baking at our house! And so far, I am feeling like I have lost the cookie mojo.

The last two batches of gingersnaps weren't all that snappy. I tried a mix, because Bakerella has had so much success, but the flavor was off. Way off. I couldn't eat them. Then I tried another attempt with a new recipe. All I can say about that is they tasted good. But didn't look so hot. Certainly not Christmas-gift-worthy. Since cookies are my main gift, I really want both: looks delicious and is delicious.

I hope this is pre-season jitters. That cookie mojo better kick in soon!

Peace, Joy Part 6

If you can recognize strife when it happens (that "hurt feeling" feeling) and understand things that causes stress, then you can begin to find ways to keep strife out of your life.

This verse from Proverbs literally changed our lives. Turned us upside down and inside out. All for the better.

Proverbs 17:1

Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting with strife.

A peaceful dry crust is better than feasting with strife. How can that possibly be? It is better to be poor and peaceful than have lots of stuff and be angry?

I just thought we were supposed to have lots of stuff and then figure out how not to be angry. Isn't what the commercials show? Happy people shopping? How can being poor make you happy?

Lee and I fought so much at the beginning of our married life. I knew we had stuff, not fancy but we had two incomes, one child. We could afford to spend a little. But we were so very unhappy. And then I read that verse.

Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting with strife.

Could our life be happier with less? We decided it was worth a try. What we both really wanted was for me to be a homemaker. The outside job part was making us both miserable and in turn our whole life was in a shambles.

For me taking the "dry crust" happened to mean giving up my corporate life. Our life hasn't been perfect since then, but it is like we've stepped out of the fire. I'd be lying if I didn't say right now, and every moment of my day, even our "dry crusts" ain't that bad. And the proverb is true, even our dry crusts are better than any day we had feasting and angry.

The key in this verse to avoiding strife, is to discover what is most important to you and then MAKE THAT the most important thing in your life. Even if you have to eat crackers.

Beautiful Coloring Pages

This blogger has posted the most beautiful coloring pages! Saints, Mary, Joseph.

In case you are looking, enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 5

With the causes of strife reviewed, let's move to the effects.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. James 3:13-18

At first I wanted to just post the one verse about disorder because the effect of strife is so complete. Strife, disharmony and hurt feelings, effect every part of your life.

Every part.

Now here's the trick recoginzing strife, and seeing Jesus in the moment. "Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly unspiritual and demonic. " If you can, try to see strife for what it is, Satan trying to divide and distract, then you can seek Jesus to overcome the moment.

But then, I kept reading the verse and saw how much more important it is to strive for "wisdom from above...that cultivates peace." Once you recognize strife enter a situation, look for the peace. How to bring it about, what part can you play in bringing in PEACE.

Then the whole moment changes. Hopefully, in the next few days, I'll be able to post a few thoughts about conquering Strife and finding Peace among all those hurt feelings.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 4

What does "being contentious" mean anyway? I've heard of being "held in contempt of court". Or a heavy-weight fighter is called a "contender". But am I a person like that?

Some definitions of contentious didn't really help, unless you look at the synonyms. Belligerent! Who wants to be described like that? In any situation, no matter what, I don't want to be remembered as belligerent. And the second definition in the link describes a "wearisome tendency to quarrel."

I had a co-worker years ago that seems to have a "wearisome tendency to quarrel." It was so hard to go into work, I almost braced myself for whatever conflict would occur that day. I prayed for peace to come into the situation, and in answer, God moved that person to a whole other town. And, I saw that I was moved out too! You know that saying, If you are not part of the solution.....

I realized then that there were two people in the conflict, I was one of them. Since then, when ever a contentious atmosphere arises I am alert and praying for God to move me, or move them. And he always does.

Last of the causes of strife to reflect on today:

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

Personal differences, cliques, speculative ideas and foolish questions can cause strife.
  • After some time, Paul said to Barnabas, "Come, let us make a return visit to see how the brothers are getting on in all the cities where we proclaimed the word of the Lord." Barnabas wanted to take with them also John, who was called Mark, but Paul insisted that they should not take with them someone who had deserted them at Pamphylia and who had not continued with them in their work. So sharp was their disagreement that they separated. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus.But Paul chose Silas and departed after being commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. Acts 15:36-41
  • Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
  • Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. 1 Tim 6:3-5
  • So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith,love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord 5 with purity of heart. Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil's snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will. 2 Tim 2:22-26

Peace, Joy Part 3

Sometimes it is the simplest things that can cause a major division. One example I remember from Joyce Meyer's book, Life Without Strife, helps me understand other people's perspective so much.

Joyce tells of a woman whose feelings were hurt because her pastor ignored her at the mall. Just walked right by without even saying hello. (I can almost hear the conversation in my own life!) Then when she remarked about it to the pastor, he realized that was the day he was so sick and felt so poorly he didn't even see anyone at the mall.

The woman had hurt feelings.
The pastor was sick.
Clearly a situation of misunderstanding that brought strife into that woman's life. She didn't see the pastor, she saw hurt feelings.

Verses to reflect on today:

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

Pride, selfish ambition and misunderstanding can cause strife.

The greedy man stirs up disputes, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. Prov 28:25

They watched him closely and sent agents pretending to be righteous who were to trap him in speech, in order to hand him over to the authority and power of the governor. They posed this question to him, "Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is correct, and you show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful for us to pay tribute to Caesar or not?"Recognizing their craftiness he said to them, "Show me a denarius; 6 whose image and name does it bear?" They replied, "Caesar's." So he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." They were unable to trap him by something he might say before the people, and so amazed were they at his reply that they fell silent. Luke 22:20-27

At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. Acts 6:1

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

E-Mealz Review

After week 1 of using the E-Mealz Aldi's plan, I am very happy. Here's what happened:
  • Spent $90 initially at Aldi's. Made one other trip to Food Lion for cleaning products, $20.
  • Cooked dinner 5 out of 6 nights. Best I've done in 2 years! (BTW - thx Lee Sr. for cooking for so long!!!) Tonight is the last night and I am looking forward to making Lemon Talapia.
  • Everyone in our family tried and liked all 5 menus!
  • All the meals were fairly simple to make, and some were super simple for nights when we were pressed for time. Loved the Baked Cibatta Sandwiches.
  • All the recipes actually made "enough". Most meals we had leftovers.
  • One more thing, in my opinion, these menus are fairly balanced. For example last week, only one meal was what I would call "fat friendly", called for whipping cream AND a generous helping of butter. It was delicious, but you can't have that every night!
  • Today, Tuesday, new menu has been posted for this week. The projected total is $62.
  • All of the menu suggestions are foods that we like and I would cook. Looks good.
Hope I can do my part to keep the savings up!

Peace, Joy Part 2

A key to recognizing strife when it occurs is to know that hurt feeling feeling. Understanding the definition of strife is key. Strife is is division, quarrel, hurt feelings, confusion, contention and hatred. If you find yourself in a situation involving any of these feelings, proceed carefully! You (and I) are being offered an opportunity to see Jesus.

Verses to reflect on today:

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

Gossip and being contentious can cause strife.
  • Like the man who seizes a passing dog by the ears is he who meddles in a quarrel not his own.
  • Like a crazed archer scattering firebrands and deadly arrows, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and then says, "I was only joking."
  • For lack of wood, the fire dies out; and when there is no talebearer, strife subsides.
  • What a bellows is to live coals, what wood is to fire, such is a contentious man in enkindling strife. Prov 26:17-21

Monday, November 16, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 1

It's been a while since I have posted any type of meditation or reflection. Most likely because I have struggled the last several months with hurt feelings. Trying to work on forgiving people and remembering to be merciful can wear you down.

After one more round of "I can not believe they just did that" this weekend, I have got to take a moment reflect on this wave of hurt feelings. What if it isn't them? What if it's me? I mean, I know its not all me but at some point you just have to ask.

Years and years ago, when we were newlyweds, I came across this book Life Without Strife by Joyce Meyer. This was the beginning of a huge change in our marriage. Recognizing strife when it appears, and importantly my part in it, brought a tremendous amount of peace to our home.

I want that peace again. I'm tired of being hurt all the time. Here's my part to look for peace again: Over the next few days, I am going to study some readings from the Bible to refresh my mind and remember where true peace comes from.

To begin at the very beginning: What is strife? It is division, quarrel, hurt feelings, confusion, contention and hatred. Strife affects every area of life, every relationship you can have. There are, of course, many causes of strife. I want to be able to recognize these causes and overcome them. Two verses to pray about today:

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

Hatred, anger and sharp temper can cause strife.
  • Hatred stirs up disputes, but love covers all offenses. Prov 10:12
  • An ill-tempered man stirs up disputes, and a hotheaded man is the cause of many sins. Prov 29:22

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Plan

Two years ago, I had our grocery budget well in control. I planned, clipped coupons, made and published grocery lists and even had food to share.

Today, new game. Our grocery budget is out-of-control. And there is still never anything in the house to cook a whole meal.

Last year's strategy was a free online meal planner, that showed up in your email every week. I like it, alot. But after a few months, I realized I couldn't afford to buy just anything in the store. I have to shop the sales to make ends meet.

Enter E-ZMeals. This is a similar service, but it is not free. However, if I save the money they say I will, $1.25 cents a week is less than the cost of a newspaper to get the coupons to clip!

This service offers a choice of lists from several grocery stores. I choose the Aldi's plan for 4-6 people. I get a 7 menus and recipes as well as a shopping list. And spend $70 for a weeks worth of dinners.

My first impressions of this service are as follows:
  • The menus are actually things my family will eat!
  • There was only ONE suggested meal that I personally would not make (cheese soup), but that's personal. If weeks come up with more than one meal that I wouldn't make that would not be good.
  • There were a few items on the list that weren't exactly the same as the store. For examples at our Aldi's lemons were sold by the bag, not individually. Not a big problem, I know we'll use the extras anyway.
  • I spent a total of $90 ($20 more than the list on breakfast and lunch stuff). That's way better than I have done anywhere else recently.
  • And I know that I have all the ingredients to make a complete meal for dinner.
Next week, I'll post an update. Even if I only use the first three months subscription, I hope it will carry us through the holiday season with a tame grocery budget.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Happy Birthday Bill! Nine-terrific-all-boy years!

Make a wish!
(Boys are in the house, paper towels are on hand. May photoshop those out before I publish a birthday scrapbook page)
Lego cake

4 years old

5 years old - still loves camoflague after all these years.
Did you notice the camo-Santa hat?!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Can it be nearly December already? Yes, it is. And time to decorate my Aunt Jackie's Christmas Tree for the ARC Festival of Trees!

Last year, I was super organized and had all the ornaments made by October. This year has been a little more challenging. But Aunt Jackie's tree will still be special. Continuing the "O Holy Night" theme from last year, we are creating a "Wise Men Still Seek Him" theme this year.

After brainstorming with other home school moms about what "gift" type ornaments we could represent on the tree, and then searching the web for ideas, I found this link. Paper ornament boxes! Ours are a little different, no Santa, for instance. I printed the Nativity and the Star on some, along with the "Wise Men Still Seek Him" text on others. Skimped a little on the tassles, used curling ribbon instead. Saving pennies here to spend on other projects for the tree.


If you choose to print this template, here are a few tips: Once you print and cut along the solid lines, use a kabob stick to score all the dotted lines before you try to fold. It makes the folds so much easier. I put a piece of craft foam on the table to make the surface a little softer to score the paper. Taped the outside end of the box. Finally used the two pieces of ribbon to tie the ends together. There are four holes to tie, one piece for two holes.

To get the picture on the back of the template, use pre-printed Christmas Stationary, stamps or photoshop software and clip art.

The other ornaments for Aunt Jackie's tree will include tissue paper and styrofoam stars, Christian Wise Men balls, and craft foam oriental ornaments. I'll post pictures as we make 'em.

It can be the most wonderful time of the year! Thanks Aunt Jackie for this opportunity to share joy all year long!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Simply Recipes

Too much time has past since I shared something simple that I love! Here are some great sandwich recipe that I picked up from a Taste of Home Cooking School years ago.

Warm Bistro French Dip Sandwiches
What I love about this sandwich is that you can use leftover beef roast, or even grilled chicken!
  • 1 (17-ounce) package Hormel® Family Pack Beef Roast Au Jus Entree
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 hoagie-style sandwich rolls, split
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced, separated into rings
  • 2 tablespoons Italian salad dressing
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Remove roast from package, reserving juices. Thinly slice roast.
Divide 1/2 of cheese evenly among bottom halves of rolls. Layer beef over cheese. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange bell pepper and onion over beef. Drizzle each with a little dressing. Top with remaining 1/2 of cheese. Place tops on rolls. Wrap sandwiches in aluminum foil.

Bake sandwiches 10 to 12 minutes or until warmed through. Slice each in half before serving.

Hot Beef Cheddar Subs
  • 4 submarine sandwich buns
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices American cheese
Cut a thin slice off the top of each bun; set tops aside. Carefully hollow out bottoms, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Set aside 1/2 cup bread.

In a large skillet, cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, Worcestershire sauce and reserved bread.

Spoon into buns; top each with a cheese slice. Replace tops. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

May Kay anyone?

If you like Mary Kay products and would like to get in on a sale... Check this out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Fall Fun

Tonight was the long awaited "Daddy's making candy apple night". Sadly, Daddy was a little over confident. When he tried to add a second layer of red candy to the apples, one apple accidentally fell over. Causing a chain reaction. Or what Bill called "a choo choo train of apples".

In an instant, all the apples stuck together. As fast as we separate two, three more were attached. And then as fast as it happened. It was over. All the apples coated and single.

But really ugly. No pictures of that! Here are a few other fall festivities we've attended:

Apple Hill Orchard Field Trip

Bill and Anna may be just under 5 ft

But Lee is definitely taller than 6'

Bill and Michael at the home school science fair. They investigated "why do teeth rot?" Didn't win this year, but there's always next time!

Moved the bunk beds upstairs to Bill's room. He's pretty exicted about that.

See the embroidered towel from our friends in Australia? He loves this towel. It has a special place in his room.
This is just Holly being cute. She loves being in Bills room.
The picture below is her "aww look, sleeping" face. It is also the face she makes for "so sad".

Hope you get to enjoy a candy apple this fall! Even an ugly one tastes delicious!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trick or Treat!

See what you can do when you've had a little sleep? Not me really, though! I had plenty of help. 2 bakers and 6 decorators, made about 12 doz cupcakes for our schurch bake sale. Half of them look like these, and the rest were decorated in complimentary fall colors :-)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Over the past two weeks Holly has slept through the night 4 times! Hooray! This is big news for us. I think a trend is beginning. No more Haberman. No milk at night (she's sleeps holding a cup, but not drinking it).

Other good news: No more Nexium! Have I posted that here yet? Going on our 3rd week with out!

That's good a good thing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Interesting Relationship

Holly and Cecilia are going to have an interesting friendship... Last they met, Holly was dramatically concerned with Cecilia's well being (see the last post).

Yesterday, however. Not so much.

Me: Holly give Cecilia her teddy bear back.
Holly, while hiding teddy bear behind her back replied: All gone.

Even though Holly regularly remembers "please" and "thank you", I see there's still work ahead.

Want to see the enviable teddy bear? Check out this beautiful photo of Cecilia.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A really good friend...

would be like Holly.

Tonight at supper, we had company. Holly's small friend is Cecilia. Cecilia began crying and upon hearing that someone should get Cecilia a cracker, Holly ran to the kitchen screaming "cracker! cracker!" Her friend was in distress! Cracker!

Way to go Holly!

(Not to mention the really monumental accomplishment of saying CRACKER)

Friday, October 2, 2009

The OK Corral

Yep. There was a showdown at the OK Corral this week. I corralled our Little One Feather, with the hopes of victory over the bottle.

People always say choose your battles wisely. I agree. I have never, ever, ever fought over food. I choose sleep. Eat what you will, as long as you sleep. (Of course, I'm not fool hearty, what available makes a difference too.)

But we all know by now, the victory of an uninterrupted night for Holly (and me!) begins and ends with food. If she doesn't eat, she is hungry and that can only mean the bottle all night long. So the battle lines were drawn this Thursday: One hot dog bite or else.

She had been chewing and spitting out food all week. Not really eating much of anything. On Thursday morning, I put her little table and chair near our time out chair. And the battle commenced. 30 mins of spitting out hotdogs and time out, and finally one bite. Chewed and swallowed.

Was it really a victory? I think so. She has eaten better since. And today took a half a hot dog in about three bites and wanted more. Hopefully tonight will be a good night for both of us, one bottle and bedtime. I can dream right?

Tomorrow: water.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Square Dancing

Circle Family, Forward and Back, Dosado, Swing Your Partner and Promenade....

That's what we are doing over here. Circling, Forward and Back. This past Wednesday, Holly went to sleep with a CUP and slept through the night. She was down to ONE bottle of toddler soy formula, at bed time, and one bottle of water in the middle of the night.

Making the leap to a cup of water was finally at hand. Goodbye Haberman.

But now, 3 days and a flu virus later, she is firmly back on the bottle formula all day and night, refusing food in any shape.

Circle Family, Forward and Back. I have got to break this cycle. Somehow. I can not wait to be rid of this Haberman for ever. Here's hoping by Monday we will be on a better track.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Moment

Not long after we moved into this house, I remember calling a sister and saying "the children have been playing downstairs, by themselves for 10 minutes." It was a milestone for me. 10 minutes of peace and a little quiet (but not too quiet).

Today is one of those days. Anna and Lee are diligently working on their lessons. Bill and Holly are happily busy down stairs.

10 minutes. A milestone.

Just enough time for this: To all my friends, I want to share this prayer. Especially if someone you love is suffering with cancer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Julie and Paul?

Nope. Mary and Jere.

Have you seen the movie Julie & Julia? We enjoyed the movie so much, I got the book about Julia's life in Paris. What a beautiful story, and more than Julia's love for good food and cooking, does her love for Paul shine throughout the story.

Just like my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jere. They both love to cook and share really delicious food, traveling and each other, alot! I love this scrapbook page below for many reasons. June happened to be a great month to celebrate that year, Father's Day, birthdays, anniversaries and my college graduation. And I haven't ever forgotten how special it was to have Aunt Mary and Uncle Jere host that party. What a great, great day.

Aunt Mary and Uncle Jere hosted the cookout at their home. We had such a terrific time. You can see Uncle Jere on the grill. (The picture of Lee grilling was from another June gathering). One of the few times the future in-laws would meet was at this party too.


I like to think I got my love of cookie baking from Aunt Mary and every Christmas I send a tray to her house and love to receive a tray in return. In case you are wondering, Aunt Mary's are so delicious, I am reluctant to share...but, you know, Christmas...so I do.

If you are looking for a good book to read, I recommend Julia Child's Life in Paris. And if you wonder "Is anyone really that happily married?" The answer is Yes, because I know some who are.

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's the big fuss about?

You'd have to be under a rock not to know about the uproar over President Obama addressing 4th grade students. So many drastic things have been said on either side. I, myself, first thought "What's the big fuss about?"

I suppose though, that it is not just this one action but the accumulation of a few recent headline grabbing things President Obama has initiated.

1. Government run health care already has everyone up in arms over too much government control over our lives.
2. That website to "report people who are questioning the health care initiative". I think the intention was good, to help people find out more about the plan. It just SOUNDS LIKE "report on your neighbor to the government."
3. Thrown in that public service ad that describes the President as "lonely" and ends with Ashton and Demi pledging to serve Barack Obama. If only, if only all these A-Listers had said "pledge to serve OUR COUNTRY." And if this video hadn't been in elementary school. Since it includes issues like stem cell research.

And that leads up to President Obama's address to 4th graders. His actual address will most likely be like all his other prepared speeches, charismatic and uplifting. (That's one of the reasons he got elected, he knows how to speak to his audience.) It's that darn teachers curriculum. Telling teachers how to teach kids how the should serve the President. Back to the previous point, its SERVE THE COUNTRY.

Oh, I know the curriculum has been changed now, to encourage children to set their own goals and reach them...but over 2000 internet articles too late.

I only thought McCain needed better advisers during the election. President Obama may need a few new PR people now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Sunshine


Holly enjoyed playing around and with water. Not so much in the water until just the last few days, of course, as the pool is beginning to close. Just one more weekend of pool days. At the beach Holly found this spot to spend lots of time in. I was happy she was in the shade, away from the high tide and a bench for me to relax a little too!

Can you click on these to make them larger? I hope so. I'm going to post this, then try it too. Ok, it works. You can click on the picture, then choose the View Menu > Zoom to make the picture a little smaller too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Teasing

Recently a question was posted on a cleft site about how to handle teasing on the playground. I thought about replying but others did. I'm posting a few of my thoughts here. My first thoughts were to ask are these children strangers? class mates? family? children of friends? I mean how much effort do you want to put into resolving the situation? Talk just to your child, try to talk to the other children, parents or teachers? This is no one-sided issue.

But then I realized that maybe all the years of difficult "playground" situations I have encountered have just been preparation for what may come for Holly.

My other three children are not cleft effected. But every single one has encountered teasing to down right bullying on the playground, classroom, school pick-up line. There is nothing outstanding or unusual about any of my first three children. Just your average kids, if your looking for a reason to single some one out, I can't think of why my children have been picked on. No glasses, no buck teeth, not over weight or under weight, not slow learners or over achievers... (of course, I am proud of my children for many reasons) but as for a bully? Why? I don't know.

Holly on the other hand may very well encounter children who mention her lip, her nose or her speech. Maybe not. In case she does though, here's "All I needed to know about teasing I learned on the playground"
  1. Sometimes children don't know better. They are growing and learning how to behave just like my kids are still learning.
  2. Life seems to be more like D.W., Emily and the Tibble Twins than like Arthur, Buster, Francine and The Brain.
  3. The best thing to do if someone is teasing you is to walk away.
  4. When some one says something untrue and unkind about you, do not believe them.
  5. Even your really best friend will have a bad day, forgive them.
  6. Sometimes we will never know why children say or do the mean things they do, our job is to forgive them, pray for them...and stay out of their way. Especially if the teasing turns to bullying.
  7. Jesus is always your BFF. No matter what.
It is hard enough to know exactly what to say to your child in difficult situations. Especially when the parents or teachers involved don't DO anything to help.

My first prayer is that Holly will not have to live through the experiences of her brothers and sisters. However if she does, I know we will all be here to encourage her, to reassure her and love her.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ahh! The view is terrific.


My friend, Michele, loves to use actual scenery as the background pages for her scrapbooking. When I saw this umbrella on the beach, I knew I had to try. I love the finished page and took two other "scenery" shots to use on other pages.

Traveling Light with The Lion

Food Lion that is. My oldest is 14 now and we have tried every trick to making travels as hassle free as possible.

I've tried:
  • packing snack bags for each child & stopping only at rest areas
  • winging it with fast food joints
  • shopping super frugal and bringing all our groceries with us
  • splurging with pre-made entrees and spreads (think pimento, chicken salad, lasagna)
All these approached have different positives and some obvious negative (fast food, hello!)

But my Simple Solution to Traveling with a crowd this summer is Food Lion. Here's what I liked about this plan for our summer vacation:
  • Food Lion prices are the same everywhere. I knew what to expect.
  • The Lion is located in almost every community we passed on Hwys 52 and 74. About time for a break and just like the commercials say, Food Lion is in the neighborhood.
  • The bathrooms are clean and not crowded.
  • The walk from the car to the back of the store was "just enough" for a break.
  • Everyone could pick out one piece of fruit for a snack and a individual juice (on sale!) near the milk section.
  • No packing coolers and cramming the car.
  • No hauling now crushed and man-handled food all the way back home.
  • Most of the stores offer coffee by the cup!
Once we got to the Oak Island, the Food Lion there is super nice and clean. We bought what just we needed for the few days we were there and didn't bring back too much (laundry detergent and cereal).

The plan worked for us this great this summer and I think we'll try it again on our next trip.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oak Island

Loved this trip. Wanted to share a few quick photos and am hoping this link will work. If not, I post more later. The weather was great, the children enjoyed the time we got to be at the beach. Even Holly did remarkably well. Slept two whole nights, am trying to replicate the success by lowering the temp in our house here at home :-)

Oak Island is such a terrific family destination. Really, it's you and the beach. Not much else there at all.

Hope the link works!

Monday, August 17, 2009

If you give a baby the car keys...Part II

Found them. Whew. In the cushions of the recliner.

I'm pretty sure I didn't put the keys there.

Thank you St. Anthony.

If you give a baby the car keys...

Absent-mindlessly to get Holly off my lap, I grabbed something shiny and said "here play with these."

I'm pretty sure it was my car keys.

Since, you know, I can't find them now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Race for the Cure

Back in April with just a few weeks left of school, I needed a challenge for my oldest. I gave him a choice: write a research paper or train to run a 5k race. He choose the race. No surprise there. But still, I am so proud of him for setting a goal and achieving it. Before the race he had worked his way down to an 8 minute mile.

My brother, John, has participated in the Race for the Cure in Raleigh and invited Lee to join him. My sister's family participated too. It was a hot, hot day in June. But Lee finished the race in a reasonable time, and with his group.



As for the scrapbook pages, well they have stumped me. I liked the inspiration page I found and these turned out ok. Papers from Scrapbook flair, embellishments from My Memories Suite. I think know that these are done, in the book and on the web :0, I can move on and get caught up with other fun events.

Congratulations, Lee! So super proud. Thanks Uncle John for challenging Lee to participate in the marathon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Plan

The nutritionist from the CDSA came today. At long last, someone "professional" said YES, your child has both milk allergy and lactose intolerance. She may be outgrowing one or the other, but YES, doctors are reluctant to say that a baby has both because the percentages are small, that does not rule out the possibility that your daughter does actually have both.

I am not crazy, over cautious or paranoid. Holly and I do need a plan to get her off the bottle, know for sure about the milk/lactose and off the Nexium. We should not just do it all at once.

So here's the plan: 1. Make the switch from bottle to cup to increase her desire to eat food and need less formula.
2. Once we accomplished this switch, begin to introduce soy milk and transition off the toddler soy formula
3. THEN introduce lactose free milk to see if Holly has any milk protien allergic reaction.
4. THEN try Lact-aid type supplements to help with lactose intolerance symptoms.
5. FINALLY, step down the Nexium again.

She said so much, I can't put it all down. Most important she helped me process the steps we need to take to move forward. Oh yeah, one more thing. Holly is at the 75 percentile weight and 10-12 percentile for height. As she takes in more protein these should even out.

(If you have a child with cleft, look for the CDSA to provide the in-home speech therapy that our little ones need.)

Just so much info to take in, a plan and validation to what I have trying to get help for so long!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

County Fair Food

Zucchini Fritters

1 cup Bisquick, 1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan or cheddar), 1/8 t salt, 2 eggs beaten, 2 cups shredded zucchini, 2 T finely chopped onion.

Combine all ingredients, fry 1 T at a time in butter. Place on paper towel. Add more butter as needed.

These are THAT good. My mother sent one over just for me to enjoy, with flat bread and a little chopped Vidalia onion. I added Cucumber Ranch dressing. The only thing that could have possibly made this better would have been DJ's Restaurant tzatziki, a fresh cucumber spread. Mom suggested marinara sauce, too.

Simply Sunday

How do you "keep holy the Sabbath"?

Our usual Sunday includes Mass and then as little as possible. Sometimes friends come over or we go, sometimes yard work (that's actually a break from regular house work for us).

However the best idea I heard recently is from my sister. I overheard her say that they have implemented "Text-free Sundays". What a great Simple Solution to really what can be rude habit. Unrestrained texting is like whispering, which you would never do in front of other people, because of course, how rude.

Unless you want to share what you and the other person are discussing, and that's like listening to a golf tournament announcer: Ok for a little while, but tedious if you have to watch for a long time.

Text Free Sunday is my sister's way of encouraging her children to be really present to the people they are actually in the room with. What a great idea!

Friday, August 7, 2009

You've Just Got to Love Monk!

I wish we had the full cable channels, just to see this one show. But am satisfied catching reruns at odd hours of the day. Found this article about good ol'Monk. Thought any other parent might like it too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crash! Boom!

Holly will say the most amazing things for her Speech Therapist. Words like walk, knock, down, Pooh, dog, duck, up, jump.

Lee, Anna and Bill all "crashed" things. Blocks, Power Rangers, Trains, Dolls, Cars, Pots and Pans. All went "CRASH". So, I've been "crash"-ing things for Holly this past week. In the hopes that she would say it too.

Nope.

With Ms. Shelby today: I said "CRASH", Shelby said "BOOM."

Holly said, plain as day, "BOOM."

BOOM teddy bear, BOOM book, BOOM table...BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.

Who knew? All I needed was an interpreter.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Simple Life...

of Noah Dearborn. That was a TERRIFIC movie. Even Lee said "We can't ever sell Meme's farm. I think I'll start growing tobacco tomorrow."

Beautiful, beautiful movie. Watch on Netflix now.

And just because we try to enjoy simple things around here too:

Simply Sophie
Anna got Sophie a new collar, not pictured. But that inspired Anna to start creating all kinds off new collars for Sophie from donated ribbon, lace, yarn and fabric paint.


Simply Soft
Nothing like a fresh from the dryer big fluffy bathrobe, right after a bath.
Especially if it is your big sisters.

Simply Soaked
Nathaniel, just for you :-)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Clunkers for Cash?

Where is the money coming from for this stuff?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dinah Claus

Diana came to visit! And bearing gifts. When Anna was little, Diana always had a little "something" for her, well, always. Anna called her Dinah Claus. She's not too far off.
Holly even let Diana hold her for a few minutes. But she loves the books! (Me too)

The boys, Lee, Thomas and Bill. I think Lee was not impressed with the video game interruption. He and Thomas were in some kind of "James Bond" showdown.
The girls, Anna and Emmalee have been at this picture taking thing so long now, they know what to do. Holly I believe Holly will catch on one day!

It is so good to visit with friends, catch up, see everyone doing so well. And you do know, Dinah Claus, that we all love to visit even with out the "little somethings"!!!! Love you!

Good Ol' Times

No digital scrapbooking lately, but don't you just love these pages? What I love about the pumpkin page is I'm the only one holding my own kid. Thomas would go to Kathy, Reed cozied up to Diana, but Anna would only stick to ME. And of course, Lee in the CLASSIC Red Power Ranger suit.
Thomas and Anna are hardly recognizable now, from these pics. So grown up!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Dance



May All the Days of Your Marriage Be Joyful!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grateful


Happy 70th Anniversary Aunt Alice and Uncle Tony

Mom, Dad and Marcia

It's easy to be grateful in America. So very much to be grateful for. Mostly, for the peace in which we live. When I watch Holly run around the yard, I'm pretty sure she is safe. Except for the bees :-)

Then I get an email from my mom reminding us all about Aunt Alice and Uncle Tony's 70th Anniversary is today and I am grateful for the life they have shared and the commitment they kept. Uncle Tony said it wasn't easy, but worth it.

And the second picture...well I see my son Lee in both Mom and Dad here. I see the yard where we all played baseball, kick ball. My sister Marcia and how she remembers everyone's birthday and how much she loves us all. And if you were to see a picture of Mom and Dad today, it is just the same, love and joy, even through all not-so-easy parts too.

Thank you, God for all the things in my life I have to be grateful for and the reminders in these pictures of your blessings.

Imagine that?

My teenager couldn't "find" his clothes the other day.

He looked in my room, the dryer and the empty laundry baskets.

I recommended his dresser drawers.

Maybe I have been leaving him up to his own devices too much in the laundry department. I haven't put away his clothes, myself, in a long time.

Funny kid.

What Can You Say?

Speech therapy began today in earnest. Since we began the process, Holly has added "more" and "move" to her short vocabulary.

But today, I was not toooo surprised when going through the flash cards with Ms. Shelby, Holly clearly and plainly said:

CAKE.

Wonder why?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

God's Smuggler

Brother Andrew's story of God working in his life is really amazing to read. He grew up seeking adventure and got the biggest one of all. For many years, he smuggled Bibles into Communist countries, without being arrested. Even now, he is looking forward to the new frontier: Muslim countries.

The miracles he tells are tough to see in my life. It is hard to see the providence of God, meeting basic needs, when we meet so many by our own endeavors. Reflecting on this while reading the book, I wondered this week, have Lee and I removed our self from God's care by being too independent? Counting on our own abilities, instead of looking to God?

So Sunday rolls around and we are planning to head to another Catholic church, for a few reasons, but not the least is Holly and our temporarily closed nursery (our Church is in the middle of moving). Lee and I agreed that a visit to the next closest church would be a nice change, and they have a cry room.

At the same time, my husband gets a call that his cousins' son, 20 years old, has died in a car accident. This is heavy on our minds as we are preparing for Mass today.

Then a friend calls and offers to babysit Holly so we can all attend Mass together here in town. We take them up on the offer, happily! After Mass, my husband lights a candle and prays for the Armstrong family. That God would be with them, that He would welcome their son into Heaven, and let the family know He is still caring for them all.

The rest of us had gone for coffee in the parish hall. My husband comes and looks over a table of free books, left by some missionaries from Belmont Abbey. And there in the middle of the table is a Living Bible.

My husband's grandmother's Bible. Her name is in it. Her notes. Or maybe it is Aunt Patricia's? Either way Armstrong is written in the Bible. How did this book come from a Baptist family across the state by way of out of town missionaries and end up in a Catholic church on the very day he was praying for that exact same part of the family.

Today, it was Lee's turn for small miracle.

Please join our prayers for The Armstrong family, for their son, for the Holy Spirit to carry them these next weeks, surrounding them with the Love of God. And letting them know their son is in Heaven.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chandelier

One of my most favorite things is our chandelier. It was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law, that we hand picked from a crystal outlet in Germany on our honeymoon. I carried it all the wya back from Germany. On my lap.

In our old home it hung over the kitchen table because there was no dining room. The sun would hit it and make rainbows all over my kitchen. Lee Allison and I would play with it when he was a baby.

One of his first words was "Chandelier".

I tell you all this because we met with the speech therapist for Holly's eval today. She is, as I suspected, at the 10 mos old level for actual speech. So of course, the therapist being kind and helpful gave me suggestions to help Holly have more opportunities to talk. She is very kind and nice and lovely, the therapist.

Inside, I'm thinking to myself "Chandelier".

It is just one more of those moments when what I want and think is "normal" is just not what Holly needs.

I want her to be able to help herself, so I put a sippy cup of water out for her to get by herself when she is thirsty. My other children had full sippy cups in the fridge, and I taught them to go get it themselves. But that is not what Holly needs. She needs a chance to say "cup".

I want her to be able to help herself, so I put a small bowl of dry cereal on her little snack table. My other children had snack bags in the pantry, and I taught them to go get it themselves. But that is not what Holly needs. She needs a chance to say "more".

Saying all this, just to get the point across, that Holly speech or lack thereof, is not my fault. And if your baby is struggling, it's not your fault either. These babies just need a different opportunity than what I expected.

And most important, God knew even better than me. Our cleft team did not recommend Holly for ST, but we ran into a friend at the pool who knew who to call. And finally at last, some one will teach me what it is that Holly needs now.

Time to "launch out into the deep" and "be not afraid!"
John 21:7 Matthew 14:27

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The really good news!

We finally have had a meeting with the Children's Developmental Services Agency (think: speech therapy!). Two very nice women have come to our home to evaluate Holly to see if she needs therapy for speech and nutrition. (I mean clearly you CAN live on Karo syrup and Chicken Noodle soup, but should you?)

Here's the good news: Holly no longer needs the Karo, hooray. One day I cut back, the next I left it out and no problems. She drank the toddler soy and was fine! And tonight she ate applesauce with cereal mixed in, a couple of bites of steak, a few carrots and some baked beans. What more could I ask for? I think she has really turned a corner with her food choices. For the better!

From the Evaluation Team Member, Holly is doing well in every area of development but speech. At 19 months old, she communicates at the level of a 15 mos old. I think that is a generous evaluation, but the lady said this included "understanding" and "expression". Oh yeah. She can understand and express herself. No doubt about it :-)

Either way, 15 mos old for communications is not too shabby for our Little One Feather. So we meet with the Speech Evaluation Team Member next week. The Nutritionist will review the form I completed and see if we need to go to the next step for that. After Holly's dinner tonight, I think she is doing GREAT. But would like to know from an expert if we are on track.

More later... Need to take some pictures at the pool!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where the Sidewalk Ends


There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt
flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
____________________________

I have always loved this collection of poetry and drawings. I love the unexpectedness of every page. The randomness of the thoughts, the stark simple drawings that capture each poem so well.

I love all of that....in a book. In life, not so much. When I thought about this book again, this week, I was thinking about Holly. Its been a "bad sleep" few weeks. I felt like I was at the end of the sidewalk with her. We've tried everything. But until these darn teeth come in, I guess we will "walk with a walk that is measured and slow". I mean, sleep deprived.

But then last night wasn't so bad. I only hope, I don't find this at our house one day:

SISTER FOR SALE

One sister for sale!
One sister for sale!
One crying and spying young sister for sale!
I'm really not kidding,
So who'll start the bidding?
Do I hear a dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn't there, isn't there, isn't there any
One kid who will buy this old sister for sale,
This crying and spying young sister for sale?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For my 29th...er 39th Birthday

The only birthday that might have been harder to grasp, was my 29th. Inexplicably, I had forgotten that I turned 28. For two years I thought I was 27. Then, bam, 29.

Today, my second day as a 39 year, not too bad. Holly is still asleep and I am posting this. :-)
We ended a beautiful day with this water fight below:

Lee has an unfair advantage with the actual water hose!
Holly thinks the game of "run wildly through the field" is great fun!

My true nature boy is ready to fire!
Since neither Bill nor Anna can get close enough to Lee, he chooses to cool off directly.

Ah, the one disadvantage to having Holly on your team. Randomly, as only babies do, she would cut off Lee's water supply. hee hee!

Bike ramp? No, a slide.
Some one missed their target, hits Holly instead. Close up below:
Hey! Where did that come from?

Anna and Bill reload
The switch off. Anna gets the water hose, Lee and Bill work out a strategy.
Anna soaks them both!

Bill's turn at the water hose, Lee tries to use his shirt as a shield or a diversion, not sure?
Holly starts to take up a water gun to defend herself. Don't fear the water though, she has a strong bat!
Me and Lee enjoying the best days of summer.
(I'm holding the camera, kids were tooooo wet!)