Wednesday, October 31, 2007


We had a fabulous time last night. The boys loved the trick-r-treat deal....and not only did they get candy, but they got GOOD candy. Our neighborhood, you see, is backed up to the canyon and a little dead-endish. So it's quiet. AND, we have a lot of folks in the area that've already raised their little ones and are happy to share- a lot! A grandma lady across the street gave each of the boys 6 candy bars! Lucky me!

Really, this sugar thing stinks! Grumpy, grumpy kids tonight, and they only had a few pieces. I'll be doing one a day, here on out. Overall, it was good fun!

Thoughts on discontent

Bitter Sweet

Once I was young; the children small

There was not time to finish all

The tasks, it seemed.

These things I dreamed:

A clean, still house, no urgent need,

A little time to rest and read.

Now I am older; day by day

I read the lonely hours away

The still house gleams.

These are my dreams:

A piping voice to call its need,

A hungry little mouth to feed

A tear to wipe, a hole to mend, A boundless energy to lend.

Vain, idle dreams!

My dear sister in law sent me this poem, and I have to share my thoughts.

What is it about the human condition that we have such a hard time being where we are, who we are. Why is it so hard to accept our days? We rush, rush, rush to get to tomorrow but never find it. Reminds me of the Aesop's Fable about the dog that finds a big piece of meat...when he sees the refection of his meat in the river, he goes after the other piece too and looses the one he had in his mouth. We're like that. I'll speak for myself. I'm like that.

Somedays, I just want my house to be tidy and clean like my mom's is. I want to have the luxury of a long bath and a book, alone. I want to eat my lunch in silence sometimes. I want to go shopping alone and know that I can come home and put the food away before it'll get eaten. I want to sleep through the night.

But then I remember. Before we had kids. We were bored! At my ladies Bible Studies I've learned a unique perspective from the more experienced women of grown children. I hear about how hard it is to get out of bed sometimes when no one needs you to get up. I hear about trying to fill the hours of the day, and having a hard time getting things done because there is no hurry. I hear that it can be hard to fall asleep, or sleep through the night. There is no more to dust. No need to vacuum. It's harder to cook for two, hardly worth the work sometimes.

This in mind, we mommies of little ones need to be grateful. THIS is the day that God made, and gave to us. We can celebrate if no one is horribly ill. If we can make our rent and buy groceries. Be so grateful that we have these little ones today, to play games with and clean up after. Fall into bed knowing that we should sleep well after a hard days' work.

And to those who have no little ones at home. THIS is the day that God has made, and given to you. Start your day caring for your home, your husbands. When this is done spend your self! Volunteer at a homeless shelter, go to lunch with your best friends. Make a meal for a young mom who needs help. Work in the nursery at church, hold the babies.

Now, I'm going to go tackle the fresh mountain of laundry, then play a game with my boys.

Seize the day!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Family Bed

This is what I woke up to this morning. I had to squeeze my way out before I couldn' t breathe anymore. Funny how kids gravitate toward you while they sleep, and they're putting their cold little feet all over my warm legs and stomach to get warm. First comes one, had a bad dream. Then another, "too cold, mama." And at last the straggler. "I can't sleep in my room all alone.... My goodness, what would I do without a King sized bed? Suppose they'd just have to fall out~then maybe they'd go back to their own beds. I could do that too, move them back, but that takes so much work in the middle of the night. And then I'd get too cold...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Past

For fun I thought I'd share a few photos of our trips to the pumpkin patch from the past. It has been a favorite event for our family, and always a treat! These were taken in 2006, we went with friends here in town. It was hot, I had dressed the boys in long sleeves and they were all sweating! They always have a grand time at the petting zoo, Joey even got to hold a bunny. 2005 was a great year for us. Eli was just born, we took two trips to the pumpkin patch, one as a family and another with two of my dear, dear friends across the country. Nate had a fun time in the "corn" box. We got to do the traditional hayride of course, and the boys took a ride of their own. This is a photo of the boys and some of their friends, one of my all time favorite photos. In 2004, Nate was just 9 months old, and Joey nearly 3. We went to the patch with friends, and had a great time. Nate was learning to stand, Joey peeked over the fence with a dear friend Robert & a friend took a fun photo of Nate and I. Cutie Baby!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My pumpkins at the patch

A day at the pumpkin patch, complete with my biggest pumpkin. We made some good friends in the petting zoo. This is my sweet friend Karyn, with her little Aspen...what a cutie! It was a long, cold wait for the hayride. But well worth it, we got a fantastic view of Smith Rock from the hayride. There was some serious zipping on the zip line, Joey and Nate could have stayed there all day! Joey found a fabulous slide. Joe at the top...Nate at the bottom! Meanwhile Eli and dad opted to check out the ducks (I was looking at my sweeties, and the view beyond.) Eli also loved jumping the hay bales. What a fabulous, shivery day! Happy Harvest!


I have a fun new recipe for you, all you mommas who don't want to feed or buy grocery store granola bars, but are looking for something your kids will eat, and is easy and healthy!

I made this recipe once and Joey asked quickly if I'd make it again. When I made it I added 1/4 c chopped peanuts, raisins and flax seed. This time at the grocery I bought dried cranberries, sesame seeds and coconut to mix things up a little.

Chewy Granola Bars

3 c oats
1 c flour
1 t baking soda
2 t vanilla
2/3 c softened butter
1/2 c honey
1/3 c brown sugar
1 c mini chocolate chips or M&Ms
Optional: raisins, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, and baking soda. In another
bowl, combine vanilla, butter, honey, and brown sugar. Add to oat
mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour
into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Lightly press mixture into the pan
with the back of your spoon. Bake at 325 for 22 minutes or until
lightly golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into bars.
Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

My Nephew is sitting up!

If I may, I'd like to introduce you to my cutie nephew. And now, though I haven't seen this amazing feat, he's sitting up. Sitting up is such a happy thing for a baby. Now they can see the world from a whole new vantage point. It's great. You can use your hands to reach, lean around, and one day start to scoot!

This little guy is an amazingly happy baby. I credit this all to my dear sister, Hazel, and his daddy Joe. They are beautifully attachment parenting, and anticipate just what this little boy needs. I love watching them all together. I can tell they have a great time in just being family. There's nothing better in this life, if you ask me.

A little cheese with your whine?

Anyone that's ever had a three year old child knows all about the whine. After two three year olds, and a few years experience, Ralph and I think we've discovered the answer to the whining!

Do you want to know our secret? "Behind every whine, is a question." says Ralph. That's it!

Son: Mom, why can't I have another cookie, he got another cookie and you got another cookie and it's nooooo fair! I'll never get another cookie for the rest of my life foreverrrr!
Mom: Do you have a question to ask me?
Son: Mom, can I please have another cookie?

Do you see how simple this is? We eventually got our kids to the point where we simply say "Try again." This cues them in to ask a question instead of whining. Now let me tell you, this is not a plan to immediately stop all whining. It's a slow habit-changing process that we have to revisit every few weeks or months. But it works, and it sure beats getting frustrated with your little ones and making the problem worse.

So the next time your little one, or a co-worker or friend begins to whine, try this;
Do you have a question for me? And remind yourself, as I do tonight, that I don't need to whine! I just need to go ask a question. Think I need to go ask for a massage....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Feature Article on Peanut

Peanut, Born August 31, 2005 in Leesburg, VA. My labor was 4 1/2 hours. Sweet Pea's First Birthday was celebrated at Quince Park in Redmond, OR. All of his grandparents made it to this party. He ate his cake with a fork! We celebrated his 2nd birthday in Redmond too, had a party at home this time. Nana made little bug cakes (he loves bugs) for him and sent them, we weren't able to make it there for his day. I made a caterpillar cake and he ate as much as I'd let him!

Sweet Pea was 2 August, 31. He's amazing, and keeping me really, really busy. If left alone, he can empty a tube of toothpaste in under a minute. He's also been found getting gum out of the cupboards, up really high. He LOVES to be in the bath or shower, he takes showers at least once a day.
The boy loves to be "nakeg."
You'll often find Sweet Pea running around with a handful of small toys, little treasures. He loves dolphins, frogs, trains.

Pea was a happy, happy baby.Here he's wearing a more serious, waking up face. Born to a full, noisy family, he was content to nurse, then sit and watch his brothers go by. He got a lot of brotherly love from the start. One could say that he's as quick as he is in order to keep up with his brothers. I agree, there is a race to win. To his credit though, I think he's as sharp as his older brothers, with a new direction, of course.

Sweet Pea can count to 13, sings (well, shouts) several songs, and is potty training himself. You won't hear me complaining... He loves playing trains with Scoot and blocks and cars with LC. He joins right into the wrestling with dad and the boys, and he loves to snuggle, read, or get tickled by me. He's got a black belt in tae kwon kiddo, you'll often find him on the bench for foul play.

This, my friends, is Sweet Pea.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The High Desert in the Fall

I LOVE the fall, it's my favorite!

Still happy after all these years...

Ralph and I had our seventh anniversary on Sunday. He and I dropped the boys off at my folk's house on Saturday and headed for Bend. It's not far, but it's not home and provided for a great date night. We went on a 3 mile hike around part of the Deschutes River, shopped a little, went to dinner at Greg's Bar and Grill (I recommend it), then hit the movie theater. Ralph booked us a little cottage like room at Mt. Bachelor Village, a resort West of town. It was fabulous...we slept in until almost 9 a.m.! We picked up the boys after church. It was fantastic.

For all those that don't know my sweet husband, we met at a church camp (we were both working there with the kids) back in 2000. He quickly swept me off my feet. Ralph is charming, quite intelligent, and witty. Since then, I've learned that he's really fun to be married to, and he is a gentle, loving dad that cares about the direction of our boy's lives. I find that our parenting compliments each other in numerous ways. Now that I've thoroughly embarrassed him....

I'm happy to say that I'm really enjoying marriage, all the fun and work that comes along with. We have great reason to celebrate!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quiet times

So much of our day is full of rambunctious noise. I'm starting to live the realities of having three, healthy, energetic little boys. As we roll into autumn and winter, I wonder how I'll survive the long winter days here in the high desert. Of course, we'll make it. Now that he boys are getting bigger too, the movement is bigger, louder...and a little more dangerous.

At any rate, I will work hard this winter to relish the quiet moments, and today I was thrilled to see
Eli curled up to a good book. This is not unusual at our house, we read a lot. It's just so great to see a two year old "reading" on his own.

Man I love my job.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I can do it myself!

It's a fun world we live in around here....little independent people that really don't want my help much at all (unless of course I'm on the phone or trying to work on the computer). Little Critter has taken well to making his own sandwiches. He'll sit at the bar for 10 minutes, carefully distributing the peanut butter across the bread. Well done, Critter. He pours the honey on, then lines the other piece up perfectly. THEN he carefully cuts it down the middle, and proceeds to eat at least a quarter of it.
My goal is to be working myself out of a job, so by next year hopefully Critter will be making lunch for us all everyday. I could eat pbj everyday if someone else is making it. If only I can teach Eli to use the broom now.....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

School at our place

School at home looks different, I'm sure for every family. I imagine though, that some of you are wondering what it looks like at our house. Its' taken me awhile to figure out just the best way to meet the needs of our little chickens three, and our house too. So generally speaking this is what our day looks like.

Preschool begins 9a.m.~ calendar, flash cards or manipulatives, Bible, Spanish, numbers and letters, shapes and colors for Nate and Eli (and is Eli ever picking it up!), reading, writing, math, time and money concepts, as well as some classic literature (Aesop's Tales this week) for Joe. We usually get in about an hour in the morning. Afterward I usually send the boys out for some recess, and then play time...or we're off to activities for the kiddos.

In the afternoon, when my little ones nap Joey and I get in another hour of one on one at the bar in the kitchen. I love it that he can read to me, and we get to have quiet time to dive into the work a little deeper. I'm seeing a lot of progress in his handwriting, and he's picking up new stuff fun.

We also get in the art...seems to me that the crayons, markers and stickers are always out...and my boys are always happy to make new pictures for us. I love it.

Our week is also packed with social activites. I attend a Bible Study, the boys are in a Bible class too. We head to the library once a week to pick up a basket full of books for new readers and bedtime entertainment. All the boys enjoy a story time there, complete with a craft afterward. We have a home school playgroup we meet with weekly, with 13 kids 0-7 years old...lots of friend time that day. And of course grocery shopping (Joey helps me keep the tab and compare prices) and trips to the park, or Maemae's house.

Once a month we have groups with the local home school club, a literary lunch, chess and board games club, and a date at the gymnastics center. I truly cannot call myself a "stay at home mom" I rarely stay at home.

One of the 578 reasons I home school, the flexibility to do all these things. If an activity interfere's with our school work, we just work later, or double up. Good times!

So this is a bit of what our lives look like. We have fun. Come, hang out with us for a day!

Little boys and big ideas

So sometimes I get a little too big for my britches. I took the boys on a nice walk down the canyon, I was walking and they were scootin'. We stopped along the way to get some rock crawling in , boy can these boys crawl! The lizards left their sunbasking perches in order not to get smooshed by boy shoes. The weather was beautiful...warm enough to loose the shirts, as they often do. The boys got in time for some cool jumps even some fancy posing. Then it was time to get back on the road. After our hike though, the boys weren't too sure about biking home...and what do I do about that? They were hot, tired and they all wanted the same scooter! And how do I carry two little tired boys and three bikes? In the end, Ralph was the hero, came down into the canyon with a wagon and hauled our tired hineys out. Well now, who could call me a "stay home" mom???