Monday, December 14, 2009

The Truth about Santa

Warning -- this post contains spoilers! (Or maybe not!)

I was getting worried about J-boy's understanding of reality. He's told me several times that I am not really in charge -- Santa and Jesus are in charge. And he's pretty preoccupied about Santa and reindeer and chimneys and stockings and presents and presents and presents and presents.

Now I'm not trying to be a scrooge, and you may disagree with me, but I don't think Santa and Jesus should warrant the same amount of faith. Santa's fine and dandy and fun, but Jesus is real. So I talked to Joseph about it, and decided it was time to break the news. Joseph actually told K-lady a few years ago the truth about Santa (she asked, and he was on the spot, and I was rather annoyed with him at the time, but since then I've come to appreciate his candor and honesty). I really want Christmas to be about Christ, not Santa.

So I sat down with J-boy the other morning and told him that Christmas isn't about Santa, it's about Jesus. We get presents because it's Jesus' birthday, and he got presents, too - remember the 3 wise men?? And we can even have a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day. And Santa was actually a sweet old man named St. Nicholas that liked to give presents, and sometimes people remember and celebrate him. But Santa Claus from the North pole is just pretend. We can pretend about Santa, but Jesus is real.

After my big long shpiel, I waited anxiously for J-boy's response - was he going to cry? Was he going to understand?

J-boy scoffed at me (did you know 4 year old's are excellent scoffers?). "No, mom, Santa is real. Santa AND Jesus are real. They are the boss. But we can talk about Jesus if you want to."

I tried. Maybe we'll try again next year. :)
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Pictures

Meet my darling sister, Heather. She is (among other things) cute and funny and sweet and talented and long suffering in affliction to boot. I asked her to take some family pictures for us (the self-timer thing only works so well with a 16 month old and I'm too cheap and too addicted to photoshop to do it any other way...), so she did - not once, but twice! The first try we had a minor run in with wardrobe that put us behind and we missed the best lighting. So we headed out again a week later (that's what I mean by long-suffering in affliction)! Anyway, I think she got some great shots. Thank you so much, Heather (and Ryan and L!!)

It's not every day you get a good photographer who loves your kids almost as much as you do!

I love her smile. I think that is what 7-years-old should look like.

Outakes -- Don't I look like a caricature?! I didn't know my face could look that way without some seriously silly photo editing.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

A bit o' random

Just 'cause I think she's so stinkin' cute (that's J-boy's discarded jacket that she insisted on wearing over top of her own)
J-boy made his own bed! I asked him about the bump towards the bottom of the bed, and he explained that he liked it that way so he could "lay on it like this (lays himself down with the bump supporting under his knees) and sleep like that"
When decorating, it's all about the details. And snacks.
The kids had some time on their hands a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning before church. They decided to try to make some cash. They were yelling and screaming at every car that drove by: "GARAGE SALE!! KID STUFF ONLY!!" They were charging $10 for every item (including the homemade paper-taped-to-a-stick-flags). But they gave Joseph a great deal - they weren't getting a lot of customers, so they clearanced everything at $1 a piece. (I still think he got suckered into that one)
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Holidays!

May your nose be merry and bright.

(I think I owe this to Joseph after having his bite at the front of the blog for nearly a month -- more posts coming.)

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Friday, November 6, 2009

The Difference Between You and Me

When I play with the camera, I
When Joseph plays with the camera, he performs a
It takes all kinds, right? :)
(I hope he doesn't mind me posting his 5:00 shadow and pearly whites....)
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Go Buckeyes!!

Joseph and I went to the SHOE!

We attended our first (and, honestly, probably last) OSU football game in October. It was really fun -- the stadium is GINORMOUS, the fans are infectious and the marching band is AMAZING. And the football team was pretty good, too. :) There were a few LONG passes for touchdowns that were pretty exciting. And we won by a landslide. It was a little on the chilly side, but my smart husband had a blanket handy and enough cash to buy us some hot chocolate.

The kids stayed home with Aunt Heather, though they wanted to come and cheer on the buckeyes! This is Baby A's Halloween costume - she and I had nasty colds so we stayed home from the trunk-or-treat, but I dressed her up to take a picture anyway. Don't mind the spaghetti sauce on her cheeks. Just keepin' it real.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Projects Galore!

I decided to figure out how to bake bread. I have LOVED taking time off' from teaching piano lessons. And with K-girl in school all day I seem to get so much more done -- probably because my day starts at 7:00 instead of 9:00. I know, I'm still spoiled. Early morning seminary is going to kill me. ANYWAY - the bread. The bread is fabulous. Many thanks to Heidi & Tracey for the recipe!

We needed a place to sit in our bedroom, and I found one of those twin-sized bookshelf headboards on Craigslist for free. My handy brother was in town that weekend, and helped me saw off the bottom 3 feet -- after a little paint this is what I ended up with!
J-boy has his own room here -- I decided it was time for the girls to share. So I tried to figure out what J-boy's passionate about to help with the decorating. It's definitely dresss-up. Remember this?? So he needed a spot for his super-hero-ness. :)

And last but not least, I finally got tired of the kitchen table all scratched up and ugly. I think this one put me over the edge - I have an awful cold/fever/chills/ear drum explosion ick, and life is always a little miserable for everyone when mom is sick. I don't mean to be a big baby about it - I generally consider myself a tough it out kind of girl -- bring on the natural childbirth and all that. But I'm wallowing in misery. At least the table is black.

In a month or two I'm going to buy some new paint to re-paint the top -- it looks great in the picture, but it's not so great in person. But I'm tired, so it'll wait. And then eventually I'll take the sander to the edges and distress it a little. I figure if I wait my kids will do some natural distressing for me. :) Back to bed.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Apple picking

Two encounters with food at it's point of origin!! First the tomatoes and peppers, and now apples! Wow!

Heather and Ryan and L went with us to a nearby apple orchard a few weeks ago -- the apples were so amazingly good right off the tree. We picked Jonagolds and Golden Delicious, and got gloriously wet in the process. It was during an OSU football game (we're quite amazed at how the city comes to a complete stand still for football games!), so we had the place to ourselves for the most part. I think the getting wet just might have been the most fun. Although driving Sadie the Sienna through the muddy mess was pretty fun, too.

I loved it when K-girl asked me if she could eat a Silverjonny appleseed apple. :)

I also love that we get to do these fun things with my sister & her family! They are so much fun!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

One last taste of summer...

I don't know what it is with me, but I have this need to let my pictures and memories age a little before I can commit to blogging them. Okay, I'm just a HORRIBLE PROCRASTINATOR and I'm either into the blog or out of the blog, and I guess the last month has been an out-of one. So I give you the end of September a month late.

My sweet dad insists that I have tomato plants. Last year I said "No tomatoes!" All I know how to do is rot the poor things. But Joseph brought home starts from a family at church (after I'd turned down an offer of starts from the same generous family a week earlier). I refuse to care for something that will rot. The little guys sat in their yogurt cups on my kitchen counter for weeks till dad came to visit. He rescued them and put them in big pots with lots of good soil and bid them grow.

This year was a little more of the same, but we had an actual patch of dirt to fill with tomato plants. Dad put in two little tomato starts, and they GREW! We got quite the tomato crop out of those two little plants. Our next door neighbor and land lady gave us some pepper plants, so we grew salsa this year. I had to buy the garlic and onions, but it was really quite amazing to eat something that grew right next to our back door. Thanks for the tomatoes, Dad!!! They were delicious!

J-boy got to play soccer this year - one of the awesome moms in our new circle of friends made her own little soccer league for 3-4-year-olds. She is a brave, patient woman. :) This was the last game & trophy ceremony. I love the picture on the bottom left - the kid on the bottom left corner is laying on top of the goal. It was kind of like wrestling-soccer. The coach had to call time-outs to remind the boys (and one girl) that hitting wasn't part of the game. J-boy had a great time, and adores his trophy.
It was a good summer.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

K-lady turns SEVEN!

It's been a big couple of weeks for Ms. K! The week before school started we had a complete frenzy of activities -- squishing in all the last summer outings we possibly could. We visited a small local airport for a tour, we went to the zoo, we enjoyed picnic lunches in the park, & had one last summer visit to the Science Center. By the time the first day of school rolled around, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief that we could take a break from all the crazy fun and calm down into a normal routine.

K started first grade this year -- the first day of school was so exciting. She could hardly sleep the night before, and woke up around 6 am (school starts at 8:15, so that was a little early). She got ready & had extra time on her hands, so I painted her nails and we chit chatted for a while. My sister came over to stay with J-boy and Baby A so I could walk K into school without my usual menagerie tagging along (what a nice sister!). I knew K was a little anxious when I tried to share a little scripture with her before we left the house -- I read her a sweet little scripture about being able to call on God wherever and whenever, and told K that I knew it was true, and that God can help her at school or at home or anywhere she might be, she can just say a little prayer in her head and heart, and He'll hear her. K looked at me and said, "Mom. Idon'tcare. Let's go." Way to deflate my spiritual mom moment. :)

Then at school we parked the car and were walking towards the playground. My sweet girl reached up to hold my hand, then she let go quickly. Two steps later she reached up to hold my hand again, and quickly let go again, shaking her head and hand. Three times she did this! She was to wait on the playground with her class. The other kids ran around and played, laughing and shouting, but she was so somber and serious - standing uncertain at the cone labeled with her teachers' name. I tried to talk to her, but she gave me one word answers at best. I teared up at one point, thinking about how brave and scared she was, but put a stop to that as fast as I could - she would really detest me if I cried on the playground! :)

Once the uncertainties and unknowns of her new school went away, she settled happily into school. She was a bit grumpy and rude with me after school for the first week or so. I realized that she and I really only work together - we hardly ever play. I take her on outings and she has a good time, but that doesn't necessarily translate to, "Gee, mom took me to the zoo! I love mom!" Usually it ends up being more like, "Mom wouldn't let me get that 7 foot stuffed python at the zoo! She's so mean!" So we had a play date that Friday night - dinner, a movie, and scrapbooking. It was so nice to have a good positive time with her. She woke up the next morning, and the first thing she said was, "Mom, I had SO much fun last night!" That made up for the "Idon'tcare." :)

K's birthday was next on the calendar! K requested breakfast in bed (fruit loops, kiwi slices, fruit dip & pink milk), we took treats to school (lollipops), then we went to Red Robin for dinner and had Heather & Ryan & L over for cake and ice cream and presents. We didn't get to play too much after school because I needed to finish that silly cake! Grrr. But K made it worth it by coming into the kitchen at random times and sighing and fawning over it: "Mom, it's the most beautiful cake ever! I just love it!!!" :) She got a kid camera for her birthday, so you'll probably be seeing some original pics by K soon. She takes it every where and is very kind about sharing with J & A (on occasion). In the interest of my sanity, we've implemented a new party policy -- 'odd' years get a friend outing or sleep over, so K-lady had one friend spend the night last Friday - they had a grand old time and were only a little grumpy on Saturday. :)

Misc. K Facts:
Favorite color: turqoise
Favorite animal: puppies and cats
Favorite subject at school: recess
Favorite subject at home: Barbies, Polly's & Ponies, (but she has been known to play cars and super heroes to placate her brother)

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and....

The Good:
There is a beautiful Conservatory in our new city that has a free community night once a month! It's a beautiful place - gorgeous indoor gardens covering everything from the desert to the Himalayan mountains to the tropical rainforest. There's butterfly gardens, and there is currently a gorgeous collection of Dale Chihuly's beautiful glass art on display.
The Bad:
I dutifully printed out directions and thought I knew where I was going. But between freeway closures and detours and a complete lack of any sense of direction, it took me about 50 minutes to drive what google maps said was an 18 minute drive.
Also, I guess late August is not a good time for butterflies. The few we saw were all kind of dying.

The Ugly:
(You knew it was coming. Brace yourself.)
Due to our extended travel time, we arrive flustered and anxious. One of my children (who will remain nameless) needs to use the restroom. We unload, pack up the stroller and stride off to the building, thinking that if we can just find the front door.....
We can't find the front door. I'm too frazzeled to read the whole sign, so I just follow the arrows to the side entrance, which is locked and deserted. My child is about to wet his/her pants. In complete desperation I cast my eyes about, toss said child over the rail into the bushes and let him/her just pee in the bushes. Not a soul in sight. Dreadful, yes. But I felt it was better than wet britches.
Until the voice came over the intercom, saying, "Ma'm, that's not a bathroom."
Video cameras in the corners and an intercom so security detail can give me a lesson in proper waste disposal.
Oh, the mortification! Oh, the shame!

Just lovely. Er, I mean, Ugly.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thirty Three??

My handsome husband turned 33 last month. We've had such a nice time enjoying his less-hectic schedule here. He's doing a general practice dental residency - just a year long. He works in the dental clinic, does rotations through the university hospitals, and is on-call with the emergency department about once a week for 24 hour shifts. He loves to work out and eat healthy. He loves to fly fish and be outside. He loves to hike, bike, climb, swim, run. He loves to play with the kids. He hates to play Barbies and loves to play sports. :)

Since our move we've had more time to be together -- I love how changes like this force a little re-invention. So we're trying to be healthier and simpler. We don't have space in the living room for the TV, and our neighbor shares her newspaper with us, so instead of watching TV in the evenings we read the newspaper. Joseph has access to an awesome work-out facility at school, so he's been enjoying that after work each day. I'm no longer teaching piano lessons, so I (theoretically) have time to keep up on running the house a little better. :) I think it's all been really good for us. We're better friends.

I love this man! He is a good man. He forgave me for wishing him a happy 32nd birthday. :) I think where we are right now is a good place to be for 33. I hope it keeps getting better. :)
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Consider the Cake...

My Baby turned One.
I don't know when I turned into such a sentimental schmuck!
Little A was what it finally took for me to slow down a little (not a lot, just a little). I finally enjoyed those baby moments that I was too worried to enjoy with Ms. K and too busy to enjoy with J-boy. I snuggle her as much as she'll let me and every time I hug her I wonder if I just hold her tight enough if she'll stop growing and stay my sweet baby forever.

She loves to laugh at her brother and sister. She loves to eat yogurt and applesauce and strawberries. She loves to watch the mobile on her crib when I lay her down to take a nap. She loves playing with shoes and removing EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. from the bookshelf. She loves to take most of the toys out of her toy baskets so she can crawl in and get cozy with the remaining stacking rings. She signs "all done" and grins. She claps whenever anyone says "good job!" She loves to play on the [very scary] stairs to the basement and gets mad when I don't let her.

I can't imagine our family without her. She brings out the best in all of us.

A's saying, "How did I get stuck with these clowns?"

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