Thursday, July 30, 2009


So not much has been happening that is really worthy of writing that will be really exiting, funny or here goes some random tidbits...

Keira is now in full sprint on all 4's. She has even made it up the toy room stairs by herself, all 3 of them. Now I don't have to deal with the following:

"Mom, Mom, can Keira please come in and play with us? We want to play with her."

"Sure, she can, she would like that." (while carrying her in and sitting her next to them)

A flat 30 seconds later the kids go running through the kitchen and up the stairs.

"Hey I thought you were going to play with Keira?"

"We did, now we're done. We want to play upstairs now."

"WWWWAAAAAAAAA!!" (coming from little miss Keira crying at the bottom of the stairs because she got left all alone.

Jentzen has been expanding his vocabulary by telling me the food I cook is "too nasty" and that I'm a "naughty mommy" when I tell him no.

Ava has learned to ride her 2 wheeler and now instructs Jentzen how he should ride his bike with training wheels on it because "he's a little boy" and she is "a big kid" now.

Quaid spends a lot of time every day drawing pictures. He came in one day to show me a picture of him and daddy...

"Quaid, that's a great picture! Daddy will love it!"

"Yeah, I know!"

(while examining the picture...I saw...well...something)

"What is that?"

"Those are my legs."

"And what is that line in the middle?"

(with a cheeky grin) "That's my winky!"

With that final comment, I am speechless.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This was another project day. This was especially a great one becuase it was totally non-messy. It was foam boards and little foam letters. All they had to do was pull the little papers off the back and stick them on.

When I think of project, I think of messy. Whether it be glue, sparkles, paint, cutting, they all say "huge mess" to me. I struggle with not doing things with the kids because of what it might cost me. Even meal times once in a while I ponder what would be the cleanest thing I could give them because I don't really feel like cleaning up after them...even if that means sacrificing a bit of nutrition once in a while. Bad hey!! Oh the truths of motherhood!!

They had a great time with these and had them hung on their doors for weeks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've been noticing that most my stories involve Quaid and Ava. They do talk more. Jentzen does seem to just kind of do his own thing. Our interaction involves more actions than words....spinning him around in circles, tickling him till he can't breath, and carrying him around upside down is the way we spend most of our bonding moments. But he did give me a chuckle the other day.

All the kids were having their snack. Pretzels...YUM...Jentzen's favorite!! Ava got down to go do something. I saw out of the corner of my eye, Jentzen's little hand sneak over and steal Ava's snack. I decided to ignore it at that moment. Sometimes as a mom, we do that, don't we??

So Ava came back up to the counter....

A: (giving Jentzen the look) "Hey Jentzen! You took my snack!"

Me: (thinking to myself) "Dang it she I have to do something!!"

Me: "Jentzen you can't take Ava's snack. You don't take things that aren't yours."

J: "But she didn't see me!"

Even though he may not carry on the conversations like the others do...he is just as wise!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A: "How old are you mom?"

Me: "I'm twenty eight!!"

A: "Wow Mom you are going to get dead!!"

J: "What are you after twenty eight?"

Me: "After twenty eight comes twenty ....." (while looking at Quaid...every moment is a teaching moment)

Q: "Nine!!"

J: Whoa Mom!!! You're really going to be dead!!!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

On Friday evening, we were all sitting around the table eating dinner...and here the conversation goes...

Q: "Mom, is it Monday tomorrow?

Me: "No it's Saturday, then there's Sunday, and then comes Monday."

Q: "Oh cause on Monday we're going to grandmas."

Me: "Yes you are because I have to go to work."

Q: "Yeah and we're going to mmm.........." (stopped dead in his speech)

A: (super excitedly) "Yeah we're going to...."

Q: "Ava!!! No, it's a surprise!!"

A: (whispering to Quaid as if she didn't realize I could still hear her) "Oh yeah, grandma said we couldn't tell mom, didn't she!"

Q: (looking at me curiously to see if I was catching on) "No we can't, it's a surprise."

A: "Can you guess, Mom?"

Q: "Ava, you can't guess's a surprise!"

A: "Oh yeah." (whispering in my ear) "Can you think of something that has sprinkles on it?"

Me: " I don't know? I'll have to wait and see."

Q: (overhearing Ava) "You can't guess mom, but it does have sprinkles!"

A: "Come on mom, can you guess? It starts with birth."

Me: "I'll just wait and see until Monday."

Q: "Ava it does not, it starts with cup."

A: (Leaning over as close to my ear as she could get, whispering as quiet as she could) "It's a birthday cake!"

The poor girl just couldn't resist!

Q: "Ava!!!! It's a cupcake and now you ruined the surprise!!!!"

What Ava knows....we all know...take note!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

T Ball Fun

Finally pics of Quaid and Tball. He played in June for 6 nights in the park. He had a great time.
Sorry, I am no the family photographer. This is Nathan's job but he wasn't here so you all will just have to settle for my sub-par effort. Just to go a bit off topic.....Sub-par...I got to thinking about this. Now in golf sub-par is good really the expressions should be over-par. It doesn't make sense...and it's kind of bothering I think you have all just witnessed me making a life changing decision...I will no longer use the term sub-par. It really doesn't make sense and shouldn't be ANYONE, anyone intelligent at least:) Since I have a feeling that making that my life's mission might be a little bit of a poor use of time and in the end a little disappointing. I'll just stick with myself! Ok so back to Quaid after that little vent...

This girl gives quite the look....she wasn't that impressed with me wanting to take pics of her...but then
What a poser...check out those pipes!!
I'm not sure whether Quaid liked the T ball or the playing in the park after better!!

The little thing is trying to escape already!!! Guess she tired out mid route!

So since I have spent so much time ignoring my blog because of said, "Cabin Trips" Just thought I'd post a few of my favorite photos. We spend a lot of time just sitting on the boat in the lake. So peaceful...I love it!!
Ava dancing away while her brother "feeds the fish." (No not really but looks like it, doesn't it??)
Nathan practicing to be a boat model. Any scouts out there? You don't want to miss this one!!!
Keira has been awesome on all of our weekends. Getting occasional naps in the boat, being woke up at any hour for another trip on the boat. Keeping her up till 10pm so we can have a night time cruise...she's the best!!!
This was a happy pose...Ava's a little behind...still back on the "Silly Face" pose.
The kids favorite place to be...hanging with dad!
In the evening, it gets a little buggy...Quaid took it on himself to kill them all with his "sand toy" aka: the kitchen spoon. He was quite happy with all his kills in full view on the back of the spoon. All of you coming to the cabin in the future...might want to stick with finger food:)
Ava, enjoying a little snack after all her kills.....
And where was Jentzen this whole time? Of course in his usual spot, taking a nap. He laid face down and slept on the boat for 1.5 hours every day. And was usually in this spot when he wasn't sleeping! Silly Boy!
I'm not really a water person. Going in knee deep is plenty to me. But Ava wanted to go tubing...what a sacrifice I made huh!A perfect way to end the weekend!

Quaid amazes me every day with his maturity. Yes he is only 5, but when my past 5 years has been filled with lots of little ones needing me for every single thing they do each and every day...every little bit that Quaid can do on his own is a huge help. I have always tried to make use of every ability of the kids as soon as they're able. We all pitch in to get things done. Being needed, important, and involved are a few things that make a family strong. They have a sense that they belong and the family couldn't operate without them. Cleaning, dishes, laundry, helping with Keira are all things we do as a family....don't worry we're not always working. There are lots of times of book reading, game playing, ball playing, gardening, swinging, bike riding which they all do together.

Quaid has stepped up huge in our family. He's such a help. 4 year olds seem to help with joy. They are excited that they can do such "big person" things. But now that he is seems more a of a drag than a joy. I now get a little attiude when asked to help. In my opinion doing a good thing with the wrong attitude or motive is not a good thing at all. I think it's better to do nothing than do it without the proper heart behind it.

I don't read many parenting books...I think 85% of them are so obvious or absolute junk. I have however read a few, and in one book I learned something profound to me. Maybe considered obvious by some but to me it changed how I think about parenting. Our job is to parent character not behavior. It's so easy as parents to simply correct things they are doing...lately for me it's been not jumping on the furniture (that behavior has come up again in full swing), and closing the door when they go outside (we currently have residence with approximately 500 flies...YUCK!!). We can get so caught up in saying, "No don't do that." I learned that childish behaviors they will outgrow...yes they should be corrected but not always will jumping on the couch bring them such excitement. But character will be with them for a lifetime and affect every decision they make.

So when I tell them to not jump on the furniture, sure maybe they get right down but with what attitude. It is with a "Oh fine mom" with a big eyeroll. Is just the fact that they have listened good enough? Not in my house. And that is where the challenege begins, shaping their character of how they treat adults, respect for others, compassion, understanding, patience. I admit that sometimes at some moments just getting obedience is enough. It shouldn't be, but sometimes that's all I can do just then!

But then I see pictures like this, my little man helping daddy do very important work in the garage. Precious isn't it...I just love the image.

He just wants to learn, to be a big strong man like daddy. He could learn all the life skills, knowlege of how to do anything, have every title behind his name and without character to guide it, what's the point of all these little teaching moments? Even as I sit writing this, a ton of "character things" are running through my mind. All the things I desire of my be honest, caring, compassionate, giving, respectful, joyful, and the list could go on. It's a little I have decided each week (or maybe longer if needed:) to pick a fruit of the Spirit (I figured that was a good place to start) and really teach them what it means and how they can display that every day. Just like daddy has these teaching times, and I am teaching them their ABC's and 123's...I need to always remember what life lessons go hand in hand with just head knowledge. It's in writing, now I have committed myself. I'll hopefully be back with some results next week!!

Nathan is a mechanic, a grease monkey, a car guy or more professionaly stated, an Automotive Technician. He loves it and it's truly his passion...well no not really, but hey doesn't positive thinking count for something?? It does however put food on the table which really is the goal of a job - actually enjoying your job is a secondary bonus!

Now most men are either one kind of a man or another. There are men like Nathan, a grease monkey, a guy who gets dirty, works with his hands, handy around the house, and can make any situation work...that's right any situation including rigging up the car seat on the push lawn mower so the kids can ride along, fishing out a toothbrush lodged in the pipes of the toilet, and eliminating a bird problem in the shop by making a huge duct tape ball and throwing it at the bird, only after unsuccessful attempts shooting at it with a pellet gun.

As mentioned earlier, there are "other" kind of men. By other, I don't mean bad, actually quite good, the world needs people of all types to operate successfully. You all know the kind I'm talking about...and I don't feel bad about saying it because quite often they are self-proclaimed, yep that's right, "The Computer Geek."

Pale skinned, glasses, sort of tall...but not always, kind of skinny...and sometimes not. Granted not all fit this description but for the most part you could pick them out of a crowd. They just have "the look".

Nathan, does NOT have the look, in my opinion that is and I'm pretty sure others would agree. But oddly enough, he is a bit of a computer geek. He could surf the web for hours upon hours (he does in fact do that), and he loves technology and always wants the newest gadget out there. Just the other evening I heard a noise coming from the front door area of the house, one of the kids crying to get in (We keep them locked out sometimes....totally kidding!) Poor little Jentzen can't get the door open. I go to look, nothing....then I hear it again..."What are they doing out there?"

Nathan, "Oh it's just my farm animals on my computer game." Nice, I think roosters, pigs, and cows are my children outside...anyways...on with the story of where the two mans collide.

Bang, Bang, Bang

Me: "Having a problem are we?"

N: "My computer! It keeps shutting itself off!"

Me: "That's weird, why?"

N: "The fan is broken so it keeps overheating."

I indeed was aware of this problem, but I find asking about it shows I am involved and concerned. The past weeks his computer would make strange airplane-like noises...and I had heard him whacking it from time to time in the evening hours. I hadn't asked previously...I've learned my lesson about interjecting my "positive thinking" under tense situations. When tools get thrown to the floor, and the big sludge hammer and cutting torch come out while he's in the role of "automotive technician" really is the best idea to casually slip away into the house, pretend you didn't see anything, and never mention it again.

Me: "That's too bad."

N: "That's it, I'm taking it apart!"

Me: "Your computer? Are laptops meant to be taken apart?"

N: "Well it's either try to fix it or get a new one."

Me: (the one who does the family finances) "Taking it apart is a GREAT idea!"

Walking into the room about 2 hours later...I found this! The keyboard sitting up to the right, the "motherboard" sitting below that, Nathan has his hands on who knows what...maybe that troublesome fan, and miscellaneous screws and bolts strewn about the desk.

Me: "Are you sure that's going to make it back together?"

N: "Well it better!"

I have to admit, I was a little worried. Last time I checked, computers were not meant to look like this.

Three or four hours later....

Me: "Well how did it go?"

N: "It turned on, booted up, and is now working."

Me: "Nice Work? Any screws left?"

N: "Only 2!!"

It's still working today despite the 2 screws (I'm sure they were just factory suggestion). I am impressed when he can have a whole car taken apart and get it back together, but this really topped it all! What a man I have!!!!

Yep that's right...shoot er up...her ears that is. I get both responses..."How could you do that??" and also, "Oh how cute, good to do it when she won't remember it!"

I tend to go with the second. Really...look at this face and those cute little ears. She cried for 1 second and then was done. I was right there to comfort her back to her usual smily self. It has never bothered my when my kids cry. Yes I do feel bad for them, but let's face it, it's part of life. Parents can't fix everything. Not everything is going to be fun and happy. The longer they believe that, the more disappointed they will be when real life hits. Even though things that happen through life hurt, a lot of them are for the better and only help us with all that will be coming in the future. Kind of like those (sorry if you're one of them) that ALWAYS lets their kids win when playing games. Sure maybe when they're 2...but 10? Life doesn't always let them win and if you don't train them to deal with disappointment and losing, again, what a shocker when real life hits. Our job as parents are to train and prepare them to be on their own. How is that possible when you train them to live in a "wishful world." So really I was just teaching her that life is painful, but it will pass :)

Wow! Who knew that ear piercing had such valuable life lessons! Maybe I should get my boys done too so they don't miss out!!! So for all of you who think how mean...see I was just preparing her for the future...she will be sad many times ahead I'm sure...and I'll always try to be right there to give her a cuddle as it passes!

And if you notice...she's is up on all fours. She doesn't have the full crawl accomplished but she does get scooting around to what she wants. Oh no!!!

Our dear friends Deb and Wayne are the greatest. We have become quite close over the past years. One of the great qualities we both possess is that we are NEVER BUSY! Either one of us can be quite assured that if we are sitting home that guarantees that the others are too and calling on Friday night at 6:30pm and asking what the plans are for the night always brings a, "Nothing, you? Okay we'll be right over" response. And that is followed by my saying, "What are you bringing us for dinner?" without any thought that might be offensive to some. Or occasionally, "Nope, I don't feel like coming over, I'm staying home." How many of you can say that about your friends??? There's not planning 1 month out, throwing out 15 dates just to find one that works for the both of us.

Deb also works at St Francis...they work her hard there...currently a whole 3 days per week! I know, I know...tough stuff :) That leaves a whole 2 days per week that is left open to play cards and entertain my children!!

When I decided to home school, Deb immediately got the title, Director of project, craft time, and boring field trips that all young school age children should be forced to go to even though at 10 years old...who really cares about politics and the art museum.

So this "Ode to Deb" will be a continued series of all the crafty things that Deb has come up with. The kids can't wait for "Project Time" with Deb!! All you fellow homeschoolers or parents who are just looking for something fun to do...might want to get some pen and paper and take notes...I've been pretty impressed so far!

This was apron day. Deb got aprons, puff paint, stamps, and iron ons.
Not sure what Ava is doing here...I just like the picture. I'm sure it was something very very important, vital to apron completion.

I looked and looked...Can't find a pic of the completed project. But I'm sure you can tell...they were pretty cool! And the kids are sure to bring them out EVERY time they do anything with me in the kitchen.

The day after these were done, I was making the kids got them out...made me tie them on so they fit just right...hopped up on the counter and cracked one egg each. Got down, and took them off.

"Mom! We can't cook without our aprons on!!!" was the response I was given when asked why did they need them on for just 1 egg.