Thursday, December 29, 2011

Keira's hair that is...It still irritates me every time I look at her and see 1/8" bangs all across the front of her head. It's okay, it's my issue...I'll get over it. It will grow about 5 years I'm guessing.

Jentzen told Nathan about another kid in his MMA class, (they are the same size and are always partners when they are both there) "I could choke him out and probably snap his arm!"

His other buddy there is the instructor's little boy. He's only 4 so he doesn't participate in the actual class yet, but I'm sure he knows a thing or two. They play together before and after class. It might be the other kid saying that about Jentzen soon :)

Quaid got a remote control helicopter from Uncle Bob (thanks!) and now Nathan has morphed back into his inner child and wants to get one of his own.

Ava got games for Christmas...I can't wait to play them with her....Saturday. I'll be done working on Saturday :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Future Hairdresser??


Why is it when kids cut their hair they have to do it right in the front? Is it too much to ask to just take a small snipit underneath in the back???

And do brothers have to help so it's more than just one little snip? There just happens to be some out of the side too...both sides.

There are no words.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We went to Deb's house for the Survivor Finale.

We cancelled our cable a year ago because we didn't watch much TV and when you live in the sticks like we do, you don't even get the local channels without one heck of an antennae, which we don't have.

I asked CBS if the would be kind enough to send us a DVD of the last episode so we could watch it with the rest of the world. They said no. Something about the last hour being LIVE would create a bit of a technical problem....Besides the great company, we used our friends for their TV :)

My kids were happy to find a present for each one of them under the Christmas tree upon arrival.

Keira's present: A doll, not just any doll....a doll named "Wipey, Dipey" Need I say more, I think not.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Techno Girl

I showed Ava how to email this morning....

How to click 'New' for a new message.

How to find the right contact.

Where to start typing the message.

How to send the message.

How to know when someone writes her back.

And the most to write "Love Ava" at the end of everything she types...just to save a little confusion that might arise from my contact list.

So if you're lucky enough to be on my contact list...I apologize ahead of time :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Stink Eye

So my kids have the stink eye, I mean pink eye. It's all the same. They should rename it...because it stinks! Pretty sure I'd rather have my kids puking!

Luckily Quaid came down with it this morning. Four out of four...we're perfect over here at the Walkington's!

Yesterday we had our home school co-op. We only have it every other Thursday so missing a day is like missing a month. But thinking of the others, I decided to have a quality afternoon with Ava in the foyer keeping her as far from the others as I could. She had a bit of stink eye leftovers...I'm thoughtful like that...sometimes :)

They were having a Christmas party, Irish Tea, and lots of fun. But we came prepared. We had colors, books, and cards. What could be better?

The part that really warmed my heart is that Ava didn't complain one bit. When I told her what we were going to do, she jumped and cheered. The thought of an afternoon with just her and her mom playing cards and hanging out out weighed the other fun things she could have been doing. If she had a choice...she would have chose me. And being one who values the very same thing...I was a happy momma!

I love that she values quality time...I love that she really wants to connect with people. When someone is unhappy, she wants to help. I hope she always values people over anything else.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Winter's Day

Quaid and Jentzen were playing outside in the snow this afternoon for well over an hour. Ahh the silence. Ava was seated right next to me stirring Tapioca pudding over the stove for about 45 minutes. Why they even sell Tapioca I'm not sure. Who would ever do this if they didn't have to?

Why did I do it, you ask? I am in an all out effort to empty my pantry and freezer before I buy any more food other than perishables. Nathan's mom was kind enough to buy a package of Tapioca, make something creamy with Tapioca when she was here nearly two years ago...and proceed to leave half the package. It's been sitting in my pantry ever since. Tapioca is disgusting.

But it's been bothering me, sitting there way back in the dark recesses of my pantry. I have this thing about throwing food away. To me it's like taking a perfectly crisp $1 or $5 bill and just tossing it in the garbage. It's exactly the same thing, and I can't stand doing it. I get it from my dad. He was one of those that would eat whatever was left at the end of dinner just for the sake of not throwing it away. His actual need or hunger didn't have anything to do with it. I now do the same thing. Thanks dad.

The Tapioca is done, I think.....I'm not really sure. I know for a fact it's going to be disgusting no matter what. Nathan on the other hand, has a 50/50 chance of actually liking it. It better be the right side of the 50...or I just wasted 45 minutes of my life that I'll never get back all for him to say, "Yuck." And if that's the case, maybe I'll throw it at his face...1.)It would be hilarious and 2.) Then I would feel like it wasn't really wasted.

I wasn't going to go here but I just had to. This story needs to be documented so my grand kid's grand kids lives will be complete....

We were in Australia, circa December 2003. Anthony had just come home from receiving a speeding ticket, I think maybe it came in the mail. In Australia they have speed cams, so one day you just get a ticket in the mail with your beautiful mug shot. Anyways we were just sitting around the table eating pastries, (not me, I feel the same way about them as I do Tapioca) Melanie was doing what any good wife would do. Kindly instruct her husband that he knew there were speed cameras along that particular road, if he loses any more points on his license he won't actually have a license anymore, that she doesn't want to take the blame for his "oversight" of his knowledge of those speed cameras...and was just about to start on something else he "needed" to hear...when from across the table.....SPLAT! Right on Melanie's face went a vanilla slice.

For you Americans who have no idea what a vanilla slice's a layered cream filled pastry thing that is highly coveted and adored by nearly every Australia I've ever met...and my sister Laura :)

Melanie had cream and bits of pastry flakes all over her face, in her hair and over the front of her shirt. Evidently Anthony had heard enough. I won't say the word "nag", but Anthony might have mentioned it prior to slice slinging. We all stopped, stunned at what just actually happened. Did he really just throw that at her....did it really hit her square in the face? Yes. Yes it did. And we were laughing hysterically at her. She....ummm....was not laughing quite so much.

We still tell the story...neither of them will ever live that one down.

Well that wasn't exactly where this was going, but I think it turned out okay. What I meant to go with was the fact that my boys were playing in the snow all day together. They came in wanting hot chocolate. After my hour stirring creamy yuckiness, I was in no shape to be whipping up some Hot Milo. They did it themselves, promising to clean it all up.

I was sitting in another room listening to them work together, listening to them count out their marshmallows, listening to the squirt of whip cream in a can. And listening to them laugh and enjoy it together. I love that they get to spend their days together.

An afterthought...does Tapioca expire?? I hope not!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


"I weigh 53 pounds...but sometimes at Grandma's I eat Chex Mix and Apples, then I weigh 55."

Enjoy that now...when you're an adult you'll just keep that 2 pounds for good!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some days I wish I could throw a fit, grab my blanky and hide in my bed until I'm ready to come out. It works when you're 3...why not 30??

Monday, November 28, 2011

The kids rocked their school this morning and left themselves lots of playtime this morning before lunch. This was much needed by me who spent at least and hour shredding my mom's mammoth Thanksgiving turkey that was leftover since we cancelled Thanksgiving this year....Grandma Felton is not doing so great and my mom and dad had to take a quick trip to Iowa.

The kids were all upstairs creating an elaborate camping and hiking expedition....

Quaid: "Ava, we don't need a map, I have my GPS!"

Ava: "Well Quaid, we should have a map too in case it doesn't work!" (Thank you Ava, you have listened to your mother...I will die knowing that my kids still know how to read a map!)

Quaid: "Okay, fine, bring your map."

Ava: "I have my GPS too, just in case the map doesn't work!" ( I guess we still need to work on that!)

Jentzen: "Where are we going?"

Quaid: "We're going to climb that mountain!"

Ava: "Quaid, my GPS says it's going to rain, we can't do that today."

Quaid: "Well my GPS says it's going to be sunny!"

Jentzen: "Let's use Quaid's GPS."

Oh the joy to hear them imagine!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Keira turned 3 on Thanksgiving. Her birthday blog is yet to be done...tomorrow...that's my goal. But now that she's 3, she has such a mature outlook on the world, a wisdom beyond her age. Today she gave an example of that new found wisdom.

We ate at the Olive Garden today after church for lunch. YUM! We never go out to eat, but we had a gift card still left over from last Christmas...and it allowed me to go grocery shopping with kids with full bellies...another bonus!

While getting ready to leave, Keira was wanting something else...

K: "Can I have more of that?"

Me: "We're done with lunch, you'd had enough, we're leaving now."

K: (pulling up her shirt and having a glance at her stomach) "Mom! It's not fat enough yet!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's November in MN. Sunset yesterday was 4:44pm. Which makes me feel like I should be sleeping by 6:44pm because it's already been dark for two hours. Grrr.....I don't like that about winter.

There is also something about this time of year that makes the kids not want to go outside. It's cold but there's no's just weird. But since they want to stay inside all day it makes it a lot easier to get all their school work done. I can't really compete with riding their bikes or dirt biking.

This time of the year also brings about the church Christmas program practice. Nathan and I dislike Christmas and all sounds involved with it. I tolerate their music. I have to. Although it brings about a smile to my face listening to the kids try to figure out the words....

"Glooooory, Yaaaaaahtzee And Shell Seas Dayo!"


Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's the little things in a marriage that make it great. Anyone can have a decent marriage. Anyone can be married to another person and view them as "fine". It's the little things that make it great...and I think a huge part of great kids is a great marriage.

This morning Nathan was going to take is motorcycle to school. We live in Minnesota, and it's November. The high today is 38 degrees, winds at 20-30 mph, which makes it actually feel like 25. Most folk would call that a bit nippy for riding a motorcycle. In the effort to save a little at the pump, Nathan was geared up last night, going to fish his snowboarding ensemble out of storage, bundle up and brave the cold.

We have a heated garage and a not heated garage. I park in the heated garage...we both park in the heated garage...duh! All other motorized things we have are parked in the heated garage. When I park in the heated garage, everything else is blocked in. Nathan last night told me to leave my van outside so he could get his bike out in the morning. This morning at 6am his enclosed, warm and toasty gas hog of a car **with heat** looked a little more appealing...I can't say I blame him!

I needed to load something in my van and I knew it was outside. Yuck.

I geared up for the arctic blast. I opened up the door to the garage...My van was in the garage, nice and toasty warm, out of the frigid wind.

That is greatness.

It's the little things that say, I thought of you, I went out of my way for you, there was only benefit for you in what I did, you were worth my extra time.

Kids, that's what it's all about...follow your daddy's lead. And if you have a something a little extra special for your honey today!

PS....I love you :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Me: "Jentzen I hear you did awesome at MMA last night!"

J: "Yeah! There was this really strong boy..."

Me: "Really?"

J: "Yeah, really strong! Strong like I think he had lumps on his tummy....I BEAT him!!"

It seems they've been watching a few adult MMA fights...adults with some abs :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Keira was wearing her big fluffy princess dress today. She's always dressed up in her princess dresses.

She had to pee.

I had to hold her dress up.

I thought of her wedding day.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Vacation

This year's MEA break brought about the 2nd tri-annual Pahl Family Vacation. When there are 28 immediate family members each with their own schedules, in laws and other things that keep people mom discovered that Holidays are no longer all inclusive. She came up with the idea of a mandatory tri-annual vacation. We all go. Every single person. For the entire trip.

For me it's all about the kids. There is nothing better than seeing all the cousins together. I grew up without cousins and am so glad that my kids have oodles of memories with their cousins. I had cousins...lots of them...but honestly I could pass most of them by walking down the street and not even recognize them. And the others live in Iowa. Logistically, it just wasn't possible.

We went to the home of Dolly Parton, Gatlinburg TN. After a quick google, we found out that it was in the general area of Gatlinburg. There was a little google debate on her exact roots.

Tennessee and Minnesota are a ways apart...turns out a long 17 hour drive apart. How do I know? Well turns out we missed our flight and had to drive. Oops! I'll take 100% responsibility for it. I can admit when I make a mistake. This was kind of a dousy as far as mistakes go. Of all days to miss a flight...MEA break was not a good one. And for sure not a good one when traveling with 6 people. I thought about taking the one spot available on the next plane and ditching Nathan with kids to drive...What? I can't lie!

We left MN about 330pm and arrived around 9am the next morning. It's a good thing my kids are EXCELLENT road trippers. When we first departed, they asked if it was as long as Iowa. We informed them that it's 3 times to Iowa. Big eyes, dropped jaws...and that was it. It was 17 hours of smooth sailing. It was a good test for them...seeing as we have a serious road trip planned for our next visit to Nathan's homeland.

It was a great trip. We toured underground caverns, saw the Aquarium, rode go karts, went on rides, went rafting, did a zip line and ropes course. Yep, still feeling that ropes course. We saw the Dixie Stampede, and a Lumberjack show, and the kids went "swimming" in the hot tub. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful and our lodging was perfect for our family.

We will definitely go back, there's lots more we want to do there...hopefully another road trip with the Brewins!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nathan turned 37 on Wednesday. I could go on and on about this huge rip-roaring party we had and the 100's of people that came to celebrate with us...but for those of you who know us well, you would know it's just plain not true. And I thought that to be a lot of typing just to say "just kidding" at the end.

The day came and went...I even ditched him to go play some volleyball with friends. Lame, I know!

Maybe that's what I love most. We don't need to make a big deal out of a particular day, he knows, hopefully, each and every day that I love him more than ever.

I was asked awhile back what I loved most about Nathan. I had to sit and think, and think, and think...not that I couldn't think of any reasons. The problem was more that there were 100 reasons why running through my head...and how could I choose just one. There were reasons when we were dating, then when we were first married, when we first had kids, when we had more kids, and then now. We have grown over the years.

The reasons I love and adore him continue to grow and change. We are different people than we were when we first got married, even different people than we were a year ago. I love that we have grown together. There's so much growing apart happening these days, but not us.

Nathan is constantly giving me just one more thing to love about him. I could go on and on with a list of all the attributes he has that I love. It is one thing to be great...but to have a desire to be greater...that is something to admire. He desires to be a greater husband, a greater dad, a greater friend, a greater student...and he has the confidence and knowledge to do just that. With that, there are no limits. I see it working out in his life everyday. That is what causes me to sit and stare at him every chance I get and think, "Man, I love that guy!!"

To my Man,
Every year gets better and better with you. There is absolutely no one I'd rather be with. I said it in my vows on our wedding day and I mean it even more today...You are God's best for me! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Jentzen's lesson last week was Long Letters with the Magic "e" at the end....or Silent "e"....or the Zapping "e" as Jentzen likes to call it. You know, when the "e" at the end is quiet and it makes the vowel in the middle long. Words like name, tote, like. Then it was time to make the long "e" with the silent "e" at the end.

I wrote Pete. That fit the letter requirements. Then I went to write the next one....and thought....and thought...and thought? Seriously...are there any other words with just a single "e" in the middle with the silent "e" at the end?

I couldn't think of any. Not a single one. I thought of tweet, nope. Then bead, nope. Then scream, nope. All long "e's," But not the right long "e". Are there any others? Anyone? Anyone?

So poor Jentzen. I wrote bede, twete, and beme. He looked at the words and said bead, tweet, and beam. Mission accomplished.

Next week's lesson...spelling.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I love Kindergarten. I love to teach what each letter sounds like. I love to see them beam with pride as they remember each one.

Jentzen is in Kindergarten. He actually started in January. I loved that time....back in January. Teaching him the letters. But now he is technically to the actual learning to read part of Kindergarten. A part I do not love. Well I do love to see them learn...I guess it's a love hate relationship I have with it. As soon as I started with Jentzen it was an "oh yeah, I remember what this was like with Ava!" It goes something like this....

J: "The"

Me: "Yep, next word."

J: "I so know that word mom, that's so easy, I think I'll just skip it when I see it."

Me: "You can't skip words...then the story won't make sense!"

J: "Oh yeah, well I guess I can say it next time."

Me: " word."

J: "duck"

Me: "right, next word."

J : "Is that the duck right there? He is sort of a silly looking duck."

Me: "I guess, next word."

J: "What is his name mom?"

Me: "I don't know, let's read the story and find out."

J: "duck"

Me: "You just read that word, NEXT word....there."

J: "oh yeah I did. Are all ducks that color?"

Me: "I don't know...NEXT word!!"

J: "swam"

Me: "Yep, keep going."

J: "Is that duck swimming in the pond?"

Me: "Sure, keep going..."

J: "I like to swim mom. Remember when I was swimming in the lake! I put my head under without my life jacket."

Me: "Yes I remember, but we are reading now, not talking about swimming."

J: "Oh, yeah. But when are we going to go swimming again?"

Me: "Not till summer...NEXT WORD!"

J: "swam"

Me: "Jentzen, you already read that word, the next one, please read the next word."

J: "When is it going to be Summer?"

Me: "After spring, which it will be when we're done reading this page!"

J: "Really mom?!?! Is it almost Summer?"

Me: No, I was just being word!"

J: "So we don't get to go swimming soon?"

Me: "Jentzen....N.E.X.T. W.O.R.D.!"

J: "in"

Me: "Quick word, keep going."

J: "the"

Me: silently "Thank heavens! 2 words in a row!"

J: "the...there's that easy word again. I'm so good at that word mom...why do they even put that word in there?"

Me: "It has to make sense...if I said 'duck swam in pond' does that make sense?"

J: "No."

Me: "See, it has to be a sentence."

J: "What is a sentence?"

Me: "Oh nothing, just please keep reading."

J: "pond"

Me: "Good, keep going, keep going, keep going!

J: "His"

Me: "yep"

J: "Is that a boy duck?"

Me: "I guess."

J: "Is that other duck there a boy too?"

Me: "I don't know, keep reading and find out."

J: "name"

Me: "next word."

J: "What is his name?"

Me: "I don't know, but I'm sure they'll tell us."

J: "What if it's a girl name? That would be so funny!"

Me: "hysterical.....NEXT WORD!"

J: "is"

Me: "yep...go, go, go"

J: "swift"

Me: "Yes! GO, GO, GO!"

J: "What does swift mean?"

Me: "It means fast."

J: "Are all ducks fast?"

Me: "No."

J: "Well what ones are?"

Me: "That one right there. He's fast."

J: "What about that one? Is that one fast too?"

Me: "I don't know...but the story will tell us I'm sure, that's why we're reading. We don't know anything until we read."

J: "Oh, these words will tell us?"

Me: "Yes, that's what a story is."

J: "How many pages do I have to read?"

Me: "This one and the next one."

J: "That's a lot of words."

Me: "You're right it is! I bet Daddy would love to hear you read? Why don't we save it for you to read to Daddy later!"

J: "YEAH!!! I bet he would LOVE to hear me read!"

Reading with a 5 year old.....just 10 words....for the sake of my house, my other kids, and my own mental well is FOR SURE Daddy's turn!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lessons Learned

On Monday, we went to an Apple Orchard...but not just any Apple Orchard. We went to one that was 55 miles away from our house. Odd you might think considering that we live 2 miles from one. Anywho, we went and it was a blast...great weather, great company!

Since this was supposed to be a field trip and with the mention of field trip the word "educational" pops up...I thought I'd ask my kids, while making the 55 mile trek back home, what they learned. I got a few mentions of the apple washing machines, the different seasons, how an apple grows and changes...and then of course the lesson for 2 year olds...

Keira: "We never jump in the water with our clothes on, do we Mom! We should never do that!"

Me: "You learned that at the Apple Orchard?"

Keira: "Yep I did!"

I'm glad to see the information wasn't at all over Keira's head.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ava: (kicking over Quaids race track creation)

Quaid: "Seriously Ava!!! Did you just ruin my race track! It took me MINUTES to build it!!!!"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Deb and I were having a conversation yesterday. Well, pretty much we have one every day because if we miss a day we feel as if we're totally and completely lost and separated from each other and how on earth will we be able to catch up on all that was missed!

If you don't have a friend like that, you need to find one!

Anyway, or anyways if you're feeling a bit grammatically naughty....we were discussing how I was doing such a poor job on the blog...and how awesome she was doing. As I've said before at least 46 times...the picture thing. It stops me in my tracks. I feel like a blog without pictures is boring. I feel like the story won't have near the effect if there's no pictures to match it. So if I'm not going to take the time to put some pictures on it....I shouldn't even bother.

I had forgotten who this blog was really for. It's for my kids. So they have something to look back on when they're adults. In case they forget the little things that happened to us as a family. When I think back, I can picture them in my head...numerous "photos" of my childhood, but I can't remember every story, every funny thing we said or did.

My stories will trigger memories for my kids...I think they will remember what it looked like...and if they can't, then they will be able to imagine it....but without my story, all will be lost. So when something happens in our house, something I want to remember forever, something my grand kids will want to read and make fun of their parents for, something that my kids shared together. I'm going to try to get it down, as short or long as it is...picture or no picture.

We have pictures...scads and scads of pictures that they will always have to remember. Just because they're not on this blog, does not mean we don't have them.

I'm busy...I know, we are all busy. I'm finding as this school year is starting up, I don't have near the time I had last year. Somehow schooling just one more child has added hours to my day. Not to mention that I'm now hand washing dishes because our dishwasher broke. I've been wanting a pair of Uggs for awhile now...not necessarily for the fashion statement as I think plain Uggs are actually sort of disgusting looking. It's for the feet freeze all winter long. I've changed the style I've wanted yearly...and I've finally found the exact ones I want that actually aren't quite as fashionably challenged as the Original Uggs. So if it's between fixing the dishwasher and getting my Uggs....I'm gettin' those darn boots!! Which are actually more expensive than fixing my dishwasher believe it or not! So all that to say that I don't have time...or I should say, I CHOOSE not to have time to take the pics, download them, attach them, get them just in the right spot in my story. But take 2 minutes to jot down a funny story or something....that I have time for!

Choose...isn't that a powerful word...I try to teach my kids every day that every thing they choose has a consequence...and no one or nothing can affect their ability to choose...there is ALWAYS a choice, and no one or nothing can be blamed for any of those consequences.

So for the short or long or no pictured blog...I apologize to the rest of you....but my kids will not think it's boring...they will love it and that's why I do it! So on I trudge...creating a journal of our family doing life together!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Can I still use the "They must be teething" excuse on a 5, 6, and 7 year old???

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just a little glimpse into a beautiful day at the Walkingtons...

Keira: (while looking into the dish that had french toast mix in it) "Is that puke?"

Me: "What??" (repulsed that anything in my kitchen could be confused with the look of puke!!)

Keira: "Are we having puke for breakfast?"


Me: "So did you guys have a good class (martial arts) last night?"

Quaid: "Yeah it was great!!!"

Me: "What did you learn?"

Ava: "The two handed neck choke!!"

Remember that part about how I wondered how my kids got mixed up in this? Yeah....still wondering...

Then later on the day....
I was putting on a pair of my favorite shoes that I purchased just before Quaid was born. Quaid is 7 now. So a bit "out of fashion"...perhaps. I don't really care, I just love them. They're obvisously a bit broken in, the inside lining is half falling out, the toes are all scuffed. I've had them in the garbage pile a few times and they've came back out every time. I just can't part with them. I'm not a sentimental type, but they have memories. We all have that pair, or shirt, or jacket...right??

And then...

A: "Ugghhh Mom! You're not wearing those shoes are you?? Those are your worst shoes!"

Me: "What's wrong with them??"

A: "I just don't like them at all, they look terrible, you shouldn't wear them."

Me: " I like them. I'm wearing them."

A: "Okaaayyyy, but they're your worst shoes."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My kids are taking a Mixed Martial Arts class. It's like UFC...have you seen that? I have and I think it's completely how my kids ended up in the same training, I'll never know. I did however tell Nathan, that my little boys will NEVER compete like that. No mama could stand to watch someone do that to their little boy, nor would I let my little boy do that to some other mama's little boy. My boys may know all the skills, but they'll never be allowed to actually use them. Except in a dark alley, at night, in the pouring rain, when someone is trying to take their wallet. Or I guess if one of my daughter's feels someone of the opposite sex has done them wrong...then look out...the brothers will be unleashed.

We had originally planned to enroll only Jentzen. We thought he would LOVE it as he loves to punch, kick, and pretend he's a fighter. He would be able to get a bit of that out in a controlled environment.

After practicing a bit with Jentzen during his introductory class, Quaid was hooked as well. Nathan has always said he wants our girls to be able to take care of themselves, so in goes Ava.

We figured if we're already bringing one, might as well bring them all. They are all in the same class as the same time. That sure beats running to 3 different things at 3 different times. They have a family plan...sort of like a wireless company. Add another line for only $9.95...turns out we added a line for Nathan as well...he's going to get in a bit of the action and take a few classes himself. He's a huge UFC fan. So much that we walked about 17 miles thru Vegas becuase we were too cheap to take a taxi to get to a hotel and stalked the fighters for their pictures while they were just trying to buy some chocolate. That's for another day.

They are LOVING much as I love a good cheesecake. There is nothing cuter than a 5 year old little fist coming at you with a, "Jab! Cross! Jab! Cross!" Surprisingly they seem to actually somewhat know what they're doing after only a few classes.

Of course I have to give a shout out to their great teacher. I used to work with his wife at St Francis and she's great so I thought he must be too! We went to check out his place first. He has similar family values and opinions about life, and what he teaches. We feel awesome about having our kids fight with him :)

And don't forget about Keira. She stands on the sidelines and trys to mimic every move they make. She can throw her own little jab, cross, and sweep kick. When she turns 5, she'll get her own line too. Good thing is I don't have to teach her left and right...."Keira, it's the jab side!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

I won a George Foreman, Lean Mean Grilling Machine during my highschool overnight graduation party...way back when I partied like it was 1999...oh was 1999.

Some may think this is a dorky kitchen contraption that you're swayed to purchase during an infomercial at 2am because there's nothing else on and you can't sleep because you either have way too many emotional problems stewing in your head or you've had 3 cans of mountain dew at 10pm.

That was not me. My emotional problems are never stewing and I can slug down 3 cans of highly caffienated beverage while laying in bed and then promptly lay my head on my pillow and drift off to sleep no prob. I know, it's a gift...or a curse, depending how you look at it.

Unlike most kitchen "one-use" appliances, I have found this to be one of my favorite things to use!

When we were first married I used to throw two pieces of chicken on it...frozen, and plain. One because I didn't now how to plan a meal, and plain because, well, I really didn't know how to cook. It cooked, quickly but the outsides were always charred and leather like. Thankfully, I've moved on since then.

I've now somewhat mastered meal planning and cooking chicken. We now use it for grilled sandiwches...oh yum! It's easy for me, the kids like them, I like them, and Nathan will actually make them himself!

Just the other day, Nathan emailed me at work stating a tragedy. George had given up the gusto...and was no longer willing to heat.

Crisis!! A day had gone by and I asked again...Is it true? Does it really not work???

A screwdriver....

10 minutes...

An electrical connector...

My Hero! It's one of the many reasons I love my man!!!

Now if he could only rig up a way to replace the nonstick coating that has completely worn off...something like that would be trophy worthy, don't you think?

Monday, August 22, 2011

40 Reasons...

Deb turns 40 today. A HUGE Happy Birthday to her!!

She is the best person and friend because she......

1. loves to play games as much as I do.
2. loves my kids like her own.
3. is a great cook.
4. makes me chicken noodle soup just because.
5. is a planner, just like me.
6. never gets sick of me.
7. gets along with my husband.
8. likes to freezer cook.
9. likes to "garden".
10. comes to my kids activities.
11. is honest.
12. always picks up the phone when I call.
13. was practically raised by the same mother as me.
14. will play Monopoly with me.
15. has a huge value for integrity.
16. is a great example of a wife.
17. married a guy that I like to hang out with too.
18. always willing to try something new.
19. makes me go a TENT!
20. lets me go shopping with her.
21. always has the best life advice.
22. listens to me ramble on about whatever I need to.
23. makes the coolest cupcakes for birthdays.
24. gives me cooking advice.
25. runs errands for me, just to save me time.
26. does the coolest projects with my kids.
27. gave me the code for her front door.
28. 100% committed to anything she says she will do.
29. loves the Lord.
30. always makes me feel young :)
31. gave me access to her online calendar to schedule anything I want her to do for or with me.
32. is always trying to be a better person.
33. tells me what I need to hear, even if it's not what I want to hear.
34. understands what it means to be the youngest child of the family.
35. is patient enough to talk to each of my kids before actually getting me on the phone.
36. loves Survivor as much as I do.
37. lets me stop by when she's not home and take anything I need from her pantry.
38. married a guy who likes to make popcorn in a brown paper's the ONLY way!
39. loves spending time with me as much as I love spending time with her!
40. was hand crafted by God, just for me!!!

Lots of love on your special day from the Walkingtons!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A good little reminder for all of us from my dear Jentzen:

"If we smell or drink gasoline, we'll get less smarter, won't we mom....yeah...we shouldn't drink gas."

I know...right? He's a lifesaver!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The all started on Wednesday evening before I left for work. I kissed my kids good bye until pretty much the next Tuesday morning. It was work, cleaning the cabin, more work, and more work. When it rains, it pours concerning shifts at work. I take what I can get...never can tell when the drought is about to hit.

Work was followed by a 4 hour round trip escapade to bring the boat down to the cabin after it spent some time in the boat hospital. I was with the kids, but they didn't quite see that as quality time. We ate dinner at Dairy Queen...what can be more quality than that??? I tried to explain it...they didn't understand.

The next morning brought about my and Deb's birthday outing that started at 730am and lasted until 730pm. I know...right?? If you want to read Deb's review of the day go here. If you want to read Nathan's review, go here. (Since the two of them did such an outstanding job, I'm going to pass on my rendition of the day.) It was special, do go read about it. We have the best EVER!

I came home from the all day party, packed my bags and headed out for a road trip to Denver with my 3 sisters to visit my brother Bob who moved out there last fall.

My little Ava. The sweet thing. While I was packing, she sat outside my bedroom door and cried...and not just a little tear. It was all out, full fledged crying. As if I stomped on her toe or something. I went to her, asking what was wrong. Through her huffing, and crying, and snotting, she said, "I don't want you to leave!!!"

Does that just break a mama's heart or what?? I'm pretty sure that put a tear or two in my eyes as well. We hugged and hugged, and I kissed her at least 10 times and then I had to let her go. Truthfully, I missed all of them just as much. I hadn't seen the kids much in the past few days...and it was going to be another 2 days.

My sisters and I hit the pavement on our way to Colorado....more on that later, which might include a video of me doing this, (my brother just happens to be a skydiver and thinks everyone should love it as much as he does)...and got home at 930am on Tuesday morning. The kids were pumped to see me and I got lots of kisses and cuddles. It was later that afternoon, Ava came tiptoeing into the office where I was. She snuggled right in:

Me: "I heard you were sleeping on my side of the bed when I was gone."

A: "Yeah, it smelled like you, it made me miss you more....I just couldn't stop smelling it."

Me: .....totally speechless.

A: (snuggling up to my neck inhaling as long as her little lungs would permit) "Oh, Mom, you just smell so good."

Me: (eyes raised with confusion)

A: "You do! I just can't help it, you smell so good!"(breathing in yet again)

This was at the exact moment I had been in the same clothes for over 24 hours, slept in them during a 13 hour road trip, sweat in them...not just once but a few times. I'm not one that "glistens" as some females call it...I just plain sweat. Imagine a field of sweet smelling flowers, soft fragrances blowing in the wind...That was NOT me!

But I get her, it made me seems not so far away. When Nathan's gone, I sleep on his side of the bed for just that same reason. Weird to some. To me, that's love...head over heals, crazy, too much for words, I miss you so much...LOVE!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

...the little things.

It's 7:42am. I'm sitting at my computer preparing my homeschool lessons for this next year. Just 10 minutes ago I just heard 3 footsteps across our wood floor, just 3 tiny steps and no other sounds. Immediately as I heard them I knew...Jentzen, that is Jentzen who is awake. Those weren't Quaid, Ava's or even Keira's footsteps. They were Jentzen's.

It still blows my mind that a mother can do that. When I was young I used to be amazed at the fact that a mother could hear their baby cry out of 1000 and know exactly which cry was from their own. And not it's me. When I'm downstairs and the kids are up, I can tell from their cry, whine, or shout exactly what happened. I know if they are hurt, if someone hit them, if someone took a toy from them, or if they're just frustrated. Just from the tone, volume, and length of cry. I usually get it right. I know if it requires me to go to them, or if I should wait until they will come to me. I love that because it means I know my children, I've spent time with them, I've paid attention to them, I've taken time to take note of the little details of their lives. I haven't gotten too busy with the callings of life, housework, and everything else to not know the little things. There is no replacement for that kind of joy...the joy of the little things.

This brings to me what I will be meditating on today. It is the same with my Lord? Have I spent time with Him, do I know Him? Do I hear the small quiet footsteps and know that it's Him? When I hear something, do I know him deeply enough to discern what is required of me? Have I gotten too busy and distracted to not realize what is the Lord and what is the flesh pulling me in the other direction?

No other person can know my children like I do, no one else can tell me about them, can make me hear the difference in the footsteps. No one else can tell me the difference between my child's cry. Those just aren't things that can be put into words.

Knowing the Lord is not something that someone else can do for you either. You can't find life in another's relationship with has to be your own. I can't know Jesus because someone else does. And there is absolutely no replacement for the ultimate joy of hearing footsteps or a quiet whisper and knowing....that is you Lord!

PS...I now am hearing farting noises from the other room involving a mouth and an arm. Now, I'm FOR SURE it's Jentzen!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I am an early riser...which I love that I love. It's amazing how much one can get done between the hours of 5am and 8am with no children around. Being that I get up that early on a regular basis...I REALLY look forward to mornings I get to sleep in! I still love doing that too!

I love waking up and not having to get out of bed. I love hearing little feet running around the house. And most of all, I love the kids running into our room and jumping into bed. It's usually becuase they're hungry and not really because they just can't wait to see us after a good 12 hours away from us during the night. But I think what I want.

Keira came running in this morning, hopped over me and then saw Nathan.

"I'm going to sit on daddy's face!!!!" Probably not exactly what he wanted to hear because he was still sleeping. But Keira being none to concerned with Nathan's need for some REM's...grabbed a pillow, slappeed it on his head, and hopped right on top. I was laughing....he was not. So he flipped her off. She felt slighted of course...I mean really! Who wouldn't want a little girl suffocating him with a pillow mid dream? I was okay with it because she of course came cuddling right in with me.

"Oh Keira! Come give me some cuddles, you're my little cutey girl!" She snuggled right in.

"Yeah, I am! And daddy's too!"

"You're daddy's cutey girl too??"

"Yep, and Ava's, and Jackie's. They like me too!"

Raising a confident girl....check! Mothering duties done for the day....check!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Big 3 - 0

I turned 30 two days ago, July 20th, 2011. I knew it was coming as all birthdays eventually do. I wondered if it would feel any different. Most of my friends have already passed this milestone. My dear friend Jess on her 30th birthday commented how she felt by the time she turned 30, she would have it all together. But somehow when the day actually came she realized that it was not so much like that. I am 30, yet feel like I have way more to learn than I know already. I remember being college aged and looking at the 30 year old crowd and thinking how old and mature they were. And to think that now youngens might be looking at me that way, well it's just plain not true! I'm still working life out, and don't even have it close to figured out! And Praise the Lord that my children are His, because if it's up to me show them the ropes of life...oh boy!

Maybe it will be different when I turn 40...I guess I'll be able to ask Nathan about that soon...he he he :) And if not then, maybe when I turn 60?? I'll be able to ask RW about that soon too :)

Deb took me and the 3 oldest kids out to lunch. I played tic-tac-toe on the menu with Ava, Jentzen got more ketchup on his good shirt than he got in his mouth, and Quaid finished every menu activity and crumb of food there was on his plate. The kids shared my birthday sundae...overall a successful outing.

We then headed off to see "Annie" at the Stages Theater. They patiently waited for it to begin. After the very first scene, about 5 minutes into the show, the lights went dark while they changed the set. "Is it over?" from all the kids. Guess I should take them out more. They're obviously sub-par in the understanding of the arts and theater. Jentzen was quite sure that he did NOT like Miss Hannigan and was asking when Annie was going to come back. Ava must have been sitting on her legs in a way that made her feet fall asleep. My peaceful viewing of the show was interrupted by, "Mom! When I squish my toes, I can't even feel it!!" As they tingled back awake there were some funny faces, groaning, and twisting around in her chair. Is it possible she has never had that happen before??

The fun soon ended and quickly went back to the real life...making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, and continuing on to cleaning out my basement. Ahhhh...the good life!

It did however end on an up note. My wonderful hubby played two games of Sorry with me. The very best present possible. Although, he walloped me both games...sheesh, it was my birthday and still no mercy! I can't really blame him. We have a running total of wins since we've been married. He wasn't about to let a minor occasion like my 30th birthday ruin his competitive edge. He's a bit ahead of me.....I would have done the same!

Monday, July 11, 2011


* It's summer, we've been busy outside swimming and sweating, hence no blogs.
* We don't have landscape fabric under our landscaping, weeds take advantage of that, hence no blogs.
* I've been on a mission to empty, de-clutter, and wash the inside and out of every cabinet, shelf and storage place in my house, hence no blogs.
* Nathan posts every detail of our life on Facebook so I feel redundant most of the time, hence no blogs.

So I guess this is for those who aren't "friends" with Nathan :) And if you are a friend, stop reading now, because you already know all of this.

1. Watching your child jump off the diving board in the deep end for the first time, in front of all the big kids and swim to the edge makes a momma proud.
2. I have THE BEST friend ever in the world. If anyone dares to argue that, just go home now, because I'll win.
3. Last minute $5 movie nights with your hubby are way fun. A niece who makes it all possible is even better.
4. "Who flung poo"...a new saying at our house.
5. A child asking, "Daddy are you going to put that on Facebook?" makes a momma chuckle and roll her eyes...just a little :)
6. Quaid is two for two with trophy winning events in Cub Scouts....thanks to a dad who couldn't resist Googling "How to build the fastest raingutter regatta boat."
7. Buying a half a cow is totally the way to go! Coming home to it stacked perfectly in your freezer without lifting a finger is even better!
8. The kids thinking that "going to Iowa" means going to one specific place or building called "Iowa" is a bit frustrating and takes the entire 6 hour car ride to explain!
9. Jentzen got stitches in his head a few weeks ago...a family first. It's even better when I'm already working!
10. Watching Keira boss her siblings around the park, making them do whatever she wants them to, go where she wants them to, and help her however she needs it is a bit amusing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I found this post that i never was awhile ago. But not so long ago that I don't remember this glorious night. I might never forget it!

I'm pretty sure this was at least day 5 of 5 work days in a row. One of them was probably a day I had to be at work at 3am and work till know, someting along those lines. I threw out the suggestion that Nathan could make dinner.

There is no better dinner than one I didn't make. Nathan delivered in a big way. Chicken Fried Rice! I realize that the picture looks sort of like a pile of's truly mis-representated. It was awesome....Kids, your Daddy can cook!!

And if Daddy's cooking, it most certainly involves steak...and lots of it!

I'm sure the fact that my kids were already in their jammies, ready for bed, at dinnertime was no coincidence. Pretty sure after my work day and probable lack of sleep, and Daddy's slaving in the kitchen all night...the whole family did indeed, go straight to bed after dinner!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today is the day my mom was born so I thought it fitting to say a little something...

Where to even start....As I sit here reminiscing on all the little happenings of my life, everyone of them has my mom in it. She was always there...I mean ALWAYS there. She was there when I woke up, there when I went to bed, and always there in between.

I do know in fact, that she wasn't always there...she did have obligations outside of our family. As I parent my own children, I'm becoming increasingly aware that it's not what actually happened, or the reality of a situation, but the memories of my children, and how they interpret those times that they will take with them. So for the record, I remember my mom always being there.

I remember calling home during the cold winter school days because I forgot my shoes and would be completely mortified wearing my snow boots around all day. My mom to the rescue. A forgotten assignment, uniform piece, or practice clothes. My mom to the rescue. When I needed help on a project or mom was there. To this day I still can't write a decent introductory or conclusion paragraph...and to all my teachers...Yes, my mom did it for me :)

I always sat right next to my mom at the dinner table. We had assigned seating, another genius move by my mom. My kids currently squabble every night about who gets to sit next to Daddy. Although, I'm pretty sure it was the fact that I was the youngest and needed the most supervision especially when it came to gagging down my glass of milk. But I'll just keep thinking it was because she liked me best.

She was at every concert, award ceremony, play, and sports game. Even when she let me play Fall Softball and it was October and snowing...there my mom sat through the whole thing.

I can't recall a single event that I was involved in that my mom wasn't right there in the crowd. I'm sure there was one or two, but those aren't my memories. And I also rarely remember getting a no for an answer when I asked her for help of any kind.

However, I did hear the word "no" a lot. I heard it when I asked to go somewhere that my mom wasn't sure was safe. A "no" for dating boys before I was 16. A "no" to staying out past 12:30. A "no" to letting me quit something I had started. A "no" when I thought I did a good enough job, when in fact it was not even close to my best effort. I look back on things now and see that she always knew exactly when to the the reins out and give me some freedom, and when they needed to be pulled back in.

Wise and fair parenting was my mom's greatest strength. I think I was a pretty good kid...didn't get in to too much trouble. I attribute that to all the "No's" I heard. At the time, some of them made me an angry teenager thinking it was obvious that I knew way more than my mom did about life as most teenagers do. I thought I was quite capable of making good decisions completely on my own. I now see, I was a good kid becuase of all the "No's". I am so thankful for them.

Being the youngest I was able to watch all 5 siblings go before me. By the time I moved into the decision making years, I was well aware that there were consequences for every thing I did, be it good or bad. I loved my mom, admired her, and respected her. I didn't obey out of fear, but out of love. I wanted her to be proud of me. It was because she never let me down and I wanted to do the same for her.

My sister, 5 years older than me, were discussing what we were taught. Being that many years apart, our childhood experiences were a bit different...but in the end there were some soild principles that we were both taught. Our best was always good enough, even if it wasn't perfect, and she knew somehow exactly what each of our best's was. We never felt compared to any other sibling...which with 5 there was plenty of comparing that could have occurred. We were encouraged to do what we enjoyed no matter what everyone else was doing. We were taught how to live within our means...she was sure to always make sure that depsite where they were at that moment in life, there was a beginning, and a tough one that they worked very hard for. We were confident with who we were and self esteem was high despite any of our failures. We were made to be hard workers, even if it was something we pumpkins and piano lessons for me :) We learned to take pride in a job well done and not step on anyone else in the process. We have all taken different paths through our early adult years but have all seemed to turn out all right with a solid foundtaion. She has trained us well and now that we are all older, we have not departed from it. At the time we both ended the conversation with, "We have no idea how she did it, but we want to do the same!"

I now think it was because she was there. Always there to overhear, observe, talk, listen with all areas of our life. There were of course a few things that slipped past her and the good children that we are, of course tease her about the now :) But she knew who we were and knew most everything we did.

And now I am raising my own her footsteps. She has shown me how to parent from birth and continues to do so. I'm thankful that she was blessed with the chance and chose to raise 6 children. Every individual child brings different challenges and trials, joys and triumphs. Her experience, wisdom, and knowledge is beyond words. I am abundantly blessed to have and incredible example and resourse right next door :)

Proverbs 17:6 says "Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children." I thank God that he gave me a Mom that I am so proud of. And I pray that I would follow her example so that my children are indeed her crown. That they would love, appreciate, respect, and value me as much as I do my Mom.

Happy Birthday Mom...We Love You!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Boys and Dirt

There is nothing like a brother, is there?

Brotherly....Love? I can't quite tell!

Pretty sure they snatched the camera and took a few shots of what boys deem picture worthy...

And let's not forget....
They do think daddy's "truck" is pretty cool, but, they do mention how they miss his 'racecar." They've been brainwashed and their dad happily takes all the credit. It's wrong folks...just plain wrong. But what's a girl to do??

Anyway, while the boys were out fooling around...the girls were doing some real work. Getting our garden ready for the year. As always, it was the first week of June. Pretty late as MN standards go. We never know just how soon the winter will return so it's best to get the earliest head start you can!!

I have to interject here just for a minute with a funnion from today. While Deb and I were neck deep into our card game...the kids were just milling around the kitchen, hovering over us. I told them they better get outside and enjoy the weather because it's going to snow soon. The kids all gasped and I heard a "what????" "did you say snow???" "like how soon mom???" Deb and I quietly giggled with a "Well you never know how soon it just might be! Don't waste the day now!!" It worked, out they went :)

So back to the garden. Deb came up with a new plan for us. Square Foot Gardening. She claimed that we could get all we needed in a fraction of the space, with a fraction of the work! Sounds great, right?

So RDub kindly built us the garden boxes. Then I made Nathan (and 4 kids) trapse around 2 stores with many flatbed carts getting all our supplies. He was a good sport...and he got to buy a power tool for himself....I didn't hear him complaining too much :) Does a weed whipper count? The kids call it a weed whapper. Whip, Whap....let's call the whole thing off....

Then we had to mix all the ingredients that filled the 5 flatbed cards...with shovels, on a tarp, in the wind, with water, 4 kids, all while starting at 4pm on a Sunday evening....seriously the times we pick to do major gardening projects!

One of the ingredients was vermiculite. Anyone....anyone??? Does anyone know what that is? Well we didn't really, until I googled it of course. So where does one buy this...vermiculite? Certainly a garden center would know!! After all, they are in the business of horticulture. We called one store and I got a very young girl who answered us with, 'Uuuummmmm, I don't know, let me go ask." I then called another, "No, we don't carry that." And another, "We don't carry it, and you can't use that in MN." Seriously....looks like we were on our own. It was found on one website so we ordered it up. When I went to the customer service counter to pick it up, the lady pulled the order up, and then a stare and then a, "And......what actually is that?" It seems Amazon's #1 selling book had only made it into Deb's hands and entirely missed the rest of the state.

Here's the magic, no weeds, no work, highly productive garden boxes. We'll see how they live up to their hype....

We finally got them all filled up thanks to Quaid who was a huge help the whole way through!!! We had been mixing all the "stuff" on the tarp with a shovel, and then transported it shovel by shovel to the boxes.

So on the last box Quaid says to me, "Mom, I have an idea but I don't think you'll like it." At this point Deb and I were a bit over the shoveling and figured any suggestion might be a good one...even coming from a 7 year old. "Why don't we just dump the bags in the box and then mix it around in there so we don't have to walk back and forth carrying it." Deb and I shamefully look at eachother, kicking ourselves that we had not thought of that on box #2, and for the fact that we had been shown up by a 7 year old...."That's a GREAT idea Quaid!!" We now had to take our self-proclaimed garden expert hats off and throw them to the wind.
We finally got everything planted...even with a little day light to spare. Now, we'll wait to see what actually comes up!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You said what?

There are so many times in the day the kids say or do something and I think, "I should put that on the blog." And then life happens instead of the blog and they are lost forever. But today the blog is happening instead of life...a little conversation in the car last night...

N: "Kids, you're making too much laundry for your mom. There's no reason you need to change clothes 4 times a day."

(Amen Honey! What a great topic of conversation!!!)

Kids: (while talking amongst themselves) "Yeah Dad." (More talking between them) "Yes, dad....okay dad....."

N: "So if your clothes are clean and not extremely dirty you can put them in a pile on the floor and wear them again the next day...Okay?"

(Silence from the kids)

N: "Okay? Did you hear what I said?"

Kids: (more talking, NOT to Nathan)

N: (in a slightly louder voice) "Did you hear what I said?"

(To give the kids a little break here, they did just get done eating out and each had their own balloon in the car...can you blame them for being a little distracted?)

Kids: "Oh! Yes dad, okay dad!"

N: "What did I say?"

A: "If our clothes aren't too dirty or too clean, or too extremely dangerous...wear them again the next day."

Good. I'm glad we got that taken care of.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Isn't this the cutest face you've ever seen??? It's even cuter when it's not covered in food! This is my beautiful niece that I get the pleasure of caring for 3 days a week! She is loved by all in our family!!
This is the face of 4 year old vs. 7 month old! I think Jentzen did a great job...and she didn't seem to mind!
And to finish 'er off....Keira handled her quite nicely. It's amazing what the little ones can do if you just give them a chance!!

But sometimes things are best left to the adults...
A little better.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Big 6

The Birthday Girl!

Ava turned 6 today!! I can still remember Ava as a newborn...and now 6 years later, she's a fine little lady.

She is caring and compassionate to others, always thinking of others wants and needs. Well almost always, she is still a normal kid :) Giving up something of hers if someone else really wants it is no big deal to her. I remember when Quaid would be bummed if he was losing a game....Ava would slip her matches or points to Quaid so he wouldn't feel bad....even if that meant she had none. She's always willing to give up her color of bowl or cup to her little sister or brother. Are my kids the only ones who fight over what color of bowl or plate they eat with?? It's always amazing to me what things seem like the end of the world to a child!!

Ava loves to play ball, get dirty, and ride bikes with her brothers. But hair bows, nail polish, and sparkly pink things are also an equal love of hers. She loves being a little mother, always wanting to handle situations. Listening to her is always a good gauge of what I sound like as a parent...the good and the bad :) She despises brushing her hair and despite making sure her clothes "look good on her" she's perfectly comfortable with leaving the house with a rats nest on her head! Knowing every little detail of everyone's life in our house is a necessity, not much slides past her. If I'm missing anything...Ava knows where it is....unless she is the one that misplaced it...then it's lost forever :)

She is learning to be a bit sneaky and work the system with mom a little bit to get what she wants always making sure to sound so sweet and if she's doing me a favor....which can be a good quality if groomed correctly....oh the pressures of a parent!!

I love having real conversations with her. I love to hear her opinion of life and her understanding of things that happen. Her facial expressions light up a room and also show everything on her sleeve. The girl will be a terrible poker player some day!

Ava is the glue in our family...always making sure every one has what they need, helping when I need help, and will do anything for her siblings. I can picture her being the one they all run to and depend on.
Quaid and Jentzen both colored Ava birthday pictures and wrapped them up and gave them to her. It was the cutest thing. Jentzen was so excited to see Ava open his picture!!

We love you Ava and can't wait to see what your next year brings!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The kids were making paper hearts. Quaid quickly discovered if you turn it upside down, it sort of looks like a hat....a pirate hat.

And not just a pirate wearing a hat, but a pirate wearing spiderman pajamas, with a cape, telescope, and a sword, who's about to attack an intruding 2 year old. He's all boy.

And who can resist a little man with chocolate on his nose?
And then there's this little flower....
That was made for her mama for Mother's Day by this beautiful flower...

The more I look at these pictures, the more they don't look like my children at all....what's with the's obvious I have no idea what I'm doing with a camera, but that's okay. If you squint, turn the lights down low, while standing on one foot, and turning your head to the right...they look EXACTLY like my kids! Good Luck!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Laundry vs. Fun

I looked out the window one day to find this...

Evidentally it's not a fort unless every single towel in my linen closet is used.

Me: (as we were leaving the house shortly after that creation), "Ava, when are you going to pick up those towels?"

A: "We'll do it tonight."

Me: "You're not going to be home tonight, you're staying over at grandma's."

A: "Oh yeah, well then we'll do it tomorrow."

Me: "It's supposed to to rain tomorrow."

A: (eyes rolling in frustration) "Well then we'll just do it the next day!"

Me: "But they'll be all wet."

A: (a super eye roll) "Well, we'll just wait till they're dry then!!!"

It's times like these when I hear the words of my wise mom echoing in my mind, "Be thankful you have a child and he has the ability to do that!" She said that to me very early on in my parenting journey when I was at wits end with just one child back in the day.

How true is that! It is always a good reminder!

Is it worth the laundry...totally! They had hours of fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

School is wrapping up for the "normal" kids who go to a "real" school. Evidently, Quaid is ready to be done for the year too. He makes me laugh. Whenever he didn't want to do a certain assignment I gave him, he would scribble it out like mad until you could hardly see what was written under it. Sometimes he would just make a big "X" over it. Both of those never worked, he always had to do it anyway. But lately he's gotten a little sassy in his protests.

I guess "The end" means he's over it. I had to let him slide this day. He made me laugh and was quite proud of the creative statement he made. He's never minded doing his writing assignments until lately. I could have a battle on my hands next year. Oh well, I'll deal with that next year...until then, we're just going to enjoy our summer!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

7 Years

Quaid is 7 Years old today. I'm not sure why, but 7 seems leaps and bounds older than 6. I'm not sure I'm ready, but I guess I don't really have a choice.

Watching him grow and become a young man is awesome. I love seeing his personality form and to see his passion for many different things. He loves to be on his own, drawing and reading, with a recent interest in the Boxcar Children. But he also walks around the house begging for someone to wrestle with him. Quietly building Legos can consume hours in his day, but so can running outside, riding bikes, and building cities in the sand box.

Quaid chose pizza for his birthday meal. We sprung for Papa Murphy's...honestly to make it a little more exciting for us :) And seeing how it was going to be accompanied by Mt. Dew and cake, I just had to throw in the salad...I just had to. After this first pic, I thought it looked a little ho-hum, "Come on Quaid, let's see some Happy Eyes!!"
Then I got this....much better!

He has a tender heart towards his brother. The two of them stay up late reading, chatting, or playing cars and legos. I don't ever have the heart to turn the light out on them, I know this time for them will be something they will look back on and cherish. The two of them just yesterday came running the house together telling me how Quaid showed Jentzen how to start out on a two wheeler, the two of them beaming from ear to ear. I am nearly 30 and I still remember my sister Laura teaching me how to tie my shoes.

He looks after his sisters just as well. He and Ava also have a special bond. Quaid is always helping Ava with her school, sometimes a little to much :) They wrestle, play ball, and play games together. I'm glad that Quaid has gotten over his need to win and his need to quit if he's losing :) Keira always wants to sit by "Paidey". She can say Quaid....I think it's just her way of showing how much she loves her brother.

Quaid has a passion to learn about God and he truly does try to do what's right. It breaks his heart when he knows he's hurt someone or when he disappoints us. He is cautious, making sure he knows exactly what he's getting himself into before he jumps in. And when he does finally decide to give something a go...he's fully committed and gives 110%.

Quaid, you an absolute delight in our home and we love you so much!! Happy 7th my young man!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This was the sight of my kitchen one day last week. To be honest, it's the sight of my kitchen today and well...pretty much every day!

But the great part is it's usually my kids job, not mine :) Except that day.

It was finally nice out. Daddy had just put up the trampoline and the sand was yelling for my kids to come and sink their feet in. And of course the cousins were over. My niece Jacqueline is 11 and is Ava's perfect play mate. Despite Ava being quite the mother hen, when ever there is an older girl around she quite enjoys being mother-henned herself.

So I was happy to let the kids ditch their chores for the day and soak up the beautiful weather with their cousins.

And the boys? I couldn't seem to find cousin Sam, Quaid, and Jentzen. All I know is they went darting out of the house with 3 pocket knives, a screwdriver, and a hammer. I pretended I didn't see that, started humming a happy little tune, and went about my dish duties.