Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bathtime Shenanigans

Armed and ready for battle.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving for Preschoolers

Preparing to have a Thanksgiving tomorrow with fifteen children nine and under, the families that are getting together have a few projects to keep the nieces and nephews occupied. Here's mine.

Luke cutting and pasting our turkey

"Feathers" to put on our turkey.

A "do it yourself" turkey body

I have hundreds of magazine clippings for the kids to glue what they are thankful for on their turkey feathers.

Luke's "tester" turkey feather. I see he has a monopoly on Lightening McQueen.

My turkey feather.

Our family turkey should look something like this!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dear Retail Giants,

I really do not appreciate you stealing my family's Thanksgiving. We've read books about pilgrims, colored a picture of The Mayflower, and learned that the Native Americans taught the pilgrims to plant corn. Then, as a family, we excitedly anticipated Thanksgiving dinner, and have made grocery lists to get ingredients for our favorite pies. We've planned Thanksgiving Day projects for the children to do, to remind them to Give Thanks for all they have been blessed with.

And then you stole it.

We walked into Target last weekend bombarded with a "Merry Christmas" sign. The aisles of Wal-Mart are smothered with cinnamon-scented pine cones, Christmas movies, and lit-up trees. A full-sized tree is in our shopping mall, and Santa has already made numerous stops.

Did I miss something? My three-year old has been begging Santa for Gordon the train and Spike the walking dinosaur for at least the last month, without any prompting of mine about what he wants for Christmas.

News Flash: It's not yet Christmas. It's not yet Advent. It's not yet Thanksgiving.

Could we PLEASE just celebrate Thanksgiving? Is that too much to ask?

Monday, November 23, 2009


Mark and I watched our first Bollywood movie this weekend. We loved it. Now, we're a little obsessed about it. We didn't have Luke watch it (it's subtitled, among other things,) but we showed him this scene. And now we watch this scene over, and over, and over again. Haven't decided yet if downloading the soundtrack was a good idea or not, but still, super fun. Watching this video is worth it if you haven't seen it before.

The context of this clip is different 'tribes' of India coming to give thanks to the emperor for lifting a religious tax. Then, his wife of a different religion returns after an absence, thankful for his care of her people. Paul even dances. The movie, Jodhaa Akbar.


Courtesy of my mom. I'm not one to start the Christmas season until Advent, however, I couldn't resist this one :) .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Three Looks Like

Now that Luke has all his colors, shapes and letters down, I have a game plan to keep him cognitively stimulated during these cold months indoors. Other than the read-alouds, here's what three looks like at our house.

We spend lots of time coloring on white paper and in coloring books. Markers are the media of choice :)

Our designated "Craft Basket," we keep markers, crayons, colored pencils, safety scissors, a glue stick, coloring books, construction paper, and a preschool curriculum book to tote around the house. It usually ends up on our dining room table, but it's nice to have everything in one place.

This is Luke's "Portfolio," which really just dubs as a keepsake binder in disguise. After Luke masters a skill, we put proof of it in his portfolio. It's quite fun to watch how much they learn and improve every month!

Only the very best makes it on the fridge.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Big Whoopsie.

It's Monday, it's cold, and the kids are cranky.
We have had a terrible cold for almost a week and today we want to stay put.
Luke refuses to get dressed and PJ won't let me put him down.

I just checked the time and counted down the hours (1 hour and 15 minutes) until I can justifiably crack open a can of diet coke.

In eager anticipation, I check the fridge to make sure I have a cold one waiting for me.

However, there are none left.

Despair is setting in...

UPDATE: He saved the day, and I gave him a big hug when he walked in with a case at lunchtime. I think the sun just came out...

Thank you, Mark :)


"Luke, take off your jammies and get your clothes on."
Luke spies the jeans on the floor
"Mom, I don't wear pants that have a zipper."
"Okay," I say as I march upstairs and bring down a pair of blue sweatpants.
"Mom," Luke says nicely, "But my pants need to have pockets."

He's still in his jammies.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Friday?

We're recovering here...although not all better. :(

For the weekend, I'll direct you to a friend's blog. She doesn't blog about arbitrary nonsense like me, she blogs because she's about to deliver a very special baby in less than two weeks. And, since she's probably the most likable person I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, you can imagine that everyone wants updates on her and her little girl.

Keep them in your prayers as she and her family continue their journey and soon start another.

Laura & Paul's blog for their new baby

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And so it begins...

We're sick today. The little boys and I are down for the count. Luke being Luke, this means that I will predictably be cleaning up puke by the end of the day...mark my words.

My goal today will be to ration the last can of apple juice and to rally the kids long enough to get to Wal-Mart for some Benadryl.

This is our first sickness of the season. Here we go...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is it, don't get scared now.

When I put this sweater on Luke, Mark called him "Kevin" for the rest of day.

Apparently the sweater is a little dated, a bit 1990 to be exact.

The funny thing is that he's exactly right.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


A Santa hat in November
Bare legs
An unbuttoned jumpsuit
No bib
A messy face
Doesn't anyone take care of you, sweet Paul?

Monday, November 9, 2009


There is a moment, after the kids have been asleep for awhile, when you've forgotten all the troubles of the day. The bag of cat food that spilled all over the kitchen floor, the baby that would not nap properly, and the tantrum over the last fruit roll-up seem like distant memories after the second hour the children have been asleep.

Exhausted from the work of the day, you cannot resist one more peek, one more kiss, one more marvel at the miracle of life. You breathe in the matted hair of a toddler and the warm cheeks of an infant as if, even after a day without them for a moment, you still can't seem to get quite enough.

In that instant, the challenges of the day seem to disappear, and, overcome with love, all that your heart can say is "Thank you, Jesus."

Let's Name Our Dog!

No, we don't have a dog. Not yet.

Late in August one night I got an itch, a bug, or a case of the crazies if we're really getting specific. All of a sudden, as if I didn't have enough chaos in my life, I really wanted a dog.

The type of dog that we have deemed perfect for our family could be a blog post unto itself (which it will be) and in turn makes me a new breed (no pun intended) of off-your-rocker insane. Rather, I'm posting today about the funnest game our family has ever played, which, coincidentally, is the next step after you decide what kind of dog best suits your family.

Our game: "Let's name our dog!"

We're getting a big dog. A working dog. A giant. Having said that, we have spent hours,yes, hours and hours and hours tossing names back and forth around the dinner table, on car trips, walks, and after bedtime stories. We're out of control.

Having a three-year-old boy with parents who are gluttons for potty-talk, Luke has already exhausted his toilet-themed dog names, which include "Let's name our dog Diaper," "Poopy Pants," and "Booger."

My names are not lacking in creativity, but are slightly more appropriate and include "Norman," "Pharaoh," and "Optimus Prime."

Mark prefers "real" names and leans more toward the Scandinavian persuasion. He would vouch for a name like "Bjorn," although, I don't think Dante is out the question (not all Vikings are of Norwegian descent.) (Do you get that? Did you laugh?)

We are months (at least) from any animal additions in our household, but it's still fun to talk about. Someone should make me stop this silliness.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oh Boy.

This sums these two up pretty well, I'd say.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My life...

is SO glamorous.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Santa, please...

We're not really going to start on Christmas yet, but yesterday Luke told me he was going to ask Santa for an Anatosaurus and a Giganotosaurus.

I swear, we really don't push the dinosaur thing, it just happened. Now, we're on a nearly two-year kick with no end in sight.

Oh, For Cute!

Luke made me this tower yesterday. Lucky, huh? It spent most of the day on the living room coffee table. At the end of the day when I attempted to put the mega block tower back into its mega block container, I got a harsh protest.

"It doesn't go there, mommy dear," Luke explained, "It belongs on your night stand," where he then proceeded to march and place the tower eloquently at my bedside.

I think it's lovely.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It Pays to Save

What did I do on my recent sabbatical, you might wonder?
Well, for starters, I tried many things for the first time. Much like I did last year, as soon as the first chilly day of October hits and we realize, once again, that we'll be bound indoors for nearly the next six months, I get the itch to cook new things that will warm the house.

My first new venture this fall was to attempt to make, and then perfect, my own spaghetti sauce. You may confused as to what the title of this post and spaghetti sauce have in common, don't fret dear, I'm here to share.

I have been on a mission for the last four years to find ways to live fully yet frugally. This quest has led to coupon clipping, detergent-making, cloth diapering, clothesline hanging, plastic around every window in the winter and freezer meals galore.


A once weekly spaghetti night has saved not only a great deal of money, but also time in planning out meals. A Monday or Thursday spaghetti night works best for us, and here's how we make it work.

1. I make my own spaghetti sauce--in bulk! I buy whole-peeled and crushed tomatoes by the case on Amazon. I get free shipping and then an additional 35% discount by subscribing to the order every six months. I buy onions and garlic at the store, spend a day at home simmering, and Viola! I have a momentous amount a red sauce. I freeze portions into freezer bags, cool whip containers, or whatever I can find, and use when needed. It's always easy to add meat, too, if that's what we want that night.

It's a big pot!

Simma down now!

2. About once a month on a Monday morning I'll pack up the kids and head to Wal-Mart. I'm there for the day-old bakery bread. At .90 cents a loaf, this bread is awesome. Baguette-shaped and sliced, our family eats half a loaf with dinner in many varieties such as Parmesan garlic or crusted red pepper.

3. And, in case your intrigued, this is the pasta I subscribe to on Amazon. It whole grain, plus flax and Omega-3's. It's more expensive than the durum wheat or egg noodles that you buy at the grocery store, however, I can save 35% buy subscribing to the order. For me, I don't mind the extra cost because of the health benefits of whole grain.

Have You Heard?

The news is that I'm coming back tomorrow!

I'm going to try and stick with things a little better this time around, I just needed a break to form a better routine at home. Blogging just had to go for a little while. I'm hoping now that life is a bit more ordered and I have a better handle on things at home that blogging shouldn't get in the way of what we already do on a regular basis.

See you soon!