Sunday, November 25, 2007

Found: Self


Age: Mid-thirties young wife and mom, although some actions lead to believe she might be younger at heart.

Wearing: Cute new athletic outfit (new purchase for self right before Christmas!)

Last seen:
Eating great food and "Snoops"
Playing fun new game "BLOCKUS"
Watching family members being thrown in the pool with their clothes on
Staying up until all hours talking with cousins
Reminiscing about the "old days" with said cousins
Watching movies on the wall cuddled up with her kids
Interrupting "important" meeting of the aunts/uncles by hiding behind a potted tree
Discussing family vacations

It is with joy and thanksgiving that I rejoice in the finding of myself on our family trip this weekend. I could not believe how much fun I had laughing and sharing a great holiday get-away with my family. I felt that I escaped from the daily trials and things that bring us down, and joyfully discovered that these things had not changed who I was...only that it was just lost for a while. I hope to carry this joy and fun into the rest of the hectic holidays and certainly remember it on those days when all seems lost.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I was in Charge of Buns

In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday rapidly approaching:

It was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple traveling to his aunt's house to be with his side of the family. Excitement ran high as we joked about how we would now get to have our own room. We even had been put in charge of a part of the meal: dinner rolls.

The family time was wonderful. We laughed, played games, took walks around his aunt's neighborhood and admired the houses and trees. Dinner preparations soon began and the ladies (and guys, too) were a buzz in the the kitchen. Knowing that there would be several items in need of the oven, my new Hubs' aunt enlisted the help of the neighbor's oven for our dinner rolls. She found me and told me to get the rolls ready for the oven. I proudly laid my buns out on several sheets for the oven. She walked them over to the neighbors and told me to check on them when they would be ready.

I forgot.

About 20 or so minutes later his aunt came in the house with several trays of more than browned dinner rolls. Her look was firm but kind. In the hurry and scurry of the other dinner preparations she had remembered, but I hadn't. I was mortified. I had been in charge of the most simple part of the meal (except for applesauce) and I failed! I apologized. Everyone had a good chuckle over it and even swallowed down some more than brown rolls with dinner. (with a bit of gravy they weren't too least that's what they said)

In years since the family has been kind enough to give me several second chances. Once, I even was given the highly acclaimed-major family tradition-recipe from generations for Cinnamon Apples. That was slightly better than the buns experience, but I was under more watchful eye. This past Thanksgiving I was given sweet potato casserole. I used a family recipe again and supposedly it turned out great.

This year it is our turn to visit with my family.

They don't trust me at all...I'm in charge of applesauce.

**update on applesauce*** forgot to bring nice bowl and spoon to place applesauce in. Result: about four scoops of applesauce where taken. About 40 people in attendance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Owen Update: 7 months

This picture sums up Owen's latest and greatest.

He is up on all fours now and is a man on the move. He isn't totally crawling, but he rocks, army crawls (more of a drag, actually) and rolls anywhere he wants to go. He even likes to get up on his toes like a push-up! Muscle man, Owen!

As you can also see on his sleeve, he's eating solid foods now, with vigor.

His new favorite sport is dumping over the basket of toys (seen in the background) and carefully checking each one by way of his mouth.

We're loving this stage!

Neato new thing

I was just thinking about my mom and grilled cheese.

She also loved cookies. She would store them in the Cabinet O' Goodies. (most of the really good stuff was way in the back). This was the cabinet in the corner of the kitchen right next to the sink.

She did have a problem with cookies going stale, though. I'm not sure why, because at the rate we ate them, they shouldn't have lasted more than a few days (I had 3 brothers, 'nuff said). After awhile she decided to put them in a tupperware type container to keep them fresh.

Well, now she has no worries on this issue. Check out this neato new thing.
(you might have to click on the side icon labeled "snack n' seal")

Fresh cookies here we come.

Grilled Cheese Legacy

One of Ellie's favorite lunches is grilled cheese. I'm sure she could eat it everyday if allowed. We pretty routinely have it on Thursdays when I am finally home at lunchtime after working the first half of the week. It happens to be one of my favorite lunches as well, and I love sitting at the table with her, munching on our sandwiches and dishing about all our day's news. It's precious time and I cherish it.

I realized that I inherited this love of the grilled cheese sandwich. My mom was here this week watching the kids while I was working. I asked Ellie what they had for lunch and she squealed, "Grilled cheese!" I had a flash of the "old" days in the summer or weekends where mom would whip up a grilled cheese delight for my brothers and I to eat with chips and some fruit. Somehow this warm sandwich was a special treat and we all waited anxiously for ours to come out of the pan piping hot, ready for gobblin'. We even got a bit creative after awhile and added ham, salami or turkey to our already lovely lunch favorite. There was a lot of love in those sandwiches.

My mom is an amazing woman. I know we all have learned things from our moms, some we appreciate, some we don't. In light of some recent family discussions, I've been reflecting on what my mom has taught me, and more importantly, what I learned. Some lessons were obvious, others were subtle and some might have even been accidental. I think what I began to take away from my thoughts about families and legacies is that there are only a few very important things we can teach our kids. Grilled cheese itself may not be the top one, but the daily care with food and drink relays to our children how much we love them.

So as you meal plan, pre-cook and cook those precious meals, know that all the work is noticed, maybe not initially, but it will be someday. The time you have spent and will spend is precious time and your family will cherish it.

Now, tomorrow is Thursday, can you guess what we are having for lunch?

Love and grilled cheese.


Just a couple:

Josh is learning Spanish and school and his Spanish teacher, Senora Leo, gave us a CD for listening and practicing. Our current favorite is the Color song. It's set to the tune of Three Blind Mice.

Ellie: (singing along) White is bwonco, white is bwonco...learning all colors is fun, colors are everyone, like to sing let you know...white is bwonco.
(FYI- white is actually blanco. hehe)

In another rousing attempt to lure me into a game of "house", Ellie said I could be the sister but she would have to be "da mom." (as always) This time I asked why?

Ellie: I da mom because I have the bracewet, the neckwis and the baby and the bottle.

Well, I asked, didn't I.

Check out some other funny kiddos at Mary's.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I know... yet another shameless display of how I think my kids are some of the cutest things you'll ever see.

Three bucks says you can't help but giggle.

Friday Night Family Nights

In the continuing effort to chronicle our family happenings via this blog I wanted to write about one of our favorite family traditions.

Almost every Friday we have Family Nights. It began with visions of yummy homemade meals devoured over stirring dinner conversation, followed by craft projects, games, family devotions, and all around family fun.

It quickly evolved into reality....Pizza...and a movie.

Although it doesn't meet the original plan, it still remains one of the kids' favorite days of the week. We heat up a frozen pizza (maybe someday we'll make our own) and quickly get changed into PJ's and bring out the sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. Soon there's a big family pile snuggled in front of a kid-friendly movie and lots of warm fuzzy feelings between nibbles of popcorn and drinks.

Someday this might become a bit more than what it currently is, maybe as the kids get older, but for now, Family Night is such a great way for our family to have "down" time in the midst of school, sports and work schedules.

Memory: the Hubs

I heard this song the other day in one of our many car trips this week. It reminded me of this memory:

I was in college in Michigan while the Hubs-to-be was in art school in Cincinnati. I had heard this amazing song by Steven Curtis Chapman and felt it absolutely needed to be shared. Now these were the days before you could send songs via email, online, etc. In fact, I remember going in the basement computer room of our dorm and just giggling at how crazy it was to get an instant response to a message sent from my long-distance Hubs-to-be.
So I dialed up the Hubs-to-be in a rare phone call (we tried to keep it to once a week for phone bill reasons...sigh). I told him that he NEEDED to hear this song, and that it was the most beautiful love song I'd ever heard. I might have even mentioned that it would great to play at a (our?!) wedding some day. Then I started the CD on my roommate's boom box and sat back. I held the phone close to the speaker so he could hear the same beautiful music that set images of our future going in my head. The tears flowed as I heard the words, "..You can cry on my shoulder, when the mirror tells us we're older.." as I pictured us as old folks wrapped in blankets viewing our family album full of children and grandchildren, memories and places we've been.
Soon, the song ended and I returned the phone to my ear, sniffling a bit I managed to say, "Isn't that the greatest song you've ever heard?"

"Umm...I really couldn't hear it for some reason, but I couldn't get your attention while the song was going on. "

Sniffling stops.

"Oh but honey, I DO know that song and YES it has great lyrics and I REALLY like it too!" the Hubs-to-be quickly recovered.

I look back at this memory as a time when I ached for the gentle arms of my future husband across the miles. I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to bring us back together after times of long-distance phone calls and weekend visits. So now I just wait until he comes home to play him a song that holds meaning for me. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween 2007

Oh, boy did we have fun! The kids couldn't wait to put on their Halloween duds and head out!

We watched patiently for our first "customers" at the door.

And then the posing began! Our resident superhero was a serious purveyor of all things sweet and sugary. (don't you love his puffy chest...he gets that from his dad. hehe)

Our resident Princess "Presto" (that's what she named herself) was super cute and good to go for the tricks and treats this year. She was actually giddy as she ran from house to house! (I know...nice hair...darn tiaras!)

The littlest member of our costumed troop was the Chili Pepper. I think this is the only moment he was smiling in this costume. You'd think he'd be smiling like crazy, especially because I couldn't stop laughing at him once I put the hat on his cute little head! I guess he didn't like the fact that he couldn't move his legs freely (which if you know this little guy...super important component in the happiness category!) After I freed his legs and stuffed him into the stroller surrounded by blankets (it was pretty windy/chilly for our tromp around the neighborhood), he resembled an elf more than a pepper. Must be the hat.

All in all, it was a terrific day and the kids had a great time! And now, onward to the next holiday!