Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday Special - At Last!

Sunday Special - Special Notice!

I know you must all be thinking "Boy, this girl is really having trouble with this Sunday thing!" Just to let you know - I've been working on something extra special for this Sunday Special, but this extra special something requires going through over 200 photos. I've been working on this project for 3 days now (in between sleeping, eating, going to church, taking care of kids, cooking, etc.) With my slow and plodding photo editing software this extra special Sunday Special special is slowly driving me especially crazy. Plus, it has a tendency to close itself while I am in the middle of stuff. Errrrrrrrrgh. I have done 2 full system scans and reinstalled my software and still having slow and shut down issues. Though, rest assured, if it takes me all week - you will get your Sunday Special, it just may be Tuesday, Thursday or heavens, even WEDNESDAY again. However, there WILL BE a Special, and it will be really special, I promise.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday Special

You didn't think I'd make it did you? I know, I know - I've been starting a trend of not getting the Sunday Special up until mid-week, but this time I am on time - early even, and since Saturday also starts with 'S', I still have that nice alliteration I went on so about last time.

So, what great photo do I have for you this week? See for yourself.

This is Adam. Adam's shirt is on backwards. You need to understand something about Adam - no matter what you say, he will say it is the opposite. If I say "the sun shining", he will say "No it's not! It's dark out!" Even if clearly, the sun is shining. He just likes to be contrary - so no well meaning shows of concern for his psychiatric well being please. Anyway - I pointed out ever so helpfully that his shirt was on backwards, to which he replied, "No it's not!! My hands are on backwards!" Of course - why didn't I notice that? I thought this was a significantly rare phenomenon that it rated a picture. Apparently, judging from the expression on his face, backwards hands are kind of uncomfortable. Either that or his backwards shirt is strangling him.

OH - and the reason the photo is so blurry is because the kids got a hold of my new camera and fiddled with my settings - again. I now have several, hilarious, noisy and interesting videos of poor amateurish quality on my memory card. Fortunately, none of the videos involves the camera crashing to the ground or any of my children attempting to hang themselves upside down.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday Special - Wednesday Version

No wisecracks from the peanut gallery. I perhaps should just consider moving the Sunday Special to Wednesdays, since that seems to be the day I get to it, but then Sunday Special would be a misnomer wouldn't it? Then I would have to come up with a whole new name for it, because Wednesday Special just doesn't have the same nice alliterative ring to it. Wednesday Wackery? (which spellchecker is informing me is a non-word) Wednesday Wobbegong? (wobbegong: [wob·be·gong] noun Any of six species of bottom-dwelling carpet sharks in the Orectolobidae family, distinguished by their small vegetation-like flaps of skin around their mouth. A carpet shark with wide jaws and sharp teeth that lives at the bottom of the ocean and feeds mainly on crustaceans, small fish, and mollusks. Native to: Australia. Genus Orectolobus.) You see the problem; however, you did learn a new and very interesting word today, did you not? So, I think I will stick with the old title and just try getting those photos up a little earlier in the week, okay? Unless you perhaps have a nifty new title, hmmmm?

Mom, wasn't Jessi supposed to put me to sleep?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Deck the Halls

We put the tree up this weekend. The kids thought it was great and decided to drag out every box they could find that might have/had ornaments in it. Sadie even wanted to put her shoes on the tree when we ran out of non-broken ornaments. Jessi and Trent went through an entire tube of super glue putting together a few that fell apart. The funny thing is, for all that they craved more and more ornaments with which to bedeck the tree with, I find an awful lot of ornaments frequently on the floor and carried off to the nether regions of our domicile.

I find that for myself, a more "pared down" look appeals and was happy with just the lights, some garland and a dozen and a half well matched, proportionately placed ornaments. The kids however, with their enthusiasm for decorating, liked the mismatched, asymmetrical approach. I have to admit, I rather like the array of color. The constant redecorating of the tree however, I could live without and I am still rather perplexed by the appearance of one of our ornaments in the dishwasher.

The kids' yen for decorating their space has extended beyond the tree and I found a couple interesting and new contributions to the few bits of seasonal decor I had placed here and about.

Nathan had watched me with great interest, going about the livingroom putting this and that of Christmas decor here and there. This morning I caught a glimpse of him carefully placing his shoe just so on the cabinet.

Not to be outdone, Adam contributed the toy for the top of the piano. For, as we all know, nothing says "Seasons Greetings!" like a jiggly bunny toy that spins and makes noise.

Now, if we could just get a little of the white stuff, we'd be all set!

P.S. Yes, I caved and bought a new camera. If it hadn't been so close to Christmas, I might have let it go for a bit. I gave up a couple megapixels and it is not as "substantial" feeling as our recently retired camera, however, it takes pictures. But, shhhhhhhhh, don't tell Trent!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Demise of the Sunday Special

This video should explain why I don't have a photo to post today and you have a video instead. It will also explain why there will be no pictures of the tree getting decorating, no photo for the Christmas card and quite possibly no Christmas photos either.

I really couldn't tell you what precisely he is trying to do here - not sure Trent even knows what he is doing himself.

That would be:

Trent: 2
Cameras: 0

For anyone who is keeping track.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday Special on Wednesday!

Yes, I know it is three days past due - I was in Colorado enjoying the mountains, snow and my family! Jessica, Sadie, Adam, Nathan and myself headed out there the day after Thanksgiving for Sylvia's (my neice, their cousin!) baptism. Totally amazing singing together as a family again, chatting and laughing; I am so glad we went, even if the Interstate through Kansas seemed endless.

Here is one of my favorite pictures from the trip - this is Sadie and her cousin Gwyn.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Bird is the Word

Blogger is being goofy. I tried uploading other pictures but it called it a "bad request" - not once, but twice!

So a picture of the bird is what you get, for now.

One word, YUM!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vacuum Shmacuum

I should be getting my house ready for Thanksgiving guests. I should be making lists and planning plans. How could I resist such a sweet face though? I just want to kiss all the peanut butter off those cheeks. I have to take pictures - before I forget, before he grows out of this.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Special

Garrett is hard to get a good picture of. Aside from having to get him to just sit still long enough - you have to get him to focus (ha ha - get it? focus??!!) long enough to get a decent expression. So, when we do get one - we are very excited. The color on this originally was rather harsh because I took it in the fading sunlight - very yellow and bright, making the shadows quite stark. The sepia tone came out rather nice I thought, and toned down the contrast between light and shadow a bit. I know professionals might balk at shadows - but I kind of like the "real" effect of having a bit of shadow in a picture.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Revisited


I had to go to three different stores to find an important ingredient for the Chicken Scallopine with Artichokes & Spinach I wanted to make.

I came home to a birthday "surprise" waiting for me on the table:

Two cards and a frozen 21 lb turkey from my spouse. Apparently turning 40 is an occasion that calls for large bits of frozen poultry.

Dinner was divine - if I do say so myself, ask me for the recipe sometime.

The cake - carrot of course with cream cheese frosting, and lots of it. Instead of adding eggs and oil to the boxed mix, I used a can of pureed pumpkin instead, tossed in the requisite raisins and walnuts and one cup of water. Yum - very moist and less guilty feelings for the mile high cream cheese with low-fat cake.

Garrett said "wow, you are really old now mom." To which I smartly replied "One day, you will be as old as me." (as per suggestion) His reply? "Yes, but you'll probably be dead."

For post dinner festivities, my youngest threw up on me.

OH - and best of all, I get to go home to Colorado for a few days after Thanksgiving - Yippee!!

Happy Birthday!

My kids informed me that I am officially old and that "half my life" is now over.

Hmmmm, I don't think I will share my cake with them. :0)

Me when I was a lot cuter with not as much hair.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Special

I want to start putting up a picture every Sunday taken during the week. Nothing fancy - just something like this picture I took of Sadie today. I thought it was a sweet photo. So every Sunday, a new photo. Maybe I'll write a little too - don't know for sure yet, but there will be a new photo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Better Late Than Never - Halloween 2008

I freely admit I am a wee bit tardy with the photos from Halloween. I could lay out some sob story tale of woe of sick kids with runny noses, car troubles and my own current state of disease - but, cute pictures of cute kids are always way more fun!

A pleasant respite from the costumes of last year - these Halloween offerings did not take near as much time nor trouble. Smartest thing I ever did was let go of the ideal that we needed a "theme". Wizard of Oz was fun last year, and the kids were darn cute - but trying to get all those costumes sewn left me feeling like I was being attacked by flying monkeys.

From youngest to oldest:


Originally going to be a frog. (Adam really likes "fwoggies") Perusal of listings on e.Bay for ideas uncovered incredible deal with free shipping on Zebra costume. Mom shouted "Sold!" and the postal service conveniently took care of the details. Cute and warm - the costume was both functional as well as fun. Nate took to candy quite handily. See picture below.


Pirate of the High Seas. His costume took the most effort. Shirt, vest, belt and pants were thrift store finds gleaned from the girls' section. Store bought hat and sword. His "buckle" shoes are actually dress shoes bought on clearance from Wal.mart. Also wearing Sadie's knee socks. Mom had to "cuff" pants (size 6 girls - let down the "cuff" afterward and Sadie has a pair of capris now - oh how I love 2 for 1's!). Shirt and vest had to be "cut down" to size. Basically I just cut the sleeves off, shortened the shirt; trimmed side seams and recut the arms. Sewed it back together and "voila!" one ruffly pirate shirt! The hat was also a bit goofy - so I just took it from a tricorne hat to a four corner style. (It fit and looked better)


A princess, of course! Recycled princess dress from Halloween's past. Made this dress for Jessica when she was about Sadie's age. Fabric recycled from awful pink bridesmaid dress and matched with clearance light weight decor fabric. Sparkly silver sandals and plastic "jewelry" and tiara complete the look.


Originally wanted to be a flying ninja monkey. Ummm, okay - mom's brain short circuiting with mental gyrations trying to figure that one out. Settled for Ninja Warrior. All I had to do was sew a tunic and come up with a sash. A black turtleneck and pants serve as good base; add a plastic sword and we're in business! By the time the trick or treating was done, the sword was snapped in two. I can't say I wasn't expecting that.


50's girl, Bobbie Soxer. This one was also easy. Thrift store sweater paired with poodle skirt made by mom's mom for high school play. (How much does this depress me that I use to be able to fit into that skirt? 27 inch waist people - 27 inches! sob I only had to adjust about an inch for Jess' 25.5 inch waist) Add a pair of white sneakers and of course, requisite bobbie socks and pearls; tie a scarf around pony tail. (Nathan was unhappy that Jess put him down and refused to stay out of the picture - so that is why there is a screaming zebra in the photo.)


Okay, Trent. Well, Trent didn't have a costume - so he was himself - or rather, a member of the pep band because he had to be at a football game Halloween night. I discovered some "self-portraits" when I downloaded the photos off the digital camera. Ummm - well, I will let you decide for yourself - I'm not sure what he is doing here.

Some Group Shots


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Posse 2008

Jack O'Lantern time!!

This picture cracks me up - the chef's knife poised, ready to strike the unsuspecting gourd; Garrett pulling out pumpkin guts and Trent holding back Sadie - who looks truly horrified by such goings-on. (Honest - this wasn't posed! Sadie is actually mad because she wanted to be first to rip out pumpkin guts and Trent was pulling her off Garrett's pumpkin. Matt with the knife was just a bonus photo element!)

Soon, Sadie gives in to the dark side and begins scooping out pumpkin guts also. The look on her face is priceless!

As you can see, the kids had their work cut out for them These pumpkins produced a lot of seeds and pumpkin pulp!

Trent was a reluctant participant - preferring his tome to de-pulping pumpkins. Adam tried to get him involved in the activity.

Adam: "Here Trent, have a pumpkin!"

Trent: "Uhhhhhhh, thanks?"

Trent was not the only one who felt this activity was disgusting and refused to engage.

Nathan: "Ewwwwwwwwwwww!"

However, scribbling on a small gourd with crayons is always fun . . . helps you to forget the fact you just dribbled chocolate milk all down the front of your shirt.

"Hmmmmmmmm; Garrett is wrong - these do NOT taste like Chicken!"

Jessi seemed to be enjoying herself. Perhaps she has a bit of a sadistic streak regarding squash or she just knew I was taking her picture at the moment!

The artiste at work . . .

Adam was another participant who refused to get his hands "dirty", preferring instead to inspect the work of everyone else to make sure it was done to code.

Adam:"It's a thankless job, but someone has to do it! Nobody mention the word union!"

(Garrett: "Union??")

The Gourd Group and their completed works of art. (Yes, that would be 3 kitty pumpkins there and one melting face.)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

n June 0f 1995, I joined the millions of women affected by pregnancy and infant loss. Since that time I have endured 6 more losses - and while so very early on in pregnancy, were no less devastating due to their brevity.

In 1986, then President Ronald Reagan signed his name to a proclamation stating the month of October to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Following suit in 2005, Congress passed a bill proclaiming the 15th of October to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In current years this day and month are marked by Remembrance Walks, Prayer Ceremonies and many other rituals meant to help healing, spread awareness and engender compassion.

Anyone touched by the tragedy of losing a child - whether in infancy, at birth, beyond or before knows how life altering and devastating the experience is. They would have been sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends - that we did not get to know them more fully in this life is truly a loss.

Always Remembered . . .


Monday, September 15, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away . . .

Sunday morning we awoke to this:

This is the field directly behind our house. You can see our chainlink fence and playset in some of the pictures. We figured the water was about 12-13 inches deep. The wind was blowing and created "waves" across this expanse of water. It did not come up into our yard however (we have a significant rise up from the lower portion of the yard to where the house actually sits) and later that afternoon had run mostly off. The storm drains and creeks nearby were just completely overwhelmed with several inches of rain in a very short period of time. The rain stopped about noon on Sunday and the drains had a chance to catch up a bit.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mother Regrets

I planned on reading you many books

I never planned on yelling so much

I was going to be the coolest mom ever

You would remember days spent at the park, the zoo, the library

I was never going to be too tired

If I had made half the outfits I planned on sewing you - there wouldn't have been enough days in the year to wear them all

You would always know how smart and amazing you are

There were going to be many days we made cookies together

I was never going to be impatient

I would listen twice as much as I talked

I was never going to be cross

There were always going to be crayons and playdough

There were going to be lots of games

I never thought there would be days I didn't know the right thing to do, or say

Everything you drew would be a masterpiece and carefully preserved

I would never be too busy

Music and laughter would always fill the air

I would dry your tears, not be the cause of them

I would never forget how precious you are

I would never forget to thank God every day for you

I would never wish you would just grow up

You would never doubt how much I love you

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wow! That went by fast!

Summer, that is.

This morning we got up bright and early (6:15 am anyone?) and off to school we went. Trent left earliest for Marching Band Practice. I'm not sure he was entirely awake as you can see by the picture below.

Since it was Sadie's very first, first day of school, I made her a special first day of school outfit. I only had to stay up until midnight to finish it. She is my skirt girl - for years she refused to wear pants of any kind, saying "Princesses do not wear pants!" We finally convinced her that some Princesses do and she will condescend to wear a pair now and then. Of course, for her very first day of school she had to have a skirt - and not just any skirt. Oh no! That would not do for my Sadie. She had to have a very special skirt - cupcakes and polka dots and lots of pink. You can't see it because it is under her jacket, the part that had me up really late was actually the t-shirt. I got one of those jeweled iron-ons in the shape of a cupcake to match, because it was supposed to be easy. Yeah, right. It took almost 45 minutes of alternately pressing, cooling, waiting and trying to peel off the cover and repeating this process to get all the little sparkly jewel things to finally stick to her shirt. Yeesh - I think I could have glued them all individually faster . . . but eventually they all finally stuck, save one, and I called it good and went to bed.

School lunches went up considerably this year and with four of them in school, seemed a bit excessive. So we decided to 'brown bag" it. Given it has been many years since we have needed to purchase a lunch box, I was a bit shocked by how much they all cost and how small most of them are! Ten dollars for Care Bears with a cheap plastic zipper that is going to break the first week? I found a few lock down type storage boxes on clearance for $1.50 each (wahoo!) that were the perfect size and with a few of my smallest storage containers we made our own Bento style lunch boxes. When I packed them this morning, I was rather impressed with how nicely everything goes in - neat and protected from squashing. They didn't have handles though and so with some fabric, webbing, and a thermal insulating drape, I made them lunch bags to carry their boxes in. The kids were really excited about them - though, I am guessing Trent won't bother to use his much being in Jr. High and all, lunch bag made by mom - not so 'cool' you know. I found what is called an "ice blanket" that fit well into the bottom of the box and didn't take up too much space. That coupled with the insulating liner out of the drape should keep things quite nicely for the kids. You can see the bags in the picture - Sadie and Garrett are both holding theirs.

Does it make me a bad mommy if I say it was rather nice to put 2/3 of my children on a bus this morning and send them off to school?

I did get teary eyed after the last kid rode away; perhaps that will improve your opinion. So now what do I do with myself? Given that Nathan is currently poking my sewing machine cord into a cereal bar, I am pretty confident I am not going to have to wonder for too long.

Four down, two in four more years to go . . . !

P.S. This last picture made me weepy. ***sigh***