Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I completely forgot to write about this when it happened, and was reminded of it when Tyler was telling someone how he grew a giant watermelon this summer. So here I shall record it for posterity:

Last summer, Tyler planted himself a watermelon patch. The garden this year was all over the place, crazy-overgrown but not very productive. Somehow his watermelon didn't really take off (might have something to do with the monster squash vines that invaded the place). It grew, but slowly. Never did it form even a single watermelon, but every day Tyler religiously checked for one. He had such huge faith that it would produce a big watermelon. He told everyone of the watermelon he was growing. Except there was no watermelon growing. After a point, I knew that nothing was going to magically appear on the vine. I decided to take matters in my own hands and make the magic happen. I bought a big ol' watermelon from H-Mart and nestled it in his watermelon patch. When he went to check, lo and behold he found himself a watermelon! A big giant watermelon! And he was none the wiser, despite the fact that the watermelon was in no way attached to the vine. I did, however, remove the sticker to boost the street cred of the melon. It worked, and he is still telling people about it so I suppose it was $6 well spent. Besides, it will make a great story for him to tell his kids someday!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Katie's Hip: Good News!

I about 2 minutes from falling asleep but I wanted to post a quick update about Katie's hip: she had her x-rays done and looked at by her fabulous orthopaedic surgeon today and he said they look great! As in, the only person who could tell difference between her hips and normal hips would be someone who looks at a zillion x-rays a day. She is still very loose-jointed which is normal for kids with dysplasia but he said that will tighten up over time. I really wish you could meet the doctor. He is like the absent minded professor, and indeed today he was kneeling on his chair and spinning around as he talked to us. Awesomeness. But the real awesomeness is Katie's hips! I told her when we were trekking across the parking garage "Do you know how many times I have prayed for God to make your hips better??" and she said "How many?" (Time for a lesson on rhetorical questions, my darling) and I said "I don't know how many times, but lots!!" She gets to go back in 2 years, which considering it took us 2 hours to make the normally 30 minute drive home makes me very happy. I have had my fill of driving for the day. I got lost (thanks to my GPS: I think I sat in gridlock so long it fell asleep and missed warning me of my exit til I was 300 feet past it.) and had to call my brother 2 times. It was hilarious because after the first time, I hung up and said 'I love my brother!' and Katie said 'What? Uncle Nate is your brother???' Um, yes. News flash!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'll Take Random Randomness For $200 Alex

Here are a few random pictures from the last few weeks:

Child labor: Tyler increased the efficiency of the shoebox operations by using his wagon

At the ripe old age of 8, James is a pro at this and is our official stacker.

If I play my cards right, they will be able to take over operations shortly.

And they would certainly look cute doing it!

Resting after I worked them like rented mules. Ha!

Moving on to other things, after watching a show about a circus the kids decided to have a circus of their own and busted out the vintage clown costume Mom made for me when I was a wee lass. The costume is pretty much epic, with oversized spray-painted canning lids for buttons. 

Believe it or not, this is not circus related. Going with a long standing tradition originating with Auntie Rachel, Katie dressed up with the Christmas tree skirt. She accessorized with a Dr. Seuss hat and an elf nose (she taped a Lincoln log to her nose)

And behold, a giant spoon! I can't explain why I love this so much. When I saw it, alone and forlorn in the corner of Home Goods, it called to me. Somehow I convinced myself to buy it and I LOVE it! The kids and I giggle about it almost every day. Giant spoon!

It looks quite classy with my ornate chandelier, no?

P.S. You read that right. We have begun decorating for Christmas. Because we can.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quotable Quotes

Yesterday we were on our way to Farm Hands and Katie was having a conniption about socks. She had spent the morning with Grammy and had worn her flip flops. Yes, it is November. But she is so MY child. Anywho, I brought along a pair of rubber boots and a pair of James' socks. I thought I was doing her a favor, because her socks are ankle socks and I didn't think they'd be comfy. She didn't share that view. You would have thought it was the end of the world. Finally, I offered her the socks off my own feet. (I was hoping she didn't take me up on it!) She looked at me like I was crazy. I told her they were from Chappy and they might be more comfy than James' socks. I will admit my ulterior motive was to just get her to put on the dang socks already! She lamented that they would be too big, and James kindly piped in with quite a gem:
But Katie, Chappy is old and people shrink when they get old so they might fit you!
I whispered this story to Dad in church and I thought he might bust a hamstring there for a second from trying not to laugh out loud. And FYI: she went sockless and has the blister to prove it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Tyler helping me cook

And taste test. Wearing the apron Mom made me when I was a young whippersnapper.

Katie sporting the new dress and leggings I made her.

The kids sporting the shoebox costumes I wrangled them into wearing. I made 4 of these costumes this year to promote Operation Christmas Child and at first I had trouble getting volunteers to wear them. Now I have kids begging to wear them! :)

A peek at some dresses I am listing in Rachel and I's up-and-slowly-coming Etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Loose In The Nursing Home

On Halloween our preschool co-op decided take a trip to a local nursing home. We got together and gave the kids a little speech about what to expect. It was hilarious. My kids knew where we were going and (mostly) what to expect, but apparently some of the other kids weren't so clear. 

One of the moms asked them where we were going. One kid shouted out 'The pumpkin patch!' and a few others showed their excitement over the prospect. No, kids, the only thing a nursing home has in common with a pumpkin patch is that the residents move about as fast as pumpkins. Or not.

She asked again, and another kid suggested 'to the bounce place!' At this point, us moms were laughing pretty hard. Boy, were they in for a surprise. She told them we were going to a nursing home (talk about bait and switch! ;) and that we were bringing them a present. She asked what we needed when we were sick, and some wise-cracker shouted out 'Candy!' Another strike for you, buddy.

Not only are we not going to the pumpkin patch or the bounce house, we are not handing out candy. We are handing out.....tissues!! Three cheers for Kleenex! At this point, the kids were starting to bounce off the (non-bouncy) walls and we were beginning to question the wisdom of taking a herd of hyped-up preschoolers to a nursing home. 

But we did, and it was great. They loved handing out the little packages of tissues they had decorated to the residents. There was a little bit of apprehension (and let's face it, a nursing home can be kind of scary) but they did good. It was no surprise that the residents LOVED it and I was thrilled knowing that the little parade would make their day. (I used to work in a retirement home and know what this kind of thing means to an elderly person) 

They were all patiently and impatiently lining the halls to wait for us to come their way. A few even had bowls of candy to give to the kids. Some of them were chomping at the bit, sending the message down the halls 'When are they coming our way???' 

We took a brief tour through an activity room where most of the people were slumped over and staring or sleeping and Tyler kind of freaked out (and I was freaking out in my head...because now that I am an adult the reality that someday I will be old is a little more real, and I really don't want to end up drooling at a table somewhere holding a stuffed bear, but I digress). Fortunately we were almost done at that point because I think the kids were getting overwhelmed.

On the way out we got to meet Mr. Gus who is a friend of a friend's dad or something like that. He was cute and we got him to pose for a picture. I was really glad my kids didn't make any loud remarks about his lack of appendage. I think they were more interested in the fact that one of the workers was standing at the ready with a bag of candy for them. So overall, it was lovely, and not a disaster. I am sure the residents were thrilled and it was good to be able to make them smile! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Last night as I was tucking Tyler into bed, he looked into my eyes and sang me a song. My favorite part? "Honey is so yummy, and Mommy is so yummy, and I love her so much". And this morning I came up to get something and peeked in to see Katie, eyes wide open and singing "How Great Thou Art" with all her heart. So stinkin' sweet! She has also nearly memorized the song 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) by Matt Redman and loves to sing it together with me. These kids of mine are pretty darn spectacular!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Spontaneous Adventure

We went on a spontaneous adventure today, which in my opinion is better than spontaneously combusting. Approximately 4 minutes before we had to go to the bus stop to pick up the gremlins, I decided to throw everyone's bikes in the back and go to the park. There is a nice park nearby that has a 2 mile paved trail around a lake. I managed to squeeze all 4 of our bikes in the truck for our first ever all-of-us-on-bikes trip. It was also the first time I've really been on a bike in, oh, a million years or so. It struck me while we were peddling along that I wasn't in charge of pushing/pulling or otherwise cajoling anyone but myself. The kids rode fast enough that I didn't think I would go backward, and they had no major crashes. If only Katie and Tyler can get on board with the whole 'LOOK IN FRONT OF YOU!!!' thing instead of looking off to the side and riding into the weeds. Although that does make for some pretty stellar entertainment. I am pretty sure when people see Tyler speeding along he looks likes some sort of mini-Evil Knievel flying along. He even honked at some guy walking past (by making a loud honking noise) and the guy said it was the best honk he had heard in a long time.

P.S. Yesterday was Katie's annual CHOP appointment for her hip. She was dreading it, and I was too because it just so happened to fall on Election Day, which is a school holiday in these here parts. It you need me to be more specific, that means I had to take all three...count 'em....three kids with me. Oh, the joys. I armed myself with various junky snacks we never buy and new sketchbooks for everyone. Then I gave myself a rousing pep talk which was somewhat effective. I loaded 'em up and took off for the big city, the land of brotherly shove, also known as Filthadelphia. After sitting in traffic and driving along those blasted concrete barriers that I am sure are only about 4 inches from the side of the car, we arrived in the vicinity of CHOP. At some point, Katie had begun to complain that she didn't feel good which isn't all that unusual. Usually she is hungry/thirsty/tired and that can be fixed. However, when we were only a few blocks from CHOP she threw up. It was pretty awesome because...hello! Three kids in the car who would rather be home, driving narrow city streets that dodge in and out of high rises and lots of hipsters weaving about on bikes...and no parking whatsoever. I ended up passing Katie my sweater to clean things up and drove back home. And a good time was had by all. Or not.