My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I just ate an entire plate (6, I think) of chocolate chip cookies.

Rush Hour

Between 7:15 and 7:45 am is rush hour around here.

It is also the time, apparently, to make some noise.  After a good 10 hours of silence (while sleeping), and before hours of having to be relatively quiet at school, the kids feel the need to get it all out!

Here are some of things going on during rush hour today:

Savannah practicing the piano.

Rebecca folding a big pile of laundry in the middle of the family room, while singing the national anthem at the top of her lungs.

Caleb whistling, rapping, or opera singing, alternately, while he wandered around wrapped in a blanket “looking” for a clean uniform shirt.

Jonah repeatedly pushing the button on the Handy Manny tool box to hear it play the theme song.

Simon throwing a kicking, screaming, fit… first because he had to have his pants changed, and then because I couldn’t feed him fast enough.

Everyone needing me to sign their planners and reading logs.

Everyone trying to pack their lunches while Jonah chased them around with a lightsaber.

Some people complaining that they were still hungry because they didn’t like the millet cereal I cooked for breakfast.

Most people (at some point) tattling on Josh for tooting.

And me, somehow still smiling, taking some Excedrin!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


How can one little boy be so exasperating and so charming at the same time?


When Caleb was born, I fell head-over-heels in love with him.  Which was a relief, because I had wondered if I could possibly love a baby boy as much as I loved my baby girls.  Yep.

From day one he has been all BOY- through and through.  He wanted to wear a tie like his dad before he turned 2.  He tried to sing in a manly voice like his dad.  He was a natural at anything athletic.  And he never stopped moving.

He is still full  overflowing with energy!  Everything he chooses to do, he does with 100 percent of his body- mind, muscle and heart.

The problem is… we rarely agree on what is worth his attention.  He fights me on bathing and brushing his teeth.  He fights me on chores and homework.  He fights me about getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.  He pushes and pushes until I think I may lose my mind.


He can’t figure out why I care if he throws rocks into the road when cars are coming.  Or what the big deal is about getting sent to the principal’s office.  He really doesn’t get why he got in trouble for playing so rough that he made the 5 year old neighbor kid cry.

I worry that he’s going to be a person that has to learn life lessons the hard way.

And yet… even as I type this post, he wants to talk about this really cool treasure hunt he is dreaming up.  And last night he spent an hour trying to memorize Dragon Hieroglyphics from his new Dragonology book.  He asked if I thought he was the only one in the world that could read their language.  I wanted to squeeze him and kiss him, but instead I told him he was probably the only human who could.

He is smart and funny and handsome and independent.  He has great ideas and is a hard worker.

I ask again… How can one little boy be so exasperating and so charming at the same time?

I guess maybe that is what being a parent is about.  It is frustrating and rewarding, exciting and mundane, painful and peaceful.   I guess maybe we have to taste the bitter so that we know to prize the good.  Maybe that is what being a person is all about.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sick babies

Having a sick baby definitely has it’s downsides.

Goopy eyes and nose, changing runny diapers 5 times a day, whining and crying all day, etc. etc.

But I have to say that when the exhausted baby cuddles up in my lap for a few moments to watch Elmo, (something that he is normally much too busy for) I can’t help but love it just a little bit!


photo courtesy of Jonah

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jeff of all trades

You would think that after 13 years of marriage, I would be used to it.  But Jeff never ceases to amaze me.  He can do anything!

This weekend he began a major and long-term kitchen remodel.  Here’s what he did:  first, he removed cabinets, walls and ceiling.  He moved a gas line.  He re-did some electrical stuff, including adding recessed lighting.  He framed.  He re-insulated.   He dry walled (if that can be used as a verb).  And probably did a few other things that I’m not even aware of.

After all of that, somehow I was the one feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.  When I went to bed last night, there was plastic covering everything, insulation and dust all over the floor, the fridge and the microwave were in the family room… you get the picture. 

When I woke up this morning, everything was returned to its proper place.  The kitchen was sparkling clean, and there were fresh cut roses in a vase on the counter!  You see why I am amazed? What a man!

Here is an update on the kitchen.  Like I said, it will be a long project.


Off the subject:

Jonah has learned to dial my cell phone number.  Today I left him home for the 5 minutes that it takes me to pick up my kids at the corner after school.  He said as I left “I’ll just call you if I need to tell you something.”  I told him to only call if it was really important. 

While I was gone I got 2 calls from Jonah.  One was to tell me that Simon had three teeth.  The other was to tell me that Pluto was the furthest planet from the sun.  That’s why it is the coldest.  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Romantic Getaways…Evolved

In honor of Simon no longer being so dependant on me, (I stopped nursing him last month) Jeff and I decided to take a weekend getaway. My visions started off with us snowmobiling through Yellowstone… something I’ve always wanted to do. I decided that that would waste too much of our precious time in traveling there and back. Snowmobiling would be just as fun in Flagstaff.

So we lined up my very brave and slightly indebted to us sister Lindsey to watch the kids. The week before our trip, Jeff came up with the idea that the kids could go away, and we could stay here and work on our kitchen remodel. And so that became our new plan for our romantic getaway.

I have to say, it has been every bit as relaxing, less expensive, and more productive! I don't think I'll choose it every time... but it's been a great weekend!

This is us when we were dating, dreams of romance dancing in our heads:

dating portrait

This is real life:



PS I forgot to mention that Jeff’s super handy and fun brother Doug joined us!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This is a picture of my cute mom with some of her BFFs.

Copy of kathywed 043

To me, these are my youth leaders and camp advisors from church. They have always been around. They are the ladies that throw the bridal showers and baby showers. They show up to help with wedding receptions every time. They are the flower arrangers, decorators, caterers and all-round right-hand ladies. And they always take my mom to lunch on her birthday.

My mom was never one who needed much “girl time.” I don’t remember her doing anything with friends… except birthday lunches. They were faithful about those. I remember thinking how sad it was that she didn’t ever hang out with her friends, as much as she seemed to love them.

Now I totally get it. I am in the phase of my life where my family requires 100 percent of my time and energy. Girl time is not high on my list of priorities, or even possibilities.

And yet, I feel like I have found my future BFFs. Once a month, after the kids are in bed, we meet for book club. We read all sorts of books; classics, self-helps, biographies, fun and frivolous. And every month we have a good, long, thought-provoking discussion about what we’ve read. At least the conversation begins with the book… and I end up staying out way too late for my own good.

I love to hear the insights and ideas of these women that I consider so wise and wonderful. No matter what book we read, I always come away from our discussions feeling enriched and uplifted.

I really hope that these will be the leaders and advisors for my children. I hope that these ladies will let me throw bridal showers for their daughters in a few years, and that they will need my help with wedding receptions. To me, I guess that is the sign of a long, established friendship.

In the meantime, I sure look forward to book club and birthday lunches!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some Christmas favorites

Here are a few random pictures of our Christmas, mostly of interest to Grandparents, probably.  Don’t bother trying to figure out what I was thinking with this picture arrangement…  The computer has a mind of its own!


We made our Gingerbread houses with real Gingerbread this year.  It made the house smell yummy!



The kids like to sleep “under the Christmas tree” at least once during the season.  I love that Josh is already crying about something!  The picture captured what it is really like!


IMG_2785 We took a vote, and decided to go Ice Skating on Christmas Eve.  Everyone did great!  A few minor bruises and some freezing and crying and quitting  toward the end, but all in all a successful family outing.


We had a fancy Christmas Eve dinner…complete with Sparkling Cider.  Ham and mashed potatoes, on our finest paper plates!IMG_2826

Rebecca’s favorite gift…her cell phone, hands down!

Savannahs favorite?  Either the camera that she had forgotten she wanted, or the new boots.


IMG_2863 Caleb’s had lots of best gifts.  The remote control car, and a whole stocking full of magic tricks!




Josh’s favorite would probably be the remote control car, but the book of poems was unexpectedly funny.


IMG_2862 Jonah loved the punching bag until his big brothers popped it on Christmas morning.  But the best, most enduring gifts have been the sunglasses and the dollar store harmonica.  He kept track of them all during our travels to Thatcher and Tucson!

Simon’s favorite is definitely the new swing for the porch!


Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here is what happens when the boys get a hold of my camera.  They think these are hilarious!

IMG_2897 IMG_2912





Good times.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday Simon!

Also known as Simonater and Mr. Minater, Simon turns 1 year old today!


Things Simon loves:

A BIG bowl of oatmeal in the mornings

His brothers and sisters


“Popcorn Popping” and “Mark it with a B”

Splashing in the tub

Machines… like airplanes, lawnmowers, cars, etc. If it looks like he can ride it or drive it, he loves it!


Some things we love about Simon:

His one and only tooth

His juicy kisses

His size. He’s chubby, but tiny and lightweight. It makes him still feel like a baby. (18 lbs., 13 oz. - 28 1/2 in. tall)

The fact that he’s FINALLY outgrowing the spit-up phase!


Some of his skills:

Cheering people up

Army crawling at about 90 mph

Pointing and clapping

Pulling things out of cupboards

Playing catch… he can throw pretty well!

He can say Hi and Uh-Oh. I’ve heard it a couple of times, but once he figures out that he can say it, he’s not interested in ever saying it again.


We love you Simon!

Monday, January 4, 2010

One Word

I have a resolution this year that can be summed up in one word.  Are you ready for it?


That’s it.  I was thinking of all the possible resolutions that I could set, and the list was long and exhausting.  I decided that I don’t want to make an official list of things I must do… or at least feel guilty for not doing.  That doesn’t inspire me at all.

Instead, I will choose to do the things that I enjoy.  And, since that is not always possible,  I will choose to enjoy the things that I must do.

I want to enjoy how it feels to exercise and eat healthy foods.  I want to plant a garden and trees and flowers because I enjoy those things.  And most of all, I want to enjoy being surrounded by my family. 

And so I say, with  a deep, cleansing breath… Welcome, 2010!  I’m going to enjoy you!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Tummy

Jonah says to me every few days, including today:

“Mom!  You’re growing a new baby in your tummy!”

No, Jonah.  There’s no baby in there right now.

“Then how come you have such a fat tummy?”

How many ways can I answer that question?