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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Running Lessons


The other day Jeff was giving Jonah some pointers on how to run faster.  Lean forward a little, keep the weight on your toes, etc.  Jonah was faithfully practicing by running up and down the hall, applying the new principles.

Apparently he was feeling pleased with the results, because he decided to sign up for a full course of lessons.  He made this list himself and excitedly presented it to his dad, who he planned would be the teacher.

“Look Mom and Dad!  I signed up for running lessons!”

Josh Davis - Work Samples - November 3 018

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lessons learned

There is way too much poo-poo in my life right now.  And I mean that in the most literal sense of the word.  This potty training business is not going as quickly as I would like.


This is where I have been spending much of my time.  I have learned, or re-learned, a couple of things:

1. Bouncy balls and match box cars are not good things to play with while sitting on the pot.  Somehow they always fall in.

2. One should never position herself directly in front of a little boy who is new to the technique of “pointing it down.”

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I’m not that mom

summertime meeting 006

Yesterday was Savannah’s synchronized swimming meet.  She did great, and I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures.  (This is an old one.)  The meet was in Tucson, so we spent Friday night at my mom’s house.

At 6:30 am I woke Savannah up to get ready, and she came to the realization that she had forgotten BOTH OF HER SWIMSUITS!  We had a moment of panic, but decided to just hope that some teammate would have suits she could borrow.

We were in luck.  One friend had an extra black suit, and another girl loaned her a freezing, wet warm-up suit when she wasn’t using it.

For a minute I wished that I was the mom who packed her daughter’s bag for her.  I wished I had gone over the check-list personally, and planned ahead for “what-ifs.” 

There were a lot of lucky girls there who had moms like that.  They had plenty of fresh, dry towels.  They had sweat pants when it was cold in the morning, and sunscreen for later in the day.  They had extra bobby pins, nose-clips, and make-up.

I wished it for a minute, and then I realized: that’s not what I believe in.   I believe in letting my kids do for themselves as much as they can.  I believe in giving them responsibilities, and letting them learn from their own consequences.  (I don’t think Savannah will ever forget her swimsuits again!)

I watched as some of those lucky girls were getting their hair done by there generous mothers.  Most of them didn’t appreciate the sacrifices their moms had made.  Instead of “ Thanks, mom, for spending your whole day here trying to help me,”  I heard things like “Ouch! Stop poking me!”  To Savannah’s credit, she was nothing but nice and appreciative of everything I did.

That day reconfirmed to me the value of letting my kids learn to take care of themselves.  I may not be making their lives super easy for them right now, but I hope that the gift I am giving will be even more valuable.  As they learn responsibility, they also gain confidence in themselves and gratitude for the sacrifices of others.

At least that’s how I see it working in my mind. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Better late than never

Caleb’s birthday comes at a very busy time of year.  It’s right around Thanksgiving.  And then it’s December… and Christmas… and New Year’s… and back to school.  So that is my excuse for just barely getting around to throwing him a birthday party.

He wanted high adventure, and I think that’s exactly what he got.

Here’s how it went: 

-friends arrive, get their hand “scanned” (with the copy machine) to determine their clearance

-obstacle course to determine physical capabilities

-present opening.  Robin, Conner, Eric, Wyatt


- The last gift was an envelope that had 3 pieces of paper in it.  The first said “Your mission, should you choose to accept it: decode the clues. follow clues to diffuse the bomb. don’t get killed by snipers.  The second paper was a bunch of nonsense letters.  Unreadable without a decoder.  The third paper looked blank, but was really the code key written in lemon juice.  They had to heat the paper to learn how to translate the clues.

-Jeff helped everyone get suited up and armed them with air soft guns.


-The “team” had to follow clues and decode them, while being shot at by 2 teenage snipers who took their job seriously!  The boys strategized, covered each other, and got the job done.  It took longer than I anticipated, which means I did a good job!

-Finally they made it to the “bomb",” which was a round cake with a sparkler in the top.  As Jeff was lighting it, he slipped a couple of fireworks in it too, so the bomb actually exploded, blowing the top off the cake!


-Of course I had another cake in the kitchen, but all the boys wanted a piece of the blown up one.

-The rest was free time for just shooting, shooting, shooting and more shooting.

The girls couldn’t figure out why in the world anybody would want people to shoot at them for their birthday?  All I could tell them is that boys are a bit of a mystery in that way.  Everyone seemed to have a great time!

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The destroying angel

You’ve probably heard of the destroying angel from the Bible.  Have you ever wondered what he looked like?


It’s the face of an angel, all right.  And in fact, he is an angel.  He is so sweet and loving and fun to have around.

But wow!  He leaves a wake of destruction wherever he goes.  He loves to dump things out and then get handfuls of blocks, game pieces… whatever he’s just dumped, and throw them into the air.  Just for fun.  Or sometimes he likes to throw them as hard as he can at my face.  With a look of sheer joy on his face.

He is constantly getting all the cups out of the cupboard (at least it was constant until Jeff put locks on the cupboards today… ) and filling them with water from the drinking fountain.  Some of the water he drinks, some he throws into the air just to see it fall.  Again, with that look of sheer joy!


One of his most favorite haunts is the refrigerator.  He loves to help himself to “hogogs” all day long.   I took this picture right after I had swept up the bag of shredded cheese he had just dumped out, and thrown away the bowl of popcorn that had a cup of water dumped in it.

When I tried to take away some of the hotdogs, he wouldn’t even listen to my lecture on well-balanced snacking.  He spit out the one he was chewing into my face and started jabbing me repeatedly with another one.

So far, the Israelite solution to the destroying angel- putting lamb’s blood over the front door- hasn’t worked for us.  The mop across the fridge is only marginally effective:


It’s a good thing he’s so darn cute.  Otherwise I might start feeling like he’s a lot of trouble!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Before I picked the kids up from school, I decided I better write out my afternoon schedule.   Without a master plan, there was a great danger of me forgetting someone or something.  This is what it looked like:

2:45 Get kids

3:30 Put lasagna in the oven

4:00 Josh to scouts

4:15 Savannah to activity days

4:45 Jonah to basketball

5:00 Pick up Savannah; Josh rides bike to basketball

5:15 Garlic bread in the oven

5:45 Pick up Jonah; send Becca on bike for Josh

5:55 ish Dinner/quality family time

6:20 Caleb to scouts at ice rink

6:50 Becca and me to mutual

8:00 Caleb gets a ride home

8:30 Me and Becca home

I am proud (and perhaps a bit surprised) to report that nobody was late to anything!  That is especially surprising considering that I got 3 calls from kids’ friends needing last minute rides to various activities.  And I even had time to search for lost shoes and water bottles, and time to run to Walmart for a new basketball!

I’m glad I have a whole week before Wednesday rolls around again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Simon

My baby turned 2!


It’s hard to believe.  But then not so hard.  He really acts like he’s two.  Like this morning when he kept yelling NO!! in response to everything we said to him.

To celebrate, we went to the park and rode the choo-choo and the carousel.  He took it pretty seriously.

 _MG_3073 _MG_3045

Then we had cupcakes and he opened his present.  A little-people fire truck.

  _MG_3095 _MG_3101

Some things I love about Simon right now:

He repeats everything.  Including knock-knock jokes whose punchlines are about poop.

The way he throws his chubby arms around my neck and squeezes me tight and says “BIIII  HUG!”

The way his whole face lights up when he gets excited.

The way he gallops everywhere with his elbows cocked out to the sides.

I love the way he says “Can I Mom?  Can I?”  when he wants something.

I love that he sees himself as  just as big and capable as anyone else around here!

Happy Birthday little Simon!IMG_4312

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My chalkboard

I love it when a project turns out to be just as great as I had hoped and dreamed.  Such is the case with my chalkboard.


This is the door between my kitchen and laundry room.  I painted it first with magnetic paint (which didn’t work at all) and then chalkboard paint.  It serves as a message board, an ongoing list of purchase requests, and an easel.

Whenever someone asks me to buy something for them, I tell them to put it on my board.  When I go to the store next, I have a list all ready.

It makes me smile to walk by and see everyone’s handwriting.  Pickles for Becca, string cheeses for Savannah, frozen strawberries for Caleb, 3 minute pizzas (and a puppy) for Josh.  Jonah wrote DoGfooD there underneath the applesauce.  It’s his job to feed Lucy, you see, and she’s running low on food.  He feels quite powerful being able to write something important on the list, and have his request granted.  Even Simon likes to add his 2 cents.

Yes, that chalkboard was well worth the effort!  Maybe I should try finishing some of the other projects I have started?  Hmmm…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Five words

Last year, as a New Year’s resolution, I chose just one word.  Enjoy

Looking back, I think I did a pretty good job of it.  I really did keep it in mind all year, and made a conscious effort to enjoy my days.

This year, I can’t seem to find just one word that fits my need.  I’ve chosen a phrase instead.  Ready for the unveiling?

One thing at a time.

That’s it for this year.  I’m tired of feeling frustrated because I have “too many irons in the fire,” as my mother would say.  I can get overwhelmed to the point of feeling paralyzed before I actually do anything.

Lately Jeff and I have been reminding each other, when one of us is feeling paralyzed by the enormity of the amount of work to be done,  “Just pick one thing, and do it.”  It may sound simple, but for some reason I keep needing to be reminded.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished one thing at a time!

I’m looking forward to being focused and productive in 2011.  One thing at a time.