Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas detox? Well, it's not over yet....

I have LOADS of pictures to share with you...

But right now, we're still having fun.

Lots of it.

Lots of us.

2 more Christmas celebrations to go.

Few random thingys for you to read:

  • My phone will not charge.  It spent over 24 hours on the charger, and still barely 1 bar of battery. 
  • My point and shoot camera (A Christmas present from LAST year) won't take a charge either.
  • Lots of family in town.  This Christmas had a record number of siblings and their families here (as in, ALL of them!!!).
  • Thanks to my Christmas presents, I'm officially the queen of the kitchen.
  • I'm VERY sick of sugary foods and foods that aren't nutritionally dense.  They make me feel like crap.  Never thought I'd look forward to a new day when I could eat good-for-me foods.
  • Our University of Michigan plays a bowl game today- the kids are decked out in Maize and Blue!  Go Blue.

Peace out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

They're getting *it*

We've had some ice storms here in the Mitten State.
They are hazardous for travelers and walkers,
but if you have no where to go, it's quite beautiful.
Early Sunday morning, Dave got called out to plow.
They had to come and get him because we were literally iced in on our dirt road.

He stopped back home around 8am to grab some coffee and breakfast.
(he was complaining of stomach cramping from being so hungry)
The boys asked if they could join him in the truck.
I think he was glad for some company.
They returned home around 1pm
where I learned that for the last 2 hours, Dave had been horribly sick
with the stomach flu.
Yes, he was still plowing- with the stomach flu.
Anyway, he spent a few minutes in the bathroom, took a shower and went to bed.
I didn't see him for the next 15 hours.
Yesterday, we were talking about him getting sick, and he told me about what the boys said to him.
After his first bout if illness, he returned to the truck to find
our sons concerned about him.
C turns to him and said,
"Dad, I'm sorry you are sick.  While you were out there, A and I were in here praying for you."
Be still my mother's heart.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas pictures.

Oldest child

Middle child

Youngest child
Boys and their dog

All three of them
Photobombed by dog

My favorite pic of the night


Thursday, December 12, 2013


Dear A,

Today you are 10 years old.

You have completed the first DECADE of your life!

It's hard to believe that it was already 10 years ago that we first laid eyes on each other.

That was a long day....and night. You looked right at me and cried as if to say,

"WHOA!!! What just happened?!?!?!"

You looked like a little old man with a giant cone head.  (Note: giant...)

 But, at first sight....I was hooked.

You've had quite a decade, too.

A large extended family.

The first born son to carry on the family name.

A four generation picture:


I remember your first year well.

We were both learning our way.

Thanks for being such a good sport about my learning curve.

You loved hats and make believe.
You loved trucks, excavators and construction equipment.
You knew more about them than I did!
You were so cute in sleepers,
and didn't mind triple layering because we were living in swiss cheese.
You're a grandparent's kid.
To the core.
Your love for them is unparalleled.
I love that about you.
You love family time.
And adventures with your family.
Even though you frequently get car sick, you take it all in stride.
Or in sleep.
But you make the best of it
knowing that at the other side of the car ride, you'll have fun.
You've overcome sleep apnea
and insanely big tonsils and adenoids
(not to mention, you're a HOOT when doped up on pain meds)

You're quick with a smile

You're daddy's buddy,
and love being useful.
You have your daddy's work ethic brewing in you-
that will take you far in life.

You still love going to school everyday.
You love to learn new (interesting) things.
I hope you never loose that curiosity for interesting things.
I hope you never loose your love for that school.
And the people in it.
You have the BEST belly laugh.

You taught me how to be a "speechie mom"
And we met some amazing people along that journey.

You're a great big brother!
Even if they bug you and get in the way sometimes,
you still manage to be their biggest cheerleader.

You are a cuddler at the very core of your being.
You carried that blue blanket around the house every day for 4 years.
I miss those days cuddling with you and that blue blanket.

You love making new friends
And being "one of the boys"

 You love a good competition.
As a matter of fact, on more than one occasion, I've heard people call you
Captain Competition.

At the same time, you're not a sore looser either.
I appreciate that about you.
It shows that you have integrity.

When you enjoy something, it shows.
It really shows.

 A, I'm so thankful to be your mom.  You're tender heart reminds me to carry it with care.  Your hugs are endless, but your cuddles are starting to dwindle as you mature.  You've stopped calling me "mommy" and started calling me "mom."  As I look back on this decade....these TEN years, I see a lot of love and a lot of fun. 

I also look forward to what the next 10 years will bring.  I see lots of changes.  I want to bottle this time up so I never forget it.  Thank you for being a good sport when mom wants "one more picture."  Thank you for being who you are.  I hope you keep your tender heart- even if it means that sometimes you will get hurt, tender hearts are more lovable than sour hearts.  I hope that you will continue to pursue things that interest you.  I hope you will laugh.  Even when you want to cry. 

I hope you will always seek God first- in all you do.

I want you to know.... matter how big you get, matter how much you grow,

....whether your one decade old,

two decades old,

 or five decades old.....

you will ALWAYS be my baby.
You'll always be my bud.
So, while I may see this through my camera lens:

This is what my heart sees:

My sweet baby boy who always wanted to nap curled up under my chin.
Just in case you didn't get it before, let me say it again:
You look in the mirror and see this boy:

I see this one:

 Happy 10th Birthday, A!

We love you tons.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Growing up, I remember Christmas being such a magical time.
Everything was warm and cozy.
Everything was a celebration worthy of excitement and awe.
Curly hair, fancy dresses,
Good food.
Then I grew up,
Magic has been replaced by professional schedule juggling.
Christmas parties,
Regular obligations,
Birthday parties,
Sometimes I long for that youthful ignorance
The one that brings all the magic with it.
Then, on nights like tonight.
When the house is blissfully quiet.
All the lights are out, and I'm sitting here in the dark
With a coffee, a blanket and my dog.
Enjoying the lights of my tree.

I can feel magic.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Late night blog posts kinda feel like drunk dialing somebody.

I'm sitting here on my computer.

My house is quiet.

They're all in bed.

I've used up my lives on Candy Crush...darn you level 70!!!

And I think, "Self, I think you need to do a blog post."

And then I thought again...."Is that really a good idea, or are you bored?"

It kind of feels like drunk dialing...

.....sounds good at the time, but perhaps you'll do a little face palm in the morning.

(Not that I ever did that, but I have consoled a few friends through the morning after).

Anyway, some random facts:

- I have officially found a barrette that Baby L. will leave in her hair.  Too bad it doesn't stay in her hair on its own.

- I didn't do a monthly menu plan last month and grossly blew out the grocery budget.  I'm back to planning.

-  All of our Christmas decorations are up.  Well, the decorations that we're putting up this year are up.  There's a dozen boxes in the crawl space that aren't going to see the light of day for a few more years.

-  We're officially in the toddler-hood phase that I have dubbed, "Suicide watch."  This is my least favorite and my most favorite time in development.  She is so excited about everything she sees, touches, hears, tastes, etc.  It's fun to watch her explore.  But,'s exhausting.  She loves steps and power cords and dishwasher pellets and the toilet.  Keep it classy, L!

- Our calendar is quickly filling up for this month....and into next.  Having a child with a December birthday adds to the insanity.  But - whenever I think about how much it makes me crazy to add a birthday celebration in this month, I remember back to the time we were desperately trying to get pregnant.  How I didn't care when I was due...I just wanted a baby, a child.... And then, a December birthday doesn't seem so bad after all.

-  I know of (no, this is NOT an exaggeration either!) TWELVE people having surgery this month.  TWELVE!  Get it in before the deductible goes back up!  Or Obamacare decides to take another fateful turn in whichever direction....

-  I love it when you first meet someone, and you're like "yeah....I'm not sure how to read her."  And then, later, for some reason you're in a situation alone with this new friend, and you have the best conversation ever???  Then you think "geez...she's not so bad after all."  I love a happy ending.

- Baby L. thinks farts are funny.

- I am currently wearing a sock that had so many holes in the toes this morning, and somehow they've all melded into one giant hole.  Now, it looks like I'm wearing a leg warmer for my ankle.

-   I have discovered Rumchata.  You must try it.  But...don't.  Because my grocer cannot keep the shelf stocked.  And I'm sick of seeing an empty shelf.

-  The other day, Baby L. chucked a block at my head.  She hit my eyebrow in such a way that I have a nice bruise and it is really tender every time I touch it.

- Due to some unfortunate side affects of C's preventative asthma inhaler, we're going to start a different one.  We've been warned that there are always side effects to steroids, but hopefully this will be less than the other one.  Fingers crossed.

- I love hand-me-downs.  Especially nice ones.

-  I have decided that when we host people at our house, I will NOT make it spotless.  This is less about my crazed life, and more about public service.  I want to be a real person- with real faults...and I don't want anyone thinking they can't have me over because their mess would be too embarrassing.  See?  Public Service.

- A. and I had a power struggle tonight over 1 teaspoon of acorn squash.  ONE TEASPOON.  Not my finest parenting moment, but not my worst either.  Not his finest child moment...not his worst either.  Was just a difficult 90 minutes.  Over ONE TEASPOON.  One.lousey.teaspoon. (I know your question, and yes...he did measure it.)

-  It's not fun to be the parent and threaten something only to realize, "dangit, now I have to follow through!"  The follow-through is the hardest part.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Picture post

We hosted our first Thanksgiving this year!
The torch has officially been passed.
Kind of a funny story:
I was on the phone with my mom who was asking about gluten free ingredients
when I said,
"How about Dave and I host this year."
Quick response,
"Ok!  Sure, what do you want me to bring?"
Almost as if she's been waiting for a few years for me to pick up that torch.
Anyway, we were glad to host.
Dave and I spent most of the day in the kitchen together
and wrangling 3 kiddos
And we still love each other.
And the meal was "on time"
(read: about 15 minutes later than I planned...but I'm counting that as success)
We purchased a fresh turkey to start our hosting.
Brined it for 16 hours
roasted it for 5 1/2
Mmmmmmm, turkey.
(Also, I ordered a SMALL turkey from this farm.  Ended up with a 21 lb. turkey!)
Notice Dave's blurry hand....
...homey was enjoying some nibbles.  :)
All but 2 items on the table were gluten free.
These rolls: not gf.
But pretty.


My gf version of the rolls is below.
Not as pretty....
...but mighty tasty!!!

Blurry side dishes...
...but that doesn't make them any less yummy.

And just for grins,
my middle child
drawing a heart
at his school's Thanksgiving feast.
Love this kid.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The real thankful post that doesn't make it to Facebook

Just because I'm not writing them on Facebook doesn't mean I'm not thankful. 

Granted, some people are doing it and doing it well.  They're real.

Then there's the others.

Y'all know what I'm talking about.

THOSE others.

Sometimes I think this month is almost like the Humblebrag.

"Today I'm thankful for my BMW.  It's sleek, fast, good on gas, and makes me look good."

No joke.  A true necessity in her life.

Another one...

"Today I'm thankful for my house.  4500 square feet of wonderful - that my cleaning lady doesn't mind keeping up with!"

Sounds like someone needs to get on her knees and scrub a toilet or four.

And another:

"Day 17.  Today I'm thankful for our best friends, the XXXXXXX.  They are a model Christian couple who inspire my wife and I to be more model Christians."

Stop,'re giving us a bad name.

Ok, enough friend bashing...because they're about to be unfriended (they're not that close to me anyway....).  Why can't people be real on Facebook???  Why can't we post the real thanks???

Here's a few to start- posts that I could have or would have done if I was doing the thankful month...

-I'm so thankful that Baby L. didn't pee on me during the late night diaper change.  Cause I wouldn't have changed anyway, and it's no fun going back to bed smelling like pee.

- I'm thankful that my hairdresser didn't cut my hair too short.  She must know that this is the only time it will be actually "done" and will remain in a pony tail until I see her again.

-  I'm thankful that Dave chose to sit on the other side of the room last night.  While I love to be near him, Shelby's cassoulet left me with some after burners that would have made his eyes tear up. (darn beans!)

- I'm thankful that A. flushed the toilet this morning before Ally started drinking out of it.

- I'm thankful that it was only a minor cut.

-  I'm thankful that orthopedic shoes are a tad more fashionable now-a-days.  Note: tad.

- I'm thankful for my family.  Who love me and support me.  And snuggle with me - even though I just whispered under my breath "I really don't want to be touched anymore today."

-I'm thankful that I get to be a mom.  At some point in my life (actually 2 points) I was sitting on a Dr's table where they look at me and say "I'm not sure this is possible for you in the future."

- I'm thankful for our extended family.  Like fudge- full of fruits and nuts - but the end product is pretty darn cool.

- I'm thankful for amazing friends- the family I choose.

- I'm thankful for this life.  No BMW.  No cleaning lady, no "model Christians."  Just a bunch of normal people doing normal things taking care of their normal house.  Just good people with funny quirks, good food and a Great God.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby Girl's Owl Birthday Party

I decided to do an "owl" theme for Baby L's first birthday.
Not for the sake of being trendy, but because there was an ADORABLE invitation on
shutterfly that I absolutely fell in love with...
and things going a little "hooty" from there.
Perhaps I went a little overboard, but hey...
she only turns one once, right???
Here's my little 1 year old on the day of her party.
I saw the onsie at Babies R Us, and it was just too cute- so I grabbed it.
Hey...the birthday girl has to coordinate with her party, right???
It actually came with jeggings, but I found a coordinating tutu for $2 and the tights for $3...
wahlah, birthday outfit.
Barrette made by me.
Here's a look at our party favors given to the kiddos in attendance:
I made a white chocolate dessert mix
also known as "crack" in our family.
Scrapbook paper, some circle punches, a heart punch and
a cut triangle.
Cut and glue.

Baby L's seat of honor:
I made bunting to hang throughout the house (one was owl, of course!)
I originally bought tulle to make a tutu for her, but then I found one so cheap.
So, I tied it around the chair.
Flare for the chair.
Tiny bunting around the tray, and an owl bib.
The edibles.
(Minus the hot stuff which is over on the counter)
Yes, those are owl plates and an owl table cloth.
(Oriental trading Co...yo.)

This is my little girl.
I don't even need to prompt her anymore.
I picked up the camera, pointed it at her
and she gave me this:

She's ready to open!
Somewhere along the lines, things got out of hand with Big brother C and cousin Jaden.
They were wrestling over one of L's gifts and C's hand went flying.
C's hand had a digital camera attached to it.
Which smacked L across the face.
She was heartbroken and horribly hurt...
After I tried (unsuccessfully) to calm her, daddy stepped in to help.
And help he did. 
He's such a good daddy!

Cake time!
If you all ever need an awesome cake, let me know...
I know a GREAT lady!
Bottom tier= regular buttery goodness cake
Top tier= gluten free chocolate cake
Smash cake= dairy free cake.
All yummy.
All amazing.
All affordable.
(Sorry about the front of the cake,
 we had a few little guys "sample" the cake before I could take a pic)

top shot:

We all went to sing, and she got all bashful on us. 
Which was too cute.

Then she plowed her hands into it like it was no big deal.

nom nom nom
Sitting with papa Ken.
Cousin Emma decorated papa Ken.
He's a good sport.

Another decoration:
(which, coincidentally are still hanging in my kitchen!)

Thanks to everyone whoooooo came out to celebrate out little girl's birthday!
(see what I did there???  I'm a hoot!)
(doh! did it again)
Ok...I'm done now.