Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

We are ready to celebrate our Risen King with family...minus daddy:( We miss him. But we are so grateful he allows us to leave him behind to spend time with family.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Self Portraits by Isaiah

Unbeknownst to us Isaiah has been taking some self portraits with his aunt's camera these last couple days.  Unbeknownst to him the "timer" shots were actually video.  Needless to say the results are hilarious!  Without further ado I present Isaiah's self portraiture and video debut...

Day 1: Okay so the first picture is just of his toys not him. But the video is a real gem:)

 Day 2:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nailed it!

Pinterest perfect, right?

Regardless they were delicious and fun to make!

Monday, March 25, 2013

We made it!!!

After 17 hours in the van we arrived in {cold, snowy} South Dakota! Thankfully the drive went without major incident. The kids were troopers. And I only felt like I was going crazy about the 14 hours of driving point:) Luckily Grandma Donna was able to take over kid duty at that moment.

Since then we have been playing and eating...a lot! Cousins are running around enjoying themselves and grown ups are sitting around enjoying themselves:) Well not everyone...Luke is working hard around the clock with all his birthing cows!

Isaiah has taken on the role of Uncle Luke's ranch hand. It's a tough job but someone has to do it:)

We are anticipating the arrival of the rest of the family later this week. More cousins. More fun to come!


It is tough learning to crawl. Especially when you can only move backwards! Getting stuck under furniture is no fun...and then to add insult to injury instead of helping a girl out her mom takes her picture:)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Science Fair

Last week Joe was the guest scientist at a local Christian school's science fair. The school obviously used the term "scientist" very loosely:) So of course the kids and I tagged along for the fun!  Joe's school was generous enough to allow him to bring several hearts, lungs, brains, bones and models to the science fair.  The students and their parents LOVED handling and looking at all the real organs.  It was a hit.

Hannah was fascinated...okay not really:)

Charlotte chose the heart to hold. She was too interested to look at the camera!

Isaiah really enjoyed studying all the models. The heart was his favorite.

Then Joe spoke for 30 minutes about the heart, lungs and brain. He did an AMAZING job!  He is great with kids (I already knew that)...and he kept their attention with lots of props and audience participation. Seriously I was impressed.

Friday, March 22, 2013


on a jet plane!

Oh how I wish that were true. Yes we are leaving, but instead of a jet plane we get my minivan. And instead of a pilot and crew, there will be me, my kids and our new portable DVD player plus a gazillion snacks.

We are headed to South Dakota for Easter! It will be a fabulous week of fun with family if I can survive the 750 mile trek first. Before I sound like a complete martyr, my parents will be joining me half way through the drive!!!

And we are a herd of turtles  bunnies!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Drop Off {mad} Dash

For me the time between 12:15 and 12:45 pm contains some of my ugliest, worst moments as a mother. It is during that time that I speak some of the harshest words to my children. I am not patient and I am easily frustrated. I can be downright rude and unkind to my children. I truly despise this about myself. And I want to change. I pray every day that I will do better. And some days are better. Yet some days are ugly and leave me in tears. I have questioned why God blessed me with 3 beautiful children when I clearly do not deserve them during these times.

So what happens from 12:15 to 12:45? That is the time every {week} day that I have to load up all the kids and drop Isaiah off at kindergarten. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet inevitably something goes wrong and we are running behind. A lost boot or mitten. A diaper MUST be changed. School snack wasn't packed or a library book is misplaced. It snowed and the van has to be uncovered. Or Charlotte's legs quit working. (This happens a lot!) Two year old legs sometimes just don't work right:) Add to all of this the fact that I {unknowingly} bought Isaiah a winter jacket that is he unable to zip himself. It is a small thing, but it can be the straw that breaks this camel's back. And all of this work is done in order to drive 1.2 miles to his school. It seriously turns me into a crazy person.

One day last week I was shocked to discover that we only had 3 minutes to get Isaiah to school once we were all loaded in the van. I was shocked because the loading process had gone so well, without a hitch really! So I thought we had plenty of time. Not so much. I guess we were slow pokes. I drove like a mad woman to get there just in time. I told Isaiah he could unbuckle as soon as we got in the parking lot and he could jump out of the van as soon as I opened the door {via button - I love my automatic door}. And then he was to RUN as fast as he could to the door and knock (if no one was there). Usually I walk him part way to the door.

Well he did just as I instructed. He unbuckled and proceeded to be launched forward onto his backpack once I stopped. Oops! He was struggling to get his backpack on so I told him just carry it and RUN! And boy-oh-boy did he RUN. He was running like a man on a mission. Probably the fastest I had ever seen him run. Unfortunately he was running down the sidewalk PAST the door he was to enter. I started honking trying to get his attention. But every time I would honk he would just lift his hand and wave at me {without looking back} as if to say "I got it mom".

After a moment's hesitation I began driving after him. So there I was driving, honking and calling his name out the window all with the door still open!  Charlotte didn't know what to think of my crazy antics.  Eventually Isaiah stopped and realized his error.  He then ran BACK to the door while I reversed to the door to make sure he made it safely inside. He did even though it was now 12:36.  Which means his teacher was there watching us the entire time.  I am sure we put on a good show:)

I drove out of that parking lot laughing so hard that I had tears streaming down my face.  Charlotte was utterly confused.  She didn't know if I was mad, sad or happy!  If only drop off was this fun every day...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dear Spring

Dear Spring,

Thank you for coming. You are my favorite season. I love the signs of new life that pop up everyday. The green blades of grass poking through the dead brown grass. Tiny buds just waiting to bloom on the trees. And bulbs long forgotten reappearing in the dirt. The re-appearance of my kids' soft, smooth arms and legs from beneath all that heavy winter clothing. Oh and the sound of birds singing...beautiful! A warm breeze and sunshine make almost everything better.

You were the season I missed the most while living in the Dominic Republic. You and your promise for long, hot days filled with swimming and fresh fruit with a thick layer of sunscreen:)

But mostly I am glad you are here because I am a better mother when it is warm out. Seriously life with small children is so much easier when you aren't cooped up all day. I play and laugh with my children more when it is nice outside. We go on walks and play at the park. We play bubbles and sidewalk chalk. {Full disclosure: they play sidewalk chalk. I don't. It gives me the heebie jeebies}

So please spring join us here in the Midwest.  Not just in name but in deed too!  Because these temperatures in the 20s and 30s are making me go a little stir crazy. My kids deserve a fun(er), more playful mom!

Sincerely, Me

P.S. I informed Joe the other day that if he can't match us closer to "home" (ie our families) then I would prefer to match somewhere warm! Not that he really has much control over the match process, but a girl can dream:)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


It is supposed to be like an oasis for stay at home moms, right? Leisurely walking up and down the aisles admiring all the pretty things. Trying to resist the urge to put everything in your cart...

That is the image I had in my mind before I took all 3 kids to Target after school last week. We needed milk and I really needed a little {mental} break. Target seemed like the perfect solution. Two birds with one stone!

The reality of that trip was vastly different. Isaiah heard the word "Target" and immediately began begging for a new toy. He repeatedly threatened me with, "I will NEVER be happy again...unless you buy me a new toy!" Umm yeah. That is not going to work on me. This ain't my first Ro-de-O buckaroo:)

Then despite claiming they wanted to walk and NOT having to go to the bathroom while we were still at the front of the store...near the bathrooms and big shopping carts made for multiple big kids ended up in my {normal sized} cart doing the potty dance together!

I had the nerve to try on shoes BEFORE going directly to the toy section. My children made their opinion on this quite clear. During which a middle aged woman commented, "Wow. You have your hands full, don't you?" Thank you Captain Obvious. No I didn't really say that. Instead I said, "Yes full of good things". Because deep, deep down I believe it to be true. Even if their whining was driving me to the edge of my sanity.

We eventually made it to the grocery section. It was painful. The number of times my kids said "I'm hungry" was astonishing (and irritating). I remembered the milk but forgot most everything else. The whining made it nearly impossible to concentrate. I forgot the pureed prunes...sorry Hannah:)

Charlotte decided we needed a grand finale for our big outing. At the check out counter she threw a lying-on-the-floor-limbs-flailing FIT like only 2 year olds can. Probably one of her best. And I am still completely clueless as to what brought on this particular fit.

It was at that point I almost called Joe to tell him his kids were at Target and he could pick them up if he wanted to see them again. Instead I loaded them into the van, tossed a nutrigrain bar in their direction and headed home. Once home I hid in my room while they fended for themselves until daddy came home to their rescue.  Not my finest moment. But it happened.  And we survived.  In fact yesterday I took the kids to Wal-Mart and I was pleasantly surprised by their excellent behavior. 

Like I told the lady at Target.  My hands are full but those things that fill them are good, good things!


My faithful followers (all 3 of them) requested a more user-friendly blog. Their wish was my command:) And this blog was born! Welcome to my newest "baby". The naming process was the toughest for me. I am ALWAYS so indecisive with naming my babies. But I am happy with my final choice as it is my favorite parenting cliche!

I hope to bring my old posts over some point:) That definitely will be a labor of love. Until then, if you are looking for some "back story" hop on over to the old blog:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nothing & Everything

Hypothetically if someone asked me at the end of the day {any given day} what I did, I would answer "Nothing". Good thing no one asks me:)

But yet in middle of my day...right smack in the middle of NOTHING I feel like I am doing EVERYTHING!

I bathe my children.
I dress my children.
I wipe noses. And I wipe bottoms.
Sometimes I wipe tears away too.
I make and serve meals.
I make and serve snacks.
I eat the kids' leftovers and call it a meal for me.
I clean up after meals and snacks.
I load the dishwasher.
I unload the dishwasher.
Then I start planning the next round of meals and snacks.
I play transformers and Legos.
I play baby dolls.
I read books. And more and more and more books.
I throw in a load of laundry.
I nurse the baby.
I find the lost shoe. The lost mitten.
I drop Isaiah off at school.
I pick Isaiah up from school.
I help him with his homework.
I grocery shop.
I vacuum.
I wipe down the toilet and sink (not in that order).
I fold and sort laundry. Eventually I put the laundry away.
I referee disputes.
I discipline.
I wash dishes.
I check my email.
I check Facebook.
I read blogs.
I write blog posts.
I pick up toys.
I find homes for all the clutter.

And then I do it all over again the next day.

I guess this is just the nature of the beast. The beast called motherhood. Or at least this stage of motherhood. Maybe it changes once my children are older?!? Time will tell.

So what is it nothing or everything?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St Patrick's Day

A little leprechaun visited our house last night and left a Pot O Gold for the kids much to their delight!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


C: What is this called?
Me: A cricket.
C: Oh a cricket. I am going to take him for a walk.
Me: Charlotte, when I was a little girl I played with that cricket.
C: Oh. {Slight pause} When I was a baby I played with better toys. Not scary crickets.
Me: Oh okay....

And off she walked with my beloved NOT scary cricket made by my Grandpa. My Grandpa who always told me I was special...special enough to ride the short bus:)

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Smoothie

We will just call this like it is...a 3rd child moment! You want to drink my smoothie? Sure why not? Sippy cups, what?!? It does have fruits and spinach in it. It must be good for her:)
No I haven't given her candy, cookies or cake yet. I do have standards. But I wouldn't put it past her brother or sister to share with her. There are benefits to being the third child. I should know. I am the third (of 3).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reigning myself in.

At the library I saw some of the worst, laziest parenting. Three moms* were chatting while their boys ran WILD! The boys were obnoxious and destructive. Just imagine the exact opposite of proper library behavior and that was them. The moms would occasionally break from their conversation {which revolved completely around the boys ironically} to threaten the boys to stop or they would leave. This went on for an hour without so much as a real consequence! Initially I was annoyed by their lack of parenting. My annoyance turned to pride. Some days I think I am a bad parent but at least I am not THAT bad! Right?!? {Pride cometh before the fall...}

Fast forward a couple hours and I was talking with my sister on the phone. Over the course of our conversation it became clear to me there are areas with each of my children that I need to be more intentional with my parenting. Areas that I am quite lazy in my parenting. {What is that a plank in my eye?}

Isaiah: We have allowed him to miss many school days this year. Because "it is just kindergarten". Technically he missed his first and second day - YIKES - that is bad! He has missed for trips to visit family, sick days (legit), broken down van (somewhat legit) and an impromptu trip to the Dells. I have to remind isn't just kindergarten. It is in fact the beginning of how he is going to view education. And despite our track record of poor attendance I really do want him to value education and his teachers.

Charlotte: She is a very sloooooooow and light (read: very small portions) eater. She isn't necessarily picky. She just doesn't eat much. Because of this we tend to give her very small portions. Therefore it shouldn't be difficult for her to eat all of her food. On the semi-rare occasion that we have dessert in the house we use the "you-must-finish-your-dinner-to-get-dessert rule". Except we don't enforce it with Charlotte. Terrible parenting, I know! We have fallen into the mindset that she is never going to finish her dinner so why try? L-A-Z-Y. I am resolving to change this before she believes we won't follow through with any of our rules which is a recipe for disaster!

Hannah: This girl sleeps all night in her crib and has since she was 6 weeks old. Nap time? That is whole different story. The story being that she mostly naps on me:( Sometimes on her boppy on the floor. She used to nap solely in her bouncy seat in the bathroom with the fan running. Thankfully we weaned her of that...directly into napping on mom. BAD. I mean I LOVE IT, but I know it is not a good long term solution. And she is 7 months old for goodness sake! I have tried the crib, but her naps are shorter than Charlotte's and she tends to wake her sister. No bueno. My new solution is a pack n play in the master bedroom. I know this is for the best, but I am having a hard time letting go of our afternoon snuggle time.

Her first nap after I decided to make the change...oops! Failing already...

*Sorry library moms for judging you so quickly. You probably are fabulous moms and just needed a break and a chance to connect with other moms. I totally get that. I have been there. And I am sure I will be there again. So please don't be so quick to judge me when my children are running around like wild monkeys. Again sorry.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Favorite Child

Saturday night a couple friends and I stayed up far too late sewing and chatting. Especially considering it was daylights savings "spring ahead"! We had a blast...this is likely to become a monthly occurrence:) We laughed the night away. Oh and we made ties for our {handsome} little boys!

When I got home Joe informed me that Hannah woke up after I left and proceeded to scream/cry at him for nearly an hour before going back to sleep. Yikes!! Thankfully my husband was gracious enough to allow me to stay at girls' night blissfully unaware of the "situation" at home. He really is a great guy.

Early Sunday morning Charlotte had a little accident in bed. However she was so considerate that she got herself out of bed and changed into clean pajamas all without waking her sister {they share a room} or us! We woke later {how much later we will never know} to Charlotte silently standing at the foot of our bed staring at us. Slightly creepy [yes] but somehow sweet at the same time.

I then showed Isaiah his new ties. His response, "I am not going to wear them. The patterns are NOT cool mom." A little deflated I told him that I had worked hard on them JUST FOR HIM and he was hurting my feelings. He paused, gave it some thought. And his final declaration was, "It isn't going to change my mind. I won't wear them."

I don't often pick a favorite child and certainly no awards will be given out.......BUT I was definitely leaning towards a favorite on Sunday morning:) No names shall be used though.

*In Hannah's defense she went to the church nursery for the first time on Sunday and we didn't get paged to pick her up early!
*In Isaiah's defense he did spontaneously tell me how pretty I looked and melted a little corner of my heart.
**I was wearing that yellow shirt (see picture above) the day I found out I was pregnant with Charlotte. Which also happens to be the day Joe ran his first and only half marathon. I have sentimental attachments to it even if I only spent 50 cents on it. {And it is observations like these that result in eye rolls from my husband...thus the random inclusion of this tidbit HERE.}

EDIT: I stand corrected. That was my husband's second half marathon! Yikes I should pay better attention. I mean 13.1 miles is kind of a big deal, especially considering I couldn't run a mile (even if my life depended on it). I wish I were kidding. I am not. This is the reason I started blogging. The fact that I have a TERRIBLE memory (not my lack of running ability). I want to remember this time of
my lifeour life as a family because it really is flying by too fast.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I have a problem...

A stroller problem that is.

I keep buying strollers. And using them:) It seems with every child I have and with every change of season plus the ever changing developmental levels of my children I NEED a new stroller. It really has become a problem.

A walk down memory lane....
Stroller #1 (2007 - 2012)

Purchased NEW with gift cards from baby showers. It was part of the stroller-carseat combo. I never really loved it, but it worked. Sold it at a garage sale for $25. I kind of regret selling it though.
Stroller #2 (2007 - present)

I bought this for Joe for his first Father's Day when Isaiah was a mere 4 days old. I think I got it for $100 on sale. I am pretty amazing! It has been well used and loved. Sadly it no longer rolls straight without A LOT of effort. Not so ideal for running.
Stroller #3 (2008 - 2011)

A basic umbrella stroller - not pictured because I NEVER USED IT. Not even once. Oops. Bought it at garage sale for $2 and sold it at a garage sale for $2. Now I am thinking I wish I had it for keeping in the van for this summer...see I have a problem!
Stroller #4 (2011 - 2012)

Purchased at a garage sale for $30. My husband agreed because he thought I was buying it for my sister. Used quite a bit, but not loved because it was difficult to manuever. We put it on the curb with a FREE sign and it was gone within the hour.
Stroller #5 (2011 - present)

Best $35 spent on a stroller ever! I bought it at a garage sale of course:) We are still rockin' this sit n stand! I did have to buy a cup attachment for $8 though. What kind of stroller doesn't have a cup holder? Mom needs her caffiene...I mean water to stay hydrated:)
Stroller #6 (2011 - present)

McNasty was picked up on the side of the road on "dump day". He really was nasty but cleaned up nicely. With a little bit of love and labor this has turned into a great stroller for us. Now if I could convince my husband to push 2 kids while running...
Stroller #7 (2012 - present)

{After searching my archives I was unable to find a picture of the new jogging stroller. I will remedy this as soon as possible.}

This was my solution for wayward stroller #2. $30 at a garage sale.
Stroller #8 (2012 - present)

This one is a loaner. Because clearly I do not need to purchase another stroller! It has been the perfect stroller this winter allowing the kids and I to get out and about without me having to lug Hannah + carseat around. Thank you Erica!

Like I said, I have a problem!

Yes, I own this too, but I don't count it as a stroller. Technically it is a bike cart.