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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Awards

I think I did something that qualifies me for an award...

Tuesday Ben brought home a piece of art work from school. It was a pretty typical piece of art for Ben, meaning that he used about 7 times as much glue as was actually needed, and still things fell off.

Anyway...this was a lot of glue and all kinds of cool buttons, in all shapes, sizes and colors thrown onto the glue in random style (I am pretty sure this wasn't one of those pieces that looks random, but the child painstakingly placed each button...)

So I dismantled it and saved all the buttons for future sewing projects and maybe even a future art project!

I guess I will either win the bad mother award for not cherishing every piece of art my child produces, or the excessive scrounging award.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Play

Here is another example of letting my guard down. I really should let the kids help more often. After this video I did let the boys help me fill the flour bin...and then they helped sweep A LOT of flour off the floor. This video is not all that enthralling, but it is my boy!!


video

Not Allowed

Yesterday I let down my defenses and let Ben play with the pots and pans. Normally I don't let them because they have a play food set and the regular pans get dirty and have to be washed. Ben had a wonderful time making music and I had a great time listening. Maybe I should let down my guard more often...
video

Sophie's Hat

Jacob adopted Sophie's hat for a few days. He has since abandoned it, but it was really cute while it lasted.

Just My Kids

Here are just a few pictues of the kids because they are pretty cool (the kids I mean.)


Mr. Ben laughing at a movie and relaxing


Sweet Sophie posing for the camera

Jacob. I added this one to remind everyone of the numbing effects of television...avoid it at all costs!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Another Oops

While doing laundry today I found the scraps of something I wanted to save, but forgot to take out of my pocket before my pants went into the wash. So here I preserve the memory for posterity.

Tuesday I spent the better part of the day cleaning, mopping and de-cluttering. It was a lot of work, but it needed to be done.

I was just finishing when Sophie came home off the bus. She said the usual hellos and guess what I did at school today etc...then disappeared into her bedroom.

A few moments later she emerged with two little scrolls taped to each other. I opened the largest and read, "I love a clean house!" The second read, "Dear Mommy, I hope the fall cleaning goes well."

I was just so touched to have my efforts recognized and appreciated, and even more felt so blessed to have a daughter who without prompting, is kind and caring to others.

Just for memories sake, here is Sophie at the age of 14 months.


p.s. Grampy and Grammy I hope this font fixes your keyboard problem (he he.)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Power of Words

Jacob has a pair of winter boots from last year that he likes to wear, but the last few times he has tried to put them on they bother him because they are too small. Being that he is two, he lacks the skill of rationality and even though they hurt, he still wants to wear them, but cries the whole time because they are bothering him.

So this morning I sneakily tucked them away in storage...except that Jacob caught me just as the 2nd boot was going into hiding. He got very upset (i.e. screaming temper tantrum,) but I whisked him away and he calmed down very quickly.

As I served him his breakfast, he looked at me and said...

"I angry you mama"

Taken aback I said, "Your angry???"

"Yes"

"Why?"

"Take boots upstairs."

I didn't know he had such communication skills in his power...dare I hope that we are progressing past the two year old phase!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sophie Reading

Here is a video of Sophie reading to Jacob, she starts out pretty quiet, but does get louder. Also we hear a snippet of Jacob singing two of his favorite songs, "America," and "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean."

video

The Boys

As I may have mentioned, Ben and Jacob have somewhat of a love hate relationship. They love each other, but fight A LOT!!! There are occasionally happy moments though. Playdoh facilitates happy moments. They woke up first thing and played with the playdoh for at least an hour and a half.

Here is our little peasant child Jacob donning a bonnet of pants scraps. I think he is singing "America." We will have a demonstration of that in the next post.

Jacob switched into a toddler bed about a month ago. If we had had a choice we would have left him in the crib, but there was something about him climbing over the sides about 20 times a night that made it a necessity.

It has been a very difficult month with lots of cranky kids because of lack of sleep. Jacob wouldn't sleep which kept Ben awake and because we were dealing with the boys, Sophie's bedtime was put off...anyway...

We are finally having a moderate level of success. Everyone is getting the attention they need and getting to bed at the right time. Soon we hope to be able to not have to constantly monitor Jacob so that he stays in his bed, that way we can reclaim our evening.

Note how many layers Jacob had peeled off the wallpaper, I think there are at least four here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ice

I love ice. It is the most beautiful natural phenomenon I have ever seen. These pictures were just a light frost that had settled on the car. I only had a short while to photograph them because the sun was rising and the formations were so delicate. If I touched them or breathed on them they melted.








Saturday, November 29, 2008

Picnic

The other day when we were painting I set up a picnic lunch for the kids since the dining room was unavailable. They excitedly called me in because they had made a heart with their legs. I find it to be a symbol of the love and unity my children have...(gag, it only it were true!)

Health Update

I was just thinking that I should do a health update.

My radioactive iodine treatment was successful. I am still working with the replacement hormone levels. I think this most recent dose will put me at "normal."

I still have ocular hypertension and the fact that I do probably means that I will always have to take medicine for it. The good news is that my eyes look normal again. I know that many of you never saw the difference, but I did. I don't have to go back to the neuro-ophthalmologist until next November and as long as the medicine is working there should be no permanent effects

I am still experiencing fatigue. There may be several different causes.

1. My thyroid levels are still off a little and once we get my dose right I will be full of energy!

2. I might have myasthenia gravis, another auto immune disease. I go to the neuro-muscular Dr. on Tuesday and will have more information after that.

3. I am approaching middle age and my body is feeling the effects of all the medical issues I have had in the last year. The solution...I am not sure, I might just have to buck up and work through the fatigue until I get stronger.

All in all this has been a fascinating medical journey. One that I hope none of you has to experience for yourselves, but if you do, it isn't so bad, just interesting!

And because post are better with photos (unless you are an incredible gifted writer and extremely funny...) here are a couple of photos. Sophie took one and then Ben. I have long been accused of doing nothing in photos so I did something. I will try to be more creative next time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jacob

We have had quite a challenge with Jacob the last few months. We always say he is our first two year old. For some reason Sophie and Ben never exhibited "normal" two year old behavior...you know screaming, irrationality, temper tantrums...so it has been quite a challenge for us to learn how to deal with Jacob's "normal" behavior.

However...it does seem to be turning out to be a phase, and though we are not out of the woods yet, Jacob's temperament is improving.

One manifestation of this is his ability to self entertain. It gets him into trouble because he gets into things he shouldn't be into, but I prefer it to screaming.

Soooooo......yesterday Jacob got into the baking cabinet and was playing with pots and pans. He has adopted this little duck. He calls it Baby Duck. He made a bread pan into a boat for his Baby Duck. He very lovingly carried Baby Duck around all evening. I am not sure exactly what he was doing, but he was doing "stuff" with Baby Duck and his boat. I found it all very endearing...now if only we could get him to go to bed at night!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Frog On a Log Video

video

Frog on a Log

Today has been a full day with two school celebrations. This evening Sophie had her Fall Harvest Concert. It was themed around a book, but I cannot remember the name of it at this point. Anyway each grade was dressed as an animal (or creature) from the book. The 1st graders were frogs. I thought the decorations as well as the students were adorable, and Sophie made her debut on the xylophone. Once again here are the stills with video to follow.


Video

video

Thanksgiving Feast

Ben's preschool did a play about the first Thanksgiving for their Thanksgiving celebration today. I will put a video on in a moment, but until then, here are some stills.

Ben and his pilgrim friends

Traveling on the "Mayflower"

The entire cast

Pilgrim Ben on his favorite toy at preschool...the climber!!!

In Touch

Yesterday Ben had a friend over and they wanted to go outside. Verna had a pom-pom hat so Ben wanted a pom-pom hat. Unfortunately the only hat available was pink, but that didn't phase Ben at all, even when Verna said, "that's a girly color." He also insisted that he have pink mittens to match the hat. I did make sure to include a photo of him doing super-hero poses in case any of you were worried.

Oops

The other day I was doing some tidying and made the mistake of throwing these two creations of Sophie's away. She saw them in the garbage and became very upset.

"Mom! You threw away my creations."
"Yes Sophie I did, they were getting old." Cue the tears...
"But those were my special kindergarten memories."
"I am sorry Sophie, but now they have grease and food on them."
"You had no right to do that. They were mine. You have to fix this situation."
"I am really sorry Sophie, but how can I fix them?
"You can make me new ones."
"But Sophie, then they wouldn't be YOUR special kindergarten memories."
"Oh, yea"
How about I take a picture of them, then we will print the picture and you will have a picture of your special kindergarten memory?"
"Ok, I guess that would be ok."
So here they are preserved for posterity's sake. We will of course print the photo, in all its grossness.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Random

Ok, this is a random post, more for the sake of posting than anything else.

Our new ladies have begun laying!!! I have so missed fresh eggs. We have been out for awhile so we have had grocery store eggs. I am surprised how strong tasting the home grown eggs are in comparison. I say strong like it is a negative thing, but I mean it positively. They actually have flavor! Grocery store eggs are kind of bland in comparison.

We adjusted the colors for the kitchen. The cabinet color is still the same. Everyone is calling it yellow or gold, but in person it isn't so yellow. We did change the green though and I think we got it to match the counters almost perfectly! Now we just have to paint, but don't expect pictures any time soon, it will take some time to fix the cabinets before we paint them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Painting

We are finally painting the kitchen. Saturday we painted the trim and the upper cabinets and the walls with primer. I am going to be really happy with the end result. It was a little hard to decide to paint over these 80 year old cabinets (we have been trying to decide what we wanted to do for 2 years!) But...I think it looks so might lighter and more spacious already, just with the primer!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Night


Halloween afternoon Ben dumped out the dress up and for some reason Jacob enjoyed riding around in the case, face down. Ben was carting him all over this house in the position.

Halloween night we had an early dinner and then headed out trick or treating. We spent the first hour visiting our immediate neighbors. Most of them are elderly and they really enjoy seeing the kids. For many of them, we are the only trick or treaters they see each year. After we visited with them we went to the village where everyone else trick or treats.

Sophie went as Laura Ingalls. I went the easy route with the boys and used some hand me down costumes. Ben is a cow, and Jacob a chicken.

Carving Pumpkins

I am not a huge fan of Halloween, but we all love pumpkin carving.

Sophie working on the guts. Notice her lips. She has learned to whistle and practices almost constantly.

Ben's design has come a long way since last year.

Jacob drew a face (so to speak,) and it was left to me to make sense of nonsense. I was actually able to see a face in his scribbles.

Aaron, serious at work

Am I the only one who thinks handling a knife like this is dangerous?

Jacob with his masterpiece

Ben and his adorable pumpkin

Sophie and her lovely pumpkin

All five of our pumpkins

Animated Version

Here is the animated version of our snow play. Sophie was at school and Jacob was asleep, so we get the Ben addition

video

Lots of Snow

October 22nd we had a sprinkling of snow. I thought it was a nice light introduction to winter weather. Then October 28th around 7:45 the rain we were having changed into snow. We woke up the 29th to a solid covering of snow. And it was still snowing!!! 8:00 pm the 29th it was still snowing 24 hours later!! Around 8:45 am the 30th it finally stopped snowing! Thankfully the 31st was a lovely day. It melted almost all the snow, and made trick or treating a lot more pleasant.