Thursday, December 31, 2009

Practice makes perfect

Let's see, now HOW did they say to do that?

Fold down my thumb.....

OK, now how do I KEEP it folded down?




And now what to do with my ever improving fine motor skills?????

Why fill up the doohicky in the floor (that is the technical term for the gas turn off) with BB's from big brother's air soft gun.  They are a pain in the, ahem, RUMP to remove from there.

Yes, son, you are three.

We couldn't be prouder either.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Birthday Today

Someone had a birthday today......anyone want to guess who?

Cakes have been lovingly made from scratch to celebrate the occasion

they were iced and decorated with care.

Candles were lit and wishes made while proud chefs looked on.

Then MORE cakes were lovingly made.....

and decorated.....

not to be eaten though.  The wishes were just as heartfelt from both chefs though.  They love their dad.

So do I.

 He's quite a piece of work!!


Grace - both kinds

I don't know if I jinxed myself or not, but I said my kids would fall like dominos during the Christmas break and I was right (aren't I always?)(don't answer that!!).

Anyway, Emily started the movement with her three days of sick leave from school right before break started.  I KNEW what I was in for at that point.  Grant was next.  He started in on the 23rd being cranky.  By noon on Christmas Eve he was down for the count.  He did perk up long enough on Christmas to open gifts and see what Santa brought.

John was next.  He fell victim to it on Saturday.  By Sunday he slept most of the day away.  He's still not feeling the greatest.

And WHO should get up this morning running a fever?.......none other than Grace!  She is whipped at this point.  We'll see how she feels by morning.

I was lying in bed with her tonight waiting on the magic of Children's Tylenol to take effect.  While lying there I had a few quiet moments to reflect...hey what else do you do at midnight lying next to your four year old sleeping firecracker?  So reflect I did......

I am blessed.

I have four wonderful kids I adore.

I have four healthy kids.  Yes, I understand what I just noted above, but I mean HEALTHY kids.

I live in a great country.

I am married to the person who is exactly right for me.

I have too many animals in my house (you didn't think I could be serious for too long did you?).

I have a wonderful extended family that I don't see often enough.

There is not nor ever will be even one thing I can do to "deserve" the blessings that have been poured out on me.

Feverish sick kids and all, I am blessed.

One of my all time favorite songs....

No Other Word For Grace

There's no other word for grace but amazing
No other explanation will do
Unmerited favor the song that I sing. 
There's no other word for grace, but amazing.

Now the Father looked beyond the failures I had made
He didn't seem to notice all the times that I had not obeyed
He overlooked all the scars of sin I felt in me
And the grace, oh the grace that He showed still amazes me

A link to hear the entire song

Every day His grace amazes me.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We had to drive six hours to do it, but at last we have SNOW.  We woke at Grandma's to find at least the ground covered and trees looking pretty white.  We are excited. 

We are off to find hats, gloves, boots, scarves, pants and coats (x4) so the zoo animals can be turned out for a while.  I am sure it will take longer to get them stuffed zipped buttoned and tied than it will for them to get cold enough to want back inside the house.....that or the infamous "I've got to pee" line will squeek out of someone's mouth about the time you are shutting the door behind them.....never fails huh?  Oh well, the fun of kids.

Gotta go dress some kids!

Christmas pictures forthcoming when we get home.

Friday, December 25, 2009


 For unto is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord...
Luke 2:10

What a wonderful reassurance we have.....


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good night

Children scrubbed and in pj's - check

Cookies and milk - check

Reading of 'Twas the night before Christmas - check

Reading of the birth of Jesus - check

Food for reindeer - check

Kids in bed - check

Wine for Mom and Dad - check

stockings stuffed - check

presents wrapped and under the tree - check

off to bed!!!!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kitchen with the Kids

 Grace has been after me for weeks to paint this rock.  She stole borrowed it from Grandma Shupe's landscaping back in July.  In case you were worried about it too, you can rest easier now.....


Once again...I have NO explanation.


John and Emily have been busy today too.  They each had a friend over to play for most of the day.  Emily has been bustin' a gut wanting to use her new cookbook that Grandma Simms gave her.

She enlisted her friend's help to make a meatloaf for dinner.  We then enlisted the help of both friends to stay and sample the meatloaf for dinner.  I'm guessing she did pretty well considering there was none left.

 Here the taste testers were discussing the various qualities that make a good meatloaf stand out from the average meatloaf.

OK, I lied.  I think they were talking about who cheated at a game of four square earlier in the evening.


Emily and Grace also helped me make meatballs today.

Grace quit, declaring the meat was "nasty" to touch.


 Emily finished her gingerbread graham cracker house finally.  She kind of lost interest in it once she did the minimum to it.  Here's the final product...

Welcome to her humble home. 

 Mr. Snowman can show you around.

Actually, he'll just have to point to things seeing as how Emily didn't make him any legs.

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Seasonal Discrepancy

This one should win me parent of the year award for 2009.  This was one day last week.  I had actually forgotten she did this until I saw the pictures tonight.

So what exactly would Grace be doing with her sw!msu!t on in the middle of her bed in the middle of winter??

That is an excellent question.

 And the answer would be.....

 swimming in her bedroom pool of course.  Everyone has a pool in their bedroom to swim in....don't they??

 Grant couldn't find his swimsuit so he decided to s k ! n n y d ! p.  Grace was not amused by his lack of appropriate att!re.

It really didn't bother me much. 

Anyone want to confess?


WHO gave my kids the gator golf game???? 

I am sitting in the office working and without warning I keep getting WHACKED by little plastic golf clubs!!

AAAAHHHHHHH!  Apparently I am some kind of evil dragon that keeps needing rekilled.  I have received fatal blows to head, back and knee.

Right now I feel like I have become Gulliver in Gulliver's Travels and the tiny people of Lilliput are attacking.  Both G and G are staring down their nine irons ready to whack me at the slightest wrong move.

There are days I think will never end....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas wishes


Thank you for the wonderful day........

Wonderful gifts from all of you to all of us........

And another year full of milestones and memories.

We love you!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dogs N Houses

Today the kids were playing with one of the helium balloons from Grant's birthday.

  Here is the balloon floating through the house after Grant's birthday.

Here is Grace chasing the balloon floating through the house after Grant's birthday.

Here is the dog (wishing the balloon wasn't tied to her tail) running from Grace who was chasing the balloon floating through the house after Grant's birthday.

Here's Kitty laughing at the dog.....

She's glad it's the dog's day to entertain Grace and Grant!


Poor Emily missed school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  She missed her chance to work on a math project the class was doing.  They each made a ginger bread house and decorated it. 

The class then put "Santa's village" on display Thursday and gave tours of their handiwork.  I took Grace and Grant in to tour the village.  It was really cute.

Daddy came to the rescue.  He helped Emily decorate hers at home today....too late for the village tour, but needing done just the same.

Emily was excited to get the chance to build her house.  She really felt like she had missed something this week at school.

Here is John's finished project. 

This was one of the others built by a classmate of theirs.

 Emily hasn't finished hers yet.  I'll post the pictures when she does.

Christmas is almost here!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I just heard the weather forecast that a big snowstorm is developing up the east coast.  Here is hoping and praying that maybe some of that could divert to the midwest.  I'd love to see snow on the ground for Christmas!!!


Wouldn't that be great???


The Cat With NINE Eight Lives
by Angela Shupe

This is Kitty.

Kitty is the only name she's ever had.  We're original that way.  She came to live with us in 1998 when we impulsively decided to adopt her from an adoption center at a pet store.  We took her home to meet her new feline roommate, Mounds (You know....Almond Joy's got nuts....Mounds DON"T)(Now you know why we just named her Kitty.  Naming pets isn't our strength).

 She has been with us through thick and thin.  She's not complained once during the move to a new home or the introduction of four kids or an energetic puppy into her life.  She is loving and tolerant in spite of her tendency to occasionally hiss her displeasure at kids and dogs.

We take her presence for granted. Tonight was a opportunity to reappreciate Kitty. 

It all began innocently enough with something like this going on....

The kids were playing with Kitty in Grant's room.  As you can see, she was thrilled with the attention.......well, OK, maybe not.  Anyway, she put up with their antics.  I proceeded downstairs to finish dinner.

Some time later after we had eaten, David and I were in the kitchen visiting.  Grace called to David to come help her.  He asked what she needed.  She called back that she had tied up the cat in Grant's closet.  The string was too tight and could he please come get the cat loose since she couldn't untie it.

At that moment I did the math to realize the cat had been upstairs for more than an hour while we had eaten dinner.  I had not heard as much as a meow or a scratch that entire time.  David doing the same calculations realized the chances that Kitty was no longer breathing.  He dashed upstairs in hopes of rescuing Kitty.

Luckily, Grace failed to mention that the string keeping Kitty in the closet was tied around the closet door knobs NOT the cat's neck.

David didn't need to use the treadmill tonight.  He had already gotten his exercise running to the rescue of innocent pets.

Kitty?  Well, other than being unhappy at being in the closet for so long, was just fine......minus one of her nine lives, but hey, who's counting?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


He might look like Rambo while wearing Grace's headband,
 but at least it's PROGRESS!

I haven't seen any underwear on the head for a couple weeks.

I'm still working on this one though.  Her ideas of fashion are really "out there".

See what I mean??