Monday, January 29, 2007

Daddy's Girls

I have the best Dad. I know that many of you probably think your dad is the best and maybe, that is what God intended for every little girl to think. My dad is still fun-loving after raising five daughters and watching our family grow to 14 grandchildren (with one more on the way this summer.) So, when he called to initiate a sledding outing I wasn't surprised that he would be joining us on the hill. What happened while sledding however, is what was surprising. We went to a steep and short hill in Caledonia at Lakeside Park and there were two signs posted that read: Steep Hill, Sled at Your Own Risk. Note to All: Signs are posted for a reason. We had to sled down with our kids so we could put our feet (& sometimes are hands out too) to slow us down when we got to the bottom of the hill. When the rest of the family joined us, my dad tried out a couple of sleds and made it successfully down the hill. The next time he went down ... he was flying. As he approached the bank of the creek (did I forget to mention this was at the bottom & it was filled with cold, running water?) he tried to bail out at the last second and could not get out of his sled. The grandkids watched in amazement as Grandpa took a face first fall into the creek and staggered out with mud and water dripping from his face and his clothes soaked. We ran to see if he was o.k. and when he came up with a grin, we DIED LAUGHING. My husband and brother-in-law could actually see the splash from the top of the hill. You would have thought he would have packed up his sled and taken his soggy self home, but then you don't know my dad! He stayed out there and kept on sledding ... did I mention I have the best Dad? :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

  • I will eat sour gummy bears until my stomach hurts. (Or Sour Patch Kids until my tongue does.)
  • I bruised my tailbone yesterday while trying to be "cool" with my neice by going over a jump while sledding. My tail bone this morning is a painful reminder that I am no longer cool.
  • When Zach recently fell down while running into the library the first thing I said was, "Oh great, now you got your pants dirty." What I meant by that of course, was, "Are you o.k. buddy?" (By the way, this is a sure sign that you have been a mom for awhile.)
  • I become consumed and engrossed in any book that I read. Just finished two this week and have two others from the library that are begging me to open them up. (Best Quotes from 'Traveling Mercies' by Anne Lamott: "On my last day, I won't be drinking Diet coke. If I am, shoot me." The best two prayers she knows are, "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you.")
  • And finally, and most embarrassingly, when I run on the treadmill and need a burst of energy I will punch my fists in front of me and will sing the beginning of the Rocky theme song out loud! ( I wish I was kidding about this one.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Home Improving ... Again?!

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery." With that quote in mind, we copied our good friends Mark & Steph's office paint color for our bedroom. I usually pride myself on being decisive when picking out paint colors and I always love it instantly when it is up on the wall. This time however, I just couldn't decide what to do and wanted to go with something neutral so I could change my IKEA bedspread anytime I wanted but my husband actually told me I was getting "boring". Me boring? Those are fighting words ... :) We put up our new Bombay bed, (Originally $500 knocked down to $90 because it was missing the side rails) bought a sweet box spring and mattress at Costco, new mattress pad, new sheets, (450 thread count - yes, we are royalty), and had one great night of sleep.

Dog update - limping this morning, to the vet this afternoon, diagnosed with a strained knee (thank God nothing broken or ACL tear) and was prescribed an anti-inflammatory. Oh my, this dog is a lot of work!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Professional Dog Sitters?

Yes, dear blogging world, we have agreed to dog sit yet another dog. (We are trying so hard to be "dog people". We used to be... we want to be... I don't think we are.) This little toy dog is Paige's piano teacher's dog and since she is on vacation in Spain we agreed to watch this little dog named "Puck". He is a bit on the skittish side, refuses to go potty unless we walk him forever, and has had a couple of accidents in the house. If you have the "best" or "easiest" dog in the world ... think again ... they go a little nutty while away from home. (Or maybe just at our house?)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Game of Life

The Game of Life is a new addition to our family game collection and we play it just about every week now. Each person of the family plays it in his or her own unique way. Let me break it down for you:

  • Jeff - Still contemplating whether or not going to college will indeed get him more money, he sometimes goes and sometimes does not. He is always somewhat disgruntled with his salary and is very bitter if any of us has a higher salary. Game imitating real life? :)
  • Laurie - Wants to be the rock star or professional athlete because it sounds like more fun. The only one who buys insurance for her car (not imitating real life) and somehow ends up with all the kids. The first time we played I had six children (they didn't all fit in my car) and then I landed on 'Pay for College' for every one of your kids. Don't I have any dumb kids?
  • Paige - Has won every game we have ever played. Always ends up a millionaire. Laughs and giggles at daddy who is sulking because she makes more money than him.
  • Zoey - She lasts about 1/4 of the way through the game & then abandons her car, money, home, etc. and flops around on our laps for the rest of the game. (She is usually asking for a snack between "floppings".)
  • Zach - enjoys messing up everyone's bank.

Play a game with your family ... you'll learn so much about each other.

Monday, January 15, 2007

It Must be the Name Sara(h)

If you like Sara Groves or Sarah Mc Lachlan, (and come on, who doesn't?) check out this Sarah. Sarah Kelly is a Christian artist that really rocks. I just rediscovered her c.d.'Take Me Away' and there are so many great songs on it. In my opinion, the best song is 'Life Is'. Here are some of the lyrics:

i just want to thank you for finding me
and how could i forget you and all you've done for me
i gave you a stone and you gave me a heart
now i'm yours

i gave you a tear
you gave me a song
and now i know what life is
i asked you for silver
and you gave me gold
and now i know what life is

Isn't it amazing when we cry out to God and when we are just hoping for silver, he surprises us and gives us gold. Without sharing names, this makes me think of someone getting a new house that fits their family perfectly, a child that was hoped for and prayed for now forever home, a new marriage that brings so much joy, and a little boy who every time he smiles, I see gold. Rock on ladies, rock on.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Getting Organized in the New Year

No more slacking ... it's time to get organized in 2007. So, with that in mind, I headed to Costco where I developed 462 pictures dating back from January 2006. (I even printed extras for family & friends so check your mail - memories coming your way.) From Costco, I ran over to Target and picked up a new photo album and I have most of them in a book already. I am a digital camera slacker no more! Here are some of my favorites from last year.

Everything is better at Disney - even face painting. Picture to the right: Jeff getting "attacked" by birds at the St. Louis Zoo.

Oh brother, it's rough having sisters. And I guess campfires make the girls crazy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Never Quit / Finish the Race

As I was driving Zoey to Kindergarten this afternoon, I heard this story on the radio. I hope this encourages you in whatever "race" you are currently running.
Late on a summer evening in Mexico City in 1968, a single runner came hobbling into the stadium where the Olympic Track and Field events were being held. He had finished the cross-country portion of his event, and had now come into the stadium where his race finished with a last lap around the track.
The winner of this race had been crowned hours before ... the day's ceremonies were over. Still the determined runner pressed on, one leg bloody and bandaged, for that last lap around the track. The few spectators that remained in the stands applauded his noble efforts.
The runner, who was from Tanzania, was later asked why he continued the race, since it was obvious he could not win. The man seemed a little confused by the question. He softly replied, "My country did not send me 8.000 miles to start the race. They sent me to finish it."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

One of the Boys

Poker Night with the boys and some little guy in a striped PJ just had to be right in on the action. I'm telling you this boy already knows his place: in the basement, playing poker, and watching football. (Oh... and drinking that icky stuff.) You Go Zach!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Definition of cousins: Friends who are related.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Let's Talk about Sex

Today I headed to my alma mater Calvin College to attend the first lecture of the January Series. Lauren Winner is an author, speaker, and historian. She also is funny, honest, bright, and possesses an amazing vocabulary (I guess you pick up a few words while studying at Cambridge.) Her topic was carried over from last year's January series and from her book, 'Real Sex'. It is amazing how that three letter word can pack an auditorium full of college students. :) I can hardly do justice by trying to summarize all her points ... but the theme was to enjoy the ordinary. Married sex and living in domesticity (new word for you) has been put down by our culture and called "boring and dull" because it doesn't seem to offer the excitement, passion, or mind blowing experiences. Winner argues that married sex is in fact good sex because it is an ordinary act between two people committed to each other, God, and their family unit. She criticized an article she read in Redbook that was written as a "how to" for married couples. This article suggested that you put away all family photos in the bedroom (this is a room of passion and so it should only have pictures of you and your mate - please), install a dimmer to your lamps, light candles, play music that gets you in the mood, and put a lock on your door. (Winner thought this was the only suggestion of any value.) She argued that married sex shouldn't be seen as trying to get out of your family environment or domesticity but rather should recognize it's place in it and that sometimes you "may just get interrupted by your five year old puking in her bed." Winner believes that our culture has changed how people view sex so much that even Christians are entering marriage with preconceived ideas of what sex should be like. She was interesting & engaging and I highly suggest you check out some of her books or check out her home page.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Duds, Baby Teeth, and a Great Quote

Paige finally lost one of her front baby teeth (with a little help from mom and dental floss tied around the tooth like a noose) and the tooth fairy, aka Dad, left her a $2 dollar bill. She ran to my bedroom in the morning and told me what she got and said this exact quote, "you don't see those everyday!" Too funny. Here is one more quote that I read at a community cooking web page. "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body ... but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO" what a ride!" Make that your mantra in 2007. Live it up baby.