Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

spin the baby

When I lived at home, I used to play with our Sheltie just like this.
Turns out babies love it too!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

jump until you drop!

The kids ate their dinner fast than I'd ever seen them. They ran back out to the trampoline. The girls even stayed out there for a little while when it was dark!

Finally, I called them in. Lorraine still had to practice her piano.
Aggie thought she'd lay there and listen to her practice:

As soon as she quit moving, she was ASLEEP! (It was about 7:30!)

"Mommy, can I go to bed now?"

looks like spring?!

I'd say this is a sign of spring
(or spring fever?)

We put out the trampoline today!

What a great idea daddy!

It was seeming a bit too... predictable around here.
Too safe.

I expect exhausted kids by dinner time!

"Thank you Grammy and Bump!!!"


My boys: they refreshed me yesterday with a picnic in the sun:

It was so nice we could have napped on the blanket.
Eldon and I even tried :)
But the kids out for recess made him too exicted!

They wore me out today with a craft project!

Another great idea from pinterest!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

co- misery

Lorraine came home from school today with a cramping stomach.
Peter was sick twice in the night.

But I think they are glad that they have each other.

Misery shared is less miserable.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Birthday girl

Special Birthday present from Nana...

(This is Ruthie!)

And I remember when Lorraine was the doll!

To Lorraine, on your ninth birthday

You and I are very close at heart right now.  I loved our Secret Keeper Girl dates this year (especially the tea party!)  And I hope we get to do that again this spring and summer.  I love our secret journal.

I love your soft heart for babies. I love that you are quick to encourage.  I love that you enjoy babysitting your little brothers.  I love when you tease me and force me to lighten up. I love when you read with me on the swing.  I love that you journal in your tree, just like I once did. I love that beautiful days in the woods make you want to sit and write. I love smashing snowballs on your neck, but I am not sure I love that you are suddenly big enough to get me back.

I love that you know when I need encouragement.

                The other night I was getting ready for your big birthday party. You were taking FOREVER to do your homework, as usual.  I was trying to clean the basement with little ones underfoot when you came down to see me. “Lorraine, what do you need? Are you done with your homework YET?”
                “No, mommy, I just wanted to give you something.”
                “OK honey, what is it? I need to get these floors done.”
                “Mom, first you have to promise me you won’t give it back, OK?”
                I was pretty sure you were going to give me a precious piece of your Valentine’s Day chocolate or maybe a sucker nobody else wanted. “OK,” I said.
                You held out your hands, “Mommy, I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you are doing for my party.”  In my hands you put every single one of your pennies.  Then you gave me a hug, said “Thanks” again, and ran off to finish your homework.

                Daughter, you bless and encourage me more than you realize.

                Another day I was frustrated with the squabbling boys and overwhelmed with the little things I had to get done. You asked me to listen to your piano, and for once, I did. The others were quiet for that minute, so I snuck in the music room, shut the door behind me and collapsed on the couch while you played.

                I expected a moment’s rest for my feet, but was surprised by the rest you provided to my soul.  Hymns, from the heart and fingers of my daughter, soothed and uplifted me.  

My little girl, when did you get big enough to be such a blessing to your own mother?

I see nine years of God’s work, and already, I am stunned by the beauty.

Happy Birthday Lorraine.
Love, mom

Sunday, February 19, 2012

birthday party play by play by play

I have to admit...I really, truly had fun hosting Lorraine's sleepover this weekend.

I was a little worried at first.
You see, I had plenty of planned activities. Or so I thought.

They ran in the door all excited. I told them they had to work for their cake, so I sent them off to the basement to hunt for Rainy-pictures.  They loved that game, and Lorraine was only a little embarrassed by the pirate picture. (She's a good sport.)


They ate the cake, and nobody seemed to notice that it was leaning (other than my husband, of course.)


Note to self, if you make this cake again, make each layer out of 1/3 box of mix, not 1/2. Those pieces were just too big!


Next, present opening.

can I see?

We spun the bottle to see whose turn it was to give her a present. (The boys were still here for this part. When the bottle pointed to Marcus, I told him since he didn't have a present for her, he ought to give her a big sloppy birthday kiss!  He didn't like my idea.)

So we had done our first game, eaten cake, and opened presents.  And what time was it?
only 3:20!!!

This is when I started to worry.
Thank the good Lord, it was beautiful outside. So we went to the park.


That's a good place for pudgy bunny.
Pudgy Bunny is a game that was much more fun in my memory. GAG!!!
(Note to self: don't do this one again!)


The girls also played tag, volleyball, and even football while we were at the park! 

Next, back to the house for game #3: DRAMA BAGS!
(I have to credit pinterest for that one. )

What a  fun idea!  I broke the girls up into groups of 3 and gave each group a bag with random props in it. Their job was to make up a short play using the props. They LOVED this game! 

Hunter Mack on the Scooter. Captured Lorraine behind.

Don't mess with Hope the robber!
Next, pizza. Then, they ran wild while I cleaned up the kitchen.

Then, we did this craft. (Sandpaper crayon T-shirts- another pinterest idea!)


They seemed to think I was going to tell them it was time for PJs and a movie next. (It was dark outside.)

Instead, I told them we had another activity, but only for the very brave... "Who wants to go to the park in the dark?!"

(They almost knocked me over with the happy screaming.)

monkeys 2
Monkeys at night.

We looked at the stars, played tag, which turned into zombie tag, and then headed to the tree house.

tree house

Running down that hill, of course, turned into rolling down the hill.

hold on tight!

I finally thought they were tired enough to being to settle down to a movie. Milkshakes made, and two movies later, the house was quiet. (around 12:30)

They were up again at 6:30am!

Grammy Pammy's fresh energy was a true blessing, especially in the morning. While I drank my coffee and wondered what I had been thinking, she played games with the girls.

"Have you ever ever ever in your long-legged life met a long-legged sailor and his long-legged wife?"

have you ever ever ever (sorry, parents, if you have had to hear this repeatedly since your kids have been home.)

They also loved the Good Question Game!

Good question game!!!

Weird conversations came out of this one, like, "Wouldn't a watermelon hand look weird with a wedding dress?" "NO it would not! Watermelon goes with everything!"

I threw some pancakes at them.
Then, Tickle- Monster (another thanks for Grammy's help with this one! I might have been overcome!)

And "Doggy doggy where's your bone?"

Marcus's poker face
what a poker face, marcus!

Then they packed up their things and had one last frolic outside!


We went back into the park, and they suddenly reminded me of boys, digging in the mud, talking about how things smelled like poop, and daring each other to try to eat those slimy discoveries.
(Don't worry parents, nobody ate anything.)


Then, we had a  quick photo shoot. (moms, I will email you the link for the full album!)


They were all gone by ten.  I am pretty sure I told all the mothers about the t-shirt craft we made and how it should be washed separately the first time, but if I didn't, I'm sorry, and I'm telling you now.

That afternoon, I took a three hour nap. 

Happy Birthday Lorraine!

PS Rumor has it that I am the "Coolest mom ever."
If my fans insist on this level of fun more than once a year, I will be looking to bestow that title upon whatever other mother would like it...

Friday, February 17, 2012


Mommy, do we really have to wait until the party?!

Rainy Collage

I'm getting ready for the sleepover today.. trying to put on my "fun mommy" hat!

I decided I am going to make them work for their after-school snack.  They have to "pay" for their cake with  a "coupon." (a Rainy face.)  So I am printing off some Rainy faces and hiding them all over the house for the kids to find.

I thought you might enjoy these, too.  

Random Rainy Pics from the past 9 years...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

From the mind of Grandpa

A few weeks ago, Aggie interviewed her Grandpa about his childhood for a homework assignment.

It was fun. A very good idea, in fact. And I realized that it is actually pretty fun to stop picking my own brain and pick someone else's for a change! :)

So, the assignment is over, but the interview continues.  

Marcus and Seth were especially impressed with this tidbit:

My cousin is sitting in the frame of the baby buggy that we eventually turned into a go cart.

We would push each other down the hill in the winter and crash into snowbanks. 
That's why there's only a frame left. 
That's me in the cowboy hat."

Hm, that reminds me of someone...

Never too young to learn how to work...

Pete is feeling better today.
He is well enough to get back to his daily chores:


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

fresh eyes


from boys..

to cookies...

looks better after we have all had a nap. 


My funny valentines... sweet, annoying, valentines

Making heart sugar cookies with my four boys today... NOT my favorite thing to do.

Things I should not have to say while making cookies:

"NO! You can't just eat egg shells!"
"Hang on, I'll roll your dough in a second..."
"NO! Don't put the cookie cutter on your FOOT!!"
"Hang on, I'll roll your dough in a second..."
"Don't put your fingers in the middle of the hearts!"
"Hang on, I'll roll your dough in a second..."
"Peter! Don't throw your sippy cup in the middle of the cookie tray! You smashed all the cookies!"
"Hang on, I'll roll your dough in a second..."
"Who put the cinnamon and nutmeg in the sink!?"
"Hang on, I'll roll your dough in a second..."

"Get out of the SINK!"
"Hang on, I'll roll your dough in a second..."

"You know what?
Just eat the dough in front of you and I'll finish up with the rest of it."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Counting some blessings

My babies, here are a few of my favorite things about each of you right at this moment.

I love how well you are doing with the piano.
I love that you bought a new volleyball with your birthday money.
I love what a helper you are to me with the littler kids- I even got to run on the treadmill yesterday afternoon thanks to you!
I love sharing inside jokes with you.

I love your constant-picture making for everyone.
I love that you were so excited to give Lorraine her birthday present that you nagged me like crazy until I let you give it to her: ten days early.
I love that you just read an entire Magic Tree House book to yourself.
I love that your short hair gives you less trouble with tangles like you hoped.

I love that you ask me questions all the time, and that you love to stump me.
I love when you explain mechanical and scientific things to me.
I love that the excitement of Disney made you skip with me!
I love that you have become a great swimmer!

I love the laughter that you bring to this family.
I love that trouble-making sparkle in your eye, even though it scares me!
I love when you tell me you prayed for Peter because he’s sick, and then you try to cheer him up by letting him knock you over.
I love when you finally pass out in bed, sitting up.

I love how excited you get when you see your blanket- it’s like you are reuniting with an old friend!
I love how badly you want to be a “big boy” all of a sudden!
I love that the way you say “Marcus” sounds like “Yarcus.”
I love when you run to hug  me and we tip over.

I love that you are FINALLY saying “mama!”
I love when you are happy to go to bed: you giggle when I tuck you and you blow me kisses!
I love that you still sometimes like to snuggle to sleep on me.
I love how your dimples can always make me so happy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I am glad he had a well check on monday! Now the doctor knows how fast this has all come up for Peter.
He has a double ear infection and it looks like the kind caused by bacteria.
That explains the bouts of screaming.
He is also being checked for strep! So we wait and color...sort of. I love that he keeps saying "uh oh"about everything in his sweet little voice!

(Update: no strep!)

Making the best of it!