Monday, August 31, 2009


We love to read. I've loved reading since I was a kid, and I wish that I had more time to devour novels like I used to. I went to a Usborne party at my friend's over the weekend, so I'm looking forward to getting a few new books for the kids. (I'm hosting a party at my house in October, so be sure to leave a comment or e-mail me if you'd like an invite.) I want to share some of our favorite books, but I don't want to take too much room on this blog page. So, I started a second blog that just has a list of books. You can actually click on the book to find it at Amazon (and if you buy it, I get credit toward more books). You can never have too many books, right? :) (My husband would answer that differently than I would....) So, look to your right and you'll find a link that says read. Click it (or click here) and you'll be connected to our little library.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How many times....

I'm sitting at the kitchen table exhausted after only 3 hours of sleep thanks to Ava waking up screaming just minutes after I fell asleep around 11...I went to her room to find her bouncing up and down on her bed crying...had to pee...bad. I took her to the bathroom and went back to bed. From there I stared at the clock and watched the minutes click away until I finally went downstairs to catch up on some quality Food Network programming that I had recorded. So, now I am a huge grump, cursing this stupid laptop that I'm using because the cursor keeps jumping into the middle of the paragraph and typing in the wrong spot. The kids won't listen and it makes me wonder how many times I will say the following over the next few years: Ava: "stop jumping on the couch [or bed]" "I didn't ask you if you HAD to go potty. I said go. potty. NOW!" "crackers is not a food group" "stop doing gymnastics on the couch" "stop drinking the bathwater. that's disgusting" Michaela: "get out of the dog food" "stop eating the dog food" "stop feeding the dog" notice a theme here? "stop drinking the bathwater. that's disgusting" Overall they are very good girls. I just wish they would listen to me a little more often. Not to get too deep early in the morning, but many times as I'm yelling at them..."HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU....."I think to myself, that's just how God must feel about correcting me....hmmmm..... Now maybe someone will go get me some Starbucks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Extreme Fort

While we are waiting for the gopher wood to build our ark, we thought we'd start with an extreme fort. (for those of you who don't live near me - it's been raining for about 48 hours straight) HOPEFULLY this will keep the girls entertained for the night because I am tired. They've requested "mix bowl"*, Olivia (or "hollalia" in M speak), Little Einstein Instrument Fairies, and I'm trying to talk them into a movie that lasts longer than 20 minutes and does not include "clap clap," "blastoff," or nukker holes. Can't wait until they are old enough for Anne of Green Gables, or Little House on the Prairie. My dear boy scout is at his 4th straight night least he provides us with entertainment when he's here(and not reading up on the latest peat discovery and how it affects scotch made in 1743).
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*Mix bowl: a delightful concoction of cheez-its, goldfish, TJ's cat cookies, little saltines, oyster crackers ("octagon crackers" in Ava-speak) jelly bellies, and whatever else I happen to throw in. This started last week when I made a floor fort and didn't have popcorn. I said, well I just mixed some things together in this bowl. Hence, we have mix bowl. Oh, and it must be served in my wooden salad bowl.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's happening

Just thought I'd update with what we are doing around here: I just finished making/canning my first blueberry jam. Apparently I need more blueberries because I only got 2 jars. Well, 2 12 oz jars. Guess I should have read the directions before buying the biggest jars I found. Hopefully they'll seal properly. Then I will be confident enough to buy more fruit. Ava has advised me that although she loves blueberries, she does not like blueberry jam. Michaela is running full speed ahead into the "terrible twos." She enjoys high-pitch screaming, hitting, saying no, and screaming a little more. On a brighter note, she's figured out how to say "help," which is nice. Please, help, no, mine, sis, spank, no hit, no bite, no that kid. Ava enjoys talking to herself, making up games, playing with her invisible friends (no names), playing with sis, holding her pee until the absolute last possible moment, eating crackers, figuring out what letter words start with, gallopping around the house, drawing, and planning her 4th birthday party. Today she prayed and thanked God for Adam & Eve...and thank you for God, too.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New background

So, maybe I'm just a wee bit early for fall, but I love fall, and we have had such fall-like weather here in the midwest. I thought I'd change it now so I can enjoy it for a while. I'm sure I'll probably change it in a month or so to a new fall background.


I posted a few videos that I created a while back using one true media. My membership expires later this week, so I wanted to grab the "premium" versions while I could. I also ordered my free dvd, so maybe the girls will want to watch something other than Little Einsteins (the current long Dragon Tales. Woo Hoo!) A big shout out to my buddy J.S. b/c I know he's reading my blog and will sit and watch the videos. ha ha.

Christmas 2007

Summer 2007

Life from my wedding through summer 2007

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A few of our favorite things....

1. My Keurig coffee maker 2. The dream cream that is relieving M's eczema! (lush handmade cosmetics) 3. McDonald's diet coke 4. Trader Joe's cat cookies 5. Bath & Body Works lemon kitchen soap 6. The Well-Trained Mind (a great homeschooling book) 7. The Butterfly House @ Peck Farm 8. Costco 9. Fage greek yogurt 10. Randall Oaks petting zoo

Monday, August 17, 2009

The great mysteries of life

1. Why Ava can eat a McDonald's chicken nugget with no problem, but gags (and throws up) any other type of chicken nugget. 2. Why Ava's fish plays dead. 3. Why Michaela plugs her ears when she sings. 4. Why Ava will eat fries but not mashed potatoes. 5. Why Ava will pick a tomato and eat it whole, but won't eat one that I cut up for her and put on top of pasta. 6. Why people are so stinkin' mean. 7. Why McDonald's diet coke is so good. 8. Why every time I tickle Michaela's arms I have to sing "baa baa black sheep." I'm sure I'll think of more when I'm done singing baa baa black sheep.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The deer show

There are deer that live in some woods near our house. They often come to eat off of the crabapple trees right behind our back fence. Tonight we had a good deer show. There's a 10 point buck that visits quite often. I never knew how important this was until I married a man from Michigan - prime hunting grounds. Fortunately, he does not hunt, although he did tell me tonight that that deer has a "prize rack." Hmmm.....that's what he used to tell me.... I posted a few videos on you tube; you can find them by clicking on my movie link to the right. What we didn't get on video was Michaela's excitement about seeing the deer. She was bouncing up and down in Pete's arms making faces and yelling "do doos eat apples! do doos eat apples!" <"do doos" = deer.>

I'm not in my room...

Last night Pete was praying with me before bed...Ava was lying in our bed watching tv. In the middle of Pete's prayer, Ava started praying. Dear God. Thank you for this day. something about blessings...some other things I forgot because the next part cracked me up so much.... "Oh, God? I'm not in my room. I'm here in mommy and daddy's bed watching the Good Night Show...." and then went on with her prayer. Amen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Butterfly House...again

...because it's one of our favorite places to be.... Ava loves naming the butterflies. Today they even had a few just breaking out of cocoons.  
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Today Michaela was freaked out by the fan that blows to get the butterflies off of you lest they leave the house. So, she was pretty content to just sit on a bench.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We have a nukker hole!

Ava's imagination is currently on overdrive. She's VERY into "self play" and talks to herself, her little people, her dolls, etc. for hours on end. She makes up games, does voices, and is just a riot to listen long as she does not know you are listening. If she notices you are listening, or if you make a comment about what she's doing, she gets really embarrassed and stops playing. Currently her favorite show is Dragon Tales. Generally her "favorites" rotate on a monthly basis, but this one has stuck around for a while. A few days ago the "tree people" from the Village cut down the tree across the street. That provided at least an hour of entertainment. Once it was down Ava declared, "We have a nukker hole!" and then waited for dragons to come out. For those who have never had the delight of watching Dragon Tales...there's a 2 headed Dragon - one is Zak the other is Wheezie. Zak & Wheezie live in a "nukker hole" which looks very much like a tree stump. Ava has mentioned on several occasions that the men chopped down a tree because it was sick and stopped we have a nukker hole. She was talking about it the other day, so Pete & I "joined in" her game. Her response, "Mom. You know this is just pretend. There is really no such thing as a nukker hole." Like totally duh mom. Today she was walking down the stairs with Miss Jacki and says, "Miss Jacki. Did you know we have a nukker hole across the street?"......... Oh, Ava. (And Miss Jacki's comment to me was that she knew she was in trouble when on her first day babysitting Ava said, "snow is frozen precipitation.") As for Michaela...she pulls at her eyelids because it grosses me out. I tell her to stop, she laughs and does it more. Now she yells, "" until I look at her...and she pulls her eyelids. My question: Why is a 20 month old calling me mom? What happened to mommy? or mama?

Snack time

  Snacking on the patio before taking a dip in the frigid waters of the little pool. Ahhhh....what a life.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ballerina Girl

Ava's new jammies. She definitely loves pajamas...although she's been sleeping in her "skin" since she was about 18 months old. Can't stand actually sleeping in the jammies - gets too hot. Beds should be cold and cozy, she says. I agree.
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Finery

These are dresses that my sister's co-worker gave to the girls. Too cute, so I had to post pics.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


  I have had a Cuisinart Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt maker for years, but I've only used it a few times. Why? I do not know. I pulled it out a few days ago to make a frozen yogurt recipe I found in the Food Network Magazine. It was supposed to duplicate the recipe from Pinkberry. Now, I've never had Pinkberry, but the "duplicate" was pretty dang good. So, I am now a lover of my ice cream maker. Today we watched Giada make a pomegranate mint sorbet. Soon after, I went to the store and got what I needed. It was SO good! The girls loved it, too. I did use a pomegranate-cranberry combo juice because I was at Jewel and unwilling to give my first born to afford the straight pom juice they have there. I also skipped the chocolate chips because, well, it just seemed a little gross. In any event, the substitution was unnoticeable...the sorbet delicious...we will be making more. {oh, and there's 2 pics of Michaela because she says CHEESE and smiles every time she sees the camera...and waits until I take a picture. She's just too cute to say no to. :) }

at National Night Out 8/4/09

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Friday, August 7, 2009

It's Friday....

Happy Friday to the 3 people that are reading this blog. It's a slightly chilly rainy day here in the great midwest. I spent some quality time at depositions this morning. Pete stayed with the girls...played at the park...did daddy stuff. When I got home, I had an e-mail from my neighbor with a funny Ava story. Apparently Pete & the girls met up with my neighbor and her daughter at the park. Ava and "Cici" (what Michaela calls her) are the best of friends. They held hands all the way home from the park.... awww..... Anyway, Ava has this obsession lately with riding the school bus. Obviously she won't since I'm homeschooling. She said that she was not going to ride the school bus when she turns 4. (Everything great will happen when she turns 4...she'll eat vegetables, stop fearing thunder, stop sucking her thumb, but unfortunately, she will not ride the bus.) My neighbor asked if she liked where she went to "school" last year. (A church PDO program that Ava loved and Cici will be attending this year.) Ava said, yes, she loved it. But, alas, she's not going back because she is going to "mamastiks christian preschool" at home. (No she didn't say mamastiks, but I'm trying to keep my last name out of this blog. I do need a little privacy from googlers.) She continued: "I cried." My neighbor asked why. Ava: Because it is SO HARD! Ahh, yes. I am a taskmaster for the 4 y.o. preschool curriculum. On another note, I found out today that one of my favorite college professors passed away this past April. He taught most of my lit classes and could be quite entertaining. He looked exactly like Captain Stubing from the Love Boat...a fact of which I advised him on the last day of Shakespeare class.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Water slides

We had a blast at Coco Key. Ava just loves the water slides. Thanks to Patra and the guys at Sheraton. Of course, I forgot the camera, so we have no pictures. I included one from our last trip. Same things happened this time, too. Well, except for Michaela loading her pants with diarrhea preventing us (me & Michaela) from swimming last night and much of today. Last night I got to relax while Michaela slept and Pete took Ava to the pool and hot tub. She LOVES the hot tub. I got to read my current book Julie & Julia. Michaela doesn't really like the slides yet, anyway, so she had fun chilling with mommy. Pete has another day off tomorrow, so he'll play with the girls while I go to depositions. Good times.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Show me the way

It's so funny how I always second-guess myself when I make certain decisions - whether big or small. A few times in my life I've made big decisions, second-guessed, and then things happening around me convinced me that yes, I did make the right decision in the first place. It's happening now - kind of cool actually. What's not funny is that Ava has spent 2 out of the last 3 nights in our bed. Her cousin Alyssa (turning 6 today...better call her) decided to delight her with a story about how birds watch for doors left open, and then call all of their bird friends to join them in entering the house and cook the resident in the oven. Every night Ava asks if I'm SURE that I've shut all the doors. The other night Pete & I were trying to convince her that birds COULD not put her in the oven...he said that birds are more scared of us than we are of know how birds fly away when they get close? I said, birds have wings - they don't have hands to put you in the oven. To which Ava replied: "Yes, mom, but they have FEET that they use to grab things...." Thanks lissy. :) The best, though, had to be when Ava was originally telling me the scary tale, Alyssa stood behind her with a little smirk on her face. Hilarious! Can't wait for Ava to tell Michaela!