Monday, January 25, 2010

Mini Post Monday

  • We sprouted kidney beans on wet paper towels in jars this last week.  The boys loved seeing them grow.  The jar on the left got mold in it and the sprouts all died.  The jar on the right has sprouts that are now 8 inches above the top of the jar!  I think we're going to try to transplant them to soil later today!
  • We signed the big boys up for T-Ball!  Their season starts at the end of February.  We tried to sign Aaron up last year, but he just didn't want to do it yet.  I think being in Scouts has helped him be willing to branch out and try new things.  I think Jerry and I are as excited as the boys, though!
  • Finished TCU Derby car!
  • Is it bad that Christmas thank-you cards are still on my "To Do" list?
  • This is what it looks like when I finally do dishes after almost 3 days of being on strike! 
  • Amazingly, the crock pot balanced precariously on the left did not fall!  I was a bit worried about that...
  • Aaron had his first Pinewood Derby.  He didn't win, and he was very disappointed about that.  He won the first race by a good 2 feet, but then when they were setting the cars up for the second race, the man dropped his car hard.  After that, it went much slower.  Aaron didn't see that happen, and I am glad for that.  Despite not winning a trophy, he had a lot of fun! 
  • Aaron was so proud of his TCU car.  He did all the painting himself.  Jerry taped off the lines for him and applied a sticky stencil so he could paint the numbers and letters, but Aaron did all the painting, sanding, and designing!
  • Jerry has made lots of progress on the bathroom remodel this week.  He grouted the floor tile and finished painting the cabinets and reinstalling them.  He added hardware to the cabinets (before there was none), and finished scraping the extra grout off the wall tile. 
  • I love the way all the elements look together!  This remodel is getting exciting!!
  • This is what the cabinets looked like before paint.  I know that painted cabinets are not technically as nice as stained cabinets, but when the stain is "honey oak" circa 1984 that is dull and lifeless, and the paint looks so incredible, I think the paint is still better! 
  • Do you think I should do dark brown paint in my kitchen, too?  I don't know how I feel about painted cabinets in the kitchen, but these drive me nuts...
  • I'm still getting used to my new haircut...I had 12 inches cut off of it.  I didn't realize it had gotten curly on me.  I knew it had gotten wavy, but I have no idea how to fix curly hair.  I'm still not sure I like what I see when I look in the mirror.

Picture credit:  Aaron.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Optimistically Speaking

I am now one quarter of the way through this pregnancy.  Hey, that sounds pretty darn good.  Better than "you have 210 days to go."

*gratuitous "my kids are cute" picture*

Friday, January 22, 2010


"Wow!  Mommy's really letting me drink my water from a 'big boy' cup!  I'm doing pretty well with it, too."

"Mmmm, water.  I could get used to this 'big boy' stuff!"

"My shirt feels kinda funny, though.  I wonder what's cold on my belly?"

"But, hey, it's all good!  I did it!  I really did it!  Now I'm not thirsty anymore, though.  I wonder what I should do with the rest of this water?"

"Oh!  That's what felt so funny on my tummy!  Water!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marie's Beans

When Marie posted her Green Bean recipe on her blog, I was so excited to try it.  It looked fantastic, and I never would have thought to add some rice flour to the beans in place of the bread crumbs the recipe originally called for.  I had planned to make them the very day she posted them because we have to rotate butter and rice (fortunately for me on the same day!) and it just happened to be the right day.  However, when it came time to make dinner, I went to my computer to look up the recipe on Marie's blog and to my horror, found that I had no internet service!  I was so perplexed, because our phone goes through the internet, and it still worked fine, but I could not get my computer to connect to our wireless connection.  Well, the next morning I finally figured out the problem - I had accidentally switched off the wireless function on my laptop.  DUH! Oh, well.  Then by the time it was butter/rice rotation again, we were doing our three-day shot diet (bleh), but I finally got to try it last week. (And I'm just now posting because that's life.)

I forgot to take a picture of these while they were all pretty on the plate, so I had to settle for a picture of the leftovers in the pan before I gobbled these ones up, too!

Anyway, the beans were fabulous!  Just the right touch of garlic, still slightly firm, buttery, and yummy!  Even Jerry, my green bean hater, said they were okay.  Let me tell you, that is a ringing endorsement from him!  I happened to be out of rice flour right at the time I made them, so I substituted Teff flour instead.  Teff is an African grain seed that has a really nice nutty flavor.  It was good!  Thank you, Marie for the recipe!  It is a keeper in this house!  Next I am going to try it with some frozen beans.  I get some really good frozen organic green beans at Costco.  They are the only frozen green beans I'll eat.  Normally, I think the frozen ones are nasty (I'd rather eat canned), but these ones are nice.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mini Post Monday

  • I never imagined just how much I would come to be dependent on White Sweet Potato Starch.  Seriously, I use this in almost every baked good I made these days.  Unfortunately, I have only found it by mail order from one source, and they are incredibly slow to ship and have very expensive shipping, too!
  • Aaron's Pinewood Derby car is taking shape.  He and Jerry went to use a band saw to cut the car shape last weekend, and Aaron decided to paint it as a TCU car.  I am still amazed that he started out with a solid block of wood and it now looks like this!  The race is this Friday!
  • He loves me.
  • He really, really loves me!
  • Our bathroom remodel has started moving along again, but with a few problems.  We got the amazing tile wall up!  Isn't it pretty?
  • We grouted with gray grout, which looks surprisingly white now.  Unfortunately, we waited too long to start washing the grout off and it is really sticking to the tile.  Jerry has gone over most of the tiles with a razor blade and they look decent now, but see the bottom picture for ones that we still need to scrape!  We also are learning that it is a common problem for glass tile to retain some grout in tiny imperfections that aren't really noticeable before you grout.  I looked online for ideas of how to get these tiny specks of grout out and the things people have done range from using dental tools to fingernail polish remover.  I have a big job ahead of me to clean out over 7,000 tiles!
  • This last week, God was teaching me some pretty neat things about what it means to me that Jesus became man and experienced the temptations and weakness that I experience.  How wonderful that when I pray about my weakness, He really understands!
  • Aaron has suddenly decided that he wants to wear his hair in a Mohawk.  I have tried for years to get him to wear a bit more style in his hair than the simple "comb to the side" look, and he always resists me wanting a simple hairdo.  I have no idea where it is coming from, but he has now converted his brothers, too!  Needless to say, they had to wear hats when we went out to run errands!
  • The older males in our house have come up with a new game.  It is called "Catch and Sniff" and it commences each time there is a diaper change for Drew.  I'm sure you can imagine the object of this game...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Dear Anna,
Thank you for making this past year so fun, exciting, memorable, adventurous and...expensive.  You are a blessing.  Happy birthday (yesterday).
Love your devoted mother (with no mouse for the computer anymore)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Update on Rachel's Eyes

Rachel's crossed eye has regressed to all-out lazy eye (amblyopia).  She now must be patched three hours a day until she's seven or so.  As you can see, she's not all that happy about it.  She is a very mild-mannered girl and so she is just weepy about it, but she hasn't protested much.  She's playing a game on the computer right now.  Poor little Ray.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mini Post Monday

I apparently didn't take any pictures at all this week, so I decided to give you some oldies-but-goodies from when my older two boys were born!
  • After noticing that Andrew has been chewing on his fingers way in the back of his mouth, Jerry and I were talking about how late our kids get their teeth.  Jerry asked me, "If you don't get your 1-year molars until you're 1 1/2, are you dentally retarded?"
  • Aaron, the day after he was born, still in the hospital.
  • How you know you're living with boys #29:  Aaron (reading a label), "Egg substitute? ::pause::  "hee-hee, toot..." ::much laughter::
  • Just after Aaron's first bath at home.  Just after this picture was taken, he pooped in the towel and had to be cleaned again...
  • I am thankful that God allows me to get uncomfortable enough to want to change when I'm going down the wrong path.  I don't like being uncomfortable, but I like being out of God's will even less!
  • Aaron's first glimpse of his brother,Ethan.  They have been close friends ever since!
  • Jerry and I have been watching some DVD's of Louie Giglio preaching from his Passion Talk Series.  They are called "Indescribable" and "How Great is Our God."  If you can get your hands on these videos, you need to watch them.  They are amazing.  He looks at science in a way that so clearly points out how awesome and incredible our God really is!  I am going to show parts to Aaron, too.  Really, get a copy of these.
  • Just arriving home from the hospital with Ethan.  Notice the beautiful blanket he is under made by none other than Joanna!
  • The boys and Jerry just finished another LDA allergy treatment.  I am so glad it is over.  They boys have decided that they would rather starve themselves the three days of strict diet than eat what they are able to.  Jerry still ate, but I had to watch the boys lay around absolutely miserable with hunger and still refuse to eat.  I didn't realize until this three day period just how much of my satisfaction as a mother came from the process of taking care of my family physically.  To not be able to feed my family was almost more than I could bear.  On a positive note, they are responding to the treatment quite well!  After the shot, both Jerry and Aaron felt great. Ethan's body responds by sleeping.  He slept for almost 36 hours straight, only getting up a couple times for less than an hour each time!
  • Aaron and Ethan continue to bond.  Ethan is about 1 week old here.  Aaron is 22 months.
  • Aaron is making his very first Pinewood Derby car in Cub Scouts.  He and Jerry went to use a saw with the Pack to cut out the car yesterday.  I will get some pictures of him working on it this week!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mini Post Monday

Okay, so it is a bit late, but it is still Monday - so no comments from the peanut gallery, ya hear??

  • I think Ethan has a future career as an inventor.  Tonight at dinner he said, "We should make a toy ear that when you push the button, ear wax comes out!"  Aaron and Jerry confirmed that they would buy that gross toy in a heartbeat, so I'm guessing it would be a big seller!
  • Ethan choosing out a toy at Toys R Us.
  • Speaking of ears, my kids call Q-tips, "ear-picks."  Gee, with a name like that, I'm a bit scared to use them!
  • Things I like hearing out of my child's mouth: "Dad, can you please move?  I'm trying to vacuum."
  • Jerry laying floor tile.
  • The bathroom remodel has been all about laying tile this past week.  Jerry got down floor tile and got the custom tile we ordered up on the wall.  It looks awesome!
  • Our awesome custom wall tile.  This stuff looks sharp!
  • It is fun to watch my kids develop their own personalities.  This last week we took the kids to Toys R Us to spend some Christmas money.  Ethan found something he liked, didn't care that it didn't use all his money or wasn't the "best" or "ultimate" or whatever.  He liked it, so he chose it.  Aaron, on the other hand, had to line up every Lego set he saw that he liked and was in his budget, then sit on the floor in front of them to ponder what would be the absolute perfect choice. 
  • Aaron studying his Lego choices.  He went with the Space Police set all the way to the left, if you want to know!
  • One of my goals for 2009 was to read more books of literary significance.  I love to read, but I am admittedly in a rut when it comes to reading.  I like to read easy fiction.  I like a good romantic, historic, or action novel.  These are fun to read, but not challenging in any way.  I wanted to expand my literature selections to include non-fiction, "classic" literature (the kind that is found on recommended reading lists), and Newberry Award winning children's literature.  So how'd I do?  According to our side blog, I read 34 books this year.  Not bad.  Of those 34, 21 books fall into the "easy fiction" category.  I wish it had been half or less, but that still means that I read 13 books this year that probably wouldn't have been in my "read" pile last year.  Of those 13 books, 5 were non-fiction, including one biography.  This is a very new thing for me!  The remaining 8 were still fiction, but were "classics" or award-winning, or deeper "make you think" books.  My goal for 2010 is to make it half and half.
  • The big boys making no bake cookies - yum!
  • We finally got Andrew a new car seat and switched him to forward facing.  When he was born, we got a bucket style seat that went up to 30 pounds, so he still fit in it until just before Christmas.  He really loves being able to see out the window now, though!
  • Although you wouldn't know it from the look on his face here, Andrew loves his new car seat!
  • Remember the couple I told you about last week who died on Christmas Eve?  At their memorial service this past Saturday, the family walked in to "Pomp and Circumstance."  It turns out that my friend, Pat, always wanted her funeral to start off with that song because she saw her death as the "commencement" of her life with Christ in Heaven.  She knew because of her faith in Jesus, her death was not the end for her.  Isn't that a wonderful song for a funeral when you look at it that way?