Friday, February 26, 2010

Thinking Outside Bipartisan Box

Whether you like the Democratic version of the health care bill, or the "Republican-lite" version, I think sometimes it is worth getting some fresh ideas from outside those parties. Watch these videos and see if any of the information is valuable or helpful in your perspective on the health care debate. If you want to leave any comments or opinions, just remember to play nice!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Rotation of Stuff

With three children close in age, and plans to have more, we can accumulate stuff with the best of them. Nate and I do our best to only keep what we love and what our children love, but needless to say, it takes a lot of work and we still manage to have too many things in our house and garage. Knowing that we want more children, we have to be wise about what we decide to part with and what we decide to keep for future use. With Gunnar pulling himself up on things, and walking along furniture, we knew it was time to get out what we call "the wall and tunnel." My parents got this for Layla when she was a baby. It is now getting used by a third baby. Layla, Julius and Gunnar have all loved it. I am amazed at how much the older kids still get a kick out of it. What's even funnier, is that Layla and Julius have no recollection of the toy from their own baby days. That's the beauty of rotating toys in and out of storage. Old toys are once again new!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

8 Years Ago Today...

....I was walking down the aisle.

Nathan and I sealed our vows with a kiss.

We had lots of friends and family in our wedding party.

We had "hugs and kisses" on our cake. We never got to eat a whole piece of cake because the wait staff cleared our table before we were finished with the photographer:( My mom kindly ordered a tiny wedding cake from the same bakery for our one year anniversary. It was yummy!

We still have these champagne flutes. I try to get them out a few times a year for special occasions.

Nathan's brother, Jeremy, had everyone cracking up during the toast.

My great aunt let me borrow a fur shawl that has been in the family for quite some time.

By the end of the night, my hose were ripped and Nathan and I were exhausted!

Please excuse the quality of these photos. I just snapped some pictures from my wedding album. You see, Nathan and I were married before the digital age was in full effect!

Nathan, I have enjoyed the past 8 years beyond belief! It's hard to imagine all the fun and craziness that is in store for us over the next 8, 20, and even 50 years. I love you and I am so thankful you chose me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Days and Sore Ribs

Nate and our family were blessed with another snow day! Yeah! We are all thrilled for the relaxing day, especially since it followed a weekend out of town. I headed outside to do a little shoveling. I actually like to shovel some after a snow storm. I don't get much exercise, and I love to get the blood flowing in the fresh, cold air. But, man-o-man is this snow wet and heavy! I can already tell that I will be waking up tomorrow with sore ribs. I will try and grab some pictures of the kids' snowman, and post them later tonight! Enjoy the snow!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am thinking about making these today.........

And maybe these, too!

If you need some good snacks for the weekend, go check these out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No, Their Foreheads Aren't Dirty

So, way back when, I used to work in an office with a special and interesting mix of folks. One day, on Ash Wednesday, my coworker, Mary, came back from attending the noon mass at a local church. As I approached her in the hallway, I was taken aback by the very large smudge on her forehead. I said, "Mary, you've got some dirt on your forehead! Let me help you get it off." She raised her hands in defense and said, "no, they are ashes!"

Me, the little girl who grew up in Protestant-ville, knew nothing about ashes being smeared on the forehead. The churches I graced through my years were anything, but liturgical. Mary gave me the quick run down of the tradition and taught me something new in life. Thank you, Mary!

So if you see someone today, and you think their forehead is dirty, think again! I now can't have an Ash Wednesday go by without chuckling about my ignorance!

To learn a bit more about Ash Wednesday, click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fun with Daddy

Layla got to go ice fishing with Daddy and our friend, Dave, from church. Daddy caught a bluegill. Layla almost caught one, except it jumped the line before she was able to pull it in!

Layla and Julius love to "wrestle and punch" with daddy!

Gunnar has quickly learned, through keen observation, how to get in on the rough-housing, too!

Oh, what fun daddy's are!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Class of '96

Seeing my son's shirt made me think of my fellow classmates. I wanna give a big shout out to the Class of '96! Can you believe we've been out of high school this long!?!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Belated Birthday Bash

My parents were out of town for the past couple weeks, so we had a little belated birthday party for Julius this weekend at their house. My Aunt Lisa and cousin Ashley came over to join in on the fun!

It's so hard to watch someone else open up presents!

Gunnar was happy to play with the balloons and put random scraps of wrapping paper in his mouth!

Julius thanking Ashley for the cool star planetarium!

Loving his Lightening McQueen card!

Thank you Papa and Grandma Meredith for sending this cool mountain track all the way from Florida! Julius and Layla played with this for quite a while.

Aunt Lisa figured that if we started him out as a Lion's fan now, they just might be good by the time he is old enough to appreciate it!

My parents got Julius this doodle pro, so he can have one just like Layla. Yeah! No more fighting over that toy!

These cute little wooden animals are just adorable. They will be enjoyed by all the kids!

Layla is really liking Julius' bouncy ball. It was a bit big for Julius, so my parents are getting a smaller one for him and Layla will get to have this one. She is pretty excited!

Isn't he a cute little present?

Thank you Uncle Gary, Aunt Jayne, Cousins Natalie and Meredith. The farm toys were a big hit.

Julius really likes these finger lights from Grandpa Dave and Grandma Karen. WARNING: If you happen to have vertigo or epilepsy, stay from away from a toy like this! LOL!

The cake doesn't look so hot in photos. It has caramel poured over it. Liked the cake, liked the caramel. Not sure I liked them together.

Happy birthday, Julius! Not all kids get multiple parties.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It Sure Did!

Well, we got the snow and the snow day that we were hoping for. It wasn't the great, wet packing snow perfect for building snowmen, but, hey, you can't always get your way!

Our friend, Josh, decided to crash at our house Tuesday night. That way, his snowy morning commute to work would be about half the distance. We enjoyed the company, as did the kids. They love Josh, like an uncle.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed their daddy being home for the day. Mommy enjoyed the waffles and eggs Nate made for breakfast! Nate enjoyed taking a little nap after shoveling the sidewalk and driveway.

Today, it was back to business, as usual.

The kids enjoy playing this together. Layla likes to pretend she is a teacher. She makes Julius say the letters and the sounds they make.

Gunnar enjoyed a little time in the tub.

Today is a swell day! It is just around lunch time and all the important things are done. I need more days to go like this, lol!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let It Snow!

We are already paying the price for keeping our kids out past 11:00 last night. Our pastor and his wife invited us over to watch the Superbowl. We had lots of fun!

Pastor Jeremy and Devon kindly gave us this belated gift for Christmas.

Isn't that the cutest little trinket ever?!?

I thought it would look great next to our snowman kit. My mom got us this before Christmas and we haven't gotten to use it yet. All of our snow recently has been dry and fluffy. Not the good and wet stuff that makes great packing snow. They are calling for a glorious snow storm tomorrow or Wednesday. Could there be a snow day for my hubby in the near future? We sure hope. I think this sign on our back door says it all!

Bring on the snow! Maybe we will get to use that snowman kit, soon, after all!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Not the Only One.....Right?

I know I am not the only mother, in the history of the world, who let her baby.......

play in the dirty laundry and.........

let her two older children get into a bag of tortilla chips, all by themselves........

just so I could pay the bills in peace and quiet?!?

Morning Funnies

This morning, at 7:30, as we all headed downstairs, Layla said "I should have overslept this morning!" Yes, Layla. Mommy couldn't agree with you more!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa

Stuck on a dairy-free diet, or need to limit your dairy intake, but still want to enjoy a steaming mug of hot cocoa? We have found that this recipe hits the spot. The kids even love it!

Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa Recipe

1 can of coconut milk
2/3 can of water
1/3 cup of sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa
dash of salt
splash of vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together and heat to desired temperature. Top with mini-marshmallows and enjoy! Serves 3

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting Outside

I have to say, one of my big weaknesses as a parent, is getting outside during the colder months. Spring, summer and fall are no big deal, because the weather is comfortable and I usually have plenty of yard work and gardening to tend to. But winter.....oh.....with a baby, usually my time to hibernate.

Lately, Layla and Julius have been wanting someone to go outside with them. This worked for the past few weeks daddy didn't have to teach in the after school program. He was usually home by 4:00, leaving plenty of daylight time for fun in the snowy backyard. But now, he is back to his regular schedule and tends to get home around 5:45. Then, we immediately sit down to dinner (most nights :).

Yesterday, Julius threw a fit because he wanted me to play outside with him. It wasn't going to happen because the baby was due to wake up any minute from his nap. But today, I watched beautiful, fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky and I felt that twinge of childhood nostalgia calling me outdoors. I got the kids dressed in there snow gear, the baby bundled up and in the carrier, and threw a few of Nate's coats over myself and Gunnar.

Gunnar and I dressed for the snow (yes, I am wearing camoflouge and no, I don't have any make-up on).

Layla and Julius were glad for the company outside.

The best part of going outside on a cold and chilly day is coming back in for hot cocoa with marshmallows!

I will have to get outside a bit more this winter!

Need a little encouragement to get yourself and even your kids outside? Check out this excerpt from the book, Last Child in the Woods. I haven't read the book yet myself, but have read several articles about it and I find it very interesting. I think I need to get that book!