Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Eve

Best Buddies. All ready for Christmas Eve service at our new church.
Princess Daphne and Queen Victoria all ready too. Kaleb is in there somewhere in the back. See if you can find him. He and Victoria are singing with their Sunday School classes. I like seeing all the children dressed up in their red and black. Victoria insisted on singing with her practice music sheet. She said she needed it to read. She cracks me up. We have 3 shy children and then there is Victoria who wants to experience it all.For the prelude, Daphne and Kaleb played their violins. Kaleb played Silent Night beautifully with Daphne playing the harmony. And then Daphne quieted the entire congregation with her Celtic song Christmas Eve. We were really proud of them for being able to offer their music and talents on such a special occasion as our Lord's birth.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kaleb's Stocking is done just in time...

Kaleb's stocking is officially completed. (I know it is Christmas Eve, for a while there I didn't think I was going to get it done.) After many hours and years of working on this thing, I am happy to say it is no longer brewing on the back burner. At Thanksgiving I had only 1/3 of it cross stitched. Kaleb was so excited for his stocking to join the ranks hanging, ready to be filled with goodies, I didn't have the heart to let it go another year. Yes, it has been in the works for the past few years. It is a little odd that each of the kids so far had their stocking completed when they were 8 years old. I don't know how that happened. It just did. When I started on Kirk's we were barely married and was stitched "Kirk". After Daphne was born, I changed it to "Dad". So much more appropriate. So now I get to go to bed at a decent hour. I won't be staying up to 3 a.m. stitching away. I am getting too old to be doing that. At least for another 4 years, when Victoria is 8 and asking when hers will be done. The kids keep teasing that they are going to ask for one for my grandchildren. I said "no way". I will do them something else. This is all I have cross-stitched in the past 18 years! I would really like to try my hand at something else, thank you. (I managed to get Kaleb's favorite stuffed animal "Cheezer" to pose for a stitching. He is sitting on the dresser under the pig.)

AHHH Pretty Kitty

Our friend's kitty, Shotzey, looks so sweet under the tree. I almost didn't see her. She blended in so well.

Victoria's Ornaments

Victoria hard at work. We did have to convince her that red and green will turn muddy if she mixes the colors. I think that was intriguing to her. She did everything herself except for the glitter glue. It was a little hard to squeeze out of the bottles. She was very proud of her creations.

Cookie Delivery

I discovered that my Mom was working almost every morning this week until Christmas so we decided to deliver her some Christmas Cookies early to her work at 8:30 in the morning. When I came around the corner to where she was sitting I could hear her typing. Before I even knew it was her I knew that that was her typing. She has a kind of hyper typing sound. She is the quickest typist I have ever known. I would never be able to compete against her for the title. She automatically wins the Gold in that category. Anyway, she loved the cookies to go with her coffee. And so did her co-workers. Here is the kicker...she works at a Women's Gym. So I guess they are in the perfect place to eat cookies... They can run on the treadmill 20 min for every cookie that is eaten. Isn't that how it works?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All in a Days Work

Working as a nurse, you meet people from all walks of life. You find out what the world is really made up of. Don't get me wrong though. There are some really nice people out there. Long ago when I was a mere 22 working as a nurse for the first time my patients and their family would always ask me how old I was because they honestly didn't believe I was old enough to be their nurse. I constantly had to reassure them that yes, I was! So now that I am a member of the over 40 crowd, I don't have to reassure my patients families (since most of my patients are sweet little babies) that I am old enough. I am old. I look old. I have laugh lines! for pete's sake. I have 4 kids. If that doesn't qualify me of having experience, I don't know what does. SO...yesterday I floated to the maternity ward and was taking care of this sweet young girl of 22 who was 19 weeks pregnant with a kidney infection. She had a ton of visitors. One couple who visited, was this young Croatian and his cute little girlfriend sitting at the bottom of the bed visiting. I came in, hung my IV bag and left the room only to remember that I left some extra tubing on the pole that I wanted to throw away. I turned and reopened the door just in time to hear this young man ask my patient if she had any "young nurses"? I love to have fun, so I flung my mouth open at his response and said "I heard what you said". He immediately said he didn't mean it that way. Yeah...Right! Poor guy. His face was red and boy was he back peddling. Thanks alot! I guess I won't ever have to show my ID of experience anymore. Have you noticed that when you are young you just want to be older? But when you get older you wish you could stay young? As for being over 40...I think I like it. I like the idea of growing old gracefully. I may look older on the outside but I feel pretty young on the inside. I guess that is all that counts.

Visit with Santa

Nothing like a visit with Santa. Santa this year was a nice man. Asking the usual question..."so what do you want for Christmas". I am so glad that Victoria didn't pipe up with what she wants this year. I would hate to explain it to Santa. Then again he's Santa. He knows what every little boy and girl wants. you want to know what she wants? She wants this little doggy from the Littlest Petshop... that comes with a little newspaper and are you ready? Poop. Yes, she wants doggy poo.

Trip to the Mall

We are on a mission to see Santa at the mall. A little detour to ride the carousel. Kaleb on a frog, Victoria on a unicorn. Jared felt that being almost 13 was way to old to be riding a carousel. Daphne claims that she will never be too old. So I let her ride as the adult with Victoria since she is below the height line. I always remind Daphne that there are perks to having a baby sister.

Miss Librarian

I think Daphne would make a great children's librarian. She doesn't agree. I guess we don't have to. She has a photographic memory for what she sees in books, or what stories are about and can go right to where they are on the shelf. She has a gift. There was a time that I may have not believed some fact that she was sharing until she showed me up by presenting me with an open book on that fact. Okay... We love the library. It is the only place that the kids have no limits. They can check out whatever number of books they want, on whatever subject. Within reason of course. Our basket at home has been known to be overflowing at times. Though the older kids do put two limits on Victoria's choice of DVD's. No "Wiggles" and no "Barney". I usually don't let them stifle each others unique interests. Though I have to say, I let them enforce this one. There is only so much you can listen to Barney.

Christmas Cards for Soldiers

We dropped off Christmas cards for the soldiers at the Recruitment center today. Daphne and Jared were too shy to come in to the drop box. Not Victoria and Kaleb. They loved it. Especially when the guys disappeared into the back and came out with army water bottles, and camo pens and pencils. These guys were extremely polite. I think they were excited to actually have someone come in. I rarely see any activity going on inside. Anything to spread good cheer. We got out to the car and realized we had the camera with us. So of course we had to go back inside for a photo op.

My Little Baker

Every year we roll up our sleeves and gather supplies to make our own ornaments. Most of the time we have success. Sometimes something goes horribly wrong. That is usually my project. This year Victoria and I decided that since she enjoys baking, she could bake some salt dough ornaments this year. Victoria, being herself, decided to make Dog ornaments. Not quite what I had in mind. But then again we are all unique individuals.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bumps on a Log

Toby and Mattie doing what cats do best. Cat napping.

Gingerbread Village

After church today we visited this Gingerbread Village on display at the Marriott hotel. The display is 12' by 16' and very impressive. They used 170 lbs of chocolate and 400 lbs of gingerbread. Something like that...don't quote me. Decorating gingerbread houses is a well loved family tradition in our house every December, so of course we enjoyed seeing what materials were used and how they used them. We especially liked the trail mix pathways and cookie dough chunks for boulders.
Daphne likes the idea of crushed peppermints on the roof. She also thinks that this year we need sticks of gum for decorating.I thought the chunks of ice floating in a river of blue water was clever. Makes you cold just looking at it. Brrr.

Okay, Jared was a little envious at first as he studied this igloo. Remember, he has experience in igloo building. After a couple minutes he had decided that they must have used a bowl up side down for structure and that the entrance was not connected. Now, now. So I guess it is getting close to digging out our gingerbread recipe to venture into our own session of building and decorating. Nothing like being up to our elbows in icing. Maybe we will drive around and look at Christmas lights first.

Fools by Neil Simon

Daphne performed in her first drama production of Fool's this past couple days. She did an awesome job and earned quite a few laughs. The story "Fool's" is about a Russian town where everyone has been cursed with being dumb. A schoolmaster comes to the town and ends up lifting the curse by marrying into the family where the curse originated. At the end the curse is lifted and the butcher (Daphne's character) finds out that she really is dumb. The whole process keeps you laughing the entire time. The young actors and actresses had fun performing and did it extremely well. All the girls had funky hair. I never imagined how they were going to achieve this. I was more concerned that they wanted Daphne's hair curled. Good luck with that one. No, instead they had styrofoam cones and an assortment of flowers and such. The first night Daphne had her hair wrapped around a cone going straight up. She maxed out over 6'4" (she was taller than her Grandfather) and had 63 bobby pins intertwined. The second night I brought the camera. This time she had 112 pins keeping everything snug. It was hilarious watching her coming and going from back stage. It was quite a challenge that I think she fully enjoyed. I am really proud of her for making it through the whole class and sparkling on production days. Speaking out in front of people is not her comfort zone. And she did awesome!

Here is Slovitch with her wild, crazy hair and stage makeup. She looks beautiful!

These are Daphne's two girlfriends Susanna and Emily. They have been doing Moezart for several years. Daphne finally agreed to doing it and had a great time.Along with costume changes came "hair add-ons". I think there are a couple of birds in there now. New meaning to "bird's nest".

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Native American Projects

Daphne created this cozy Nez Perce teepee of hand woven (burlap) fabric. Complete with a toasty fire on the porch. Daphne has always been interested in the Nez Perce (Nay Persay). She even has Kaya from American Girl dolls. This was a fun project that topped off a nice study of Native Americans.
Kaleb chose to design a long house made by the Iroquois on the East coast region of the United States. Though his little people appear to be of the Plains origin due to their adorned feathers. Could it be an invasion? ...I am not really sure if I would want to live in this particular long house. It looks a little drafty. All in all he did a great job and learned that it is really hard to bend sticks into a arch shape. He had to be choosey and look for sapling like twigs.
Now, Jared chose to create an igloo replica of the Inuit tribe thinking that it would be the easiest and quickest way through a project that he really didn't care about doing. It took the other two crafters weeks of planning out what they wanted to do and Jared...well he just said "Mom can you get me a box of sugar cubes, I'm gonna just make an igloo". Do you know how hard it is to build an igloo with sugar cubes? Jared found out that he wasn't going to be done in the hour that he had planned. I just kept smiling as he fretted and fumed with burnt fingers from glue, and a structure that just was not resembling an igloo. He really thought it was going to be just like building with Legos. So after an additional math lesson from his Dad and some MORE instruction on shaping sugar cubes and guidance, he finally finished. Dad and I just smiled on completion day. Boy did he learn alot from building this easy little igloo that was only going to take him the shortest possible amount of time. I think he learned far more from this project than just constructing an "igloo".

Here it is again.

Here's that look again... "What?!"

AARGH You Scurvery Mates!

Swab those decks, hoist them sails, shoot those cannons you dawgs! Yo ho yo ho, a pirates life for me. After a long day at work Daddy was instructed to don the scarf and play "pirates". The more he spoke "pirate" the more excited Victoria got making it almost impossible to get her into bed.

Look Who Has Braces!

After 3 years of observation, waiting for permanent teeth to erupt and a year of having an expander on the roof of his mouth, Jared has braces! Long ago are the days of popcorn, gum and not being able to bite off spaghetti. Hello Tylenol and Motrin. It took him 3 weeks to decide on what color rubber bands to get. He was very original and chose "silver". I think Daphne was crushed considering she chose red and green for the holiday. So now he and Daphne can commiserate together on whose teeth hurt more on Dr. J day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Geiko Poster Contest

This is Daphne's Geiko poster for a contest. I thought it was quite clever. Especially with the egg in the car seat. That cracked me up. HaHa. It is a contest to promote seatbelt safety.


Daphne took this picture of Toby because he was nestled among the folded clean clothes while she was practicing her violin. He always has this look on his face. What does it mean? I wish I knew. Atleast sometimes. Sometimes he looks at us like we are all dumb or something. Like he knows something we don't. So what does he know? Why does he look at us like this? We will never know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow, Thanksgiving already. Actually, we have thanksgiving every day. We are thankful to have a roof over our head, food on the table, a job to go to every day(atleast for this week) and a God that loves us no matter what. Who watches over us and protects us from harm. We are very Thankful to have Jesus in our hearts. So we hope you all will find Thanksgiving every day. Just not with all the turkey and fixings. I don't think anyone could eat like that every day. Happy Thanksgiving!


Our friends got a corn snake. It has to be the prettiest snake that I have ever seen. She doesn't have a confirmed name yet. I think Snakey fits for now. I guess she only eats once a week therefore pooping once a week. You know, that could be a good pet to have. But only if it is in a secure enclosure. I don't think I would want it slithering around loose in the dark.

Phoenix Children's Museum

Hangin' out with friends in the Noodle Forrest. I think the Mom's had just as much fun making their way through the Noodles as the kids. It was a little difficult keeping an eye on Victoria. "May I take your order?...Would you like Chocolate or Vanilla? Or maybe purple...or green?"
Yum...look at those toppings....
Great, now I have to figure out how to rotate the picture. I don't see a rotate button. I know...that's a job for KIRK! These were pretty cool. The kids really enjoyed this part. They would get themselves into a jam and have to figure out how to maneuver out of it. Jared checked out the design and was thinking that he and his Dad could make one. Everyone in our family has big ideas.

Book Review by Kaleb

I read "The Original Adventures of Hank the Cow dog", by John R. Erickson. Hank, the main character in the story, is a working dog on a cattle ranch in the desert. Hank's job is to keep the cows in line and protect the ranch. The main problem in the story is something is attacking the chickens during the night and Hank gets blamed for it. Hank doesn't feel good about himself so he leaves the ranch and joins up with some coyotes. He meets a girl coyote named "Girl that drinks blood", but decides to call her Missy Coyote. Hank discovers that coyotes are worthless. They eat aged mutton, they're lazy and sing dumb songs. Hank also discovers that they are eating the chickens on the ranch that he is supposed to be protecting.
In the end, Hank becomes the hero by alerting the ranch owner of the ongoing attack and chases the coyotes off the ranch.
In the story Hank is proud to be a cow dog. Hank feels that working dogs are better than other dogs because are "sissies". One part of the story is funny when Hank and another working dog Drover ride into town in the back of the pickup truck and meet a boxer chained in the back of a truck. The boxer thinks he is tougher than Hank and Drover. So they jump out of the truck and pee on the boxers truck tires, then jump back in their truck and lay down and act like nothing happened. The boxer is barking so loud his owner comes out to yell "bad dog" at him and that he should be like Hank and Drover being good in their truck.
I think everybody should read this book in the whole wide world. It is a crazy, funny book to read.

Owl Babies

Victoria became interested in Owl's one day. We saw this cute craft that my friend Kelly did with her daughter. So we read the book Owl Babies by...I don't remember and created these adorable poofy owls. They are cute. Each one has a character of its own. Kaleb always likes to get in on whatever art project Victoria is doing. A true crafter at heart. While they created Kaleb told her everything he knows about Owl's. I barely had to add any information he knew so much. I provided the pictures.

Book Review by Jared H.

The book "Hitch" by Jeanette Ingold is a story about a boy becoming a responsible young man during the Great Depression. The story begins when Moss Trawnly, while saving money for radio school, loses his job at the airport in Texas. During the same time, he discovers that his father, who had already abandoned his family, went missing in Montana. So he travels to Montana only to find his father, drunk, without work, and bitter to see his son. He leaves his Dad in search of work to help support his Mom and siblings back home in Illinois. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. where he finds himself a hot meal, a place to sleep, money sent home and friendship. But most of all he discoveres through various jobs assigned to him how to be a great leader and persevere through hard times. By the end of the story he was a junior leader and proved to himself that he was not like his father. He saw himself loyal and trustworthy to the CCC and to his family and friends.
My favorite part of the story was when the snow was so high it blocked the roads. The CCC had the only snow plow for the town. The senior officer who could authorize the use of the snow plow was away from the camp at the time. A man from town hiked miles to the CCC camp outside of town to ask for the use of the snow plow to open the roads so the farmers could reach their cows to feed them. The other junior leader said "no" but Moss and a fellow worker took the responsibility and helped the farmers reach their cows. The senior officers returned and congratulated Moss for being responsible and letting the town know that the CCC was there to help. The other junior leader had tried to claim Moss was guilty of using the vehicle without permission hoping the senior officer would see him a better leader than Moss. This was not found to be true.
I think this is a good book to read because it has a life lesson with a good main character. It also tells a little about what the Conservation Corp did during a time when people needed jobs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sarah's Special Day

Today, November 13th, is our sweet baby girl's "Born into Heaven" day. 5 years ago today Sarah Dawn had exited this world before ever entering it. How lucky she is to be able to walk the streets of Heaven with our Creator. In the beginning I thought the emptiness and pain would never subside. But you know, when you get up every day, it eventually gets easier. The memory of her sweet little body and tiny fingers and toes can still bring tears to my eyes. I believe it always will. I will never forget her and how she has changed our family. It has taken many years to see the "blessings". I never got to kiss her sleepy head. There were never any of those firsts. First word, first pony tails, first time crawling...walking. Never hearing her say "Mama". No potty training, no learning to read, no learning to ride a bike. I guess I will have to be patient and wait for the eternal life that is promised to us to see and meet her once again. In the meantime I will carry her in my heart. Mommy loves you Sarah.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Madame Butterfly

Daphne is the tallest Asian beauty we have ever seen, stunning with her long red braid. It would be a long bend in those rice fields if she was a farmer. I am pleased that she still likes to partake with dressing up. It's fun.

Daniel Boone...Davey Crockett...

Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, take your pick. This is Jared. He would have loved living in this time period. He enjoys dressing in appropriate period clothing. A true Historian at heart. He's our History Buff!