Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Breakfast

Because of Saturday soccer, we have not been able to have our "big breakfasts" on Saturday mornings. Today we resumed that tradition. Rick cooks the food, I make the coffee(yes, we are bad parents. We let our kids have coffee for big breakfasts). Rick has been fasting for the last month from coffee and sodas and today was his chance to drink them again. Cody told him before breakfast, "Dad, don't go overboard and drink too much."

We added a little Halloween flair to the tradition.
Orange Pancakes!!
Coffee creamer was on sale recently. A plethora of choices.
Chef Ricky
The Feast
The Fam
Abby doo
Lauren's quote at breakfast - "That is one good cup of Joe"
Sam with his mouth full
Smiley Sanele
Cody's quote: "It's all good, diggy dog." (I really have no idea where that came from)

Happy Birthday, House

Each year on the anniversary of moving into our house, we celebrate our house bday. This was the 6th year in our house. We went out to eat at On the Border. We celebrate the fact that we have a house, talk about fun memories in our house, and think about the next year in our house. We ended the evening with a family movie night watching Ice Age, Dawn of the Dinosaur. It was a fun day.

Every tradition we are celebrating this year is the first time we have had Isaiah and Laila participating with us. That brings special significance to each one. It is the beginning of the rest of our lives of traditions with our new son and daughter. I think back to a year ago and how at this point we didn't even know who they were. They were just a dream in our hearts with the hope that God would fulfill this calling He had placed on our family. Now, we are a family sharing our lives.

In case you are wondering, Laila took a nose dive off of a chair and got a rug burn on her forehead. Lovely.
This boy loves chips and salsa

Sickness Update

Our house has been sickness free now for a week. It appears that the sickness was contained to Abby and Cody. Thank goodness. Now, we wait for the next round to hit. For today, we enjoy our health!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our First Laundry Injury

The kids have been doing their laundry now for a few weeks. It has been going well. There have been a few "teachable moments" along the way, but today, Sam learned the most valuable lesson so far. He was digging down in the bottom of the washer and got his head stuck between the agitator and the side of the washer. He was suspended in midair trying to get out. I was laughing so hard. He was crying and laughing at the same time. It was hilarious. His ears were in the way. He kept saying, "Call Daddy and have him come help." I finally got him out. His ears were red and he said, "I thought you were going to pull my head off. " Do not try this at home!!

Manitou Cliff Dwellings - More than a field trip

Lauren had a field trip to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. I had the opportunity to go with her (Thanks, Julie). We watched a movie about the lives of the Native Americans in this region, painted a piece of pottery, toured the cliff dwellings, and walked through a museum. I am not really a big fan of field trips, but I liked this one, and I learned a lot.

Lauren painting her pottery
Lauren's masterpiece
Grinding corn - The women would grind corn for 6-8 hours a day!!
Their homes were tiny and cold!!
My girl
One of the things that was most interesting to me was learning about the lifestyles of the Native Americans. The tour guides would talk about how hard their lives were and how thankful we should be that we don't live that way. I agree with him, but he referred to their lifestyles as a thing of the past. Having visited Africa 3 times, I know that is not the case. The people that we partner with are living this life every day. Throughout Africa and other parts of the world, women are cooking for hours each day over a fire to provide one meal of pap, or rice and beans. 10 people are living in a one-room hut. Women are walking miles to get water that is usually disease-filled to cook with and drink. The lifespan in many countries is in the low 30's because of preventable and treatable diseases. Women carry their babies all day on their backs in order to do all the work that needs to be done. There were so many similarities. I was surprised to see how shocked some of the other moms were of the living conditions of the Native Americans, but even more surprised that they had not made the connection of the many people that still live this way today. This keeps me going. This burns inside of me. I cannot allow this to continue. I must do what I can to make a difference. It is all a matter of perspective and I was thankful for this reminder through a simple field trip. Have you considered how you can make a difference. For me, it is Africa. For you, it may be in your own neighborhood. I challenge you to make a difference. If you are looking for a way to be involved check out our website We are doing orphan care, church planting, and sustainability projects. My life is forever changed and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last Day of Soccer

Our last day of soccer was Saturday. Cody and Lauren both enjoyed the season. I can't say I am sad that it is over. I am glad to have our Saturdays back and not have to be out in the cold every Saturday.
Lauren in action
Soccer girl
Cody in action(he is in the middle of the picture)
Isaiah in action
I like to call this photo, "A Chick and Her Fritos: Laila in Action"


Today is our first full snow day of the school year. It really could not have come at a better time for me. I have been exhausted and yesterday was an unusually exhausting day. First, of all, I did not sleep hardly at all on Monday night. That is never a good way to start my day. The day consisted of dropping kids off at school, going to Wal-mart(that alone is enough to do me in for the day), going on a field trip with Lauren, coming home and preparing a meal for my family and another family, getting the kids from school, and going to 4 different stores looking for Halloween costumes.(I still have one child without a costume!!) After all of that, we got home, fed the kids, got their homework all checked, put everyone to bed, and then had a dessert to make and a very dirty kitchen to clean(thanks, Rick, for helping with the kitchen). To top it all off, I had the mother of all headaches and because of a medical procedure I have on Thursday, I was not able to take ibuprofen for it. I went to bed last night telling Rick, "I sure hope we have a 2hr. delay tomorrow." Well, we got the whole day off!!

So, today is a lazy morning. I made a big breakfast and hot chocolate for the kids(one of our snow day traditions). We will probably wear our pajamas all day, at least until we go to church tonight. We may even cuddle up with some popcorn and a movie this afternoon when the little ones go down for their nap.

Really everything is such an ordeal around here. It took 11 pictures for me to get this one where they are all looking at the camera. Laila is taking her morning nap and Cody is in his room because all the noise and chaos was driving him crazy!! This is Sam's first snow day from school ever!
"If you smile really well for the camera, I will let you do a crazy picture"

There was not much snow this morning. The reason they cancelled is because this was the beginning of the storm. It is expected to continue snowing until tomorrow.

Our back yard - The kids are dying to go out and play in it. There is just not enough to play in yet.

Precious Prayers

Isaiah and Laila love to pray at our family prayer times. These occur before our meals together and before bedtime. Rick will say, "Who wants to pray?" Isaiah and Laila both always raise their hands and say, "me." It is so cute, especially to see a 16 month old so excited to pray. It is a very practical picture of us teaching them about God in their lives. They are grasping that we go to Him in prayer and seek Him in the things that we do. I love that they are starting to get a glimpse of a relationship with God at such a young age.

Isaiah's prays are growing and developing. A few months ago, we would pray and he would repeat what we would say. Now, he is able to offer his own prayers without our guidance. At mealtimes, he thanks God for our food. Then, you can catch him peeking as he prays for each person. He wants to make sure he doesn't leave anyone out. At bedtime, he prays for good "leep"(sleep) for each member of the family and a good day the next day. He has started ending his prayers by saying, "in Jesus, Amen." It is one of my favorite moments of the day.

Laila's prayers are becoming real prayers. That is amazing to me at her young age. They started a couple of months ago with folded hands and a quick "JeJe"(Jesus). Now, she folds her hands and says, "JeJe, momma, daddy, mumble, mumble, momma, mumble, mumble." It ends with a hearty "Amen" as she throws her hands in the air. It is beautiful to see.

It is my desire to point them to Jesus in every way possible each day. I want them to learn to talk to Him and to hear His voice in their daily lives. I believe God has an amazing plan for these two. I can't wait to see what He does with their lives.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Big Day Around Here

My truck is now clean. Maybe I should volunteer for field trips more often. Two things in one day. That is a record. Don't ask me what my house looks like. :)

Clean Toilet

The toilet in my bathroom is clean. Really, you don't know how big of a deal this really is. Believe me, it is a big deal.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Goodbye, Grammy

We sent Grammy on the road yesterday. We said our "goodbyes" in our jammies and sent her on her way. We had a week of fun, treats, eating out a few times, movies and popcorn, lots of help for me around the house, and even a date night for Rick and me. Thanks, Grammy for making the long trek to come see us. Thank you for all you did for us while you were here. We Love You!!
Grammy and the girls
Grammy and the whole crew
Grammy and the boys
Isaiah doesn't quite get what is going on. All day today he has asked, "Where Grammy go?"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Olympic Training Center

We have 1 of only 3 Olympic Training Centers in this country here in Colorado Springs. We have lived here over 9 years and still haven't gone on a tour. Yesterday, we had a free afternoon and the weather was right. Grammy, Cody, Lauren, Abby, and I went to check it out. It was free and well worth our time. We got to see the training facilities for the various sports that train here. We also got to see a bit of a junior gymnastic tournament and some of the Olympic wrestlers warming up for their practice. Now we are really excited about the Winter Olympics. Only 106 days until the opening ceremonies in Vancouver!!
Hangin' out in the Rings
I got a picture of Abby this time holding an Olympic Torch.
You never know, one of them could be in the Olympics some day.
A view of Pikes Peak from the training facilities.

The Grand Finale

Grammy always takes the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's when she comes. Friday was her last day with us so off we went. This was Isaiah's and Laila's first time to go. They loved it. Chuck was a little scary at first to them, but they got used to him.

Grammy and Laila
Monster Truck - Scary and Thrilling all at the same time.
Lauren on the weird bike thing
Isaiah was singing "Old MacDonald" with Barney the whole ride.
One happy little girl
Sam performing for us.
Grammy and the grandkids
Rick playing "Deal or No Deal" for tickets
For his tickets, Isaiah received a squooshy football, his first ever Chuck E. Cheese prize. Laila's prize was the 3 pieces of pizza that she ate. Sam got a disc shooter, a small frisbee, and a Chuck E. jumper. Cody, Lauren, and Abby all got Cotton Candy and some other candy. They are so over the toys at this age.

On the way home I realized that I did not get any pictures of Abby by herself. It is so hard to watch all the kids and get all the photo shots I need. Next time, Abby, you are going to be the first one to be photographed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jammie Lovin' Family

We are a jammie family. If we are home, we most likely have our pajamas on. My kids just immediately go put on their pajamas when they get home from school. It is comfy and cozy, and I like it, especially in the winter. In fact, one of our Christmas traditions each year is matching pajamas for Christmas morning. (Don't tell anybody, but I won't let the kids put them on until Christmas morning because I am afraid someone might pee, poop, or vomit in them and mess up my photo shoot for the morning.)

Isaiah is especially fond of pajamas. He wants to pick out which ones he will wear and doesn't always understand why he has to take them off to get dressed in the morning. Some days for nap time, he will even change into his pajamas even though he knows he will have to get dressed again to go get the kids from school. I don't know if he ever wore pajamas before he joined our family. Maybe that is why he likes them so much. Now, he is a pretty big fan.

No Escaping

Well, I thought we had avoided spreading Cody's sickness around here, but not so. Monday night, Abby woke up with a fever. It followed the exact same pattern at Cody's fever. It lasted until some time last night, about 2 days total. There were about 2 1/2 days between Cody getting better and Abby getting sick. If the pattern continues, we will be done with this sickness in our house in about 2 months!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Violent Crackers

Isaiah was sitting at the table tonight eating some oyster crackers(those little crackers you put in soup). He is holding two crackers. He is giving them voices and they are talking to each other. One cracker says to the other cracker, "You want a piece of me?". He then proceeds to bang them together as they fight. One of those moments where you just have to laugh inside. So cute.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I LOVE MOPS. I really do. I have been going since it started at Vanguard about 5 years ago. I love being with other moms. I love having a yummy breakfast. I love winning door prizes(and I do win quite often)! I love hearing the speaker and being challenged. I love speaking into the wives of women who are younger than me(that is pretty much everybody at MOPS because I think I am one of the oldest moms there that is actually participating and not being a mentor mom). This was supposed to be my last year at MOPS but having Isaiah and Laila will buy me several more years, Yay!

Today the speaker was really great. She encouraged us to see the "bend" of each of our children, keep memories alive that represent that "bend," and train them up according to that "bend." Now I have a job to do. I have to capture in words what they are made of right now and continue to do that throughout their lives. Ex. "Boys are made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. " What could I say about each of my children right now? I could say that "Laila is made of hugs and kisses and goldfish and stuffed monkeys to love." Those are the things that Laila loves and is into right now. What would I say about my other children? What would you say about your kids? How cool to look back in 2o years and have a statement and a keepsake object to represent each year of the children's lives. It will remind them of who they have been at each stage of life.

We have over 50 women that come together twice a month.

Wendy, Stacy, Heidi, and Jack - some of my table mates

The London Table of Planet MOM
MOPS has been such a blessing to me. Thank you to all the leaders who sacrifice to make it such an enriching experience for all of us.

Blog Commenting

So, some of you have said that you have tried to comment on my blog, but can't. I think I have solved that problem. I had the settings messed up. If you don't have a google account now you can choose anonymous as your ID, just be sure to put your name at the end so I will know who commented. I love hearing from you so bring on the comments!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Tradition with Grammy Gone Terribly Wrong

Every time Grammy comes to visit or we go to visit her, we go to Cracker Barrel at least once. It is a tradition; one that I am very fond of. I love the food, it is fun to look around the country store, and I don't have to cook. We decided tonight would be the night to go.

I must preface the rest of this post by saying that my kids are usually very good at restaurants. It is a huge treat for us to all go out to eat so they usually do well. Tonight was the exception, not the rule. Thank goodness.

We looked around the country store while they were preparing our table. It was nice and fun and fairly calm. I had no idea what I was about to endure.

We sat down and all the wheels began to fall off. First of all, Isaiah is loud. He is always loud, but it seems magnified in public places. He sat right next to me, and I felt like he was yelling in a megaphone all night long. I must have said, "Isaiah, use your quiet voice," at least 100 times. Really, ask my mom. She will confirm that.

The kids were really off tonight. Laila was an emotional mess. She was whining and crying continuously. At one point about 10 seconds after our food was brought out, I had to take her outside to calm her down and help her get her emotions under control. She was a little "basket case." Cody was having some issues as well. He was a bit irritated and that was coming out in his behavior and his tone of voice. The 4 older kids were fighting over those little peg games. There was grumpiness all around. I haven't had a time out like this since the Poop At The Pool incident. Yes, it was that bad or worse.

It was finally time to leave. Laila was whining like crazy because the food is gone and she is done. I go to get Isaiah out of his seat and he is soaking wet. I think he must have peed 4 times in his pants. It is dripping from him. I took him to the bathroom and end of having him leave the restaurant in his shirt, pullup and sandals. It was lovely. I told my mom that I would take the kids out to the car while she went to get Cody who was playing a checkers game with another kid. I load them up, and we wait. Evidently, Cody has decided that he must complete the checkers game before he can leave. 10 minutes later, they come out.

Here are the pictures:(The individual ones are not that great, but I haven't figured out how to edit them on my new computer yet.)

Before we knew what was about to happen.

Still unaware

Grumpy muffin girl

Preteen Emotions

Sad Sammy
We are home. Everyone is in bed. Now, I am going to have a caramel apple to recover.