Monthly Archives: April 2007

Elizabeth’s Birthday

Elizabeth is 8!

I never quite got the chance to post about Elizabeth’s fabulous 8th birthday, so better late than never. 🙂

On the even years the girls get to have parties with friends, on the odd years we have parties with just family.  This is mainly due to the fact the Lizard’s and Dot’s birthdays are only two weeks apart, and trying to plan major parties every year is really tough with them back to back, so we decided on this plan so I only have one friend party to plan at a time. Emily lines up with Dot, but her birthday isn’t until July, so it doesn’t matter as much.

This year Elizabeth wanted a slumber party – but I wasn’t to keen on trying to juggle that many girls with family in town and a bunch of other things, so we compromised and she chose to have a pajama party.  All the girls wore their pink pajamas (pure coincidence) and wore their fuzzy slippers.  We laid a large cloth out on the floor and painted the girls fingernails and toenails, and put their hair in curlers.  Even Dad and Grandpa got into the action.

Father & Daughter

After the girls were finished they decided to start the real fun and began to put Dad’s and Grandpa’s hair in curlers! Poor Grandpa even got his toenails painted – what good sports. The girls had so much fun.

Daddy get curlers too!

Girls just want to have fun!

This year Elizabeth chose the following cake, which I had fun making and was a hoot for her birthday party –

Pajama Party Cake

She's ready to blow

Another huge part of her birthday was her baptism. In our church when children turn 8 we feel they have reached an age where they no right from wrong and are able to be responsible for their choices. At this age they can choose to be baptized. Elizabeth has been so excited, looking forward to this day.

Elizabeth and Dad - Baptism

It was a very special day. We are so proud of our little 8 year old and are glad she is part of our family.


Filed under Cakes, Children, Lizy, Parenting



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This theme was really hard for me. I spent the entire week mulling it over in my head. This morning I woke up and groaned as I realized how busy the day was going to be and how little time I had to get everything done. That is when my idea hit me:

Time, very often, is Rare…



Filed under Photography

Jacob’s CHD Quilt Block

The Congenital Heart Defect quilt project is an ongoing project to promote CHD awareness.  Some time ago we put Jacob’s information in for a quilt block to be made by volunteers in his honor and placed on one of the many quilts.  Each quilt block is dedicated to a person who has or has had some tpe of congenital heart defect.  Currently there are close to 37 quilts completed, each one honoring 42 individuals.  Jacob’s block will be on quilt number 46 – so that gives you an idea of how big and incredible this project is.

All 50 states and Washington D.C. are represented as well as 22 foreign countries.  For more information on this amazing project feel free to check out: The CHD Quilt

Today we recieved an email with a photo of Jacob’s block, which we adore: (with a few edits for privacy sake)

Jacob Quilt Block Edited for Online

The volunteer did a great job of capturing some of his favorite things: dogs, cheerios, and bubbles/baths.


Filed under CHD, Heart, Jacob, TGA

Things I Think About

I got to thinking (yes, that is the smoke you smell) – since I was awarded the thinking blogger award – what are some things that occupy the empty space in my mind. 

 So I decided to make a list of 10 things I think about – maybe it will become a meme, heh, and come back to haunt me.

1. I think a lot about my role as a mother (and wife).  Sometimes I think about how things are going pretty well, but mostly I think about what I need to do better.  Sometimes I think about all the wonderful aspects, and sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I can’t believe that God has sent me four of his precious spirits to care for, watch over, and teach.  I think a lot about how to have fun with the kids to give them an enjoyable childhood and I think about how to discipline with love, so that even when I am spitting nails they have no doubt of my love.  I think about keeping up with the house, and also about how the kids, Jacob especially, taught me that it is ok to let things go once in a while because they aren’t young forever.  I think about trying to have a harmonious home for my husband to come home to after long hours away at work – and I think about what on earth I am ever going to make for dinner. 🙂

2.  I daydream alot – make up stories in my head when I am driving someplace and the kids are being kinda quiet.  I especially enjoy hanging out with my two favorite characters, Will and Belinda, and imaging their next escapades.

3. I think a lot about miracles and blessings, and about God and Jesus Christ.  They occupy a good portion of my deeper thoughts as I contemplate all the marvelous miracles I have witnessed.  I could never deny Their existance, not after all the things I have seen Their work in.

4. I think about things that I haven’t done yet that I need to do – those thoughts are like needles poking around in my brain – pestering and pestering until I finally get them done – things like gardening (it has been so rainy lately) and washing the dog.

5. I like to think about stories I remember while Iwas growing up – memories.  I think sometimes I am afraid I will lose them, so I like to think about them often. 

6.  I think a lot about Congenital Heart Defects and the different groups I belong too, and about how I can become more involved (without it overwhelming the rest of my life, again that 4 kids factor).  I think about wanting to make a difference in someone’s life – maybe just by being there.  The knowledge that I can somehow make someone’s life a little better means a lot to me.  I think about all the people who have had an impact on my life, people who may not even know it, and it forges in me a desire to be there for others.  I think about all the heart mom’s and kid’s and others going through hard times, I think and I pray.

7. I think about my family – all the extended family, neices  and nephews, sisters, brothers, and aunts and uncles.

8.  Oh, and I think about chocolate….yummm! 🙂 – and of course pie too!

9.  I think a lot about my HHH, and if I am showing my appreciation enough, cause he really is an amazing wonderful guy.

10.  I think about music.  I think about my piano students and what they need to learn and work on.  I think about my own music and how it makes me feel.  I think about what kind of music fits my mood on a particular day.  Sometimes I don’t neccesarily think about music – I just think music. 🙂

What do you think about in the corners of your mind?


Filed under Parenting, Philosophy

Mr. Stitch

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to give Jacob “Mr. Stitch”  – or maybe we’ll just have to nickname Jacob “Mr. Stitch”.  After his mini surgery things were looking fine and seemed to be healing well, but after a while a small section of his incision seemed to be haveing trouble healing – and it looked red.  After talking with a friend who has been through just about everything in their family – including heart surgery, I put neopsporin on it and watched it closely.  It scabbed over finally and seemed to be healing again.  Then a few days later when I was getting Jacob dressed in the morning I noticed this long thin white thing sticking out of his chest.

Yup, it was a stitch.  I took him in to see our pediatrician this morning and he snipped it really close, told us to keep putting neosporin on it and contact out PC (pediatric cardiologist) if it got red and puffy, etc.  Maybe I should have just taken him straight in to see the PC, but it didn’t seem serious enough, and they probably would have done the exact same thing.  I must say it was a bit odd and disconcerting to see this little thread poking out of his skin – but at least nothing got majorly infected – thank goodness for neosporin. 🙂


Filed under health, Jacob

Aww Shucks Folks

Two of my sweet friends, Deb and Nancy, have awarded me with this:

 Thinking Blogger Award

Now, when you are chosen for this great and noble honor, you are supposed to choose five blogs that you think deserve this award and bestow it lovingly upon them. Not just any five blogs however, five blogs that make you think – which brings up the question how I managed to get this award 🙂 Thanks much you two 🙂

Anyway here are the official rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

*Now here is my disclaimer: I love all my blogging friends, and if I don’t tag you, don’t hate me, I do only get to choose five after all – and no fighting or squabbling over the shiny award – it might get tarnished – heh 🙂

Here they are (in no particular order)

1. Karen
2. Sariah
3. Proud Mum – or Zen Mama now
4. April
And the fifth and fianl award goes to:
5. Fourth Fret – I know she is not blogging anymore and has erased all of her posts but one, but I must say that hers was a blog that I looked forward to reading everyday, and along with the others listed here, it truly did make me think. I miss her terribly, and I hope some day Fourth Fret reenters the blog world. So in memory of an incredible blog and blogger I give my final award.

As for the others I listed, I figured I could say why I chose them for the thinking blogger award, but then where is the fun in that? It would rob you of the joy of reading their blogs to see why I think they are so great, so go read, and be sure to say hi when you do. 🙂


Filed under Blogging

There is a reason for my absence –

about 10 of them or more 🙂

1.  I cleaned all of my carpets last week (finally go it done from THAT infamous episode)  – and I used the nifty handtool on the girls’ mattresses too – what a gem that thing is!

2. I scrubbed out the bathrooms, caught up on laundry, mopped the floors, and did a bunch of other cleaning stuff.

3. I wrote another “Will and Belinda” story (I might post it eventually) for a contest deadline.

4. Paul’s parents came to visit Friday – Sunday

5. Had a family party for Elizabeth on Friday

6. Planned and organized Elizabeth’s party with friends for Saturday, baked the cake, decorated the house, and had a hoot and a half with a bunch of little girls wutg a pajama party – I’ll do a special post on that soon.

7. I spent a good portion of the week planning Elizabeth’s and her friend’s Baptism.  Coordinating things with her friend’s parents, making sure things were all arranged, etc. 

8. Attended my daughter’s Baptism  yesterday – on her birthday! It was really awesome and a wonderful experience.

9. Read my book

10.  And spent some of that slim spare time I should have been blogging on a computer game – silly me 🙂

So that is a small list of my lame excuses for my lack of writing on my blog – I really am trying to get back to writing frequently – but obviously not doing too well at it right now.


Filed under Every Day Life

Of Bikes and Bullies


                   I creep, a snail
                             carrying his house
                                          upon his back,
                                              up the steep incline.

With sheer determination I pump
forward, relentless,
finally cresting


I soar with the birds,
wheels spinning wildly,
peddles pumping franticly,
adrenaline rushing through my metal frame.
The wind roars past, drowning
out the sheer squeal of delight from my rider,
bringing on its tail
a cacophony of all the scents of spring.

-J.H. Schmidt 

Ever since I first learned how to remain semi balanced I have loved riding my bike.  My brothers and I would ride for hours in the Pennsylvania country.  I had really short hair then, shorter than I do now, and was often mistaken for a boy, but that never bothered me.  There were so bmx trails near town that we enjoyed biking on and seeing how much air we could get off the jumps on just a little ‘ole bike.

 I would bike into town frequently too, the 2 mile ride was nothing, and I usually had some pocket change in my pocket for some Bubbalicious Bubblgeum.  The ride was safe, and it didn’t seem like we had to worry as much about crazies then as we do now.  There was this one boy though – one of the biggest bullies I ever faced in my childhood…

“Hey! You can’t pass by here,” a fierce voice called as I watched a freckled arm shoot out and grabbed hold of my handle bar, jolting me to a halt.  It was all I could do not to crash completely. Filled with dread I staggered on my feet and eyed the boy trying to concentrate on one of the many freckles splayed across his nose.

“Leave me alone, I can go where I want,” my voice didn’t sound nearly as tough as I wanted it too and I despised how whiny it sounded in my ears.

The boy still hadn’t let go of my bike. He ran his free hand through his red hair, “You have to pay a toll.”

“No I don’t!” I squeaked.  I was angry, and scared.  I saw him eyeing my brand-new watch Mom had given me for my birthday.

“You can’t leave until you give me you watch,” he growled, lunging for my wrist and breaking the clasp free.  He hung it in the air exultantly out of my reach . “Thanks,” he laughed as he headed toward his home.

I fought back the white hot tears that threatened, there was no way I was going to let that jerk see me cry.   I couldn’t hold the flood for long as I turned back home, my trek for the coveted Bubbalicious Bubblegum forgotten. 

My brother (Paul – yeah I know, wiered, my huby’s name is Paul too) was the first one I came across, and before lone I found myself pouring out my broken heart to him about the nasty bully.  The boy wasn’t just a bully to me, but to most kids, and he was my brother’s age too – 2 1/2 years older than me.  To say my brother was angry was an understatement.

“I’ve got a plan,” he whispered in my ear. “I want you to get back on your bike and ride down there….”

I was more shaky on the second trip as I pedalled along, half hoping the bully would emerged, and half dreading it.  I rounded the corner and sure enough the was the boy, standing with his arms crossed.  Once again he reached his hand out and jerked my bike to a halt.  He didn’t get to far though, for flying around the bend hot on my trail was my big brother.  I don’t know that I have ever seen anyone execute such a spectacular bike to ground while in motion jump as he did.  I watched his bike continue past me before it fell to the ground. 

Paul hauled the boy into the nearby bushes, and I didn’t witness the exchange.  But I heard words, and knew that Paul punched him.  A minute or two later my brother came out triumphantly carrying my brand new watch, as the boy slunk back to his house.

I never had a run-in with that boy again – and I never forgot the day one of my big brothers became my hero.


Filed under Farm Stories, Poetry, Writing

Small and Simple (not to mention Beautiful too)

Three nights ago Jacob was up every hour from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.  He had a bad bout of diarrhea, thus causing some very painful diaper rash.  He’d wake up just howling, poor kid, and needless to say we didn’t get much sleep.  2 nights ago we thoughts things were going great until Elizabeth ran into our room at 2:30 a.m. crying that she needed a bowl and proceeded to throw-up on the floor beside the bed.  We had a short discussion about the toilet bowl being the best bowl there is, found a portable bowl, cleaned everything up and were back to bed by 3:15 or so.  She threw up four more times before 6:00 a.m.

To say that I was exhausted yesterday would be an understatement – not to mention I felt like every muscle in my body had been plowed into the ground.  Funny thing that, it was! 🙂  Then, add to that a very bad case of nausea and upset stomach.  I was not in for a very good day.

It actually wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either – how can it be when a body is feeling miserable and trying to care for 4 children.  I can’t stand being sick and not getting anything done.  I always feel like I let my family down.  Not that any of them would think that in a million years, it’s just how I feel.

My HHH (handsome huggable hubby) came home to a disastrous mess, no dishes had been caught up, no dinner was made, and I was huddled under blankets wishing the world would disappear.  Worst thing to me was that he wasn’t feeling that great either.

He didn’t make any snide remarks like I suspect some husbands might do coming home to disaster, instead he changed Jacob’s diaper, started the dishwasher, and made dinner – all quite cheerfully.  It made me feel like a million dollars – such an awesome husband I have.

Then, in the evening, he took Elizabeth to meet with the bishop about her upcoming baptism. After wards he swung by the store to pick up some chicken and rice soup for me, since nothing else sounded like it would settle too well.  Elizabeth found me first, and with a big grin from ear to ear handed me a beautiful bouquet of lillies.  I wanted to cry they were so wonderful.  She and my darling HHH had picked out some flowers to make “mommy feel better”.  I love lillies at Easter, and these thrilled me to no end.  It really did make me feel better, and they smell divine.

I have no doubt that it is the little things we do that mean the most to people.  Things that we think don’t do much become miracles in their lives.  I had a friend who had been out on a hot summer day painting her house – no doubt she was exhausted and tired.  Another friend passed by and saw her out working away.  A few minutes later she was back again with a tall pitcher of lemonade. Something so small, but I know it had a huge impact on the friend, if nothing else than to say, “I love and care about you.”  It also gets me to wondering if I do enough of the little things for my family, friends and other people. Dropping a simple note, a bag of chocolates, a flower off to their doorstep, or being aware of simple needs.  Too many times I ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?” instead of being aware enough to simply do something – needed or not.  I for one seldom say yes when I am asked that question even if there is whole list of things I would love to have help with.  So, those flowers last night got me thinking, and instead of asking and thinking, I need to start doing.

Thanks HHH, they are beautiful and dear to me.  🙂

Lillies from Hubby 1

Lillies from Huby 2


Filed under health, Lizy, Love and Marriage, Parenting

A Bone to Pick and a Carpet to Clean

I’ve got a bone to pick with you Deb.  I have been klutz and accident free for quite a while, until you asked me that question.  Today – a few short hours after I posted the answers to your questions I  executed a feat that would put all other feats to shame. But now I get ahead of myself, let me back up a few hours….

I finished writing my blog and got the kids ready to go out and run some errands, post office, bank, you know the kind. The rain had finally let up and the sun was out and I was feeling particularly cheery.  I was thinking about lunch and dinner and decided not to eat my leftovers for lunch, but save them for dinner so there would be enough for the whole family – and save me time and cooking.  I grabbed a yummy bag of pasta from the frozen aisle.  I usually don’t do this but it was on sale at a ridiculously cheap price and it had shrimp in it – mmmmm.  I figured it would make a decent little lunch.

I got home, fed the children and sent them off to quiet time while I straightened up the kitchen some, put things away, and cooked up my little bag of pasta. It smelled so devine and the shrimp called to me with their scintillating scents, begging to be eaten.  I poured myself a large (really large) glass of juice that I had given the kids (I know, it really should have been water, shame on me) and, resisting the urge to pop one of the shrimp in my mouth right then, dumped it on my plate.  With plate and book in one hand and giant juice filled cup in other hand I began to head into the family room.

I was in the process of trying to decide if I would watch a re-run of Matlock while I ate lunch or if I would work on my writing when I hit the patch of water on the floor.  Unbeknownst to me one of the children had spilled water this morning.  I was suddenly skidding across the remainder of the kitchen floor – the sudden jolt sending juice rushing over the edge of the cup in a wave onto our wood stove as I sailed past on my right foot – fighting for balance, and trying to save my food. 

My left foot hit the carpet leading into the family room and twisted at the sudden jolt of traction.  While my feet stopped suddenly I found that my upper body did not have any such resistance.  I was now launched on my final flight.  Just ahead I saw the plastic fence (our attempt to quarentine Jacob, though it really doesn’t do much good anymore) rappidly rushing up to meet my legs.  I plowed it down like the big bad wolf puffing away the house of straw.  In horror I watched my plate of beloved shrimpy pasta fly free and felt the giant cup of juice beginning to sail through the air.  With a resounding crash and postludial “Oomph!” I landed, skidding across the carpet on my stomach through my food, my arms out stretched before me. I suddenly had an insane urge to scream “SUPERMAN!!!” as I surged across the floor. I had juice dripping down the side of my head and was wearing pretty pasta, sauce and shrimp across my t-shirt.  The juice was kind enough to spray so well as it flipped and flew through the air that I found droplets running down the window all the way across the room, and I might be finding escaped shrimp for the next few days in the oddest places. The only comment I could manage to say to myself as I eyed the damage was, “Well, that hurt, I needed to clean the carpet anyway.”  But I must say, I lamented the loss of my pasta as I scooped it into the garbage – unsalvagable unless you care for pasta a la dog hair. 

So left-overs for lunch, and left-overs for dinner, and a carpet cleaner rental this evening.

And borrowing, and slightly altering a line from a much earlier post, I leave with you my final thoughts on the afore mentioned events of this (not so splendid) afternoon:

 “Oh my! How Juice, Pasta, and Goofy can fly!”


Filed under Goofs, Humor