Monthly Archives: September 2008

Doing What I Do Best

A faint gray light filtered into the bedroom and I groaned as the alarm sounded. Morning had come too quickly and I could hear the girls moving about in their room, beginning to wake and get ready for school.  I staggered to the bathroom and stuck my eyeballs in, then searched for my walking pants.  I spotted them tossed on a chair in the bedroom.  I quietly slipped back into the dark room, being careful not to wake James who was still fast asleep in his crib. (Because we are in my parents house and have two households worth of stuff crammed in there, James’ crib is in our bedroom).  I tugged my walking pants on and exited the room into the brightly lit hall, greeting four smiling faces before dissapearing into the kitchen to ready breakfast.

The morning went fairly smoothly, as far as mornings with 5 young children go, with James waking and eating not too long before it was time to leave.  I walk the kids to school in the morning and then continue on my own walk, going anywhere from 2 to 5 miles depending on time.  This morning was no different as I loaded Jacob and James into the bike cart that doubles as a stroller.  (Their combined wait is close to 60 pounds).  We walked down the street and said good morning to the crossing guard as we made our way to school.  On our way there, we ran into a walking friend I had made just a few weeks ago when school started. She was walking with her husband (usually she is by herself) with their first grader in tow, pushing the baby in their stroller.

We stopped to chat a moment – I had gone to highschool with both of them, and actually knew and remembered her husband.   Mid-conversation she leans toward me and says, “I want you know I do this all the time, but I think I should tell you – you’re pants are on inside out.”

I looked down and sure enough – no pink stripes were running up the side of my black exercise pants. They were indeed, inside out.  Fighting the urge to run home and hide I made a lauhging comment of the dangers of getting dressed in the dark.  I knew I would have no opportunity to change my pants rightside out if I wanted to get my walk in, so, with head high I marched to the school, deposited my children, and headed off (to the grocery store – as that was the planned walk) with my pants inside out. (At least they were black, and hopefully not Too noticable).

My friend and her husband were heading the same way, and as they didn’t seem too embarrassed to be seen with a women who couldn’t dress herself right, I walked with them.  All was going well until we got to the hill.

It is a big hill that goes under a railroad trestle.  I have to lean my body and the stroller back so it doesn’t get away from me – especially with all that weight in there from the boys. At this point I happened to be in the lead and was trying my hardest not to be pulled into a full out run as the stroller struggled to get away from me.

Suddenly my left ankle gave out beneath me and I found myself collapsing to the ground. I instantly clutched tighter to the stroller, desperate not to let go of it and send my children sailing down the hill into a ditch, or even worse – a car.  Stroller half dragging me, my knee dug into the pavement as my friend swerved her stroller to avoid running me down.   I jolt from behind let me know that her husband had just tripped over my back – or was he lunging to catch the stroller in case I let go? Finally my body stopped, sprawled on the ground, with one hand still clinging to the stroller.

“I’ve got it, you can let go now.”

I thanked him and got to my feet. Boy did my ankle hurt – but no way in heaven was I going to let on.  “I’m sorry you got hurt,” she says.

“Ahh – the only thing really hurt is my pride.” And I laugh it off – because, after all – even though I felt a twinge of embarrassment, it really was very funny.

“So, you’re having one of THOSE days,” she says laughing.

Yes, indeed I was.  I managed to walk all the way to the grocery store and home again – but my ankle has been bugging me since, so my husband commanded me to get a brace for it.  I figure I sprained it. 

Oh, and the day continued. Yup. That evening when I was making tacos for dinner, I reached into the cupboard to add more taco seasoning to the hamburger. Only, the container I grabbed wasn’t taco seasoning. It was CINNAMON. Yup. Cinnamon.  All over my taco meat and I wasn’t about to throw it out. So I did what every other Goofy prone mom would do. I added more cilantro and taco seasoning on top of it, and hoped it would taste ok.

Surprisingly enough, it did. And the kids loved it. So, if you ever want to try something a little different, toss a little cinnamon in your taco meat – you might be surprised at how good it really is.

That was my Friday – thankfully, the rest of the weekend wasn’t nearly so thrilling.


Filed under Goofs, Humor

Tsunami Strikes

I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned that Jacob lives up to the word on the back of his shirt. We’ve often joked about nicknaming him Tsunami. 🙂 Well here are two Tsunami stories:

I was down to the wire. If I had any hope of getting dinner ready on time I had to get things started now.  I had decided on a delicious dinner of Russian chicken served over rice.  I grabbed the rice cooker, put in my rice and water and turned the cooker on. I went on about my business helping kids with homework and chores while I waited for the chicken to finish thawing. 

It wasn’t long after when I smelled something that resembled burning rubber.  Groaning to myself, I was sure it had to be something wrong with the vacuum Dorothy was using, and I walked into the living room.  As soon as I walked in, the smell vanished. Puzzled I went back towards the kitchen.  The smell was even stronger now.  I approached the rice cooker, and with each step the smell increased. I was becoming increasingly worried, after all, the rice cooker is fairly new and was a special present from my husband. I opened the lide to the cooker and and the burnt rubber smell overwhelmed me. I yanked out the plug and pulled out the metal bowl with the water and rice in it.  My nose took a brutal beating and my children fled the kitchen holding their breath.

I peered down into the bottom of the cooker and spied the culprit – half hiding beneath the center heating element was a partially melted rubber eraser.  I managed to extricate it with a pair of tongs. Thankfully no damage was done to my dependable rice cooker. And, my little Tsunami confessed during interrogation.


We have been working with Jacob on becoming potty trained – he currently wears pull-ups during the day to make it easier for him to go potty. The one draw back is that he will often discard his pull-up into the bathroom garbage. Even though it is only just wet (and not stinky) the smell can still pack a wallop, so we empty it frequently. 

Tonight was garbage night, so Paul was making the rounds through the house gathering everything up to haul outside. When he got to the kids’ bathroom the smell was especially strong. He went to empty the garbage can and saw about half an inch of pee in the bottom of the can.  Apparantly Jacob has been peeing in the garbage rather than the toilet.

*Sigh* Such a boy thing to do…

My lovely little Tsunami.


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

An Orange Moon

The other night the kids were thrilled with the color of the moon – of course I took a photo of it. At first a branch was in the way – I hadn’t wanted to step of the deck (I was barefoot, it was dark, and I didn’t want to find any doggie presents…)

Moon 1

I finally did get off the deck and got a clear shot of the moon – and I didn’t step on anything gross either!

Moon 2


Filed under Nature, Photography

Even Cats Think it is Cozy

We have a great stroller – the height of fashion and comfort (ha! The thing is over 8 years old). It seats up to two children – and even more if you let them hang off the sides. Aparantly it even allows for stow-aways in the storage compartment. This is what we found halfway through Little Big Kicks on Saturday.

Surprise Visitor 1

I was told by an observer that at one point the stow-away was lounging on his back as though he was in a recliner made just for him – but I missed that photo op as I was training my camera on the Tsunami in the field.

Surprise Visitor 3

Surprise Visitor 2

Apparantly one of the parents for someone out in the soccer field (there was a lot more than just Little Big Kicks going on) had brought the cat – Paul saw the parent come and fetch ti before he left and joined me at Emily’s soccer game. 🙂


Filed under Humor, Sports

Little Big Kicks

Jacob had his first Little Big Kicks Soccer on Saturday.  It was an absolute hoot to watch. He picked up the idea of dribbling the ball with his feet really fast.  At one point he was kicking the ball to one of the dads on the sidelines. The dad would kick it back, and then Jacob would kick it to him again. Finally after a final kick back fromt he Dad he dribble the ball down the field and kicked it into the goal.  The hardest part was getting him to listen to his coach – but then most of the little 3-year-olds weren’t listening – heh.

Also they let them all practice with their own ball first, and then did a game situation where everyone was chasing one ball. Jacob wanted nothing to do with that- he just wanted his ball back! 🙂 I decided watching 3-year-olds play soccer is the funniest thing ever.

Jacob Soccer 2

Jacob Soccer 1

Jacob Soccer 5

Jacob Soccer 4

Jacob Soccer 3

Jacob like to call the shirt he is wearing his “soccer shirt”. He was calling it his soccer shirt before any of the kids started playing soccer. We have always gotten a kick out of it, and decided it was appropriate, as the back of the shirt says “Tsunami” – very fitting indeed!


Filed under Children, Jacob, Sports

Photos of James

I promised a while back some photos of James. The little tyke is growing up way too fast. 8 months already! He has two teeth on the bottome, and his two front teeth are coming in on the top now too. He has been crawling and pulling himself up for a while – the standing in the crib photos are a month old or so, and the crawling photos were taken today.

One thing James has in spades is personality. He almost always has a disarming smile to share with you.
Mr. Personality - this was before the 2 teeth popped in

A favorite thing of his to do when he is excited is to go, “Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh”. I caught him in the act –

This photo showcases those two bottom teeth perfectly

2 bottom teeth perfectly showcased

He is one fast little critter

Look at him go!

I'm gonna get you!

Last of all I had to post this photoWith all the bigger kids in soccer, I think James can’t wait for his turn. 🙂 And a huge thanks to April – originally I the photo I posted was dark because I forgot the flash. She ran it through photoshop and lightened up for me – it looks so much better! 🙂 Thanks April!



Filed under Children, James, Photography

Thank you Tillamook Cheese!

A PR person for Tillamook came across my ‘Tillamook Cheeese Factory at home’ post and requested permission to include a link to the story from the Tillamook Cheese Facebook page. She also requested our adress. After verifying she really was who she said she was 🙂 I called and gave it to her. After that, life went on and I forgot about the whole business until a week later when a mysterious box showed up on my doorstep.

After examining the box I noticed it was from the lady I had spoken to with Tillamook Cheese. I opened up the box and found a thankyou card along with the mini coloring books about the Factory, stickers, a magnetic cow patterned picture frame, and Tillamook Cheese Cow hats.

The kids were thrilled and extremely excited! Thank you Tillamook Cheese! 😀

Thank you Tillamook!


Filed under Every Day Life

Dorothy & Elizabeth’s First Game

Also on Saturday, Elizabeth and Dorothy had their first soccer game. Elizabeth cheered from the sidelines while Dorothy demonstrated her never-ending amount of energy. She loved her first game and has now proclaimed soccer as her “favorite sport ever!” She really did well, and the coach made sure that each player had a turn as goalie, which she enjoyed, but not as much as being out there running with the ball.







Elizabeth can’t wait for that boot to come off so she can join in on the fun. 🙂


Filed under Dot, Lizy, Sports

Emily’s First Soccer Game

I have decided that soccer is way more fun to watch little kids play than softball. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having Elizabeth in softball and it was very fun, but there is something about watching little kids chase and kick a soccer ball around. It was so much fun. Emily loved her “big game” and played her little heart (or should I say legs) out.

Em Soccer 3

Em soccer 1

Em Soccer 4

Em Soccer 2


Filed under Em, Sports

We Finally had the Party

One problem with having such a full and fun summer is that summer birthday parties just don’t happen.  Emily turned six this year and by tradition she should have had a friend birthday party.  There just wasn’t an available Saturday to have it.  So, this last Saturday – after two soccer games – Emily finally had her friend birthday party.  She chose a jungle theme and I had quite the fun time coming up with ideas.  We did a couple of jungle related crafts, but the big thing of the party was the jungle safari.

Friday while the boys were napping I used my limited artistic skills to draw and paint giant jungle animals on cardboard – I ended up doing six of them and completing the project late late Friday night.  I also created, on the computer, passports for each kid.  I featured three continents – Asia, Africa, and South America – one per page. Searching through clipart and images on the internet I put stamps and poster images of some of the different countries on the continents to make the passports look for authentic – with a faded map of each continent as a background.  Then on each page I put a picture of two animals that would be found in that continent – girraffe & zebra for Africa, Elephant & Tiger for Asia, Monkey & Parrot for South America.  Beside each animal was an empty box. 

The time came in the party when I explained to the children that we were going to go on a safari. I had to take a few moments and describe to them what a safari was. Paul had taken the carboard paintings out into the yard during the beginning of the party and had hid them all over the yard and in the trees. 

I led them through the jungle vines (streamers) and out into the jungle where they would hunt for and spot the different jungle animals. Everytime they found one they were to come running to me and tell me and I would give them a sticker to put into their passport that matched the animal they found.
Safari 9

Safari 6

Safari 2

Safari 4

Safari 3

Safari 1

Safari 7

Safari 8

Safari 5
We also played the Ostrich Relay – you put a giant ostrich egg (white balloon) between your legs and run/waddle with it. It was hillarious! Especially because the wind kept catching the balloons and blowing them away – they kept popping too! 🙂
Ostrich Relay 2

Ostrich relay 1
 I squeezed in decorating a jungle cake for Emily in between her soccer game and her sisters’ game – good thing I baked the cake the night before. 🙂 
Jungle Cake 2

Jungle Cake 1

Jungle cake with candles

Blow Emmy, Blow!
We had a ton of fun – the safari was such a huge hit. I think I might hang onto those cardboard animals and play safari again with the kids sometime. 🙂


Filed under Cakes, Children, Em