Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Most Fabulous Zoo!

The Cincinnati Zoo is AMAZING!!! And we were there in 25 degree weather and couldn’t see most animals. They have the most amazing exhibits – from vampire bats to these HUGE bats, to birds of all color and variety (Dot was thrilled to see a bright purple bird), manatees, komodo dragons, a large variety of nocturnal animals and so, so much more. We are looking forward to going again when it’s a little warmer to see all the animals that were either hiding or off display for the winter.

Zoo 1

Zoo 2

Zoo 3

Zoo 4

Zoo 5

Emily was especially thrilled with the polar bear out enjoying the cold weather. Polar Bears are her favorite animal, so she HAD to have her picture taken, I thought the bear posed very nicely.

Zoo 6

The highlight for me, and most of the rest of the family were the tigers. I have only ever seen a tiger lay about or pace – these two were playing! It was delightful to watch, and we had a hard time tearing ourselves away.

Zoo 7

Zoo 8

This was James’ first zoo trip and he was delighted by the different animals, but the aardvarks seem to really capture his attention. Lizzy loved the Lizards, and Jacob the tigers. We can’t wait to go back!

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Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature

C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S

Ok, it’s a bit late to be finally posting all of our festive photos, but… well if you wonder why, re-read my realistic mommy post – ha ha. Anyway, I love all the fun of Christmas and the decorations (though I love getting back to normal afterwards too). This year it was especially neat being in our first home with new friends and things to see and do. We didn’t go out much, lots of snow (yay! we had a white Christmas!) and cold temps with the baby kept us indoors, so there are a number of neat things we want to do next year when Robert is older.

We managed to find a place to cut down a tree – in fact it was only $10 so we got two! Unfortunately they are going out of business, so we’ll have to find a new place next year. Trees are so different out here than back in evergreen land, aka Oregon. We dubbed our scotch pine the vampire tree (it’s needles were wicked sharp) and the other tree (I don’t remember what kind it was) the Charlie Brown tree, though it grew on us after a while (no, not literally)

Tree Picking

After decorations were up we started the season off with a small, but fun and crazy white-elephant party and are looking forward to watching it grow. It was a hoot and a half. We wound up with a can of Kraut juice (don’t ask, it’s better if you don’t know). The season continued with tons of baking, and reading, and sledding, and caroling and an awesome zoo trip and just masses and masses of fun – more fun than anyone should have the right to have, but we had it!

Then came Christmas Eve and surprise of all surprises the lovable fiasco that is the Nativity play was all lovable and no fiasco!

Christmas Eve 2010

Then the kids went to bed and not long after were awakened by Daddy Clause doing his rumbly “HO! HO! HO!” James stood at the stairs refusing to come down.

Christmas Eve Santa 2010

They were sent upstairs, all snuggled up in their new pajamas, and as they went Jacob waxed eloquent. “Dad is Santa Claus! It’s a sham, I tell ya, a sham!”

The following morning we woke the kids up at 8 (they were all still sleeping, can you believe it?) and enjoyed the giggling and shushing as they waited at the top of the stairs until we were completely ready. Then the word was given and the stampede ensued. Robert is featured in the main Christmas morning collage because it was his 1st Christmas.

Robert Christmas

And what can be in those big long packages that everybody seems to have??

Christmas 1

Why, Battle Beaters of course!!!! After all the festivities, we adjourned to the basement for the family battle.

Christmas 2

We enjoyed beating each other the rest of the day… oh and watching family movies and playing and stuff too… but beating each other was definitely the highlight.

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Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy

About James

The classic James face – thumb(s) of approval and either a “yeah mom” nod or a very cheesy smile. 🙂

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Two buddies, waiting for the bus

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Dad was lying across the bed, his chin resting on my body pillow, while he watched James play with cars on my nightstand. A milky white plastic ice cream bucket laid on its side on the edge of the bed, evidence of James’ recent bout with the tummy bug. I sat beside it, one leg tucked under me, the other dangling down to the floor while I fed Robert.

“Vrooom.” James scooted a car across my nightstand, onto the bed and into the bucket.

Paul reached out, snagged the lip of the bucket and flipped the opening toward him, secretly depositing the car behind the body pillow before returning the bucket to its original position.

James giggled and grabbed another car. Once again it vroomed across the nightstand, onto the bed and into the bucket. Paul gave the speedy flip, this time tipping his head back to dodge the flying car. He laughed and put the bucket back as James grinned and grabbed another car.

They went through about five or six cars, James giggling all the while. Pretty soon James was out of cars.

“What now?” Paul asked.

James didn’t say a word. He simply rolled himself onto the bed by the bucket, trying to fit his shoulder or any part of him inside it, a silly grin plastered on his face.

I almost dropped the baby I was laughing so hard.

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Speaking of James… He had a birthday recently… well, okay, it’s been an entire month, but with a birthday so soon after Christmas I am still caught up in the fun, tumult and chaos of winter vacations and Christmas recovery. He’s 3! And such a cute sweet three at that. 🙂 His birthday snuck up on me as it usually does and I found myself on that wonderful Monday trying to decide what exactly we were going to do for a party. James has had a thing for super heroes lately. He sings the the Superman and Spiderman (the Amazing Spiderman cartoons) songs. If any of his clothes with the super man logo or spiderman are on them he HAS to wear them. We frequently find he and his brother dressed up in spiderman or batman costumes racing around the house and being absolutely cute and adorable. So, what else could I do than a superhero party?

First thing we needed was a telephone booth – I built one from cardboard boxes – and some super heroes…

James Birthday 1

Then we needed a super villain – Dad filled the part nicely. In fact, he was so villainous that he bombed our basement! Luckily I had 5 superheroes on hand (and an adorable baby observing) to disarm all the bombs before the basement blew up.

James Birthday 2

Our heroes only thwarted the villain momentarily though, because before long he was back… and this time with kryptonite! Luckily I had a pair of tongues handy and a lead lined boxed for kryptonite disposal.

James Birthday 3

Our main mini-hero almost bought it, though in the end he was victorious!

Finally the heroes discovered the villain’s only weakness – toilet paper! They got out their webslinger and froze him just long enough to push him in a chair and wrap him up with toilet paper. He was totally defenseless (and the silly string smelled really bad).

James Birthday 4

Take that super-villain! Bring it on!

And any party wouldn’t be complete with out the cake and funny birthday faces…

James Birthday 5

We sure love our silly, hammy, smiley boy! 😀

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Filed under Cakes, Children, Dot, Em, Humor, Jacob, James, Lizy, Pets

Singin’ in Reverse

So, I feel like after the last post, I needed the country song in reverse version, so here goes…

Even though the brakes went out on the white car (not the family car, phew) this morning my hubby made it home safe and was able to even park safely in the driveway (we think it’s the line). He prayed his way home from dropping Dot off at school for band (they meet in AM before school on Mon. and Wed.), where he first noticed the problem. Coming down the hill to our house he would apply the brake and the car would slow some and then begin to speed up. He managed to get parked safely in our driveway though.

We had the most fun with Paul’s birthday this month. The kids didn’t have school on his birthday so we all hopped into the van and drove over to his work and decorated his car. We hung balloons on the antenna and put banners and candy posters in the windows – the candy posters read something like this “We know this may come as a ‘SHOCKERS’ to you but we think you are more than a ‘BIT O’ HONEY’. We even think you are more than a computer ‘NERDS’. In fact, we think you are worth more than a ‘1,000 GRAND’. You are a ‘LIFE SAVER’ when things go ‘SOUR’ (we had to draw an arrow up to the sour because they were sour gummy life savers) because you make us ‘LAFFY TAFFY’ and that’s not a ‘COW’S TAIL’! We all signed it and taped each section (their were four) to one of his windows.

We’ve had a ton of fun reading stories together at night – in addition to picture books for the boys I’ve been reading chapter books to the girls.

Lots of fun playing in snow, sledding, snowman building, and then sitting around the table sipping on hot chocolate to warm up.

Yes, the kids fight a bunch, and throw temper tantrums, but they also go out of their way to help and do nice things for each other. For Christmas we encouraged them to give acts of service to each other rather than things, so this month has been rather neat as they’ve been doing their Christmas presents.

My two oldest girls were angels in helping to get the powder sugar mess cleaned up.

We’ve been having fun making pinewood derby cars for the girls (we have so few cubscouts the girls were invited to join in)

The sleds were only broken because we were having so much fun flying at top speed down icy snow in the backyard. 🙂

Even though Paul’s had to work late he’s only had to take a few calls on the weekends – and only 1 on a Sunday and that was right when we were walking out the door after church.

The bathroom flooding incident could have been SO bad, and yet all appears fine for now. We didn’t loose the ceiling or anything – it all drained out through a little hole for a phone line. So for now, things are ok.

And the things that have broken are just things. The glasses were glued back together (I love super glue), the glass in the picture frame can easily be replaced or done without, and the watch can be replaced on a birthday, etc.

I’ve learned that I can make my big pot on the stove work almost as well as my crock pot, or just throw it all in the oven for a while.

Even though the controls on our fridge and freezer were played with and we didn’t notice it for a while, we lost very little food – just some fridge leftovers, the freezer stuff was still frozen.

I have an amazing hubby who let me sleep all afternoon yesterday when I came down all of a sudden with a nasty bug, and amazing kids who helped a bunch.

Anyway, my list could go on and on. This month has been a hard one, but a good one too and there have been a lot of blessings mixed in with the woes.

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Filed under Every Day Life, Family

The Realistic Mommy Blog

So far in the New Year…. (to be read with much humor – this is not a whiny post, I promise)

Dog ran off and taken by the pound
Crock pot broke
Car battery died
Watches broke
Glasses broke
Picture broke
Poor cat carted around in a pillow case
Cat food dumped everywhere
Snow day after snow day after snow day after snow day after… (is
the month of January included in winter vacations out here?)
Regular sugar spilled
Power breakers shut off
Laundry soap spilled (while being played in with match box cars)
Heater turned off
Refrigerator and Freezer shut off
5 lbs of powder sugar dumped ALL over my kitchen and spread through
the entire main floor of my house
The other car battery died
Husband working late more nights than I can count
World wars 3,4,5,and 6 have all started and ended in our house –
actually some of them are ongoing
Temper tantrums galore
Sleds shattered
Dog destroyed the cover to the grill (why did we pay to get him back?)
Poo spots, pee spots (ah the joy of potty training)
Food on the floor, on the walls, and yes, even on the ceiling
Upstairs Bathroom flooded (we were catching water below in the garage)

and

to top it off

NO INTERNET OR PHONE (our phone is through our internet) FOR OVER 5 DAYS!!! And when they did fix it it’s been either stinkin’ slow or disconnects every few minutes.

I wonder if I read this post backwards if it will all come back or fix itself. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful new theme song I have come up with for my boys…

Just two good old boys, never meanin’ no harm….
Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with their ma
Since the day they was born.

Straightenin’ the curves, flattenin’ the hills….
Someday the mountain might get ’em but their ma never will.

Makin’ their way, the only way they know how…
That’s just a little bit more than their ma will allow.

Just two good ol’ boys, wouldn’t change if they could,
Fightin’ the system like a two-year-old Robin Hood…

*inspired by a wonderful article about mormon mommy bloggers and their shiny picture perfect lives oh, and of course the ever so fabulous Dukes of Hazzard

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Filed under Every Day Life, Family, Humor, Jacob, James, Music