Category Archives: James

Our Summer in Pictures Part 1

Okay, well our summer plus a little extra. 🙂

Liz’s Birthday – She had a reverse, upside down, inside out party 🙂

Liz B-day

Dot’s Birthday

Dot Birthday

We worked on clearing a trail in the woods in our back yard. Here are the beginning stages.

Yard Fixing

Jacob joined Cub Scouts and got to attend Tiger Treks

Tiger Treks

We explored the Clifton Mill and went hiking in Clifton Gorge

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Clifton Collage 2

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We went hiking at Shawnee Lookout

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Shawnee Lookout Collage 2

And we explored the Gorman Family Farm

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Gorman Farm 2

Gorman Farm 3

We hiked around Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana

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Clifty Falls 3

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Jacob got to go to Twilight Camp – cub scout day camp that meets in the evenings. 🙂

Twilight Cub Camp 1

Twilight Cub Camp 2

Emily had her 9th birthday

Emily B-day

and Paul and I got to go on a couple tours exploring Cincinnati

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Cincinnati 2

Cincinnati 3

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

It must run in the family

A long time ago, when I was but a wee little lass, my big sister, Heidi, melted one of those plastic cake/jello pans in the oven.

OOPS!

In her defense, she didn’t know it was in there when she turned the oven on. At least, I don’t think she did. Heidi? (She’ll correct me if I’m wrong, believe me! :-D) I don’t remember why it was in there. I just remember copious amounts of baking soda being flung all over the kitchen when it was found.

If there had been Christmas music playing (and something wasn’t on fire) we probably would have started shouting,

“It’s snowing! It’s snowing.”

But, no one did, because we didn’t want to go up in flames. The fire was quickly estinguished and who knows what happened to the rack and the oven. I was too little. I probably scampered out to the barn after all the excitement was over to avoid being roped into the clean-up.

***

So, today is Dot’s birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOT!!

She decided to make us all eggs on her birthday. She cooked them herself and made orange juice and brought mine to me in bed (because I was REALLY slow waking up this morning – ok, well it was only 6:30 at that point, but still I was half an hour late waking up). I grinned at her, wished her a happy birthday, scarfed my eggs down and went to hang out with the family. The boys were still in bed and the girls were just finishing eating.

We chased Lizard out the door for school and greeted a sleepy-eyed, stumbling Jacob who plopped down at the table. Dot promptly delivered his breakfast. Maybe if I had been paying closer attention I would have noticed where she got his breakfast from, but, I wasn’t.

I decided to be extremely efficient. I was going to get that cake baked right away and run to the store, all before my three elementary kids went to school and Dad took off to work. So, I flipped on the oven to preheat and went happily about mixing cake batter as Dot giggled and peeked around me.

I was just about ready to pour the batter into the pan and fling it in the oven (and feeling very proud of my efficient-ness), when James came downstairs.

“Where’s his breakfast?” Dot asked me.

I was thoroughly confused, staring at the empty frying pan that had obviously cooked eggs this morning. “Ummm. I have no idea.” (I swear, I did not eat the eggs.)  I was on the verge of questioning my sanity when Dot began freaking out.  I quelled her with a look. “I don’t know where the eggs are, Dot. I didn’t eat them. No one ate them. There are no eggs.” I pointed to the pan in emphasis, but her wild gesticulations just became wilder.

She frantically waved her hand in the direction of the oven. “THEY’RE IN THERE!!!!!”

“Oh, CRAP!”

(unfortunately, as much as I really hate to admit it, I did use that word)

I yanked the oven door open and there, partially melted and just beginning to drip onto the bottom of the oven, was a green plastic plate holding James’s eggs. Poor eggs. Poor plate. POOR OVEN!! YIKES!

“Why didn’t any one tell me?” I cry as Dot goes racing upstairs crying (poor Dot) and Paul comes racing downstairs.

He looks at my disaster. “Oh, shoot. Sorry about that. I told her to put them in there. Maybe next time we’ll stick them in the microwave to keep them warm. Might be a better idea.”

“Ya think?” 😛

Anyway, he was able to nimbly clean up the melting plate, nothing was ruined (except the plate… and the eggs – I didn’t think plastic coated eggs would be too good for James’s digestion)- heck! I didn’t even catch anything on fire (take that plastic oven disaster!), Dot was comforted and cheered up and we assured her it wasn’t her fault, and I was still able to get to the store and back before the little people left for school.

Moral of the story?

Don’t put plastic stuff in the oven….

EVER!!!

(oh, and it might not be a bad idea to look and see what’s in there before you turn the thing on.)

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Filed under Children, Dot, Goofs, Humor, James

We’ve been busy…

First, Jacob had a birthday! He turned 6 last month and we celebrated with a construction party. I had fun doing a crazy cake, but I think my cake decorating skills detiorate with each additional kid 😀

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We had two camp outs in the basement – one for the girls and one for the boys (so cool that our smaller tent fits in the basement!)

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I took the kids to Krohn Conservatory during spring break – It’s hard to take good focused close-ups of plants – or anything! – when trying to keep track of six kids 😀 So, I put up very few plant photos – I’ll get better ones when Paul is with me 🙂

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Spring is finally springing! And its so exciting to discover what’s been planted in our yard. The kids fully enjoyed a gorgeous day last week. And we got our lilac bush planted!

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Plus, Paul went on an adventure to see how big our yard really was and how far into the woods it goes – then he gave me a tour – it’s hugely awesome! We are excited to clear debris out and make more portions of our woods available to the kids. There are some really cool domed clearings where the trees have grown over making a natural little home. It’s beautiful! We’ll take photos of that stuff as we get back in there and get things cleared up – there are a lot of beer cans, broken bottles, tires – even an old swingset back there. So, we have lots of work to do!

Finally, Robert is 7 months old! He’s been eating solids and rolling and for the past month or so he’s been doing the army crawl – and getting faster by the second! The last couple days he decide to get on his hands and knees and will sit and rock back and forth – taking one crawl forward before flopping down and commando crawling where he wants to go.
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Today he even pulled himself up to a shakey stand – always hanging onto my hands of course!

*for whatever reason the pictures don’t show up sometimes – if you still want to see them, you should be able to if you click on the white non-picture

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Filed under Bobert, Cakes, Children, Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature, Photography

Miami Whitewater Forest

Our stake has this awesome thing where every second weekend of the month is Family Friendly Weekend – no meetings or activities except for church on Sunday can be scheduled on that weekend to encourage families to spend more time together. As a result, we decided that these Saturdays would be our outing days.

Right now we’re having lots of car trouble so we chose to go someplace close to home – an nice little county park about fifteen minutes away. They have a few nice nature trails, plenty of picnic areas, a park, and lake – when the weather warms a little more we’ll take our canoe out.

This time we decided to go on a hike – the longest one was 1.6 miles so we did that one. It ended up being perfect for James who was on his first “walk on your own” hike. For just turning three at the end of December I thought he did pretty good. We’re hoping to have him up to close to three miles by the end of the summer. Though it was a short hike, we had all the kids wear their backpacks (except James) and pack their own water and snacks, so as we get ready for longer hikes, they’ll be accustomed to it.

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One of the favorite things about hiking is finding the perfect walking stick – All the kids quickly become obsessed with finding the perfect stick – in fact, James was often carrying two or three sticks. 🙂

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We love bridges on our hikes! Especially because trolls can often be found lurking around them.

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“Fee Fie Fo Fum!”

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“Who’s that tromping over my bridge?”

And this bridge is infested with trolls!

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Then there’s the ever so popular activity of racing ahead and hiding behind trees to spring out at the unsuspecting hikers still to come. My dad did this with me when I was little, and so the tradition continues. The kids pick up the activity quickly – unless this tree just happened to sprout arms, feet, and a backpack!

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Another favorite hiking tradition is tree hugging. I suppose it all comes from being the kids of a botanist, but this started when I was little. As you can tell, I am teaching my kids well. 😀

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I thought they had been attacked by the trolls, but they informed me they were napping while waiting for James to catch up.

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Little legs give up.

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And stubborness sets in.

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Finally I tell him he can be the troll at the next bridge we find, and miraculously it gets him moving.

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Wait for us Dad! The boys hiking together

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Back at the parkinglot/picnic area

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I looked over while eating my apple to see my five oldest kids lined up by age hanging out the little windows of our picnic shelter.

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Robert and Dad couldn’t be left out!

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Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Humor, Jacob, James, Nature

Winton Woods

There are some beautiful and fun parks in our county with walking tails, lakes for fishing and canoeing (we can’t wait to take our canoe out when it warms up a bit more), and playgrounds.  A couple Saturdays ago we took the kids (all but Em, she was on a little trip to Tennessee with one of her friends) to Winton Woods. The highlight of the trip was definitely feeding the ducks and geese. While we had tons of fun, we sure missed our Em.

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

And the Family Dances…

Last year we started a new tradition, the family dance. The girls had wanted to attend the community daddy daughter dance, but they were charging some exorbitant fees that were way beyond us, so we created our own dance. We even got formal, and had tons of fun. Last year’s Family Valentine dance brought us this gem

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This year they seem to be getting along a little better. 🙂

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We didn’t get quite the classic funny photo as last year, but I did get a few cute accidental shots (and on purpose shots too). We decided to be casual, but I think we’ll be formal again next year. Whether formal or casual though we had tons of fun – I think this tradition is around to stay!

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Finally, February was Congenital Heart Defect Awareness month and Jacob’s school did Jump Rope for Heart sponsored by the American Heart Association. The kids got to decorate a heart in honor of someone, and of course they all chose Jacob. He wanted a picture showing off his zipper for the occasion. (and I heard from his teacher that he showed off in person too! hee hee)

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Filed under Bobert, CHD, Dot, Em, Family, Heart, Jacob, James, Lizy, TGA

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.

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Zoo 3

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

***

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.

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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.

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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).

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Take that super-villain! Bring it on!

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

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

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

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