Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blue hair boy

Who doesn't want to color their hair blue and then
jump in a big pile of autumn yellow leaves?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tulip bulbs? Check.

One of the best trades I ever did was for my planter boxes. We started with two rather boring planting containers and thought that by building boxes around them, it would add a little bit of personality to our front porch. For the trade I did some residential design work for Shane and Julie. Shane then built some boxes that turned out perfect. They are beautiful and make me smile.

I've gotta say that between my planter boxes and my beloved blue chairs, hands down, the front porch has become my favorite room.

Last summer the boxes had potato vine: Loved it.
This summer the boxes had trailing petunia: Looked nice enough.
Summer 2010 the "It" plant will be potato vine again.

Last fall Jeff suggested we load up the boxes with tulip bulbs. I'm telling you as silly as it sounds this particular flower makes my heart sing. We put about 50 bulbs in each box and waited waited waited. It was worth the wait.

and mid-spring...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank you again...& again

Hey Claire, what is the biggest number that you can think of?
"One hundred fifty six thousand seventy nine three million forty two ten."
Wow that is some number!

Erik it's your turn. What is the biggest number that can think of?
He is such a smarty pants second grader.

I don't know how many times I need to say THANK YOU but it is somewhere along the number line of what my kiddos said.

While I'm not pleased with my weaknesses being so publicly on display, I've got to say that I am forever grateful that I don't have to experience this privately.

Last week I received a sweet card from my cousin Jennifer. In one part she said how she really does believe that God doesn't give us more then we can handle. And she is right on. Don't you think the reason we can handle situations so much more terrifying and challenging or heartbreaking, than we ever dreamed, is because God sends others to our aid?

I will be ready to sit down and say, "I'm done! I don't want to do this anymore and I mean it this time!" But I never stay in that tantrum state for too long (even if I want to) because inevitably someone comes along and does or says just the right thing to get me going again.

So...THANK YOU for the thoughtfully written cards, letter or emails, treats, dinners, help with household tasks, friendships with me and Jeff and the good friends my kids have, and thank you for your prayers on our behalf. And for all the smiles and tears and laughs and many other things I forgot to mention...thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Stories

Erik, Claire & Megan love story time. And Jeff and I do enjoy reading books with our children. Despite having a decent collection of books at home and picking up additional books at the library, Jeff felt like he was re-reading the same story over and over. Instead of reading to wind the kids down he was putting himself to sleep. Really he was. Claire would be nudging him so he would wake up.

A few months ago Jeff decided to read out loud some of the novels he thought Erik and Claire might like too. It has worked out well and each night will read a chapter or two. Now Jeff usually reads the novels to the kids and I will read the picture storybooks or graphic novels like Rapunzel's Revenge. Truly your kids won't want it put down. It is by Shannon & Dean Hale and wonderfully illustrated by Nathan Hale. Anyway, check it out.

We just hope that our kids will grow up with a love for reading.

Some of the books Jeff has read:

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Horse and His Boy
Harry Potter 1
Harry Potter 2
Summer of the Monkeys
My Side of the Mountain

I snapped this photo of my Fav 4 while Jeff was reading this afternoon. It doesn't look like Meg is into it as much as the others.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Parenting 101 - scratch that earlier idea

Okay so I've decided to scratch any plans for writing a parenting book (not that I ever had any plans).

This is how a message went that I left on Jeff's phone minutes after I finished the earlier blog post:
"Hey it is Janae, I was wondering if you were going to make it home today for lunch.
I need some help fixing the blinds...

that Claire accidentally messed up...

when she was trying to open the window...

to air out the house...

from all of the smoke...
which was a result of burning graham crackers & chocolate chips...

from when she was trying to make smores over the lamp."

On this one I actually hold myself partly to blame. Claire had come in asking me to help her with a snack. I keep saying, "Just a minute." She finally took matters into her own hands and climbed on top of the ledge to make smores over the lamp. Who knows where she got that idea! I promise we restrict our smore making to the microwave or camping trips around the fire pit.

Claire, I am so sorry! No more "Just a minutes!"

Your focused and dedicated mom will be there right after she finishes this blog post. Hahaha. I'm kidding. I'm coming now!

Parenting 101

If I were to write a Parenting 101 book there would be a section on grocery shopping. It would discuss how if children were to compare the way parents shop for groceries, the fathers would have a higher approval rating versus the mothers.

My point being is that when Jeff does a grocery run he will usually come home with a greater selection of kid-friendly food than I might (chocolate milk, multiple varieties of cereals, chips, ice cream, & frozen pizza). Not that I'm complaining, because Jeff really is great. Having a husband/father who doesn't mind grocery shopping isn't something to complain about.

One day I was talking to Erik about his day at school. Lunch/recess is usually his favorite part and so that is what we talk about. I'll ask him what he ate, who he sat by, and what games he played during recess.

This particular day Erik said how he picked chocolate milk to drink. I asked him if he ever picked the white milk. Erik replied, "Ah Mom, we eat mostly healthy food for breakfast and dinner. At lunch I like to have a little fun."

The way he said it just cracked me up, "...have a little fun". My son is living on the edge with his chocolate milk drinking habits. Hahaha.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Easier said than done.

What is easier said than done? Oh all sorts of sayings come to mind but the one that stands out is "Enjoy the Journey." I'm telling you what, I had to repeat those 3 words every day during the month of September in hopes that eventually I'd believe it.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey.

I found myself day dreaming how much easier it would be to enjoy the stinkin' journey if I had a strong and healthy body.

There were moments where I quit grumbling long enough to remind myself that when I was als free I took my health for granted and found other things to be wishing for. It is easy to wish for and surround ourselves with stuff and fluff and crap that just doesn't matter.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey.

I know I'm not alone and that many others had a challenging month for one reason or another. With that being said if you now find yourself in 3 days into October you deserve a pat on the back or a high-five. Maybe I will make and distribute t-shirts that say:
"I Survived September 2009"
"I survived September '09 & all I got was this crummy t-shirt."

Ready or not here is October and there is a big bowl of candy waiting at the end.