Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We got nearly all of our Christmas shopping for Scott and Anna done early. So, there has been a stack of presents in our room for a couple of weeks. As soon as we got the tree decorated and moved the presents out there, the kids started pestering me to allow them to open just one small present early.

I have been greatly entertained by the bargaining techniques Scott is employing.

First, he thought we might be able to exchange gifts so that he would get one of his presents. What did he offer me? A stuffed dog that Chris had given to me many years ago and Scott claimed from me as a baby. Needless to say, I was not tempted to accept one of my own belongings.

So, he tried a new tactic. He is very good at doing school, but (I think it's a boy-thing) he does not really care for any exercises involving writing. Since he's in first grade, there is a lot of practice at writing. He suggested that maybe I would give him an early present if he did his work without complaining. Maybe that would be considered reverse-bribery?!?

Finally, since his previous attempts were failures, he got desperate. He offered to pay me to give him a present. How much is a Christmas present worth to a seven year old? In his own words, "How about if I pay you....maybe a quarter....and you can give me a small present?"

He has been a little upset that he hasn't gotten an early present. But, I have to admit, that I am actually enjoying seeing him try so hard. I'm glad that he's very excited, and I think that he won't be let-down come Christmas morning.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Autumn Updates

So I have really fallen off the blog wagon, so to speak. It has been months since I posted a new blog. There have been a lot of little events in our lives and I find myself thinking, 'That would make a nice blog post,' but I never get around to it. It's definitely a good thing I'm not trying to do this as a profession!

So, here goes.....

Scott turned 7. 7!!

We had a ton of fun at a carnival.

Anna got bored and decorated her sister with stickers...

We enjoyed a beautiful fall day at the park.

Scott finally lost his first tooth.

We filled up on a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.

Elizabeth turned one!! And thank you so much to my darling sis for this beautiful picture.

Now, she is standing and this week has been taking a few steps at a time!

Anna turned 3, and is obsessed with all things princess! She got new princess dress-up clothes for her birthday.

Now that you are all caught up on our lives, maybe tonight or tomorrow (I hope, but no promises!) I will compose a real post, complete with an anecdote!

Friday, September 4, 2009

How to (Try to) Keep a Two-Year-Old Busy

I didn't know best how to answer your question, Sarah, to be sure you would read it, so I will just make a post on the topic.

Keeping Anna busy during our school work is probably my biggest challenge as well. She absolutely does not ever nap, so I always have to find a way to work with her as well.

Anna also would prefer to do what Scott is doing. My plan is to photocopy his worksheet pages so she can have the same page to color on. My printer is out of ink, so I haven't done this yet. I think that will help a lot. So far, this is what is working now:

When I purchased school supplies on sale at Walmart and on clearance at Target, I got everything for Anna as well. Crayons and markers were so cheap that I bought about 8 packages of each. But I made a pencil box for Anna, just like Scott's. I filled it with crayons, pencils, erasers, a calculator (just for fun), a glue stick, and safety scissors (these are ONLY out at school time now after last year's barber shop incident!). For now, I have just been giving her coloring books and construction paper to draw on or cut and glue. If she has noticed that it's not the same as Scott's, I try to find a picture that is similar to what he is doing.

For example, the other day he was coloring a rainbow and we were learning about the specific order of colors on a rainbow. She asked for a rainbow picture too. Since we had a Noah's Ark coloring book, I was easily able to find her a rainbow. If he is busy working on something for a minutes, I will help her color or write some words for her.

When we work on phonics or math, she totally believes she is doing the work too because she sits there and shouts out any letters or numbers she can think of.

In the end, I think that giving her photocopies of Scott's pages will help with her last bit of impatience. She enjoys sitting with us right now though, and "playing school" is her favorite time of day. As soon as she eats breakfast, she begins asking me if it's time to play school yet.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Easing into it...

Our first week of school is almost over and, as a whole, I would rate it as successful. We've had a few bumps--it is a bit difficult to keep Anna busy, Lizzie has had her moments of fussiness, and Scott does get bored with an activity if it takes too long.

Overall, I am pleased with how we are managing. So far we have gotten everything done I have planned. I have the work planned out so that over the course of a couple weeks we work up to a full schedule of the subjects.

We have spent about 2 hours a day doing work thus far, covering reading, phonics & writing, math, and science. We will also be covering geography, art, music, and hopefully Spanish. Reading, phonics, and math will all be covered daily and each of the other subjects will be covered 1, 2, or 3 days per week.

We have not completely settled into a routine time-table. The time that we have worked each day has really depended on what else we are doing and what Lizzie's mood is. I would prefer that we get the bulk of our work done in the morning before lunch time, but that has not worked every day yet. Yesterday we did about half before lunch and half after. Today we were not able to start at all until after lunch. I'm sure after a few weeks we will have settled into a more regular schedule.

I will work on another post to talk about what books I have chosen to use for this year as well, for those who might be interested. I think it is immensely helpful to exchange ideas with each other and learn from the experiences of others. Even if you don't homeschool, I'm sure there are things we do that might interest you, just as I would love to hear any other ideas from parents about the kinds of activities they enjoy doing at home!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I just don't want to forget...

We always pray as a family before meals, but sadly, Scott and Anna are less than enthusiastic about this. They always get their plates first, and I guess they just don't think they should have to wait to eat once they are served! But tonight, Anna especially was feeling extra gracious. About halfway through dinner she decided that she needed to pray again. So we all bowed our heads, and sat in silence, waiting. After a moment, I suggested to her that she pray since Daddy said a prayer earlier. It went like this...

"Thank you for dinner. Thank you for the nice weather. Thank you that we got to play school today. Thank you for letting us play in our rooms today. And for playing with playmobils. Amen."

I was actually quite impressed that my two-year-old could think of that many things to praise God for!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer update...fall preview

A couple weeks ago, I started a post, and completed it to the point that it was ready for pictures. But, I never actually got around to adding the pictures. So, I will just briefly summarize what I had intended to share in that post...

Our patio is done (!!), pool time is over for the season, but we did have an afternoon of fun with a slip 'n' slide (until it ripped), and Lizzie is army crawling all over the place and is soooo close to cutting a tooth, finally! for what's going on now...

The kids all have a bit of a runny nose/cough going on, which is really keeping any of them from sleeping very well.

Scott had his first soccer game this weekend. This year, Chris is coaching the team and he and I were quite pleased with how all of the kids did on the big field. The team is made up of 5 & 6 year-olds, and some of them are still so little, it's absolutely adorable.

We also had another day of fun in last week's heat in a little inflatable pool. I picked up this (regularly 59.99) pool at Meijer when they were doing an extra 25% off all clearance prices, so I got a very nice Little Tikes pool for the kids for $7.50. I would love to share a picture of it with you, but the pics are still on my camera, which I left at my Mom's last week. Sorry! But, it's definitely worth it sometimes to browse around at Meijer--you never know what you'll find!

We are getting ready for school in our house. I think that ordinarily it makes sense to wait until Labor Day to start school. That seemed so late this year, so we are aiming to start next Monday. I say aiming because a set of books I ordered for geography still hasn't come yet although it was was shipped early last week. I have no tracking or carrier info so I have absolutely no idea of when to expect it. I have been working on lesson plans with all the other subjects, so we'll probably just start anyway. But, being the daring lady I am, I ordered these particular books without seeing them at all so I really have no idea how they are set up as far as scheduling or anything.

Scott is very excited about school this year though and is sure that he won't get bored like he did last year since we have so many books! It's really cute. I have stocked up on crayons and markers at Walmart so I can hopefully keep Anna very busy while we work as well.

In other news, Chris is going to be traveling again. We are so blessed that he can work from home. But, unfortunately, the reason he can do this is also what is going to have him in Columbus, OH four weeks out of the next six. He works for EDS (now HP), developing the system that processes Medicaid claims for the state government. While he had been working in Indy, for a couple of years now he's actually been working on Ohio's system. Sadly for us, sometimes that means he needs to be on site in Columbus. He will be home every weekend though.

For the most part, I will be managing everything by myself for the next month or so.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bye, bye summer...

Well, summer is almost gone. Sadly, school will be starting next week, which means our neighborhood pool will not be open all afternoon. So, although we won't be starting our school until September (we're old-fashioned like that--why waist a perfectly good August at the table doing phonics??), there is a certain sadness, feeling like the carefree days of summer are just a memory.

Okay, that may have been a little melodramatic, but I'm sure, for many a kid on my block, they are feeling just that sad.

We have hardly made it to the pool this year, and I am sorry that our opportunities are almost gone. However, being inspired by fun we had with a friend last fall after school started, we did pick up a slip-n-slide on clearance at Menard's. We plan to enjoy the hot days that are inevitably coming before autumn officially begins. Chris is even looking forward to trying it out. I promise to get some pictures of that!

Lately we have been devoting most of our time to installing a patio. Once it's done, I will share all the ups and downs of the experience. If it ever gets done...

Just kidding. I'm sure it will get done.

At least I hope it will...

In my spare time, I have been shopping online for our school books and thinking about how I will organize our time to get all our schoolwork done. Kindergarten was a challenge, to say the least. I am going to plan "school" for Anna to do as well though. I have found what I think will be a delightful preschool set of books to use. Although she's not yet 3, she always wants to do school work with us, and I was not adequately prepared with activities that she actually wanted to do in the past. Please be praying for wisdom, guidance, motivation, and organization for us as we prepare to crack down on first grade!

And, one final note, because I couldn't resist sharing...

Is she the sweetest little thing you ever laid eyes on, or what?!?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

No argument

This morning was supposed to be my opportunity to sleep in. Since it was storming overnight, Anna ended up in bed with me. And, as soon as she is awake, she is talking. Chris made his best effort to allow me to get more sleep this morning by coming in to get her. Here is how their conversation went:

Chris: "Anna, why don't you go downstairs and watch Sprout with Scott."
Anna: "No, I'm still sleeping."
Chris: "No you're not, you're talking to Mommy."
Anna: "No, I'm talking to you!"

Can't really argue with that!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


We've been so busy this month I haven't had time to post at all. From the 4th to family birthdays to a weekend trip, we've been gone from our house every weekend. I am so looking forward to lounging around home all weekend this weekend!

Our big event for the month was a trip north to Wisconsin Rapids. We were staying in Wausau about 40 miles north of that town. It was pretty much in the middle of the state, so it was quite a drive up there. It is such a beautiful area; mostly farmland (dairy farms, of course!) but with rolling hills and hills and red barns everywhere! The weather was chilly to start with, but it turned out nice.

My father-in-law is one of six in his family, but everyone else lives up there, so we don't get to see them much. We planned our trip to attend a graduation party for a couple of my husbands cousins, and also to honor his Grandfather, who turned 90 on Tuesday. My husband, especially, enjoyed seeing how his cousins have grown up since he last saw them. We were able to take a ride on the river in one of the cousin's boats. Scott and Anna loved it! Lizzie stayed behind with Grandma; since she is crawling around now, I didn't want to have to wrangle her on a boat!

We were only able to be gone for a couple nights, so we planned to stop several times on the way home to make sure the kids got to see and experience as much as possible. Instead of going south through Illinois to get home (the way we came) we went east to Green Bay and then drove south along Lake Michigan.

We first stopped in Green Bay to see Lambeau Field. It was a very nice stadium and we had fun shopping at the Packers Pro Shop. We weren't able to see the actual field because you had to take a stadium tour to do that. By the time we realized that was the only way, we didn't want to wait for the next start-time (nor did we want to spend the money on it since we'd already been shopping). But my husband appreciated that he can say he's been there, none the less.

We took I-43 south from Green Bay and eventually got off the interstate onto SR 32 north of Milwaukee. This was such a beautiful drive! We were driving through the most beautiful towns I've ever seen, right along the lake. We found a park with a beach and stopped and played in the sand for a while. There were people swimming in the lake, but let me tell you, it was FRIGID! You could not have paid me enough money to get in. It was a beautiful day for seeing the lake: warm, and sunny and clear so the water looked beautiful blue.

You would think the kids had never seen sand in their lives, they were so excited to play in it. And the loved that the sand was already wet without a hose or watering can! Anna was so excited when she spotted sea gulls. She said to me, "Look at those chicken birds! Those chicken birds like the water." It was such a fun day! Just down the shore was also a playground and the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Children's Museum. It was such a nice area and we will definitely plan a trip to see everything in the area sometime.

Instead of posting tons of pictures into the post, I'm going to try to load a slide show! Hopefully it will work...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Close to Nature

A friend of my Mom's does animal rescue work, taking in orphaned babies. Currently she has five fawns she is caring for. This past Tuesday, while the guys were playing basketball, Mom and I took the kids (minus my niece) to visit the babies.

We were able to help feed them and watch them frolic in the clover, and occasionally get some kisses. The kids really enjoyed this. Scott did his best to help with the feeding. Anna was tickled to death with the kisses she got. And my nephews were really thrilled with how playful the fawns were. Everyone had such a nice time. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to get a little closer with God's amazing creation.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Busy Week and Elizabeth's New Trick

We had a bit of a busy week last week. Thanks to Facebook, we were able to meet up with some old friends at a park for a play-date. This was a lot of fun and had me wishing I was part of a mom's group near here to have this chat-time while the kids were entertained (or at home with Dad---how nice would that be?!?). Also, I don't know why I'm not any better at keeping in touch with old friends--they're so much fun to talk with. There's really no excuse for my not being a better friend.

The children had a lot of fun at the park. I just haven't been to any park near here with quite as big of a playground. Anna really liked the "see-saw." I suppose it's good for the kids that they don't know what fun they're missing out on by not having real see-saws!

We spent a few days at the pool last week. It had only been opened for a week, but since it was so warm, the water was the perfect temperature.

Anna is going to be quite the waterbug, I think. She loved her time in the wading pool.

Elizabeth was not able to be in the water the first couple days, but she quite enjoyed "sun-bathing" and watching her brother and sister play.

Scott gets upset with us that we've been making him take showers at home instead of baths. He says he doesn't like the water spraying in his face. I think we can all see now that he may be exaggerating how much it bothers him!

And finally, Elizabeth has learned a new trick!! I'm taking one day a week to clean up each part of the house this, trying to eliminate choking hazards, as I'm sure it won't be too long before she won't be contained to her play-blanket!

We are really enjoying the summer weather. The heat was nice all weekend to get some pool time in; but this week will be cooler which will make it much more comfortable to finish up our front landscaping. We finally got mulch and edgers! And we are looking forward to a fun-filled 4th spent with family and hopefully a fun couple of days after that with my nephew. I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I have two hands!

It seems that time is flying by lately. In passing through the day, I will think, 'I should blog about this' but then when I actually have the time to sit at the desk for a bit, I completely forget everything I want to share. So it goes for a mommy...

Elizabeth turned 6 months old last week. She is as beautiful as ever and loves eating baby food! She is growing well and getting stronger. She is finally rolling over both directions on her own and can pull herself around on the floor a bit.

Chris is now playing Tuesday basketball with my brother. This is very nice for me because now we will make a weekly trip to visit my parents and sister. I would usually go up there that often by myself but it is very nice to have Chris make the drive with us. This week my Mom is planning to keep Anna for a couple of days by herself afterwards. It will be the first time she has stayed away alone so that is a little sad, but I must say that I am a little looking forward to how quiet our house will probably be. I know I will miss her so much though!

Chris camped out with Scott and Anna in the yard on Friday night. It was so sweet how excited they were about this. Anna had some stuffed animals she wanted to take with her and I had purchased each of them a box of candy to have as a treat for their campout. I had also picked up a decorative bird pillow on clearance at Wal-mart for Anna so of course she had to take this along also. She was already holding the stuffed animals and candy so I offered to have Daddy carry the pillow for her. She would not hear of this and tried to pick up the pillow herself. Each time she reached for it, she dropped on of her other things. I offered again to have Daddy help her and she said to me "I have two hands, I can carry it!" Her outlook contrasts so much with Scott's. He never will carry any more that two items no matter how small because he only has two hands.

To finish off our week, we ventured to a drive-in theater last night. The kids were so excited, especially Anna who had never been to the theater before. The girls were happy waiting for the movie to start.

We saw Up and Night at the Museum 2. We really enjoyed both movies. We took homemade snacks and blankets and lawn chairs. Unfortunately, we forgot the pillows. This mistake, I believe, let to both kids staying up through both movies. The second show didn't end until 1:30! They both really enjoyed Up and sat through it all. Do they look tired at all while watching?

They were going absolutely crazy through the second movie. I believe this was mostly to keep themselves awake. Despite how late it was, it was a really enjoyable time and we will definitely do it again.
We don't have anything nearly as exciting planned for this week, but you never know what can happen!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's going on?

Really, nothing much. We've been on the go the last couple weekends grocery shopping, visiting family, working on the yard. Chris tilled the whole back up (we've been having trouble getting any grass to grow back there) over Memorial Day weekend. There is already grass coming in. It looks like it may be coming in better than it ever did, so that is a hopeful sign! The children are busy today playing with some old toys from Chris' parents attic. They've been unloading all their accumulated stuff onto us and Chris's sister. Well, o.k., honestly it's actually all Chris's accumulated stuff--they're just emptying their attic out. So, Scott and Anna are enjoying their new Star Wars action figures. These are not really the kind of things I would buy, but free toys are always greatly appreciated. And although they've been pretty well entertained with those, it is Tuesday, so there must be some misbehavior. Today, it was pretty mild, just a bit of an inconvenience. Anna completely emptied and separated the perforation and then wadded two entire boxes of diaper wipes. I tried to diligently fold them back up so they would fit nicely back into the containers. That was taking way too long though so I gave up and just crammed the wads back into the box. Please don't report me to the mommy police for using diaper wipes that have been wadded up and thrown all over the floor!!

In other news, we've been making homemade ice cream this week. I've had an ice cream maker for a while and I love it! For some reason I never got around to making any ice cream last year. Anyway, yesterday I made Strawberry Banana and it was delicious! Today I have some vanilla custard chilling in the refrigerator and will be churning it later. Tomorrow I will post recipes and hopefully rave about how delicious our vanilla was!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer's Coming

Memorial Day weekend to unoffically kickoff the summer season. And, even though the holiday is a bit early this year, the weather has definitely made it seem just on time.

Things are much the same as usual in the Shearier household right now. We seem to stay busy enough just getting through the day. Scott and Anna are definitely enjoying the nice weather and Lizzie is getting bigger every day. Even after three babies, I'm not generally very good at predicting this, but I'm calling it here for everyone to hear: I think Lizzie is going to cut a tooth soon. Now, if in two weeks she still doesn't have one, I hope you all will forget that I called it--I plan to have no recollection of it at all!

As you can see Scott and Anna are enjoying their sand box....

And Lizzie did not seem to enjoy being out in the sun so much, despite my efforts to carefully position an umbrella over her bouncy chair for shade...

We have started Lizzie on solids since she is nearly 6 months old (so far, cereal, peas and carrots). She is loving everything and Anna is thankful for this new stage in her development also, as she feels she can participate a bit more...

She is such a good helper. While I was fixing dinner she wanted to do the feeding. This went very well until Anna started yelling at me that "Lizzie wants to grab the spoon!! Tell Lizzie not to grab it!!" I just love this; anytime Lizzie does something she is offended by, Anna promptly orders me to tell her to stop, as if she would actually comply.

We made our first trip to the zoo yesterday to see the preview of the Komodo dragon exhibit, which is offically opened today. They were cuter than I expected...

Just kidding, those are zoo ducks, not to be confused with the less tame ducks commonly found in the suburban jungle ponds. They were so cute, I needed to get a picture of them. We saw a large duck family in our neighborhood on Monday and Tuesday we went out armed with the camera to snap some pictures of them but couldn't find them again. So I was quite excited to find these ducks at the zoo to get my baby duck picture.

Here are the dragons...

They were big and pretty cool. And they move surprisingly fast. Not quick really, but I guess I was expecting a giant lizard to just sort of creep along and they actually have a pretty smooth walk that covers a lot of ground.

Anna loves the carousel...

And the young bears were having quite a bit of fun chasing each other and going for a dip...

That was our week in a (somewhat large) nutshell. I hope you enjoyed hearing about it and have a great weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Day!

I hope all you Moms had a very nice day. I guess that dream day of lying in bed until noon when I finally roll out and stroll down to the beach to nap to the sound of waves crashing will have to wait another year...

Anyhow, there's been quite a bit going on here lately. We've had birthdays to celebrate in the family (my niece turned one and my nephew turned 3) and Mother's day of course. But the big news is that Chris is now working from home. Long story short, he's been employed by the office here in Indiana but doing work for the account in Ohio. Now he's just been officially transferred to the employ of the account in Ohio but not physically transferred. So....he's commuting every morning from bed to the distant, far-away office otherwise known as the corner of our bedroom.

With five days down, I think this is going well so far. I'm excited about the benefits, primarily saving on gas money and actually having him here as soon as the work day is over, instead of waiting on a commute. And seeing him at lunch and breaks. I think this will be good for the kids also. Even though in our modern family lives, responsibilities are pretty well shared between Mom & Dad, we still like to think of Dad as the head of the family. It's generally hard for the kids though to view Dad in that role when they only see him for a few hours each day. So, I am hopeful that even though we can't really be with Dad during the day, the children will feel his presence in the family all day long because they know he's there and we can have a family lunch as well as dinner. But, I'm sure there are still some adjustments we will be making as we try to establish the appropriate boundaries between workspace and homespace, and worktime and family time. So please pray for patience and peace in our family!

We had a fine Mother's day, and I am looking forward to a nice birthday tomorrow (or rather today!). Even though it wasn't the "dream", at the end of the day, it's all about Him...

and Her...

and This Little One...

The real dream is this life I am living with my family and trying to follow my Lord and Savior Jesus. All the ups and downs are worth it when I am met with those beautiful smiles and hear that "I love you Mom" or watch Scott rub his sister's hair while she's sleeping on the couch, or hear Anna console Baby Lizzie in the car by telling her "Don't cry Lizzie, we're not going to the doctor." I know that God is watching out for me and they are learning to love and care for each other and are turning out o.k. despite my shortcomings as a Mom. I love them so much! Thank you Lord for this amazing family!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just some silly fun because, when the kids are away, Mommy will play!

You Are Kids Playing

You are a free spirited soul. More than anything else, you are often just happy to be alive.

You are always laid back and cheerful. You enjoy whatever happens to come your way.

You are spontaneous and zany. You're the kind of adult who still runs through the sprinklers.

You don't take life too seriously. You try to have fun at all times, even when you're working.

I'm sure some (I won't mention any names, Hubby) would disagree with the notion that I am 'laidback, cheerful,' or even 'spontaneous.' But I definitely have my moments when I find sprinkler impossible to resist!

Friday, April 24, 2009

How long has it been?

So I can't even remember without checking how much time has gone by since the last post. Spring is in full force and we are enjoying it fiercely!

We had a very nice Easter. We spent the day with Chris's family and we all pitched in and got the kids weather appropriate gifts--a new bike for Scott and a new scooter for Anna. She really loves it!

Chris had the following week off and we made our attempt at potty training Anna. Long story short, she is not ready. We spent a couple days going to the toilet at regular, short intervals. She never did anything in the bathroom, but almost every time, within five minutes of leaving, she would have an accident. I do think the trial helped raise her awareness of her functions and am confident that at the end of next month, or beginning of June, we will give it a go again and be successful.

This week we still have not gotten back into a full routine. Chris had to go to Columbus overnight on Wednesday. Since Tuesday was my nieces birthday, the kids and I just spent Tues and Wed night with my Mom.

We went out with my Mom yesterday and picked out some plants. We've lived here for almost two years and haven't finished our front yard landscaping. We've worked on it gradually. Now that I have a plan, things are starting to come together. Mom got me a hydrangea as an early (just slightly) birthday gift and of course the kids wanted their own plants. They each picked out an Impatient and were so excited to get them home and plant.

Anna was so tired on the way home from Mamaw's that she slept right away. When we stopped at Walmart to pick up some potting soil, I looked back and noticed that she was sleeping with her flower. It was the sweetest thing, I had to make sure I got a picture.

This morning we went out and potted their new little flowers. They were so proud to be able to do the watering themselves.

We are looking forward to enjoying a nice spring weekend at home. We have a bit more planting to do and some other yardwork, but mostly will just be playing out in the nice weather!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I want to thank Sarah for posting the Easter recipe. We did it this evening and it was pretty neat. The kids were excited about sealing up the oven with tape. We did that and talked about how Jesus' tomb was sealed shut with a rock.

Scott said right away, "But it got moved. And the girl went to check on Jesus' and the tomb was empty!" It is so exciting and wonderful to hear your kids tell you something they actually know about the Lord. I can't ever tell for sure if he's paying attention when we're reading our Bible to him, or reading his Bible stories at bedtime. It's so reassuring to know that he is at least some of the time.

At the end we went ahead and talked about the Resurrection and Jesus' being in heaven waiting to come back. I told them that one day, when God's ready, and we're ready we could go be with Him in heaven forever also. I have found that I have to be careful how I say things like this though. Scott has gotten kind of upset a couple of times about how he would miss all of his toys and his room and he would be sad if he couldn't play with them anymore! Tonight I made it all so much more upbeat and like it would be in the distant future. And made sure to add the disclaimer to everything that God would be sure we were ready too. Anna was so excited that one day we could go to "Heaven's House." I love little children! The say the sweetest things.

The kids were fine at first about leaving the cookies in until morning. I explained how Jesus' followers were sad when He died and was placed in the tomb because they didn't understand what would happen. But it turned out o.k. because they got to see Him again soon. Scott and Anna seemed to get this were fine. Until I told them it was now time to go up to bed. Scott started crying on the way up because he thought we were going to have cookies tonight! I explained it all to him again and he seemed more upbeat about it. He is how hoping the oven timer will go off so early in the morning that it will wake him up. I didn't even bother explaining that I did not set the timer.

I am excited to finish up the project in the morning. I think it was a very fun way to teach a lesson. Thanks again, Sarah, for the idea!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Losing track of time

Wow, I meant to post over the weekend for Elizabeth's 4-month update and it's already Thursday. It's so easy to lose track of time. The good news is that today's post can be more informative since Lizzie had her check-up with the doctor this morning.

Little Lizzie is doing great right now. She coos and laughs at us (she is very ticklish--even laughing often during a diaper change) and can support her head very well. She has not rolled over yet and both Scott & Anna had by this age. I think this is due to the fact that she had minded quite a bit being put on her belly. She has only recently been willing to spend much time on her belly since she can lift her head up very well now. She has come very close to rolling a couple of times, so I'm sure it will be any day now. She can nearly roll from her back to her stomach as well. She's very funny laying down because she really prefers to be held sitting up or helped to stand up. So, when she is on her back, she does everything her little body will allow to try to get up. This results in little stomach crunches where her head and shoulders come up to nearly a 45 degree angle. It's very silly to watch. Doing these little crunches while holding her legs up in the air results in her being able to roll onto her side and if she could just figure out how to get her arm out of the way, she would be rolled over.

Her length has increased to 25 inches, which is in the 75th percentile and her weight is at 12lbs 6 oz, which is the 25th percentile. I don't worry too much about those percentiles because with my kids they are always changing. This is about what both Scott and Anna have been I think, most certainly with the weight. I have not yet had a baby reach 20 pounds until well after their first birthday. Anna was just at 21 pounds at her second birthday.

The doctor said everything looked good today and I hope it stays that way. I plan to be able to keep seeing this doctor for years to come so that will help him have a good idea of what to expect from my little babies. He just saw Anna for the first time at her second birthday and was concerned about her low weight and we had to bring her back two additional times over the subsequent two months to get her checked. Now that he can see that she does gain weight (albeit slowly) he is not concerned any longer. We had to go through the same thing with Scott when our insurance changed when he was a baby and we were forced to change docs. Because he didn't have much of a history to look at, he was concerned about his low weight as well. Hopefully, with two other smaller kids, and being able to see her doctor since birth, Elizabeth won't cause too much concern. But I still worry because I know at her next appointment, her weight percentile will probably be a tad lower. But, I never weighed much at all until adding baby weight and Chris barely weighed 145 (he's 6 foot) when we got married, so I don't think we can expect a lot weight-wise from our kids.

Sorry to ramble on so much. I can really get going on this topic. I just hate that all people are expected to fit into some mold that some scientists have decided is the definition of "normal", as if we can all really be expected to turn out exactly the same. When children are obviously healthy and active and content, I don't like to go looking for problems just because they're not exactly the same as their peers. We get so much information now as parents regarding our kid's health and behavior that we can be quick to label them for each little supposed or real deviation from a ubiquitous idea of "normal" that someone else has defined.

Wow, it feels nice to get that off my chest. I guess that's kind of what blogs are for....

I'll try to update again soon on our Easter activities. I hope you all have a joy-filled holiday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some things to remember...

I never took the time to record memories when Scott was a toddler, and now I wish I could remember some of the funny things he would do or say. I don't want to make that same mistake with Anna and Lizzie so I thought I would share some little tidbits of childhood sweetness...

When Anna does something for me, I am diligent about saying 'thank you' to her. Because we always say 'you're welcome' to her, when it is her turn, she responds with 'I'm welcome.' I just love that!

We got Anna a new sippy cup that doesn't have a spout, but rather an actual rim all the way around with a hole on one side. Apparently it looks like a travel mug, because she calls it her coffee cup. The first time she asked for it, my immediate thought was, 'I can't believe Chris has been letting her try his coffee!'

Scott has mostly grown beyond the point of simply saying cute things. He's starting to learn about making jokes. However, his sense of humor is still very undeveloped. Or Chris might say, pretty nonexistent. He usually just makes up a little silly story and calls it a joke. This often leaves him rolling in laughter and Chris and I trying to encourage him by forcing some light laughter. Every once in a while, he gets it right though. He was sent down to the couch to put his socks on to get ready to leave the house, and got one sock on but somehow lost track of the second one. When he discovered he was sitting on it, he pulled it out and exclaimed "I think I laid a sock!" This even got Chris laughing.

Oh, as I sit here typing, Scott is playing the Lego Star Wars game and I have just discovered that instead of saying "lever" he says "lover." I should probably correct this before he goes around talking about lovers to other people!

Just thought I'd share some of these with you all! Lizzie will be four months old on Saturday so I will post an update on her with pictures soon!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A cause for concern

I am quite shocked about the death of actress Natasha Richardson. It is not because she is a famous actress that I am upset. I believe strongly that no one life is more precious than another, as we are all created special by God, in His image. But, as a wife and mother, I know she will be sorely missed. Sadly, it seems that her death may have been prevented.

As a mother of small children, I have seen my share of bumps on the head, and thankfully, none have been serious at all. But there is always that mother's paranoia that something may be worse than it seems. I am now even more paranoid. If an adult can assess their own health and determine they are fine, how are we as parents to be sure we are accurately assessing our child's health? Especially when they are too small themselves to describe how they are feeling?

Scott has always worn a helmet when riding his bike outside and I will definitely be getting Anna her first helmet this spring. I hope that maybe some good will come of this sad situation as we are all reminded of the need to be safer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Favorite Cookies

The feeling of spring in the air is always so motivating to me so I've been staying pretty busy lately with housework and the kids. But, inspired by St. Patrick's day, on Monday I did dust off my recipe book and make one of my all time favorite cookies. I do not make these often, as they are a bit labor intensive, but when I bite into one of these cool, rich, and refreshing cookies, I am always reminded that every bit of the work is totally worth it, so I thought I would share the recipe with you. And, even if you don't make the full recipe, these are delicious, chewy moist cookies by themselves, and this mint icing is the best ever. So, sometimes, I forgo the sandwich/glaze part of the recipe and just frost cookies with this icing. Also, the icing is delicious atop brownies. (Can you tell that I love the combination of mint and chocolate??) So, here you go!

Ultimate Mint Cookie Sandwich

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c. all-purpose flour
Chocolate glaze & Creme de Menthe filling

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and b. soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla to sugar mixture; beat until combined. Beat in flour, finishing with a wooden spoon if necessary. Cover and chill dough for 2 to 24 hours, or until easy to handle. (This dough is a pretty sticky dough, even after chilled.)

2. Roll into 1&1/2 inch balls and place 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets (or for smaller cookies, roll to 3/4 inch and place 2 inches apart). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes (6-7 for smaller cookies), or until edges are set. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Creme de Menthe filling (I have always followed the substitution directions)
In a mixing bowl, mix 1/3 c. softened butter and 3 tbsp. green creme de menthe (substitute: 3 tbsp milk mixed with 1& 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and 2 or 3 drops green food coloring). Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar, beating with electric mixer until smooth. If needed, add 1 tablespoon additional c.d.m. (or milk) to make spreadable.

Chocolate glaze
In a bowl set over boiling water, cook and stir 1/3 c. whipping cream and 6 oz. finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I prefer bitter, but not everyone would) until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from heat and cool 20 minutes, or until it slightly thickens.

Spread mint filling liberally onto a cookie and then top with a second cookie. Spoon glaze onto top and smooth. Allow to set for a bit and then store cookies in the refrigerator. Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just one of those days...

We were up and down all night last night with Anna and Lizzie. They just did not want to sleep for some reason. I think it's possible Lizzie was not feeling well. Fortunately, today neither one of them has any outward symptoms of any illness, so I guess they just were in the mood for a sleepless night. That, of course, leads to one exhausted mommy. It's just going to be one of those days. None of us has even gotten dressed. I don't have the energy to care if I'm letting Scott and Anna watch too much t.v. (I'm sure that I am!) or worry if they've eaten all their food groups today (I'm sure they haven't!). Oh well. One lazy mommy day probably won't do too much harm, right??

Monday, February 9, 2009

Legos and Doctors

It's been a while since I had a 'real' post. Last week was kind of a busy week. Elizabeth turned two months old; we finally made it to a free family night at the Children's Museum; and the girls had a doctor's appointment.

The first Thursday of each month the Children's Museum in Indy is free from 4-8 pm. We have been meaning to take advantage of this for some time because it is considerable expensive for admission. Last week was perfect timing because they have just opened a new Lego castle display. Scott's two favorite things are Transformers and Legos, so this was a very nice exhibit to see. Aside from having various building stations set up, there were displays of some castles and medieval items made of Legos. The castle shown, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, was my favorite. This is my all-time favorite castle, so I was excited to see that there was a model of it. There were several others and a hedge maze. Also there was a knight that stood about 6 feet tall and a dragon that was just as tall but much broader.

One of the other exhibits they currently have going is a Comic Book Heroes exhibit. It was not a highlight of our trip (there isn't as much interaction, just a bunch of displays), but there was a batmobile that Chris enjoyed seeing. It was one of the nine used in filming of the two most recent movies, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. It was pretty cool looking. The picture didn't turn out great, I apologize. It was so dark in there, I just couldn't get the flash right.

Anna really enjoyed riding the carousel and playing in the tree house. She also says she enjoyed the dinosaurs, but they scared her and she 'cried at daddy.' That is how she has been relaying the events of the night.

Friday, Elizabeth had her two month well-child check and I am pleased to report that she weighed 10lbs 3oz so she has gained almost 4 pounds since she was born. It's always good to confirm that what they eat does more than just come straight out! And she's smiling a lot now and has 'giggled' at me a few times. Chris is joking that he doubts she does this because I am the only one who has heard it. That happens with all the kids. I am here all the time, so I am the first to experience everything, but Chris doesn't think it really counts until he sees it for himself.

Anna also had to get weighed and measured at the doctor last week. Since we had to switch doctors and the new pediatrician hasn't been seeing her since birth, he has been wanting to check her size every couple of months to make sure she is growing well. She's pretty small for her age. Friday she was 33 1/2 inches tall (which is pretty reasonable) and weighed 22 pounds. The doctor was pleased because for the first time since we've been going there, she actually made it up to a line on the growth chart. She is now at the 2nd percentile. I haven't really been too concerned, I figure she's just petite. She actually has grown a bit and gained some weight at each of the four times we've had her in there. And she is our best eater. I could devote a whole blog to how much she loves 'trees.'

Chris is traveling again this week for work. He left this morning for Columbus, OH and won't be back until Thursday or Friday. I do doubt whether I can make it through the week with my sanity! I plan to go up to my mom's tomorrow and stay for a couple of nights. She and my sister live right by each other so it is really nice to spend the time together. The kids love having so much time to play with their cousins.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ju Ju Be Giveaway

I am addicted to Ju Ju Be bags. They are hands-down the perfect diaper bags. And with so many styles and patterns, they can be used for absolutely anything beyond diapering. You should check them out if you're not familiar. I only have one right now, a Citrus Sorbet BeAll, but DH says I can order more as a new baby/christmas/v-day gift so I am planning on also getting a Midnight Eclipse Packabe and (hopefull) a Blue Bouquet BeSmart. The BeSmarts are being discontinued so you can get them for 40% off at If you like the bags, you will definitely be excited about a giveaway sponsored by LD&D. You can win the BeSet (a set of three small hand bags) in one of the new patterns for summer. Check it out over at From One Mommy to Another's blog.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Glorious Snow!

We have been hoping all season for a good snowfall and it finally came. We have enjoyed the snow a lot--the kids love it. Chris was able to take the day off yesterday and today to play outside with them. Here are some pictures of our snow fun!Anna loves her new snow boots! She didn't take them off all evening Monday after Chris brought them home from work.
Chris made the kids a snowman yesterday and today he was a bit snowed in.
You can't see it very well, but there is a little pile of snow in front of Anna. She said said she was making a snowman.Anna was so happy with yesterday's little bit of snow.
Scott is king of the hill!Anna really wants to be able to make snow balls.