Friday, February 29, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Sometimes I get so caught up in the here and now that I need to relish in the memories of the past. This picture was taken sometime in late 2003. Elise had only been home a few months. Most pictures of her from that time have that same stoic look on her face. I just love pictures of Carson with that smile on his face. :)

I am so blessed to have the privilege of rasing these two wonderful kids.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


…is how my family would describe me of late. So, to help me overcome my crabbiness, here is a list of things for which I am thankful.
  • I’m thankful I have a job that stimulates me mentally and professionally, although there are days I’d prefer a bit less stimulation (and maybe a bit less conflict?). :)

  • As I stare at the my month end bills to be written, I’m thankful that my husband and I both have jobs that provide a decent income and we don’t have to make tough decisions that many families face.

  • As I b*tch and moan about my husband’s crazy schedule, I’m thankful that he has a job he enjoys. I’ve heard far too many stories and met far too many people that spend their days doing something they don’t enjoy just for a paycheck. I’m extremely thankful for the summers that he is able to stay at home and enjoy some quality time with the kids (how many kids get their dads home all summer these days?!?).

  • Since no one helps consistently with the housework around here and I hate having a dirty house, I’m thankful we’ve hired a cleaning lady!!!!

  • I’m thankful I have several pieces of exercise equipment in the house to burn off some of my frustrations when I’m so crabby. Maybe if I burned off a bit more frustration, my pants would fit a bit better…

  • Despite the d@mn ISAT tests (Illinois’s answer to No Child Left Behind), I’m thankful my kids are in a good school system and are actively engaging their brains on a regular basis. Maybe after next week, they can get on with the business of learning and forgot about “teaching to the tests.”

  • I’m thankful my son has the spunk and determination to drive me nuts most evenings. I’d rather he focus it in other directions at times…

  • I’m thankful my daughter fell asleep tonight at 6:45…perhaps she’ll wake up in a better mood tomorrow. :o

  • I’m thankful we only have 362 days left of Bush in office (couldn’t resist putting that in there…that’s for my brother and brother-in-law who might be moving to Canada in 363 days!)

  • I’m thankful I have a family that can have good humored political debates, even though most of the rest of my family is wacko in their political beliefs (see above!) :)
And most importantly, I’m thankful for this family that puts up with my crabbiness….I LOVE YOU GUYS!

My hubby (who is actually home tonight and honestly asked if his hair looked OK before I took the picture!)

My high-spirited son.

My sleeping beauty.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This adorable little pumpkin is our youngest nephew. My brother just sent me these pictures. Is he not the cutest little guy you've seen?!? *ALMOST* makes you want another one, doesn't it! :)
He is also seriously HAPPY all.the.time! Not kidding....I've seen him fuss just a teeny-tiny bit and then he gets over it. (Why did I get the cranky kids?!?)
What kills me is this little bugger is in Chicago and we don't get to see him nearly as often as I'd like.
I love this picture of Isaiah and Sophie (the dog). Sophie is ready to jump in and play with Isaiah. (Eric...sorry if that' s Moose and not Sophie...I can only tell them apart by their tails so I'm taking a good guess here!)

Enjoy some serious baby goodness :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

King Arthur!

Carson's first oral book report is due tomorrow. His book is King Arthur. After a painful process of getting the report written, the diarama completed and the outfit sewn, he is ready to go. (It looks smashing being modeled over pj's, doesn't it!) It's going to be a miracle if we can survive 3rd grade. He has a great teacher, but the work really ramps up this year. I'm so ready for summer to be here and we get a break from the nightly homework struggles! ISAT tests start next week so I'm hoping the pressure will go down a bit once those high stakes tests are out of the way. Everything this year has been geared towards the ISATs.
Elise has decided to enter the Learning Fair (like a science fair, but not limited to science topics) at her school. Carson did it every year that he was at that school (K-2 are in one building, 3-5 in another building so he's at a new school this year.) She's decided that her topic will be panda bears. It'll be really interesting to see how she approaches the project. My guess is she'll stay right on task and really enjoy doing the unlike her brother! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tooth Fairy

Carson lost another tooth last night, one of his molars. He was going to keep it a secret to test the tooth fairy, but decided to tell us. Instead, he and Elise were crafting a scheme to trick the tooth fairy. They were going to put the tooth under Elise's pillow. Much to her dismay, she has not lost a single tooth...nor are any loose yet. She's worried she'll be the only one in her class to not lose a tooth. In the end, they figured the tooth fairy was smart enough to figure out the molar was from Carson's mouth and not Elise's.

Carson is at that age where he is starting to not believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Many of his friends have older siblings and no longer believe. I think having a younger sister helps him keep those beliefs intact for a bit longer. He'll tell me that he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, but that he'll pretend to at Christmas for Elise. He sure puts on a good show :)
We've had a pretty lazy weekend. School was cancelled for all of us on Friday. We've all just had the winter blahs so we've spent a few lazy days watching TV, catching up on some reading and just playing. Surprisingly, the kids are really getting along great this weekend. Last night, they decided to have a sleep over in Elise's room....then moved to Carson's room.

They stayed up so late that Carson fell asleep before Elise. She was in one of her really insecure states late last night so I let her sleep with us. She spent the whole night making sure some part of her body touched mine. Elise had a lot of sleep issues when we first brought her home, up until about a year ago. We don't see the problems much these days, but there are times when she just needs that extra security at night.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ice Skating

Carson and I went ice skating today. It was the first time for him. I was looking forward to it as we used to go ice skating all the time growing up. Carson did GREAT! It took him a few laps to get his footing and then he and his friends were zooming all over the place. It took me just a few laps to realize that ice skating is not like riding a bike (you never forget). While I didn't forget how to do it, I couldn't get over the fear that I was going to fall and do major damage to my body! And, I realized as we were heading home that it has probably been 25 YEARS since I last skated. Carson and his friends had a good time. I traded in my skates for a hot chocolate about the time the Zamboni came out (I've ALWAYS wanted to drive that thing!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let's review our terminology

THIS is what a snow day should look like. This is my aunt and uncle's house in Maine (check out the mailbox!)

THIS is what our snow days look like:

This is pathetic. There's nothing fun about this type of "snow day" around snow angels, no snow ball fights, no snow fort building. Nothing but yucky cold and ICE.

Car encasing, muscle straining, finger freezing, feet-a-slippin' ICE.

So, let's call it what it is...AN ICE DAY. The kids can get all excited about a day off of school, but let's not confuse the fun-filled SNOW days with what is actually an ICE day!!! :)

Snow day for one of us...

Perry is home today. All by himself. While the rest of us are at school/work.

How unfair is that?!? I'd love to have a day home by myself (mostly to knock down my to-do list!) I predict it won't happen anytime in the near future.

He did drive all the way to school only to find out they were closed and had to brave the slick roads to come right back home. much for their state-of-the-art notification system!

In all seriousness, he had another sleep study done last night to test a C-PAP (?) machine and I'm sure he didn't sleep well in a strange bed hooked up to all kinds of wires with the "scuba mask" (his words) strapped on to his face. So, honey, I hope you are getting a good nap today in all your snorin' glory. Rock the foundation with those snores if you like today.

And...if you get bored...the dishwasher needs to be emptied! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weekly To-Do list

I seem to thrive on having a full plate. I love being busy and always having several projects in process at work. I ALWAYS have tons of things on my (and Perry's) to-do list at home.

I also tend to over estimate how much I will get done in a week so I always feel behind (need to work on those expectations).

Here's my current weekly list. I know I won't get to them all as I have a work committment Wed evening and have to drive to Springfield, IL on Thursday for an all day meeting (which I predict will be one of the most boring meetings I attend this year).

This is the "crap cabinet" (probably not the technical builder name, but serves the purpose). This is part of a desk alcove in our kitchen. The top cabinets are one project, which will followed by the bottom shelves. HONEY...THE BIGGEST, MESSIEST DRAWER IS ALL YOURS TO TACKLE! :) I don't know if you can really see it, but there are tons of candy packages up there. Leftovers from holidays as far back as Halloween. We certainly don't need it, so it's likely going to work...hey, I work with college students, it'll be a 4 course meal for them. :)

This is part of a 3rd grade homework assignment. Yes, I've turned into one of THOSE mothers...the ones who "help" their child a bit too much! Seriously, he has to read a chapter book and give an oral book report using items to illustrate the book. Carson is reading King Arthur so I'm making him a King Arthur costume (which I'm hoping will work for Halloween this year!) He is still reading the book, writing the report and coming up with another illustration so I'm not really THAT bad, am I?!? (And I needed a good excuse to use the new sewing machine I got for Christmas.) As this is due next Tuesday, it's really taking priority over the other projects.

A good friend introduced me to beading. I wanted to replicate a necklace I bought on vacation last summer and knew she was into jewelry making. She was in the process of moving and I did her a "favor" by storing all of her beading supplies at my house for a few weeks...with the freedom to use whatever supplies and tools she had. That's all it took for me to get reeled in...hook, line and sinker. This package of goodies arrived tonight. Some garnet, some jade, some tourquoise. Don't worry, I'm not using them ALL TOGETHER (that would be some serious ugly!).

These pants of my husband's need HEMMED! At 6 foot 8 inches, we don't often HEM his pants. I ordered a new brand and clearly was a bit overzealous with the sizing! So, I'll hem them up about an inch. (Baggy pants hanging past the shoes is not an attractive look for someone so large.)

And, finally, the same friend who got me into beading gave us this scrapbook for Christmas. I used do a lot of scrapbooking, but haven't done any since I finished Elise's travel album in 2003. Shortly after I finished that album, we had to deal with a difficult family situtation and much of my time/focus was elsewhere during that period and my scrapbooking projects were put on a permanent back burner. Elise LOVES her travel album and is so excited to work on this Princess album with me. I've ordered 250 pictures from Snapfish. THANK YOU TAMMIE for introducing me to that service! We lost most of our old pictures when our computer crashed but I since I had uploaded many of the better shots, I just ordered new prints for this album. We have all types of Princess type embellishments and papers. We're doing a "Princess Elise" theme and will run from the time she joined our family to the present. Should be lots of fun reliving those memories!

Those are my projects for the week (OK, let's be honest...the next few weeks!). What's on everyone else's To-Do list?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wild times at our house

The kids are just ending a 4 day weekend. I was able to work at home on Friday and Perry was home today (one of the big advantages of being a teacher is that you often have the same days off as your own kids!). So, the kids were able to stay at home all 4 days instead of going to the day camp at our local Y. You would think the day camp would be a fun option...the kids get the run of our brand new Y, including the climbing wall, gymnastics room (humongous!) and rollar skating, along with all kinds of crafts, a movie, snacks, etc. For some reason, they both really objected going this time, so I'm glad it worked out for them to stay at home.

Carson tends to have friends over more frequently (perhaps because they can just show up...Elise's friends aren't so nearby!) We had a houseful of kids (mostly rowdy, stinky 9 year boys) at various times.

Elise's favorite activities on no school days are to build forts out of every sofa cushion in the house.

So, here's a taste of life at our house this weekend:

(I think the boys were the ones playing with the Barbie dolls!)

And this is the scene I walked into this afternoon. This is set up in our kitchen. Elise had set up a fort/school/diner for her stuffed animals (yes, pandas and turtles are big stuffed animals at our house). She brought her princess makeup stand, jewerly box and favorite picture of herself in a Chinese outfit down from her room. Instead of cushions, she managed to find every bench in the house.

Back to school tomorrow, kids! :)

Snow Days

I just looked up from my work computer to realize that IT.IS.SNOWING!!! Being from upstate New York and now living in the midwest, I miss the snow.

A related comment that came from my son's mouth this weekend...

"Hey, snow days ARE NOT a good thing!"

He was reading through his Buzz Book (school's student directory) looking for a friend to call. While he was waiting for his friend to pick up, he happened to read through the school calendar and read that ALL SNOWS DAYS WILL BE MADE UP AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! the time it took me to type this message, the snow is no longer falling outside :( Bummer.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Insufficient Funds Notice

A few weeks back, we received a notice of insufficient funds from our bank. I was shocked, we've NEVER bounced a check in our 16 years together! There is ALWAYS a cushion in our checking account.

When I examined the notice, I realized there was a HUGE mistake.

The bank was trying to make a $24, 320,277 payment! It took my brain a bit to realized that number was $24 MILLION.

I started to worry that someone had access to our account, but after talking with a great bank rep, we came to the conclusion that instead of making a $50 payment to account number 243200277, I'd make a $24,320,277 payment to account number 50. Ooopss! (It did make for a great laugh and I assured the bank they'd be waiting a loooong time for that payment to clear, likely NEVER!)


NOTE TO more attention when setting up new accounts in the online banking!!!!


We were hoping our nephew Tyler would be coming to our house this weekend, but he's sick. Tyler NEVER gets sick and this has knocked him on his arse. Tyler is a pretty energetic kid (that's probably putting it mildly) so it's a shocker that he's so lethargic.
While all of our nieces and nephews are special to us, here are some extra special things about Tyler:
  • Tyler was the first nephew/niece (ok, no nieces yet...Merry, could you work on that?) on my side of the family.
  • My sister was pregnant with him when we moved down this way. I didn't work the first few months and spent lots of time with her during the last part of her pregnancy and first few months of Tyler's life.
  • I had never held a baby so young in my life when I first held Tyler at 10 minutes old!
  • We were in the infertility stage of our life. I didn't know if we'd ever have kids and I made the decision to enjoy the heck out of Tyler.
  • When I was pregnant with Carson, Tyler exposed me to every childhood illness that a pregnant woman shouldn't be exposed to :) My doctor got used to calls that started "I was with my nephew this weekend and he's since been diagnosed with..." Thanks for those extra shots and tests, kiddo!
  • Tyler was one of my first visitors in the hospital after I had Carson. I remember him climbing up on the bed with me to get a good look at his cousin.
  • He was so excited to meet Elise and I remember how excited he was at the airport. He couldn't wait to get to know her, while his younger brother wasn't too sure about this little girl who had knocked him off his pedestal of being the family baby!
  • Tyler has done every type of nasty in each of my vehicles.

We love you, buddy, and hope you are feeling better soon. We missed having you visit us this weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The missing lunch box

The kids have a 4 day weekend (off on Monday for President's Day, no idea why they have today off as well!)

Last night, we were emptying backpacks. I asked Carson to get out his lunch's the conversation:

Him: Oh

Me: Where is your lunch box?

Him: I must have left it at school.

Me: Did you leave it in your locker?

Him: No, outside.

Me: Outside your classroom? (seemed like a goofy spot to leave a lunchbox to me!)

Him: No.

Me: Outside the lunchroom? (again, a goofy spot)

Him: No.

Me: Outside where?!?

Him: Outside!

Me: Like "outside" the school?

Him: Yes, on the back playground.

My thought (not actually said out loud!): YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! You left your lunchbox OUTSIDE the school going into a 4 day weekend?!? Arrggghhh.

Turns out they went outside for lunch recess for the first time in weeks (it was beautiful outside) and, not being used to that routine, forgot all about the lunchbox.

He assures me kids leave them outside all the time and they bring them in to the lost and found. If my son holds true to form, he's left half of his lunch in the lunchbox so won't that a fun thing to sit around in a lost and found bin only to open some time next week....yucko! I can't complain too much since he's been using the same lunchbox since kindergarten (he's in 3rd grade) and I often use his lunchbox when he doesn't bring one. Guess we've gotten our money's worth out of that one.

I'll be heading over to Lands End to order another lunchbox now....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! (and Happy Birthday Sneakers!)

We hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day! Everyone here ended up with waaaayyyy too much candy!

Happy Birthday Sneakies!

(Sneaks is now 12 years old and feeling her age more and more these days.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's my lucky day!

One of Elise's jobs each evening is to check the lunch calendar for the next day. At the beginning of each month, we go through the monthly lunch calendar and each kid decides if they want to buy or bring that day and we mark it on the calendar. She checks it daily and then gets out the lunchbox for each kid that will need a lunch the following day. If you'll notice today, there is an EC on the day (both kids are buying lunch at school). Elise gets so excited on those days and makes a really big deal of telling me "Mommy, it is really your lucky day tomorrow!" She is such a sweetie!

On the other hand, you'll notice an XX on the calendar for tomorrow. That means the lunch is gross and they want to pack a lunch. So, tonight, she'll tell me that I have lots of work to do tomorrow morning!

It's a fun little ritual and I greatly appreciate the help (and the reminders!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


  • I HATE.HATE.HATE shopping at malls. Drives me nuts. Might have something to do with being 5'10" and never happy with my weight. I never find anything I like and it just turns into an exercise of frustration. I tend to order most of my work wardrobe online.

  • I get annoyed easily (which is probably why I don't do well in malls).

  • Surprisingly, I love the home shopping networks (HSN and QVC). I've found some awesome things, including some scrapbooking items.

  • I'm also probably bit OCD and I HATE the mish mash collection of hangers in our closet (wire, plastic, wooden, fabric, freebies, yuck!)

  • So...another package arrived from hsn today (I SWEAR I don't order all that often!). But, I ordered some of the huggable hangers. Have you used these? I ordered some a few years back (again...I SWEAR I don't order all that often!) and decided it was time to replace some of the worst ones and get the closet a bit more organized.

  • Joy Mangano drives me batty (she's the one who hawks the huggable hangers) so I'm really surprised I tried them in the first place.

  • My closet is now looking purdy and much more organized! :)

  • hmmm...wonder what the Today's Special Value is today...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend update

Friday - Home with a sick kid, and a bit sick myself. Not a very fun day. :(

Carson did feel well enough to help make mooncakes using Sandra's recipe.

Saturday - Our Chinese New Year party!

We've skipped the FCC party in St. Louis the past few years to celebrate with friends at our house. We invite 3 Chinese students we've gotten to know from the University where I work, along with all the adoptive families we know. This year was just as fun. Lots of great food (potluck), the kids had a blast and the adults had a fun time catching up. For the first time, there were more Vietnamese kids than Chinese kids.

Perry got hung up at work and was 2 HOURS LATE...I was too busy hostessing to take any pictures other than this one of my little buddy (that's my dad is holding him). He was adopted from Vietnam last year by some good friends of ours and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after coming home. They've had a rough time, but I can't imagine a sweeter little boy. I love to just cuddle up with him.

Sunday - Elise and I had a "girls day" at home while the boys went to a Boy Scouts function.

Elise decided to work on her Princess Valentine's Day cards. I lost the list that her teacher sent home (I'm sure I pitched it when cleaning for the party!) and she was NOT happy with me.

She decided to get into the mood by wearing her Snow White outfit. My mother in law made this beautiful outfit for her 2 years ago. It is truly a work of art that has gotten lots of wear!

Marking off the names (doing the girls first, then the boys, then the teacher).

We also put together "soda bottle care packages" for the cousins in college, utlizing some of the empty soda bottles from our party! Yup...these will really go through the mail!

And...finally...I told you Molly wasn't the brightest dog. She laid on the bed the entire time I was stripping the sheets...looking at my with a look that said, "whutcha doing?" She WOULD.NOT.MOVE! After taking this picture, she got booted!

Friday, February 8, 2008

My sister ROCKS!

I've been blessed with wonderful siblings, particularly my sister. She's an amazing person who will listen to my meltdowns and have me laughing in the end.

What I love about her:
  • She's an AMAZING mom to her 4 unique boys (although she'll be the first to tell she's not qualified to give parenting advice!)

  • She approaches every situation with compassion and grace.

  • She always thinks of others before herself.

  • She is so dang smart and well-respected in her field of special education.

  • She has boobs (I have unfair is that?!?)

  • She has a special relationship with both of my kids (Carson is pretty interchangeable with her boys and Elise is her special princess).

Kris, I'm so glad we ended up living in the same area of the country. Who would have thought that we'd end up out here as I headed to Chicago and you headed to Boston?!? I love that our kids are so close. I love that your husband is a good friend to my husband. And I love that I can tell you anything. Thanks for being such a good friend.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Gunman opens fire in City Council meeting

Why does this type of thing happen? Why do we keep hearing stories like this? This happened in our metro area, in a town much like the one in which we live. (The victims are at the hospital where Carson was born.) My heart and prayers go out to those that have lost their lives in such a senseless manner. They left their houses earlier in the day much like we all have, yet they'll never return home. What a sad and scary world it is at times.

Our children are being raised in such a different world than the one we grew up in. As a parent I struggle with this type of news. If this can happen in Kirkwood, Missouri, it can happen anywhere.

The school nurse called...

How much do you hate those phone calls?!? And they always seem to come when I have A TON of meetings scheduled. Carson is sick. Darn, looks like the dreaded flu has invited itself to our houe! Nice timing...we're having a Chinese New Year party at our house on Saturday.

On a happier note...Elise is SUCH a little girl! Every morning when we do her hair, she gives me strict instructions on how to do it. I don't always follow her intsructions for a lack of time/ability. But today, I thought I'd try something new. Her hair is so fine that I'm sure it has all fallen out by now and is just hanging in her face.

She has several friends who wear their hair in beautiful long braids or beads. She is always asking for lots of small braids. She has a few other friends with beautiful curly hair that looks adorable in so many different styles. She loves to sleep with a braid or two in her hair so she has "curly" hair. Try as we might, we just can't keep a curl in her hair.

She is so specific about what she wants...she doesn't want bangs but she doesn't like her hair falling in her face. I pretty much do the same style every day....a modified "pebbles-bam-bam" look.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's time again to go into my kids' classrooms and talk about Chinese New Year.

I found reading the story of the Chinese zodiac found here is a good introduction and age appropriate for my kids (Kindergarten and 3rd grade). Before reading the story, I ask for volunteers and hand each volunteer a picture of an animal in the zodiac. As I read the story, I have each "animal" come and stand at the front of the classroom. It's a fun story and in the end, the kids see the zodiac all lined up in the front of the class.

We pass out red envelopes with candy and fortune cookies. I tell them the origins of the cookies (not in China, but California in the late 1800/early 1900s).

I'd love to hear how others are introducing Chinese New Year into your children's classrooms!

On a side note...Elise is always SO QUIET in class. She got a little giggly while I was there today and her teacher was shocked...she'd never seen Elise act so silly! Can you believe that!?!? (Some of you ONLY see her acting silly!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Who thinks this is a good pet?!?

My son loves turtles. That's no surprise to those of you who know him. One thing we love about where we live is that he often finds turtles in our yard. We have 2 acres and that includes a wooded area and a stream. He's found all types of turtles in our yard.

INCLUDING....alligator snapping turtles. These things look like dinosaurs and grow into these massive nasty looking creatures. He regularly finds baby alligator snapping turtles. What bothers me is that with all these babies we find, there has to be a larger momma/daddy alligator snapping turtle around closeby.

Things thawed out yesterday and he went turtle hunting in the creek. Guess what he found?!? Another baby alligator snapping turtle. Guess where it is now?!? In his room! Who in the heck thinks this might a good PET? His father. Siggghhhh. OK, dad did say since it was going to freeze again today, he'd likely freeze to death if left outside.
How long until it gets warmer again and this little guy can go back outside?!?
(The reason for the blog title is the number of critters that live in our house...mostly in my son's room...2 russian tortoises, 3 red belly frogs, 1 newt, 2 goldfish and 1 albino something or other frog.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Meal Plan Mondays

One of the sites I like to visit does Meal Plan Mondays. Because I work full time outside of the home, time is precious when we all get home in the evening. I find having meals planned out (and better...taking advantage of the crock pot) works great for us.

I'm also always on the hunt for new recipes to try! My husband likes meat meals, I don't. The kids are kinda picky but I'm always surprised by what they will try and eventually like. I'm always looking for meals that are nutritionally balanced and won't pack the pounds on me. Hubby also works crazy hours this time of year, so I like to make big meals that will provide him with leftovers. He often isn't home for dinner, but at least he can enjoy it at lunch the next day. We have very few meals that is a "thumbs-up" for every member of the family. :(

If anyone has any recipes or meal ideas they'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!

So, here's what's for dinner this week:

Monday - Pork Loin in crockpot

Tuesday - Pancakes (dad isn't home and sometimes you just need comfort food!)

Wednesday - Spaghetti

Thursday - Dilled Shrimp with Farfelle

Friday - Buffet night (i.e. clean out the fridge!)

Disclaimer...I make no claim that any of these recipes are ones I've come up with on my own! I'll try to give credit where credit is due, but NEVER assume they are "my own" creations! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Same little girls?!?

I've been a little too glued to the computer today!

As I mentioned before, we thought we lost many pictures when our computer crashed earlier this year. Those pictures included all of the pictures from China. My wonderful hubby, however, found copies on another computer so I've been having lots of fun going through the old pictures.

Elise is on the left and Erin is on the right. Go here to see current pictures of Erin! How these little girls have grown! I got to know Tammie (Erin's mom) during the waiting period (we had an AWESOME dtc group!). We were fortunate enough to meet Tammie, David and Erin in China! What wonderful people and wonderful memories!

Mommy, can I clean my room?

I kid you not, these words came out of my daughter's mouth today. It's actually not all that uncommon to hear those words! I love this little girl!!!!

Let me explain the outfit...

...the piggy ears...found while cleaning her room (which she really did all by herself)

...this is her favorite outfit from Christmas and she insists on wearing it every Sunday to church. You don't quite get the full impact in this sparkly tights, a velvet/crinoline skirt, a red sparkly sweater, her favorite "snowman" necklace and her black "dancing" shoes (it is ridiculously dressy for our very casual church).

If she could, she'd wear a dress EVERY DAY. (I, on the other hand, wear a dress about once every 3 years and that's too much for me.)

Can you do the math?!?

THIS look +PLUS+
the promise of THIS item =equals=
THIS new look :)

And the end result:
One happy 9 year old boy with a new Lego set
One happy daddy who doesn't worry that his son will be mistaken for a daughter
Call it bribery, coercion or solving a mathematical equation...I call it PEACE! :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Our family...back then....

OK, I realize this is NOT a recent picture of our family, but I'm posting it for the following reasons:
  • It was our first family picture (when Elise and I arrived home from China and she got to meet her Dad and big brother)
  • Our computer crashed a few months back and I thought I'd lost all of these pictures, but hubby found a bunch of pictures saved on an old computer! :)
  • With Chinese New Year right around the corner, we really focus on China this time of year and Elise is very interested in hearing about my trip to pick her up.
  • I HATE pictures of me, but this one isn't too bad...considering the news media met us at the airport and made a big deal of the SARS epidemic. I look more than annoyed in most of the airport pictures.

The doggies!

In addition to all the critter's living in Carson's room, we also have 2 furry kids:

Molly is our 3 yeard old beagle. We're definately more BIG DOG folks, but Elise wanted a little dog when we were looking 2 years ago. And, a friend who works at a shelter told us about Molly. She's not always the smartest dog (she'll spend hours chasing wasps during the summer!) but she's a sweetie.

Sneakers is our 12 year old black lab. Sneaks holds a special place in our hearts. She came to live with us at 6 weeks old on the day we moved from Chicago (I was a stay at home mommy to her for the first few months down here!). She was my baby before kids and is such a gentle loving dog. She has some health issues these days and is slowing down.

Introducing Carson

Carson has now woken up and can't stand that his little sister already has a picture on the blog. So, here is the introduction to Carson.

(Yes that is an animal on his head...a bearded dragon to be specific!)

Favorite Animal: Turtles

Why do you have so many critters in your room: because fish, frogs, newts and turtles are my favorite animals

What do you want to be when you grow up: A vet

Current grade: 3rd

Favorite thing about school: Leaving

Here are a few more facts about Carson:

  • He loves animals (did you guess that?!?)
  • He loves to explore outside (we have a woods and stream in our yard and that's where you will usually find in a good weather)
  • He is extremely strong willed...sometimes that serves him well, sometimes it drives his mother nuts!

We love our Carson!!!