Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I just love how kids are so brutally honest all the time. I mean, they'll lie to you in a second about cleaning their rooms or eating the candy bar that was on the counter, but they're still so honest. Like when you've been working in the garden for an hour or two in 90 degree weather, and your kid tells you that you smell bad. Or when their grandma buys them an expensive doll or something for their birthday and they tell her very bluntly that they do not like it. Or even when someone asks the kids if they want to go to come over and play, and the kids tell them no to their face.

Just today Avery exhibited this honesty. Abby told him, "You need to share." Avery responds, "I don't want to." How can you argue with that? He's quite the honest kid. Ask him, "Did you just pee in your shorts?" He'll say, "yup." "Why didn't you go potty?" "I wanted to play with my train." I'm not really sure if this honesty is necessarily a good thing or a bad thing.

It's so different from how Abby was at his age. If I asked her who broke something, or who peed in the floor, or who spilled their snack all over the room, she just lied. She would say, "Daddy did it." Never mind that he wasn't home when it happened. Sometimes she would say Avery did it, but he was just a little immobile baby at the time.

This makes me think about some famous "honest people," like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. George said something like, "I cannot tell a lie. It was me that chopped down that apple tree." If he had been my kid, he still would have been punished for chopping down my apple tree. I've always wanted an apple tree. Just because he told the truth doesn't mean I wouldn't spank him.

Lincoln was certainly honest in some areas, but if you've ever taken a college history or black world studies class, you know that he was lacking in honesty in other areas of his life. I don't want to spread any slander (partly because I imagine Daniel would disagree), but I wouldn't recommend that anyone follow his example in religion or race politics.

So, really, even if Avery is "honest," it doesn't necessarily make him a saint. He still does naughty things, but then he tells me about it. See, the problem is he tells me afterwards, when I would prefer to know ahead of time. Can you imagine having your kid come up to you and say, "I'm about to go cut all the hair off of my sister's Barbie dolls"?? It would be weird - borderline scary.

Anyway, it turns out a table is all Abby needed to make her behave. I put a small one with a small chair in her room today, and she's been happy as can be playing on that table. Now honestly, why didn't she just tell me that's all she wanted for the past 4 years??

Monday, July 28, 2008

What Ethan Did All Morning

Ethan spent the better part of the morning trying to get this baby to take her pacifier like he does. Then he laughed.


And I thought I had finally discovered a way to keep my babies from getting too old too fast. But then I noticed the warning sticker:

Do not store your babies in plastic storage bins.

*This has been a bloggy public service announcement by Sara*

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A 4-year olds's Thoughts on Death and God - You Know, Light Reading.

Tonight I picked Abby up from her last night of VBS. Going to VBS all week has really started her thinking. First, she told me her Bible verse:

"I John 2 Peter 1:308, 2:16, 3:231, 2:0:
God gives me power, God has power, God has power, God has power."

You know, the same verse you learned as a kid at VBS...

Then she got more serious and told me that they pray at VBS for God. They pray that He will make them live forever. She then tells me that everyone can live forever. I agree with her - everyone who knows God and loves Him will live forever. She asked me if I love God. I told her yes, and she was relieved to know that we will both live forever in heaven.

"But Mommy, do we have to die to live in heaven?"

I sort of tell her yes, but we're not really dying because we're going to heaven. She then gets sad and announces that she does not want to die. What parent wants to hear their kid talk about dying? I tell her that only very old people die.

"Then who will take care of Daddy and be his Mommy and Daddy when Grandma and Grandpa die?"

The reason she's worried about Grandma dying? Because she spent the day with her, and grandma says, "She's a very old lady."

Watch out Grandma - you're sending yourself to an early grave in Abby's eyes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

He's at it Again

Last night I was again woken up by Avery's yelling. This time he was screaming, "I want my ice cream! I want my ice cream because it's mine!"

Poor boy. Even in his dreams he's a middle child.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Bugs Me

When I take my kids in the car, I put them in carseats. True, Abby is so small that she will possibly still need a carseat when she's about 12. I doubt I'll still put her in one at that age, no matter what the carseat manufacturer's recommend, but for now my kids all use a carseat or booster seat.

Sometimes they fight being put in the carseats, and sometimes they cry. Sometimes they even cry for a while after I have them strapped in, and we're on the road. So what do I do? I keep driving, keep putting them in the carseats so they're safe. Always it takes me a couple extra minutes to strap in all these kids. I do it anyway.

Well, lately I've been driving past a lot of cars full of kids without carseats or even seatbelts. They stand up in the cars, sticking their heads out the sunroof, changing the radio station at leisure. The parents don't seem to mind that their children could be killed at any moment. It's not how safe you've been in the past that counts - it's what could happen in the future. You just never know when an accident will occur - so why risk losing a kid because you don't want to fight them or take an extra minute to strap them in?

I remember seeing parents safely strapped in with their seatbelts, while their 4 year old walks around the car as they drive. I've also seen a lady put her 3 year old in the booster seat, but not bother to strap her in. I guess for her the idea is to just let her daughter see out the window, but not to keep her safe.

If you're too lazy to fasten a carseat, then please don't have kids. Having kids will force you to do things that are a heck of a lot harder than fastening a carseat belt. You'll also be forced to do things that are a lot less pleasant, and take so much more time. As a parent, I rarely get to be lazy.

If you just don't want to fight with your kids, and don't want to deal with the "lift-up-the-pelvis-so-the-seatbelt-doesn't-fit trick," then get over it! (Daniel, you know what I wanted to say there) Kids argue with their parents and don't like to do what they're told. Do yourself a favor and exert your authority now, while the kids are still small enough to be strapped down.

It just really bugs me when people don't think about what could happen. Safety is about the future, but unfortunately a lot of people can't see past their child's temper tantrum. After all, if your child threw a fit every time you fed them or changed their diaper, would you stop doing it?

Friday, July 18, 2008

How True

Tonight for dinner I'm making "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie". Yummy. I've never tried it before, but when Daniel and I watched the movie Waitress the other day, it sounded very tasty. And it's true, I don't want Earl's baby.

Here's the recipe if anyone wants to try it:

I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie

1 pie crust
4 Tbs. butter
3 slices ham
8 green onions
1 C. brie cheese
1 C. parmesan cheese, grated
4 eggs
2 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover pie crust with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more. Remove crust and reduce heat to 325 degrees.
2. Julienne ham. Chop green onions.
3. In skillet, saute ham until brown. Remove and set aside.
4. Saute onion until tender. Remove with slotted spoon and combine with ham.
5. Spread on bottom of pie crust. Spread brie over ham mixture and sprinkle with parmesan. Combine eggs, cream and nutmeg; pour over cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 8.

These pie recipes were on promo cards for the movie or something. The other recipes sound just as good. Waitress Movie Pies.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lookin' Like a Butterfly

She came home from the zoo looking like this. Cute until you go to wash it off. Black paint is not washable.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Trouble With Toddlers

I should have known. Daniel's mom told me he did this when he was a kid, and it seems that my boys always follow in Daniel's footsteps. This morning while I showered, the boys were at it again.

It started when I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. As I was just about to turn on the water for the shower, I heard a man's voice. I ran to the living room and saw that a man had come to the door to sell us something, and the boys had opened the door for him. I slipped behind the door and shut it before the man saw me. Sorry if that was anyone reading this!

I lectured them about opening the door for anyone when Daniel or I wasn't in the room, and then headed back to shower. After my shower, I was drying off in the bathroom and I heard Ethan cry. He sounded really distant at first, but then he started to get louder. I realized I was hearing him from the window! I ran to the front door, and sure enough he was outside on the porch. I again lectured the kids. I told them that their baby brother could have been ran over and killed. Usually the scare tactic works for my bunch.

Daniel's mom told me she had to get those high up security latches to keep him inside as a kid - I think I'll be going to Lowe's tonight to get some. She also told me about Daniel throwing the lawn furniture into the community pool. Now she has a pool at her house - we'd better keep an eye on Avery and Ethan...

(Don't worry - the door to the pool already has the high-up security latches!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

As We Sleep

The nights around here are getting crazy! I mean when most people are soundly asleep (except those with teeny babies), the people in our house are very busy.

Last night Avery started crying in his room, and shouting "I can't open my eyes!" I ran to his room, expecting to see that he had gotten pink eye or something. When I get to the room, he's fine - but the room is completely dark. He keeps screaming about not being able to open his eyes, and so I pick him up and take him to the hallway where there is some light. "Can you see now?" I ask. He can. I guess it was just so dark in his room that he thought his eyes were closed. This is my fault, really. I put up blackout material on his windows, because the rising sun was making him wake up at 6 am. He sleeps longer in the morning, but now he cries and gets scared at night.

Two other nights he woke up screaming. When I go in his room, I find that he's standing in front of his dresser, beside the train table. He thinks he's at the door, but it won't open because it's not really there. So I tried putting a night light in his room a couple nights ago, and he slept the whole night with no problems. However, Ethan decided that the night light looked like fun, and he stole it. That must be why Avery cried last night.

After I put Avery back to bed, Abby started yelling, "put it over there! No, over there!" I went in her room and said, "What?" She told me she was talking to Ethan - who, by the way, was sound asleep in his crib, in a completely different room. She's always been a sleep-talker, but then again, so has Daniel. Daniel used to talk in his sleep about moving pallets around when he worked at Meijer years ago, and about pistons when he worked at General Motors. Just one of the many things that I love about him...

Last night I was also awaked by a loud sound. I looked over at Daniel, and realized a glass picture frame had fallen off the wall, and landed inches from his head. He was sound asleep, of course. I moved the frame, and hugged him to make sure he was okay. He didn't seem to care, but I guess he was okay.

So tonight I'm hoping I'll actually get to sleep! I'm going to make sure the night light is in Avery's room, Ethan is not in Abby's room, and the picture frames are secure. But I'm sure something new will develop anyway.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Day/ Bad Day

Today the kids slept in. They were supposed to go to the zoo this morning with their grandma, but they slept and slept. Instead, the kids and I went to the park for a while, vacuumed out the van, went back to the park for lunch, and then got gas (Ethanol, actually), and aired up the tires! I know it all sounds so glamorous and exciting! So we did a lot, but in between doing things the kids drove me nuts. They were whiny from too little sleep and too much activity over the weekend, and they fought and fought. But when they were not fighting or whining, they were so cute. And right now, as the boys sleep they are so cute. Why is it that sleeping babies are so adorable? I know, really - it's because they are quiet and completely well-behaved at the time!

Today as we ate lunch at the park a bird kept flying over towards us looking for food. I told the kids to throw a little bit of their crackers towards the bird. Of course they completely misunderstood or disregarded the "little bit" part, and threw lots of crackers instead. But then the little bird came over, quickly grabbed some cracker, and flew under our van to eat. Ethan got so excited to see the "dog" (say that with a long o!), and shouted "woo woo" at the poor bird. Then they all threw more crackers on the ground, along with a couple pieces of ham. Another bird showed up - obviously not a vegetarian.

It's nice to let the kids get really tired sometimes, and then go home. They sleep, and I get a break. I wonder if working parents see naps as necessary as stay at home moms do...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Other Broken Toes

Well, hurt at least.

But look how happy he is! What a boy.

Something New **UPDATED**

So, last night I broke my first bone. Yup, my toe. Daniel laughs at me, because he's broken a toe and still worked and pushed copiers around and saved the world with a broken toe. But really, it hurts. It hurt more yesterday than today, but it still hurts.

Since I'm broken, we couldn't do any hiking today. Oh yeah, and then I made it rain. At least that's what Daniel said. He thinks my negativity caused it to rain, and so his morning was enveloped in a bad mood. But then the rain stopped, and the sun came out, and it got really, really hot. Then Daniel was happy. So we went to a yard sale. Did that help his happiness? I do not know.

At this yard sale I snagged a couple things that I've been searching for, and let's just say we can now go bike riding with the kids. Daniel took one of the items for a test ride:

So we got some new things that were old to somebody just 2 days ago. Yard sale-ing is so much
fun when you find what you want for a good price!

While we were out, we noticed an "event" that appeared to be happening in the neighborhood we were in. It turns out it was something like this:

(An actual photo of the house as it was Saturday)

We didn't see Ty Pennington, but we did see the house from far away. It was like the president was in town or something. The streets were closed around the neighborhood (which made it really hard to get to garage sales that were being held there). There were army men everywhere, being given volunteer "orders". The TV news crews were there, people were being bussed to the site, and other people walked quite a way to see the house, cameras in hand. One of the local garbage companies even donated brand new, shiny dumpsters to use during demolition. I read online that this was the largest crowd that has ever gathered to watch Extreme Home Makeover. Leave it to Southern Ohio to be the biggest "spectator" group ever.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Busy Weekend: In Pictures, Part 2

Some other things we did last weekend:

Abby loved swimming, Ethan did not. He does love to sit on the edge with me and splash his feet until I get more soaked than the people actually in the pool, though. Poor Avery was napping and didn't get to swim.

Please don't pick the daisies (or any other wildflower). Really, there were signs telling us not to - the park was trying to reclaim the wildflower field and reestablish the native flowers of Ohio.

Another moose-head picture. Abby argues that it looks slightly more like a giraffe. To me it's wood.

There should be lots of hiking pictures to come on this blog. I just bought a hiking-type backpack carrier for Ethan! We also are fixing up our bikes, and looking for baby bike seats or a trailer for the kids or something. If anyone knows anything about bike accessories, clue me in, please!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Busy Weekend: In Pictures, Part 1

You have to do some sparklers on Independence Day, right?

Hiking in Style (note the rough terrain we had to endure)

Watching the baby plants grow at the arboretum.

We saw a turtle, and he ate our bread!

Avery said this wood looks like a moose head.

Too Much Information

Well, last week and weekend was really, really busy for us. It seems like we were doing something every day, which kept me from posting anything at all on my blog. So, by (un)popular demand, I present to you everything I thought about but didn't have time to blog about in the past week:

Last night while I was rocking Ethan to sleep (yes, I still do that), he cried a little after he was asleep, and jumped. I guess he was having a bad dream. I always think its so sweet the way babies will be sound asleep, and suddenly start laughing because of a dream. However, I've also always hated when little babies cry because of a bad dream. Don't you wonder what those teeny little minds can be dreaming about? Do you think wee little babies dream about mommy milk and pacifiers? What do teeny little new babies have to dream about, anyway? They've just been born, and haven't experienced anything yet! My little babies used to occasionally laugh out loud or cry as they slept - even when they were less than a month old. Avery actually laughed in his sleep before he ever laughed out loud while awake. Has Freud ever covered baby dreams? I bet he has, actually...

Well, one day when Ethan was awake, the kids and I were out driving around and we saw a lady walking her dog. She stopped, pulled out a nice sports bottle, and then let the dog drink from it. Do you think she would have taken a drink from the same bottle if we had watched long enough? Gross. I'm sorry, but drinking after a dog turns my stomach. I don't even like to let them lick my hand.

This made me think about a story I read in the local paper, about a family that lost their dog and hired a doggy detective. They actually paid some guy to put up posters, have some search dogs smell the dog's stuff and search for him, and go to every local animal shelter looking for the dog. I wonder how much they paid him to do all that? They offered a $500 reward for the dog.

Well today a bulldog or pit bull or something nice looking (yeah, I'm a doggy genius, I know) was running around my front yard. He was wearing a collar with tags, and he came right up to me and the kids. That made me think about rewards for missing dogs. It's not wrong to collect those rewards, in my opinion. So would you say that if someone found a nice looking dog with tags in their front yard, they could keep that dog for a few days in case someone puts up signs looking for the dog, and collect the reward? Don't worry - I didn't do that - I was just wondering. After all, it keeps the dog safe until someone looks for it... Entrepreneurs, you might want to look into this.

Speaking of animals, my neighbors have 4 new (and I mean brand new) kittens. Yesterday they sent the tiny little things outside. Alone. All day. In 90 degree weather.

Now onto the 4th of July. This weekend we ate Mexican food, saw fireworks, lit sparklers, swam, and went hiking. We found this nice trail at an arboretum that takes you through a reclaimed pasture, which is full of wildflowers and tall grass. I felt like I was hiking through a prairie. Too bad none of the kids nor Daniel shared my joy.

I put Ethan in the sling (baby-a-go-go pouch sling), and carried him on my hip sometimes and my back the rest of the time. He seemed to enjoy it, and it was a lot easier to hold him for hours. The only problem is, I ended up sweating a lot in the spots were the sling rested on my shirt. Now we're looking for a backpack carrier for him, instead. The kind with a frame and a cargo area. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Another thing I did this week was go to CVS, again. I literally made over $30, and got free lots of stuff. The reason I mention this is because I actually took some of my free stuff abundance and gave it to people. I've been meaning to do this for a while, and I finally actually did it! Now I can't keep myself from going back and getting more. I'm going to have to work on that.

So was everyone else busy this 4th?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Does This Really Matter?

Partly because tomorrow is July 4th (that's Independence Day to all you Canadians :o), and partly because Daniel loves doing online quizzes like this one, I'm encouraging everyone to take the US citizenship quiz. This should certainly be easy for any native American, right? Well, I scored 70%, which is passing... But what does this say for my patriotism, education (homeschooling, no less), and understanding of history? Now, I know Daniel will not be surprised with my score. He rather enjoys my retelling of history, I guess - he laughs a lot when he hears me.

So, if someone was really trying to become a citizen of our country, would knowing these answers really matter? I guess these things are taught in our schools, but no one is born with this knowledge. However, people are born citizens of the US. Who decided that knowing the name of our Chief Justice qualifies you to receive all the benefits of being a US citizen?

And anyway, what exactly are the benefits of being a US citizen? You have to pay taxes either way. You have to obey the laws either way. You have to start at the bottom and work your way up either way. According to the US Citizenship website, the only thing you gain as a citizen is the right to vote. Hmm... I'll let you decide if that's worth it or not.

So, have a happy July 4th. Enjoy those fireworks and that hotdog. See a parade. Dress in red, white, and blue. After all, you've earned it if you passed the citizenship test.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's Just One Cookie in the Van...

... What's the big deal?

A Girl and Her Fish.

"I'm just going to watch her until she's done pooping."

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