Thursday, December 30, 2010

Family Pictures!

These are for you, Mom! Family pictures taken at our recent Christmas celebration. The siblings, oldest to youngest: Eric, myself, Kevin and Brenda. Kevin & Jolynn will be adding another boy to their family in February and Mike & Brenda another little one in June.

And here is attempt #137 at getting a picture of g&g with all the grandkids.
I don't know how other family's do this but we've always got kids all over the place :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Campout and Christmas Bounty!

Last Thursday was the date of our 1st annual Campout Under the Christmas Tree. Fun times! First we snuggled into the blankets to watch a 1973 version of 'The Bear Who Slept Thru Christmas' playing in-tandem with the 'Mommy Who Slept Thru the Video' :)
Alexander insisted on sleeping RIGHT next to the tree so whenever he moved, the needles on the tree would poke him (usually in the face), he would sleepily whimper before rolling over & repeating the same thing 5-minutes later. Here he is waking up in the morning ready, at last, for CHRISTMAS!A friend gave us the book 'Room for a Little One' which sweetly tells (a version) of the Christmas story. Here is our own little one enthralled with story.
Here is the X-man with his Christmas stash. Some really cool (if I say so myself) Bruder toy trucks/bulldozer, Thomas train engine/cars, a PEZ dispenser and some chocolate crayons.
An early Designs by Blake ordering error (oh, yes, we learned from THAT mistake) made us the proud owners of over 200-pounds of black glass marbles. It is amazing how versitale these glass balls are -- they can be corn, soybeans, dirt, wood, etc. It's all about imagination! Hours of fun.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2 Years In & The Honeymoon is OVER!

So. I try to be an optimistic person. Really, I do.
You know. Upbeat. Smile-y. Cheerful. Seeing the good in others.
But here's a confession for your Monday afternoon.
I have just about HAD it with this parenting gig.

The screaming.
The kicking.
The running in the opposite direction.
The whining.
The 'you are not the boss of me' finger-pointing defiance.
The reptitious shouts of NO following each & every instruction.

I love ( I can only muster LIKE) being a mom. I love my little boy; he has completed our family in a way that is so much better than I could have imaginged (and believe me, I spent years imagining!) But this stage we are in...PLEASE, let this be a stage! frustrating. And discouraging. And draining.

I guess I did not realize how clueless (and sometimes, helpless) I would feel as a parent. I mean, how can one little person have the capacity to send me over the edge. Daily. Hourly. Sometimes a ka-jillion times in LESS than an hour?

  • The little guy is one-tenth of my age.
  • I have a college degree; he's not even enrolled in preschool.
  • I have at least 100lbs on him. (Okay, WAY more than that but I'm already feeling crummy so humor me!) Ask anyone; I was NOT winning the wrestling match that occurred during morning church services :)
  • He cannot even count to ten nor identify the difference between blue & red.
How does such a little person turn a capable individual into a I-have-no-idea-how-to-defuse-this-situation-but-am-willing-to-try-ANYthing parent?

For example, removing Harold the Helicopter to an unattainable shelf for 24-hours was a very effective punishment for disobedience. A few days later, when I repeatedly was unable to convince the X-man to come in from playing in the snow, I reasoned the same punishment would be effective in convincing him to race into the house. Wrong! He stared me down and announced to the entire neighborhood, whom I was certain was observing my lack of parenting skills, "Go ahead, momma. Take Harold away. Just do it!" Wait! Why didn't that work? Who changed the rules? I did NOT get the memo!

So, I did not write this post (only) to reap expressions of sympathy from you, my readers. The intent of this post is to be humorous. And honest. And, possibly, to act as a warning.

If, by chance, our paths cross in the coming weeks and my son is acting in a manner that could be qualified as shocking/unruly/disobedient/defiant/loud, etc. please do one of two things (a) ignore the situation as if the unfavorable actions are invisible to all except for an embarrassed/weary momma OR (b) give me a big friend-to-friend hug & whisper in my ear...this too shall pass.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Decorating for Christmas -- What Fun!

No emoticon required here; we'll just use a real-life image!

Can you sense the excitment? We decorated for Christmas this past week and it was the first year that Alexander really participated; last year he just kinda observed in awe of the sparkling tree & such. WoW! I am quite certain that the number of times I said the phrase, "Please. Don't touch! No! Look with your eyes!" could not be counted on one hand...or two...or even adding in my toes!
hanging his ornamanet from g&g --
so excited that it has his name on it
helping daddy with the lights OR...(more likely)
testing the stability of the tree from down below
Here are a couple of shots of Xander and Blake playing around as Alexander giggled and, of course, drooled. Seriously, the amount of liquid discharge this kid can generate between giggling, sneezing and crying has got to be applicable for the record books! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fashion-Forward Footwear

I got a new pair of slippers.
Alexander thinks they are the coolest cowboy boots EVER!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toy Recommendation: WEDGiTS

Alexander was given some WEDGiTS for his last birthday and they are one of the favorite toys at our house.

What are they? WEDGiTS are fun and challenging, multi-dimensional building sets. WEDGiTS pieces can be nested, stacked, linked and wedged together to create hundreds of designs. The product manual provides visuals of simple/beginner designs and design card sets are available for additional/more advanced configurations.

WEDGiTS are easy to build with, easy to clean and most recently, I have discovered them to be a great tool for learning colors. Another nice feature is that you can purchase WEDGiTS as a starter set and then add to your child's collection as they grow older/more creative. Available for purchase at most major retail/online stores: Target, Toys'RUs,, I would consider pricing to be moderate-to-high which would make this a good item to purchase used at a resale/consignment shop, garage sale or discount chain store (like TJMaxx).

Alexander is understandably impressed with mom's tower but...
...thinks he can improve on it slightly with just ONE more piece :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving With Family...

We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with my family; here are a couple of shots from our time together.

A friend asked my dad, "Are you a football family? Will you be wathing football all afternoon?" to which my dad replied, "Football? The grandkids are coming over. We'll be watching the grandkids!" Thanks, Dad & Mom, for being such a good grandpa & grandma to our kiddos.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cookin' With Mommy

I am seldom without a helper in the kitchen. Nope. I have a self-appointed sidekick. He 'orders up' his ladder (step stool) and apron and positions himself within millimeters of my toes. Just ask my toes for clarification -- they KNOW this to be accurate :)

I have a live-in kitchen assistant.
A self-proclaimed chef with limitless abilities.

'measuring' the already-premeasured rice krispies
dumping rice krispies from the small bowl to the big bowl...
(which allowed ME time to measure everything else)

hard at work but still time to smile for the camera...

critiquing the results...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

May we each find an abundance of grace & gratitude in our hearts today as we celebrate the goodness of our God. "O Lord, Thou art my God; I will EXALT Thee, I will give THANKS to Thy name; for Thou hast worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November: National Adoption Month

I received a card today with a beautiful saying so I thought I would share...

"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." -- Kristi Larson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Pumpkin Farm

Kasey & I took the kiddos to a nearby pumpkin farm last week. The weather was amazing albeit a bit blustery. Although, after today's wind, it would have registered as mild in comparison :) The kids had fun running around for a few hours and we were delighted to leave with a full dozen of cider donuts, which along with apple cider is, in my opinion, the quintessential flavor of Fall. No worries -- we shared with our husbands, a few!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

WINNER: Weekend To Remember Certificate

And the winner (as drawn by my cute 2-1/2 yr. old assistant) is: LAURA (& Mark). Congratulations!

Blake & I have been gifted with a 'ministry partner certificate' to Family Life's Weekend to Remember Conference which we are unable to take advantage of. So...we're giving it away.

The certificate entitles you to attend a Weekend To Remember of your choice for $39 per person. It expires August 31, 2012.

To be eligible to win you must be (a) either engaged or married and (b) make a committment to redeem the certificate prior to its expiration date OR re-gift to it friends who will be able to attend the conference.

Check HERE for details regarding locations & dates for upcoming events.

Please post a comment by 8AM on Monday, October 25th to enter the giveaway and I (or my cute 2-1/2 year old assistant) will randomly choose a winner. OPTIONAL: Include in your comment HOW you found or WHY you read my blog.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things To Ride On...

A Sphinx. (and Xander's newest cheese-y smile)
A blue rubber bouncing dog.
A crocodile.
And a carousel.
Quite the combination but Jonah & Alexander loved riding on each of them and many more! It is hard to keep up with these busy boys!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fishing with Grandpa!

We had a fun family get-together this past weekend in Indianapolis. My camera battery was low, charger inadvertently left behind so the pictures are a little fuzzy...and there are none of the Plattner family who joined us on Saturday evening after a successful day of cross country running. Sorry!
I will be posting our adventures throughout the week. To start with, here is Jared fishing & grandpa's excitement at catching a fish THIS BIG (note the size of the fish hanging from his pole!) while at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet Alea Cosette...

This is one of Alexander's favorite 'local' playmates. They both get SO excited when they see one another, often wrapping their arms around each other in where-do-I-put-my-head, please-don't-poke-my-eye out, whoa-you-almost-knocked-me-over kinda hug...and then they're off! :)

I love how this photograph captures Alea's sweetness.

And here are the two little ones holding hands while exploring a path at the Morton Arboretum earlier this week...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall/Harvest CookOut

Hot dogs (brauts & pork roast, too).
Straw bales & pumpkins.
Hayrack rides & games.
S'mores and MORE S'mores.
Childhood (and adult) memories at their best.

Cousins! Don't look so excited Xander-man! :)

Drew-by starting a new fashion trend...

I love this pic of U.Mike wrestling with the little guys...

And, just because I love her so & my little sis!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RECIPE: Mexican Chicken Penne

I tried a new recipe this weekend -- and loved it, so I thought I would share with you. Called Mexican Chicken Penne (submitted by M.Anliker thru a local church cookbook).

1 pkg. penne pasta
2 c. chicken, cooked & cubed
1-1/2 salsa con queso dip (substituted Blanco Wholly Queso)
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
15-ounces black beans, rinsed & drained
1 lg. tomato
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (brick/block of cheese, shredded)

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the chicken (I used chicken from the freezer that I had pre-baked/sliced), salsa con queso/blanco queso, milk and salt. Drain pasta, add chicken mixture; toss to coat. Top with black beans, tomatoes, green onions & cheese.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fire Prevention Week

I was running errands this past weekend when I came upon some major congestion at the local fire station. Upon returning home I told Blake, "There is an Open House at the F-I-R-E station that I think a little boy would like to see. Do we have time to go?" to which Alexander immediately replied, "I want to go, Daddy. I want to go to the X-S-L-V station." :) Here are some pics of our mid-morning adventure.