Sunday, January 31, 2010


We got seven inches yesterday. They predicted one to two inches, but at least it wasn't twenty-four like last time! I hope it warms up this week and melts it all quickly!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The First Four

Saturday, lunchtime, the first four inches are cleared.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Let's Play Pretend

I'm pretending that it's sunny and hot outside and that I might go to the pool this afternoon to cool off, but for now I'll just sip this refreshingly cold glass of iced tea...
Because the reality is that it is 19 degrees and gray and snow is in the forecast for tonight through Sunday and

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Girl

My girl is completely unselfconscious.
My girl knows she is worthy.
My girl fully intends to rock the world.
I totally look up to my girl.
I hope these things never change.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Boys are Weird


Or, eat your legos.

Or, look goofy.

I'm going to blow these up to enormous proportions one day and you will wonder why you didn't just give me a nice smile.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Battles of Epic Proportion

In a galaxy far, far away...

and here in our own backyard.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January Books

These are the books I finished this month. They were all good reads. The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games are both Young Adult Fiction. I started reading YA fiction last year so that I could build a library of books that were appropriate for my kids to read as they got older. I remember as a young teen reading a lot of books off my parents shelves that were way too mature, way to horrifying for my age: Steven King, Flowers in the Attic, Clan of the Cavebears. I am careful to select inspiring picture books for my littles and I've been pretty selective about the kid's chapter books, so I figured I better get a pretty good head start on YA, I remember how much I loved to read as a teen. Anyway, I found that I really enjoy a lot of YA Fiction! Our shelves are filling up nicely. Maze Runner and Hunger Games are both the beginning of series. They were great reads, I hope their sequels are as compelling. The Illuminator is historical fiction, another favorite genre of mine. It was well-written, but about half-way through, I wondered how the author would be able to end it happily. The author, however, wasn't concerned about that at all. While I really love a happy ending, I suppose this ending was much more realistic. Sigh. Water for Elephants has been on my wishlist for a long while. I'm so glad that I finally read it. An amazing book. Not one to miss.
In February, I am planning to read The Hobbit. I've never read any of the Lord of the Rings books or seen the movies. I don't know if these qualify as classics, but they are on my list of popular books I've never opened, that's reason enough for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Take Me to Your Leader

It's almost sinister, but what's with the bucked-tooth grimace?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Abby, Not Always Crabby

There's a song, Sweet by Lex Land, that always makes me think of Abby when I hear it.
I know I may seem tough, and that I can play rough
I may seem like I've got one point of view,
............. But really I can be sweet, too.
She can. She doesn't always like to, but she can.

Friday, January 22, 2010

For the Record

Kaden, enjoying his math.

And Chloe, also enjoying her math.

Just in case I ever have to prove they are learning.
Wasn't it sweet of them to look so happy.
Good kids. A+

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Business as Usual

We rarely do crafts for history, but today the kids made this Jamestown replica.

I've been out of the kitchen since November, but today I made banana bread. Jack was sure it was his birthday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Really Like You

Baby, you are turning into a big boy.
I will miss your babyness,
But I'm looking forward to your boyish misadventures.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


My desk, a reflection of my week.
A new box of tissues and an old one.
Bills scattered here and there.
Tax stuff not neatly organized.
Open scissors, an invitation for harm.
An empty glass, spare lego parts, random books and CD's, used tissues.
A reflection of my week or my life?

Monday, January 18, 2010


He has spent countless hours, every day, for months, with his nose in this Lego Star Wars Encyclopedia. Without hesitating, he can tell you what episode every figure is from, what year Lego first produced each set, what figures come with each set, and what the current price of all available sets are on Amazon (and how much that compares to the Lego Store and Target). The other day, I asked him to explain to Scott who the Separatists were. We are studying the Pilgrims in history. Kaden got a twinkle in his eye and proceeded to explain who the Separatists were, just not the ones I had in mind. At least he's able to focus his attention!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Brief Moment

Sometimes he gets close and, ever so quietly so as not to draw unwanted attention, he cuddles. It only lasts a few moments, but then I see this face that he reserves for rare occasions, and my heart melts, again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sunshine in Virginia? Get it while it lasts!

Play outside while the sun shines!
It is only 50 degrees, but it feels so much better after so many weeks of freezing temps! Sam even took his hoodie off. I caught the kids in a fierce game of tribal battle. Now it's cloudy and windy again, but those precious couple of outdoorsy hours this morning were wonderful!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chess, Anyone?

Sometimes, when I can't find the baby, I have to look in the most unlikely places. Today, I found Jack hiding out in the front room with Kaden's chess set. It's an original set up, I guess, very unconventional.

Abby, who is ever my shadow, decided to educate Jack on how the board should be set up. Then she set out to teach him to play. Then Jack threw all his white pieces at her. Then she said he was the worst brother EVER and put the chess set away!

Jack thinks next time I should just mind my own business and let the man have some peace!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dinner with Family

It's a rare treat to enjoy an evening with family! John is in town for the week so he and Kyle and Erin made the major trek in traffic to join us for dinner! It was so much fun! Really makes me homesick... again.

All the kids were excited to see Uncle John and they all missed Aunt Lisa! Wish she could have come along, too!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So NOT Camera Shy

Love that pirate-grinned girl.

Monday, January 11, 2010

That's What He Said

Jack: Mommy! Can you put my dress on and take a picture of me with my gun?

So pretty and so fierce.

Let me see, graduation or wedding...
I'm going to get some mileage out of these.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Despite still feeling less than normal with baby in tow, I had a wonderful birthday! Scott surprised me with a fantastic new camera that I was planning to save my every penny to buy. My Project Life scrapbooking kit arrived just in time as well. I am so excited to use this picture of the day format to keep things simple, but give my kids the albums they love to peruse. This picture was Scott's idea: Showcasing our own little Project Life!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Whistle while you work

She'd fit right in with a houseful of dwarves...

Abby's checklist for housework:
Heels, preferably red.
Gown. Nightgowns definitely qualify.
Purple necklace, an original design.
Stool, because who wants all that standing around.
Baby on hip, just 'cause.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What do you do all day?

The beauty of homeschooling is that it takes a fraction of the time that other kids spend in brick and mortar schools. So what does Kaden do with all that free time? Legos. More legos. Some Wii. Drawing. More Legos. Some more Legos. Think about Legos. Legos. One day he is going to really appreciate what I've done for him.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Sam was pretty much in seventh heaven to be able to dictate a whole day to his liking! He certainly deserves a wonderful birthday, our little comedian and noise machine! Here he is blowing out his six tie-dye candles on his fudge-chocolate cake. He insisted on homemade strawberry ice-cream... I'm sure his dad didn't influence him one bit!

There really must be a recession going on because Target, Walmart and Amazon were out of toys! Usually we take the non-birthday kids to Target and let them shop, but this year... nothing was left on the shelves. So we drove the 40 minutes to the uber-trendy mall and the boys picked out gifts from the Lego Store, which very wisely was stocked to the ceiling and busy as always! Both Kaden and Sam thought it was pretty wonderful!

Sam's cool Phoenix Zoo t-shirt from Grandma and Grandpa. He proudly wore it over his clothes and thought it was the best shirt ever!

The thrill of cash when you are six is really beyond words!

Lego Indiana Jones for Wii. Happy boy. Happy, happy boy. And I resisted the urge to buy him the Indiana Jones costume to play in... memories of his last "cowboy" birthday were still a bit fresh!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Girls in a Nutshell

One's a frilly princess and one needs redirection. Oy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Book Report

A month of colds and baby-nausea are good for one thing: all the books in my pile are now read! There were no real losers. The Memory Keeper's Daughter had a lot of hype, but I just couldn't get into it. I never connected with the story, but it was an interesting, if disturbing, idea. I read two mystery-crime novels, The Likeness and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and realized that this is just not my genre of choice. They were just too twisted to sit right with me. Stories like this certainly drew me in to the bitter end, but I wished I hadn't gone there, you know. Well written, just not my cuppa. The other four I loved! The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Kite Rider and The Elegance of the Hedgehog were all books I would not fail to recommend. I hope I can savor a list of new winners as the year marches on.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


That's right, man, you are nine!

The traditional Phoenix Zoo T-shirt from Grandma and Grandpa.

Just in case you wondered if he likes money...

Two Star Wars Wii games and Wii light sabers. Let the fun begin.

And this year, no cake. Kaden went for the pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream. He is one happy boy, and now quite wealthy to boot! It was fun to remember the day he was born. It just seems impossible that he is another year older already. As he reminded us, this is his last year in single digits and he is half way to becoming an adult. Say it isn't so.