"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Because It Makes Me Smile

For Christmas Chris bought me these nice little stick people for the back of our van. They make me smile whenever I see them :)

They also make our van extremely identifiable. You will know if you are following me on the freeway!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Random Pictures

Here's my two sweeties all ready to go to church.
Family reunion pic with Great Grandma (Chris' grandma)
Beautiful Molly holding up the basketball pole.
Aidan taking a break from hauling rock.
Snickers taking a break from...napping?
Raelea dancing while she picks up cement pieces.
Our nightly visitor at our front door - taking advantage of the free flying bugs.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stay Off The Roads

Evan just got his driver's permit this morning :0 Just kidding. I am sure he will be an excellent driver, but we're confining him to empty parking lots for the near future.

Congratulations, Evan! We're proud of you!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Now That's Funny

I'm on-line looking at kilts and I come across this website that sells them. Under their "Kilts In Stock" section I find this description
These are brand new kilts that we stock for those kilt emergencies that pop-up.

Now I don't know about you, but in my 43 years of life I have NEVER, no not even once, had a "kilt emergency," but if I do in the future I will know where to go to take care of that little problem.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Considering the Lilies

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28,29

**To my Facebook friends, you'll need to visit the blog to see the pictures

Rock Climbing, Anyone?

You gotta love REI - free rock climbing for members! Six of us went to REI tonight to climb their climbing walls. Marcus, Nina & I were climbing for the first time and Chris, Molly & Aidan were more experienced.

Here's Aidan making his ascent. He gets higher and higher each time he goes. Way to go Aidan!Marcus didn't make it too far this time, but he is anxious to try again next week.
Nina was enjoying her trek up the rock.
I made it all the way up, but it was the easiest face so that doesn't count for too much. From this picture I could be five feet off the ground for all you know. Next time I'll try a harder one.
Here's Molly! She tried a harder face than I did (same height, just a more difficult climb). She, of course, made it all the way to the top (40ft). For being such a skinny little minny, she is one tough girl.
And then there's Chris, who climbed a much harder face than the rest of us (and ten feet higher as well). He climbed up it like a pro.


Last year at this time we were going through eight gallons of milk a week. We are now drinking 12 gallons of milk a week! How did this happen? Who knows. This hasn't broken the budget though because in that time I have discovered that Cub brand milk, Sam's Club milk and Quik Trip milk are ALL hormone-free. So, despite the increase in milk consumption I am actually paying less for milk each week than I was a year ago. I guess that's good news!

What Happened?

In just ten short days, my normally reserved eldest child went from, "I think I'll pass," response to dumpster-diving suggestions to, "hey let's go dumpster-diving." Not only that, he came home with some of his "loot" and shared it with his siblings and mother (yes,I actually ate donuts that he pulled from the dumpster).

I'm thankful that driver's ed ends tomorrow. Who knows how many other interesting pastimes he might develop if it went on any longer

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Okay, it's pretty sad when the best way to talk to my hubby is via e-mail! He rarely answers his phone at work for obvious reasons and when he's home I rarely remember the things we need to discuss (logistical stuff), so I've resorted to e-mail. This even after he and I went on a date just two nights ago.

Sad, but true!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Four Years

We had great news yesterday. My dad, who was diagnosed with lung cancer four years ago and underwent two operations (one on each lung), is still cancer-free. YIPPEE! If his CT scan next year is clear he will not have to see the oncologist anymore.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for Dad's recovery over the years, your prayers are being answered and we couldn't be happier.

Just so everyone understands what a miracle this is let me include a few lung cancer facts...
- Only 16 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed before their disease has spread to other parts of their bodies, (e.g., regional lymph nodes and beyond), compared to more than 50 percent of breast cancer patients, and 90 percent of prostate cancer patients.1, 8

Roughly 84 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer die within five years of their diagnosis, compared to 11 percent of breast cancer and less than 1 percent of prostate cancer patients.1

Less money is spent on lung cancer research than on research on other cancers. In 2007, the National Cancer Institute estimated it spent only it spent only $1,415 per lung cancer death compared to $13,991 per breast cancer death, $10,945 per prostate cancer death, and $4,952 per colorectal cancer.1, 11

Lung cancer kills more than 160,000 people annually – more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.1

Probably more info than you cared to read, but it is a reminder to all of us what a gift from God it is to have Dad remain cancer-free!

Love you, Dad!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Need One Of These

Why don't they have carts this big at the grocery store I go to??? This would save me from using two carts - I think.

All Work And No Play

Make for a dull weekend, so we make sure that that doesn't happen around here. After a day of breaking up concrete yesterday and again this morning (sorry to the neighbors who may have been trying to sleep in), we made time for a variety for fun today.

First off we went to the Hastings parade and were joined by my mom , dad, brother and sister-in-law who all came out to see...Nina, Molly & Evan in marching with the pipe band.
When we got home, some us decided to go geocaching which is always great fun. Today we ended up crashing through a lot of underbrush to find two out of three caches.
Back at home again, we relaxed on the deck for a time...
and then had a riveting game of badminton.
This somehow led to rollerblading, which is something I don't do very often. Don't be fooled by my casual appearance here, most of the time I looked more like...
this. (Okay, folks, he's just steadying me, really!)
He obviously is a much better blader than I
Actually, even Molly & her friend, Brin, are better skaters than I am.
And last, but not least, Emily did some bike riding.
So, we managed to pack a LOT of fun into one day of the weekend. I hope your weekend was fun and productive as well.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Manual Labor Day

I know Labor Day isn't until the end of the summer, but today is Manual Labor Day at our house.

As you can see, we are taking out a bit of sidewalk around our house. Not the way we want to spend a summer weekend, but the sidewalk is causing water problems in our basement :( I know I shouldn't say this, but I am glad we are having a drought because every time it rains the boys' bedroom carpet gets all wet. We are hoping the the removal of the sidewalk and some proper grading around the house will solve the problem.

Now some of my astute readers will be asking right now, "Why is Barb inhere blogging instead of outside working?"

Good question. I was outside working until Evan's book club guys went outside to help. I am no longer needed at the moment.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sick and Tired

Sorry folks. Not a lot happening here this week except for the fact that I am sick and therefore tired :( Hopefully I'll feel like posting tomorrow.

Btw, I haven't attempted the crayon removal yet. I figure I better be in peak condition for that project...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Now I Know

You should NEVER leave a two year old alone with a crayon.

So, anyone know how to get crayons marks off of carpeting??

Monday, July 13, 2009

Steers, Contracts & Dumpster Diving

What do these three things have in common?

Keep thinking, I'm sure you can come up with it.....

Okay, maybe not. These were all things that came up during my day today.

First, Aunt Judy called and told us that they had to "put down" one of their steers and they wanted to GIVE a quarter of the meat to us. How cool is that? Free beef! Unfortunately, that means I need to "clear a spot in our freezer for a LOT of beef in the next three weeks. I guess we'll be eating a lot of chicken in the meantime, since that's what's filling up my freezer right now. Maybe I'll have you all over for a barbeque or something :)

Second, contracts, as in employment contracts. Here's the deal. Chis is self-employed and he has been at the same company since last November. It was supposed to be a four month contract, but they keep extending him. This is a good thing. It's always a good thing to have money coming in. Finally, they extended him to the end of July and he is really looking forward to taking the month of August off. (I'mreally looking forward to him taking the month of August off) Although, it is a little hard to get excited about a month of no work when you don't know when you will get another contract, if you know what I mean. How can you enjoy four weeks of vacation if you have to be job hunting the whole time?

So, what should happen today? Chris' boss at Thomson tells him that they have enough money budgeted to continue his contract if he is interested. This is good! Here's the part that's really good. He told them that he has already made a bunch of plans for August, so if they are willing he would like to take August off and then start back up again in September. Lo and behold, they agreed to this, so now not only does Chris get the whole month off, he has a job waiting for him in September (all the way through the end of the year!). Yippee! Yeah, God! This whole self- employment thing in a recession is a HUGE step of faith.

Lastly, dumpster-diving. There's a pastime I haven't thought much about since, say, college (yes, Mom, I did do some dumpster diving in college). Evan started his driver's ed classes today. During one of their breaks one of the other students asked him if he wanted to go dumpster diving at the Hostess plant by the driving school. Wisely, my son said, "I think I'll pass." His new found "friend" did go though and I'm sure he had a few tasty snacks.

So, there you have it. You just NEVER know what a Monday will bring. I hope yours was as eventful as mine :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm Entertaining Myself

The bagpipe band has a parade today (Lakeville Pan-o-Prog, for those of you that are interested) and I thought I would paint my nails with the Scottish flag to get in the mood.Now you know what I do to amuse myself. I have warned you time and again that I am a strange bird, I just need to prove it periodically so you believe me :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Never Had That Happen Before

I just got back from a refreshing walk with my hubby and I had a new experience that I wanted to share with you.

I was in a bit of a collision. Not the ordinary collisions where my swinging hand strikes his swinging hand resulting in lacerations on him from my giant diamond ring (okay, I don't have a giant diamond ring, but said collisions occur numerous times throughout our walks). Anyway, no, this wasn't one of those collisions. Nor was it a collision with our dog (or the dog we're dog-sitting) as they bolt off to chase after rabbits and such.

No, this was an entirely new sort of collision which resulted in no injury on my part. So, we're walking along this nice path through a park and suddenly out of the darkened sky comes a small black object which crashes into my arm and then (seemingly) disappears. After I scream and shout, "what the heck!" Chris informs me that he thinks I was just struck by a bat (the flying kind, not the baseball kind). Now bats kind of creep me out, so it took me a minute to get over my heebie jeebies. Then I got to wondering how a bat can crash into me when I'm a fairly large object and I wasn't moving at break-neck speed.

Poor little guy, I hope he's okay.

And now for a creepy bat picture to go along with this post...

It's Hot

And I'm loving it! I am a summer sort of person. Fall comes in second (if it's not too cold) and spring is okay. Winter - err - I could leave that one out except for a nice covering of snow for Christmas and maybe a couple times of sledding and a snowball fight; after that winter isn't good for much in my book :)

But summer, now that's where the fun is: sitting around drinking ice tea, swinging in the hammock, or maybe playing a little catch with the kids. It's got to be about 80 for me to really enjoy it and we've had far to few 80 degree days so far this summer, imo. Today is a gorgeous day! I did break down and turn on the AC so the little kids could nap. I really only use the AC if it gets over about 81 in the house (I keep it set at a nice comfortable 80 degrees).

Okay, enough talk about enjoying this nice day. I'm off to do some of that enjoying. Taa taa.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm Furious

Okay folks, I am a pretty laid back person. I overlook a lot of things, BUT there are a few things in life that get my gander up. For those of you that think that racism is a thing of the past you NEED to read this article.

We all need to be furious after reading this! I am speechless (which doesn't happen often).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Yet Another Reason

I just keep finding reasons why I LOVE my neighborhood.

Here's another - blackberries (and an occasional raspberry. The park behind our house has blackberries growing along the path and this year there is a bumper crop. Yesterday, the kids picked several cups worth of berries and Nina made a DELICIOUS berry crisp out of them. Mmmmm! It was so yummy. I think we will make another one later this week as it seems like this is peak blackberry season.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh, What Fun We Had

We're back.

I hope you all had a great time celebrating the Fourth of July. We sure did. The weather was perfect, the company was entertaining and the food was tasty and plentiful. Aside from losing at Scrabble, it was a wonderful weekend.

Now for the photo extravaganza of our weekend...

Much time was spent in the water, particularly by the kids, but we adults got wet as well.
Tubing was the highlight of the weekend for several of the kids. Here's Aidan with our cabin neighbor, Sam.
Nina & Molly stayed afloat the whole time (I think) and Evan had a spin around the lake as well.
Zoe, just being Zoe.

Even Marcus gave it a try, but only after watching Zoe go for a spin.

Truly, I didn't drive the boat with my eyes shut, except for this one second when the picture was taken - really.
Cousin Rachel was a favorite playmate for many of my kids :)
How did she get to be so darn cute??
What would the 4th be without red, white and blue nails?
Even mine got painted. Actually, I specifically went out and bought blue nail polish on Thursday so I could paint my nails like this.
I spent a lot of time doing this....
Raelea spent a lot of time picking cattails.
Even the dogs had fun. Aren't the cute? This is Cody and Sasha my brother Jim's dogs. Snickers had a good time as well, but we didn't take any pictures of her. Actually, she had a good time except for about four hours on Saturday night when the fireworks were going off; then she had a really miserable time.
Manning the grill is always a good time.
Another adorable child...
And another.
Raelea starting on a cattail gathering rip with Auntie Deb.
There you have it. Just a few of the 250 pictures that were taken over the weekend. I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Take care!