Thursday, October 29, 2009

Annual pumpkin carving

This is a tradition we started last year. We carve a pumpkin together every year around halloween. Isn't that creative?

Silas' job is to clean out the guts.

He tried to be strong but it started to freak him out after a while.

This is when the real fun began. I'm usually the token photographer but this time I snatched the baby saw from Brian and did the carving myself. And yes, it's an Elmo pumpkin. I'm astounded at the smorgasbord of ways this guy is able to infiltrate our lives.

Silas was captivated.
(Enter theme song from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. "Look into my will see...what you mean toooo me...")

He was a little worried about Elmo Pumpkin having to stay outside but he eventually got over it.

Let's just hope the hooligans in the neighborhood don't smash Elmo and send the boy into mourning.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A few weekends ago we had a little family outing. Brian was starting to get the shakes from going an entire summer without sailing so we loaded into grease lightening and drove to the lake. When we got there, Silas waited patiently as Dada got the boat ready.  
Side note: it was about 12:30 p.m. at this point: nap time approaching but still safely in the distance. 

 Finally, after retrieving the boat when it broke free from the thread Brian was using to hold it to the dock, it was time to climb aboard!

Almost 1:00p.m. and no lunch or nap yet. Silas is holding steady.

The wind caught in the sail with a thump and they were off. Picture the cool breeze and warm sun hitting your face with no sounds but the gentle waves lapping the boat. Ahhhh sailing.

We're rounding 1:15p.m. I kept thinking I could hear the Jaws theme playing in the distance.

I was watching from the shore with Mash in the stroller taking pictures, basking in the beauty of the moment. But after a while I started to get nervous about how far from shore the boat was getting. You see, Brian agreed to stay right by the shore so if the boat flipped I could jump in the water and get Silas if Brian was knocked unconcious. You have to be prepared for those sorts of things. So naturally I start yelling across the water and waving at Brian to get him to come closer. After having a small argument about if it is ok to land the tiny motorless boat on the deserted beach 10 feet past the "no boats allowed" signs, Brian finally caved in and the boys came safely ashore to eat lunch. (He likes to follow rules).
It's now 1:45: meltdown threat is at level orange.

Here we are enjoying our delectable picnic.

I forgot to mention that while I walked along the shore diligently watching the sailors, Mash decided to remedy her week-long constipation. So while I changed that gem of a diaper and her clothes, Brian took Silas to play in the water. He loved it.

And here's where it all fell apart. Although I'm sure his blood sugars were making a valiant effort to come back to normal levels, they just didn't make it in time. That combined with it being 2:45p.m. (hours past naptime) and Dada mentioning that it was time to get out of the water, the boy just didn't have the coping skills. And this happened.


Since our naked screaming toddler was running away to find a better life, we decided it was time to go. It was a little stressful trying to figure out how to get the boat back to the dock, pack up the picnic, poopie mess, baby, and naked runaway. I'm sure it was especially hard for Brian who was frantically thinking about how the naked screaming toddler would call attention to his criminal boat parking activity. But we managed to pull it together and we all made it home in one piece. It was a fun trip. I'm thankful for times like these.

Another side note related to sailing: Brian told me last week during one of our deep road trip conversations that one of his life long wishes is to be able to sail away and never come back when he gets close to dying. That way we wont have to worry about burying him or having a funeral. He said he wants to tell everyone goodbye and sail off into the sunset. I asked, but what if you don't die? After a long thoughtful pause he said, well I guess I'll come back home. 
That man.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

goodbye for now

Tonight my sweet grandma is free from a body that was failing her and a life without her husband who she loved. I am smiling knowing she is with Jesus, who she also loved, but crying as I miss her and remember what she meant to me.

Having Grandma meant authentic excitement meeting me outside before I got to the front door.

Having Grandma meant KitKats and Ding Dongs from the refrigerator drawer.

Having Grandma meant angel food birthday cakes and songs taught to me on the piano.

Having Grandma meant posing for many many pictures and realizing later that she was able to see the sometimes well-hidden beauty within.

Having Grandma meant me and Krissy going on walks to help her stay in shape. Although, much to our excitement, we would usually find the destination of our healthful exercise was to get Arby's roast beef sandwiches.

Having Grandma meant having a spectator who drove a long way to cheer for me at a soccer game.

Having Grandma meant seeing how a husband and wife should enjoy each other and laugh together.

Having Grandma meant discovering a drawer where she kept every letter I had written her as a child and realizing that being my pen-pal meant as much to her as it did to me.

Having Grandma meant feeling truly loved and wanted during a childhood when that was hard to come by at times.

She is proof that a grandparent can be powerful in a child's life. How blessed I am to have had a grandma with so much love to give.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I had a depressed day yesterday. Maybe it was coming back from vacation. Maybe it was having no activities during the week. Maybe it was just hump day. All I know is it was one of those days when I felt sorry for myself for not having a mentally stimulating career, for having to change so many poopy diapers, blah blah blah.

But this morning as I was doing the dishes and listening to my children making cat noises behind me, I turned to laugh at them and was suddenly struck by what I saw. There were two healthy children smiling up at me. In that moment I remembered how very blessed I am.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Last weekend we had a little reunion at the lake with our old lifegroup buddies from when we were in college. Even though we don't see them very often, we're always able to pick up where we left off and I always end up laughing until I have a stomach ache. Sometimes we get together without little people and get crazy but this weekend we bumped chests, put our hands in, and psyched ourselves up for a weekend with 8 children, 3 of whom are 4 months and under. Here's how it went down.

Fishing. (Silas missed the fishing adventure because he decided to pull an all-nighter and let's just say he was a little grumpy the next day, aka one constant stream of meltdowns, so he got to go take a nap in the truck)

We made sure the tiny ones spent quality time together.

Brian was always willing to take one for the team and "put Mash down for a nap"

Kids (mainly Silas) threw fits. Mike came out victorious in this showdown.

Silas made new friends

Dads took the kids on a mule ride while moms laid on porch chairs under blankets pondering life's mysteries, and later we sang "wheels on the bus" and ate smores around the campfire. I'm mad that I forgot to take pictures. I'm telling myself it's because I was being "in the moment."

We sure had a fun time. Can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mash's first apple

Today I introduced Madison to honeycrisp apples. If you've never had one, you should go to the store today and buy one. They are just good I tell ya. They're only available for a short time every year which makes them even more of a treat. Mash liked them so much she was kicking her feet, squealing, and getting in contortionist positions to try and keep that deliciousness in her mouth.

I love her.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Typical Brian

I got so tickled at Brian last night. He came in out of the rain and started expressing to me his affinity for his green poncho, going on and on about how "it was so cheap but it sure has come in handy!"

I was only half listening until he added how he used to wear it back in grad school when riding his motorcycle in the rain. My imagination flashed to him riding the streets of Stillwater all hunkered down with this poncho flapping around, tripling his width. And I went into a fit of laughter. He tried to explain that he didn't have a raincoat so what was he supposed to do? It's just so Brian.

Here's his motorcycle before and after he fixed it up. Man's got talent eh?

After laughing at the poncho I remembered another funny story about Brian and his motorcycle. One late night he was riding across campus and looked to the right to see some people walking by. While he was taking a gander, the little truck in front of him stopped. He rammed his motorcycle into the bumper of the truck, flew over the handle bars, smacked onto the tailgate, and slid down to the ground. Only Brian.

The group of people he was gandering at all came over to see if he was ok, which only embarrassed him more. But the real cherry on top was that, unbeknownst to Brian, the person driving the truck was a friend of ours, Tyler Hoyt. Tyler walked around his truck and after recognizing the person who had rammed him said, "Brian??? Hi. Um. Are you ok?"

A humiliated Brian came home that night. After going into an extended fit of laughter, I checked out his injuries and the damage to the bike. The next day I got to hear Tyler's version of the story which included him hearing a big grunt and seeing Brian fly onto the tailgate through his rear view mirror. Another fit of laughter followed.

This is my husband. He wears a big green poncho when it rains and gets in lots of accidents and pickles. I'm glad I have him. He frequently gives me deep rich belly laughs. I guess he should get partial credit for my six-pack.